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National novelties: Ex-Mosley Lotus and F3 cars return to Thruxton 50 years on

Last weekend's Thruxton Historic event featured some notable single-seaters returning to action - in both races and demos - and here are a few of their interesting stories

auto mathai 2

Remembering Rindt: Mathai's Lotus

German Oliver Mathai’s high-winged Lotus-FVA 59B gave a snapshot of Thruxton king Jochen Rindt’s second of three European F2 victories from 1968-70 when it competed in last weekend's Thruxton Historic event.

Driving the sister Roy Winkelmann Racing car, run for future March co-founder and FIA president Max Mosley, Mathai’s efforts were appreciated by RWR junior Pete Briggs (who ran Ronnie Peterson and Mike Hailwood to the 1971 and 1972 F2 titles with March and Team Surtees respectively).

Mathai won his class on Saturday, but Hanover neighbour Marc Sydow (ex-Alan Rollinson/Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus 69) netted victory when the 59B retired on Sunday.

F3 friends reunited: Wilds in a March

Coombs (l) and Wilds completed demo runs in cars that raced in F3 at Thruxton 50 years ago

Coombs (l) and Wilds completed demo runs in cars that raced in F3 at Thruxton 50 years ago

Photo by: Steve Jones

Fifty years to the day after Ian Taylor won the Forward Trust F3 Championship round at Thruxton in the Chris Andrews/Baty Group March 733 and Mo Harness finished sixth in the Team Modus Ensign LNF3, both cars were back on track last weekend.

Taylor’s old friend Mike Wilds was honoured to demonstrate the 733, while Bill Coombs, who picked up the circuit’s racing school reins after founder Ian’s death at Spa in 1992, drove the Ensign in which Karl Jones contested the Jochen Rindt Trophy bouts.

Those races marked Jones' slicks-and-wings debut, 40 years after a John Player F1 test drive never materialised following his Champion of Brands title triumph.

Keeping it in the family: Venn's Lyncar

Venn's daughters watched him race a car designed by their stepdad

Venn's daughters watched him race a car designed by their stepdad

Photo by: Steve Jones

Lyncar 005, in which British-based New Zealander John Nicholson won the 1973 BP and 1974 John Player Formula Atlantic titles, returned to racing at last weekend’s Thruxton Historic event after 10 years lying dormant.

The 005, engine builder Nicholson’s frontline car from the middle of 1973 when it superseded 003, won the British Grand Prix support race at Silverstone that year. He also won contests at Mallory Park, Oulton and Snetterton.

Owner Peter Venn has a long history with the Lyncar marque – founded by former March men Martin Slater and Graham Coaker – but had not raced one since 1984, when he campaigned 001 in Monoposto.

Venn has also acquired the monocoque of 007 in a tranche of parts bought from his ex-wife Sally, who subsequently married Slater.

“Even though we had problems with 005, Sunday was very special because our two daughters came to Thruxton [on Father’s Day] to watch their dad race a car designed and built by their stepdad,” said Venn.

Pic of the week:

Fraser Collins had a dramatic Historic Formula Ford 2000 crash after being clipped by Ollie Roberts

Fraser Collins had a dramatic Historic Formula Ford 2000 crash after being clipped by Ollie Roberts

Photo by: Steve Jones

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