HIS­TORIC NEWS/CAL­EN­DAR

F1 Racing (UK) - - CONTENTS -

The lat­est in the his­toric scene and im­por­tant dates for your di­ary

Af­ter 25 years out of racing, for­mer For­mula 1 driver Tommy Byrne made a sur­prise come­back in an Ensign N177 in the His­toric F1 races sup­port­ing the Bri­tish Grand Prix. The out­spo­ken Ir­ish­man raced the 1977 Cos­worth Dfv-pow­ered car owned by James Ha­gan in the two FIA Masters His­toric For­mula 1 Cham­pi­onship events, held on the Sil­ver­stone Grand Prix cir­cuit.

Byrne, now 60, made just two Grand Prix starts in 1982 with the un­com­pet­i­tive Theodore TYO2. His colour­ful ca­reer – a tale of a bright tal­ent lost to wil­ful­ness – has re­cently been cel­e­brated in the book Crashed & Byrned.

“My last race at Sil­ver­stone was in 1984 when I drove the An­son-alfa Romeo in the Euro­pean F3 race, which was the penul­ti­mate time I drove in the UK,” said Byrne. “I raced in the 1986 Birm­ing­ham Su­per­prix in an Ed­die Jor­dan Racing March 86B. My friend James Ha­gan asked me to drive the car [the Ensign] and I was happy to oblige.”

Byrne fin­ished 16th in the open­ing His­toric F1 race af­ter be­ing in­volved in a fierce late-race bat­tle with Adrian Newey’s Lo­tus 49. How­ever, a mis­fire halted fur­ther progress in the sec­ond race and the 1982 Bri­tish F3 Cham­pion was forced to re­tire af­ter eight laps.

In spite of the prob­lems, Byrne en­joyed his re­turn to racing and has plans for another go. “I had a great time,” said Byrne. “It was a strug­gle at the start. When you don’t race for 25 years and you jump into an F1 car it’s def­i­nitely harder work than when I was younger! I learned the track and I learned the car and we made the car bet­ter all the time. We were making progress but some­thing hap­pened in race two, which was a real shame. I’d love to have another go.”

Af­ter his F1 ca­reer stalled, Byrne looked to North Amer­ica and raced through to 1992. He now works as a driver coach and teaches high per­for­mance and de­fen­sive

driv­ing from a base in Florida.

A land­mark car from the BRM story has re­turned to racing this sum­mer in the hands of Cal­i­for­nian en­thu­si­ast Charles Mccabe. He has now taken over the fron­tengined BRM P25 most re­cently owned by Gary Pear­son.

Mccabe’s car is the one used by Jo Bon­nier to score BRM’S first world cham­pi­onship F1 win at Zand­voort in 1959. The car was soon made ob­so­lete by the rearengined rev­o­lu­tion, and BRM left it alone ow­ing to the Zand­voort re­sult, so it re­mains very orig­i­nal.

“It’s a lovely car and very nicely bal­anced,” said Mccabe af­ter racing it on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix cir­cuit.“the car will stay in the UK with Hall and Hall be­cause this is where all the grand prix cars from that pe­riod are.”

Mccabe will com­mute from Cal­i­for­nia and plans to race it four or five times a year in Europe with the His­toric Grand Prix Cars As­so­ci­a­tion, racing it along­side his rear-en­gined Lo­tus 18.

The Rolex Mon­terey Mo­tor­sports Re­u­nion is the big­gest his­toric racing fes­ti­val in North Amer­ica and will run over the week­end of Au­gust 23-26 at the out­stand­ing La­guna Seca track in Cal­i­for­nia, famed for its sen­sa­tional Corkscrew sec­tion.

Many cars and driv­ers will also be in ac­tion over the pre­ced­ing week­end at the Mon­terey Pr­ere­union, the warm-up event that is nearly as big as the fea­ture meet­ing. Masters USA will field a strong grid of 1967-1984 His­toric F1 cars dur­ing the very full week­end, which fea­tures a to­tal of 550 his­toric race cars.

In the 25-strong F1 field will be ris­ing US his­toric racing star Tim de Silva in a 1982 Alfa Romeo 182, run­ning along­side the Shadow DN3 of his fa­ther Harindra. Euro­pean front-run­ners Mike

Can­til­lon (Tyrrell 010) and Jamie Con­sta­ble (Tyrrell 011) are also set take on US aces in­clud­ing Charles Near­burg (Wil­liams FW07).

The main event on the sec­ond week­end is also cel­e­brat­ing 50 years of the For­mula 5000 cat­e­gory, and as many as 50 of the 5-litre mon­sters will be on hand. Plans have been laid for an open race for F1 and F5000 cars at the end of the week­end to re-cre­ate the flavour of pe­riod non-cham­pi­onship races such as the Sil­ver­stone In­ter­na­tional Tro­phy and the Brands Hatch Race of Cham­pi­ons.

One of the stars of the event will un­doubt­edly be dou­ble world cham­pion Mika Häkkinen, who re­turns af­ter driv­ing the ex­e­mer­son Fit­ti­paldi Mclaren M23 a year ago. This time the Finn will mark 25 years of the Mclaren F1 GTR road car and is demon­strat­ing one of the iconic su­per­cars.

IN SPITE OF THE PROB­LEMS, BYRNE EN­JOYED HIS RE­TURN TO RACING AND HAS PLANS FOR ANOTHER GO

Byrne (be­low, left) en­joyed his time in the Ensign N177

At Brands Mccabe was full of ad­mi­ra­tion for the BRM (right)

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