Hesketh Racing

Hesketh Racing was a Formula One constructor from the United Kingdom, which competed from 1973 to 1978. The team competed in 52 World Championship Grands Prix, winning one and achieving eight further podium finishes. Its best placing in the World Constructors' Championship was fourth in 1975. Hesketh was notable for giving James Hunt his Formula One debut and he brought the team most of its success. Alan Jones also began his Formula One career in a privately entered Hesketh.

Hesketh
Hesketh
Full nameHesketh Racing
BaseUnited Kingdom
Noted staffLord Hesketh
Harvey Postlethwaite
Noted driversUnited Kingdom James Hunt
Australia Alan Jones
Formula One World Championship career
First entry1974 South African Grand Prix
Races entered52
Constructors'
Championships
0
Drivers'
Championships
0
Race victories1
Pole positions0
Fastest laps1
Final entry1978 South African Grand Prix

Formation

Englishman Lord Hesketh, in partnership with Anthony 'Bubbles' Horsley as driver, entered various Formula Three events around Europe in 1972, with the mission objective simply to have as much fun as possible. Due partly Horsley's lack of experience, there were few results.

Hesketh subsequently employed James Hunt, who had a reputation for being very fast, but also for writing off cars, and who, at the time, was unemployed. Hesketh took on Hunt as one of his drivers for F3.

The Hesketh team had a growing reputation for their playboy style, arriving at races in Rolls-Royce cars, drinking champagne regardless of their results, and checking the entire team into five-star hotels. The team even had a patch specially made for Hunt's driving suit which read: "Sex – The Breakfast of Champions".

By the middle of the season Hunt and Horsley had written off both of the team's Formula Three cars. Horsley decided to leave the cockpit, switching to the team's management. Hesketh rented a Formula Two March for the rest of 1972, and bought Hunt a Surtees Formula Two car for 1973. Hunt then promptly wrote the car off at the Pau Grand Prix, and in typical style, Hesketh worked out that the cost involved in competing in the top flight was hardly more expensive than F2, and decided to move the team up to Formula One.

Formula One

James Hunt era

James Hunt with Hesketh
James Hunt in the Hesketh in 1975

Hesketh rented a Surtees TS9 for the non-championship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch, with Hunt finishing third. This success led to the purchase of a March 731, with Hesketh also signing junior March Engineering designer Harvey Postlethwaite to modify the chassis, working from Hesketh's Easton Neston estate. The car made its first appearance at the 1973 Monaco Grand Prix, where Hunt ran sixth before the engine failed. He scored a point at the team's next entry, the French Grand Prix, improved to fourth for the British Grand Prix, and then third for the Dutch Grand Prix. He then took second place in the season-closing United States Grand Prix.

Hesketh 308 Freddie Hunt 2007
James Hunt's Hesketh 308 being driven by his son, Freddie, in 2007.

In 1974, Postlethwaite designed an all-new car for the team, the Hesketh 308, which was ready for the Silverstone International Trophy, which Hunt won, making its championship debut at the South African Grand Prix. The car was strong, taking third place at the Swedish Grand Prix, the Austrian Grand Prix and the United States Grand Prix. For 1975, examples of the 308 were sold to Harry Stiller Racing, who gave Alan Jones his grand prix debut. Polar Caravans also purchased a Hesketh chassis, while the works team modified the 308 for Hunt. At the same time, Horsley was developing into an extremely efficient and competent team manager and under his guidance, the team moved forward.

Hunt took a hugely popular win 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 fourth overall.

Post-Hunt

Hesketh 308E
A Hesketh 308E in 1977's Penthouse Rizla Racing livery.
Hesketh 308D Donington
A Hesketh 308D on show at the Donington Grand Prix Exhibition

In late 1975 Lord Hesketh announced he could no longer afford to try to produce the next British world champion, having raced without sponsorship, and ended the team. Hunt was offered the lead drive at McLaren, replacing Emerson Fittipaldi.[1]

The Hesketh name would live on in Formula One, although in less glamorous circumstances. First, Postlethwaite took his upgraded 308C design to Wolf–Williams Racing. Then Horsley upgraded the 308 to the 308D and continued as Hesketh Racing. Harald Ertl signed to drive the car, with the team's image landing Penthouse Magazine and Rizla as sponsors. Guy Edwards joined in a second car from the Belgian Grand Prix onwards with Alex Ribeiro bringing in some funds later in the year. Ertl's seventh place at the British Grand Prix was the team's best result of the year.

Frank Dernie designed the new 308E chassis for the 1977 season, with Rupert Keegan driving alongside Ertl. Later in the season a third car was entered for Héctor Rebaque, with Horsley simply trying to bring in money to the team. Ertl left and was replaced by Ian Ashley, but by now Keegan's was the only entry that usually made it to the grid, and his seventh place at the Austrian Grand Prix was the team's best finish of the year.

