Race Retro is a show for serious motorsport enthusiasts, and the 2018 edition is set to honour the 40th anniversary of ground-effect era of Formula 1.
As one of the first major shows of every new year, Race Retro is often the first to celebrate important anniversaries. Next year, the event will focus on the 40th anniversary of the ground-effects Formula 1 era in the Motor Sport Hall of Fame at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, from 23-25 February.
This gives the show a refreshing angle: many events celebrate the anniversary of famous marques, wins or drivers – but few celebrate the technical milestones that have driven motorsport development over the last several decades.
But while Race Retro is marking the 40th anniversary of ground-effects in racing, the use of aerodynamic influence can be traced back much further. It was in fact Gustave Eiffel – of Parisian tower fame – who built a wind tunnel that Peugeot used to help shape its Grand Prix cars in the 1910s.
However, it was Team Lotus’ Colin Chapman who first capitalised on the notion of the racing car as an inverted wing. Chapman’s landmark design was the Lotus 79, introduced early during the 1978 season. Mario Andretti gave the car a winning debut in the Belgian Grand Prix and scored four additional victories on his way to winning that season’s world title.
Then, based on Chapman’s innovative design, Williams then took the concept a stage further with the Patrick Head-inspired FW07. This machine gave the team its maiden F1 success in the 1979 British Grand Prix and carried Australian Alan Jones to the 1980 world championship. The organisers of Race Retro’s Motor Sport Hall of Fame Live will have an FW07 on display, from the Williams Heritage collection.
Lee Masters, Race Retro’s event director, said: ‘The ground-effect philosophy filtered down from the top of the sport and the 2018 Hall of Fame Live display will showcase a stunning range of cars that symbolises one of the most innovative periods in racing history.’
Race Retro takes place on February 23-25 2018 at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, with free parking for all visitors. For the latest updates and ticket information, visit www.raceretro.com