Jun 25, 2015
CAR FANS TO RUSH TO SAVOUR JAMES HUNT F1 CAR IRISH DEBUT AT GOWRAN FESTIVAL OF SPEED
It’s enough to quicken the pulse of any car enthusiast. The James Hunt Hesketh Formula 1 car, revered by motor fans and immortalised on celluloid in the 2013 movie Rush, will make its Irish debut at the inaugural Gowran Festival of Speed on 11th and 12th July.
Festival organisers have announced that London-based Irishman James Hagan, who now owns the Hesketh, is happy to support the debut festival by sending the Formula 1 car to Ireland. Gowran Festival of Speed, which is an Irish version of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, takes place at Gowran Park in two weeks time.
The James Hunt Hesketh will take to the track at Gowran Festival of Speed for some stunning demos, as well as going on display for the thousands expected over the festival weekend.
The Hesketh was designed by Harvey Postlethwaite for Hesketh Racing to compete in the 1974 and 1975 World Championships. The car gave the now world-famous rally driver James Hunt his first World Championship Grand Prix win in the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. The car was debuted in 1974 using a DFV V8 engine and rubber springs – inspired by rubber damping for buildings in earthquake zones. Hunt took pole position at the International Trophy race at Silverstone in competition with several Grand Prix regulars and managed a stunning victory, despite dropping back at the start with his clutch slipping and the gear shift knob coming off in his hand! This was followed by an inspiring win by Hunt in the wet/dry 1975 Dutch Grand Prix – holding off Niki Lauda’s dominant Ferrari – and also led at the British Grand Prix and the Austrian Grand Prix, taking several placings on his way to 4th overall. Sadly, the team folded up at the end of the season as Lord Hesketh could not afford to keep financing his unsponsored team, and Hunt moved to McLaren for 1976.
The rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda was made into the 2013 Hollywood movie Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth as Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Lauda.
“This is a great coup for Gowran Festival of Speed and we are grateful to James Hagan for lending this revered F1 car to Irish car enthusiasts for what will be one great weekend in Kilkenny. Thanks must also go to F1 afficionado Larry Armstrong who helped broker this arrangement. James Hunt was a maverick and the James Hunt Hesketh Formula 1 car is the stuff of legends. Jensen Button himself said he’d love to have raced for Hesketh alongside Hunt. And now the Irish public can get up close and personal with this Supercar at Gowran Festival of Speed”, commented Pat Caulfield, spokesperson for Gowran Festival of Speed.
Formula 1 car demos, celebrity rally driver displays, daring track feats, iconic Group B cars from the heyday of rallying and a Man V Machine Challenge, with ex-jockey Tony Mullins racing against a first-class rally car, are amongst the exciting events scheduled for Gowran Festival of Speed. In addition to all things motoring, the festival will also host a busy fringe featuring a food quarter, live entertainment, helicopter rides, onsite camping, a full children’s entertainment area and the original Wall of Death show.
Tickets for Gowran Festival of Speed are €10 per adult and €5 for seniors and students. Children under 16 go free. Tickets are available from www.tickets.ie or at the gate. Visit www.gowranpark.ie, Gowran Festival of Speed on FB and @fosGowran on Twitter using #FOSGowran.
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