The HSCC Historic Formula 2 International Series is flourishing like never before – and the Historic Grand Prix next month will very much witness the profits from that. As many as 30 F2 cars from F2’s booming period of 1967-1978 will flock to Zandvoort for two races at the cutting edge. Well-known customer-chassis suppliers such as March, Ralt and Chevron will be represented along with various Lotus and Brabham designs from the days these F1 constructors also built cars for Formula 2 and Formula 3.
Interest in the historic F2 championship is larger than ever after Peter Auto pulled the plug on the rival series at the end of last year. Still, no-one expected the 2019 championship to be thriving the way it is now. With some 30 cars, the entry record was very recently broken at Magny-Cours, after which at the Silverstone Classic – where everything is bigger than life – no less than 50 cars appeared! Zandvoort will also benefit from the Formula 2 boom, with no less than 30 cars having registered for the Historic Grand Prix.
In recent years, F2 has quickly grown into a clear crowd favourite with the Zandvoort spectators – and vice versa, as the circuit has proven very popular with the drivers who are eager to return to the dunes every year. So in 2019, the love affair between the Dutch crowd and the F2 circus will continue as on the back of a very successful 2018 show the F2 bonanza will be back one year later. It’s easy to understand the love, since seventies Formula 2 was characterized by a large variety of idiosyncratic designs in the wild colours of the period – so much different from the one-make series of today.
Moreover, all the favourites will be present at Zandvoort. Such as Martin O’Connell, a nineties British F3 National Class champion and today the team boss of various drivers in the FIA Masters Historic Formula 1, FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars and Masters Gentlemen Drivers. In Formula 2, though, O’Connell will race himself in a beautiful pale blue Chevron B40, competing against Miles Griffiths (Ralt RT1), better known from pre-66 F1, and Matthew Watts, who in his March 772 already won at Zandvoort several times.
Mark Charteris and Mark Dwyer in their March 742s are also expected to star at the front, as well as Darwin Smith’s March 722. Smith is another previous winner at Zandvoort – in a car from 1972!
In the pre-71 class, Martin Stretton (March 712) should be able to compete with the overall leaders, while six-time champion Roger Simac (March 712M) and Luciano Arnold (Brabham BT36) are among the podium candidates in the class. Meanwhile, cars from the North American Formula B and Formula Atlantic series are equally welcome in the championship, like the gorgeous Harry Stiller March 74B of Richard Ellingworth.
And if that’s not enough variety – Stephen Weller will bring his Elfin 600B, an F2 car from the wingless era of the late sixties while Dan Eagling will also add a lesser known name to the starting grid with his French-made GRD 273. Roger Bevan’s Lotus 69 is another car worthy of your attention, as it used to be Emerson Fittipaldi’s European breakthrough car.
But for many reasons David Tomlin’s Motul M1 is perhaps the most special F2-car on the grid. Not just because of its exuberant colours – truly seventies! – but also since none other than Ron Dennis ran this car in period. Still a long way from his high-profile Project 4 and McLaren days, a very young Dennis together with former Brabham co-worker Neil Trundle ran the Rondel F2 team which was the driving force behind the Motul. Tomlin won twice at Magny-Cours earlier this year, so the car is still fast too!
Historic Grand Prix 2019
This year’s Historic Grand Prix at the Zandvoort circuit will take place on 6, 7 and 8 September. Free practice and qualifying are on Friday and Saturday, the races take place on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday evening 7 September will see a parade through the town centre of Zandvoort.
A pre-sale day ticket for the General Admission area is just € 18,99 (32,50 euros for three days). A paddock ticket, which includes access to the main grandstand and the General Admission area, is 32,50 euros (day ticket) or 55 euros (three days). Children up to 4 have free access. Also, the exclusive Paddock Club will allow you to experience the Historic Grand Prix at VIP level.