The Lotus 79, regarded as the ultimate ground-effects car is the latest showstopper to join the 40th anniversary celebration of Formula 1’s Ground-Effects era in the Motor Sport Hall of Fame Live at Race Retro, held at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, from February 23-25 2018.
Lotus founder and designer Colin Chapman was the first to develop the concept that a racing car as an inverted wing could be forced onto the track, delivering huge downforce and grip.
The Lotus 79, kindly on loan from the Richard Mille Collection, was introduced early in 1978 and took Mario Andretti to the world championship. A year later Alan Jones won the championship in Patrick Head’s response to the Lotus 79, the Williams FW07, which will also be on display.
Other cars showcased from the ground-effect era will include the Ralt RT3 Martin Brundle raced against Ayrton Senna in British F3 and the ex-Siegfried Stohr Chevron B48 F2 car, freshly restored by Steve Worrad Racing. They will be joined by Porsche 956 chassis 103, which finished second at Le Mans in 1984 when driven by John Paul Junior and Jean Rondeau.
The Motor Sport Hall of Fame Live will also include other racing and rally cars, with a number of key milestones celebrated and tributes paid to attendant special guests, many of whom will be interviewed on the Motor Sport Live Stage. Introduced to Race Retro last year, this was the biggest talking point of a show that is now owned by Clarion Events.
Many organisations and businesses from across the sport will be exhibiting and race organising clubs on show will include the Vintage Sports-Car Club, MG Car Club, Historic Sports Car Club, Classic Touring Car Racing Club and the Classic Sports Car Club. Equipe GTS will be on hand with details of its new race series for pre ’63 GTs.
Outside the exhibition halls, the grounds of Stoneleigh Park will be turned into a special stage and a raft of period rally cars will be put through their paces on Saturday and Sunday. At the core of the demonstration sessions will be the Rallying with Group B movement, but the cars in action will span more than 50 years of the sport’s history.