In 1978 the team slimmed down to a single car, with backing from Olympus Cameras. The car itself was barely upgraded, and Divina Galica failed to qualify for the first two races. Eddie Cheever then managed to get into the South African Grand Prix, retiring with a fractured oil line. Derek Daly was the next to try the car, and at the wet International Trophy at Silverstone, in his debut, diced for the lead with James Hunt's McLaren before a stone cracked his visor and ended his race. However, in world championship events he failed to qualify for the next three races, after which the team folded.

Sports cars

The Ibec-Hesketh 308LM, also later referred to as the "Ibec P6" and the "Ibec 308LM Cobra", is a one-off sports prototype racing car that was built in 1978, and was designed by Postlethwaite around many components of the Hesketh 308 Formula One car. The car was funded by Lloyd's of London insurance broker Ian Bracey, who formed the Ian Bracey Engineering Company to oversee the project.

Unlike many privateer sports car entrants in the late 1970s, Bracey harboured serious hopes of winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Rather than buy an only partially competitive off-the-peg chassis on which to build, Bracey commissioned former Hesketh chief designer Postlethwaite to design a brand new chassis around a detuned 3.0-litre Cosworth DFV engine. Postlethwaite used his Hesketh connections to buy both front and rear suspension components from the F1 team, and the building of the car was commenced in the Hesketh workshops. However, as the Hesketh racing team's fortunes dipped, the Ibec chassis dropped down the priority list and eventually Bracey moved production to Lyncar in Slough. Here, facing a tight deadline, the Lyncar team managed to complete the car in just over five weeks.[2]

The Ibec design, while bespoke, was not adventurous. The main chassis was formed by a riveted and bonded aluminium monocoque, behind which the DFV engine and Hewland FG400 gearbox were bolted as stressed chassis members. Suspension was by double wishbones at the front, with twin trailing arms, parallel lower links and single top links at the rear. The car was clothed in fibreglass bodywork which had been properly wind tunnel tested, and which proved highly effective at generating both downforce in corners and stability at high speed. The total cost of designing and building the 308LM was less than £100,000,[2] approximately £0.5 million at 2005 prices, more than most privateer teams, but far lower than many contemporary factory race programs.

The car's first competitive outing was, as planned, at the 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans race, driven by Ian Grob and Guy Edwards, with Bracey himself acting as reserve driver. Edwards's presence in the team had an additional benefit as his skills at sponsorship negotiation landed the small Ibec team with backing from the giant Chrysler corporation, despite the 308LM being Ford-powered. Edwards also qualified the Ibec in 13th position, at an average speed of 133 mph.[2] However, in the race itself the car suffered from mechanical troubles which dropped it to 42nd position after just a few hours. Despite recovering well from this early setback, in the 19th hour the DFV engine failed completely and the Ibec's race was over.

The Ibec 308LM also failed to finish at its one further Le Mans outing, in the 1981 event, driven by Tiff Needell and Tony Trimmer, before the car was converted for use in the UK Thundersports championship during the mid-1980s.

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Chassis Engine Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
1973 March 731 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE FRA GBR NED GER AUT ITA CAN USA N/A1 N/A1
United Kingdom James Hunt 9 6 4 3 Ret DNS 7 2
1974 March 731 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA CAN USA N/A1 N/A1
United Kingdom James Hunt Ret 9
308 Ret 10 Ret Ret 3 Ret Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret 4 3 15 6th
South Africa Ian Scheckter DNQ
1975 308
308B
308C
Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG BRA RSA ESP MON BEL SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA USA 33 4th
United Kingdom James Hunt 2 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 1 2 4 Ret 2 5 4
Australia Alan Jones Ret Ret Ret 11
Sweden Torsten Palm DNQ 10
Austria Harald Ertl 8 Ret 9
United States Brett Lunger 13 10 Ret
1976 308D Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 BRA RSA USW ESP BEL MON SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USA JPN 0 NC
Austria Harald Ertl 15 DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ Ret Ret 7 Ret 8 Ret 16 DNS 13 8
United Kingdom Guy Edwards DNQ 17 Ret 15 DNS 20
West Germany Rolf Stommelen 12
Brazil Alex Ribeiro 12
1977 308E Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG BRA RSA USW ESP MON BEL SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN JPN 0 NC
United Kingdom Rupert Keegan Ret 12 Ret 13 10 Ret Ret 7 Ret 9 8 Ret
Austria Harald Ertl Ret DNQ 9 16 DNQ
Mexico Héctor Rebaque DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ DNQ
United Kingdom Ian Ashley DNQ DNQ DNQ 17 DNS
1978 308E Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG BRA RSA USW MON BEL ESP SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN 0 NC
United Kingdom Divina Galica DNQ DNQ
United States Eddie Cheever Ret
Republic of Ireland Derek Daly DNPQ DNPQ DNQ

^1 – Not entered as a constructor.

References

  1. ^ Donaldson, Gerald. "Hall of Fame: James Hunt". Formula1.com. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Meredith, L. 1996. Special Brew. Motor Sport. LXXII/10 (October 1996), 1088–1090
1972 European Formula Two Championship

The 1972 European Formula Two season was contested over 14 rounds. British Mike Hailwood, a previously famous motorcycle racer, was the season champion, driving a Surtees-Ford.

