The headline-grabbing career of one of Britain’s most charismatic and colourful sportsmen will be celebrated at this summer’s Silverstone Classic (29-31 July). It’s exactly 40 years since hard driving, fast living James Hunt overcame all the odds to win the FIA Formula One World Championship in 1976.
Hunt sadly passed away in 1993 at the age of just 45 but the legend lives on and the ruby 40th anniversary of his crowning achievement will be marked at the world’s biggest historic motor racing festival in July, with special displays curated by his two sons Freddie and Tom. These displays will include a number of James’ most notable road and racing cars plus rarely seen trophies and memorabilia from the flamboyant Englishman’s title winning 1976 season.
The special celebrations at Silverstone are very appropriate, too, as Hunt savoured more Formula One success at the superfast Northamptonshire venue than at any other circuit worldwide. As a much-loved underdog, home hero Hunt scored a hugely popular maiden F1 win at Silverstone in April 1974 when racing for the locally based Hesketh team. Although the BRDC International Trophy was non-championship, the grid featured many of the era’s top teams and drivers.
Two years later, Hunt ignited his title winning campaign with a second confidence boosting International Trophy victory, this time for his new team McLaren. And it was at Silverstone that, as reigning champion, he won his only British Grand Prix after an epic dice with John Watson in 1977.