1973 British Grand Prix

The 1973 British Grand Prix (formally the John Player Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held at Silverstone on 14 July 1973. It was race 9 of 15 in both the 1973 World Championship of Drivers and the 1973 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers.

The race is known for the first lap pile-up which ultimately caused eleven cars to retire. The accident happened when Jody Scheckter, running fourth in his McLaren, spun across the track at Woodcote Corner at the end of the first lap, causing many other cars to collide and crash. The incident eliminated nine cars, including all three works Surtees cars, while Brabham driver Andrea de Adamich suffered a broken ankle that ended his F1 career. The race was stopped at the end of the second lap, before being restarted over the original 67-lap distance with 18 of the original 29 cars (David Purley and Graham McRae having also retired in separate incidents).

On the first start, a swift start by Jackie Stewart brought him from fourth to first in less than half a lap. At Becketts Corner, Stewart out-braked race leader Ronnie Peterson and took the lead. However, the massive pile-up at the end of the first lap caused the race to be restarted and Stewart had to start from fourth again. This time it was Niki Lauda who had an excellent start and moved up behind Peterson into second, with Stewart third. Stewart passed Lauda on lap 2, and charged after Peterson. On lap 6, Stewart again tried to pass Peterson for the lead, but the Swedish driver shut the door; Stewart lost control of his Tyrrell and spun off into the thick grass. Although he was able to continue, Stewart ended up finishing 10th, one lap down.

Another notable drive came from James Hunt in his Hesketh Racing March, who ran fourth for most of the race and was part of a four-way battle for the lead between himself, Peterson, Denny Hulme and Peter Revson. American driver Revson took his first Grand Prix victory by 2.8 seconds from Peterson.

The pile-up was to be a factor in this being the last World Championship F1 race held on the original Silverstone layout: a chicane would be added at Woodcote shortly before the next British Grand Prix at Silverstone two years later. MotoGP, which would come to Silverstone from the Isle of Man in 1977, would use the original layout until 1986.

1973 Formula One season

The 1973 Formula One season was the 27th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1973 World Championship of Drivers and the 1973 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers, which were contested concurrently over a fifteen-race series that commenced on 28 January and ended on 7 October. There were two new races for the 1973 season – the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos in São Paulo and the Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp. The season also included two non-championship races which were open to both Formula One and Formula 5000 cars.

The World Championship of Drivers was won by Jackie Stewart, driving for Elf Team Tyrrell, and the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers by John Player Team Lotus. In the World Championship, Lotus teammates Emerson Fittipaldi and Ronnie Peterson raced each other while Stewart was supported at Tyrrell by François Cevert. Stewart took the Drivers' title at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, but then at the final race of the season, the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, Cevert crashed during Saturday practice in the notorious 'Esses' and was killed instantly. Stewart and Tyrrell withdrew from the race, handing the Manufacturers' title to Lotus. At the end of the season Stewart made public his decision to retire, a decision that had been made before the US Grand Prix. By the end of the 1973 season the best car on the track was probably the new McLaren M23, a wedge-shaped car following the same concept as the Lotus 72 but with more conventional suspension and up-to-date aerodynamics. The 1973 season marked the debut of future world champion James Hunt at the Monaco Grand Prix driving a privateer March 731 entered by Hesketh Racing.

The 1973 season saw the intervention of a Safety Car in Formula One for the first time, in the form of a Porsche 914 at the Canadian Grand Prix. However, this safety concept would not be officially introduced until twenty years later, in 1993. As well as Cevert, Briton Roger Williamson was also killed during the season, in a crash at the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

Another change to the rules introduced this season was the cars doing a full warm-up lap before the race. Prior to this, tracks included a dummy grid a short distance behind a grid proper, and the cars would simply move from one to the other to begin the race.

It was also this season that the numbering system for teams was formalised. In the second race of the season in Brazil, team-mates were paired - Lotus drivers 1 and 2; Tyrrell's 3 and 4 and so on - though the numbers assigned to each team still changed for a couple of races until the fifth race, the Belgian Grand Prix, at which the order was set for the rest of the season. For 1974, the numbers were assigned based on finishing positions in the 1973 constructor's championship, after which teams did not change numbers unless they won the drivers' championship (or signed the current world champion), or if a team dropped out.

1973 Monaco Grand Prix

The 1973 Monaco Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Monaco on 3 June 1973. It was race 6 of 15 in both the 1973 World Championship of Drivers and the 1973 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers.

The race was held on a heavily revised circuit, with a longer tunnel, a new section of track around the new swimming pool on the harbour front, and the Gasworks hairpin replaced by the Rascasse and Antony Noghès corners, the latter named after the founder of the race. The pits were also moved back to the start-finish straight, on a wider pit lane.

The 78-lap race was won from pole position by Scotland's Jackie Stewart, driving a Tyrrell-Ford. In the process, Stewart equalled the record of 25 Grand Prix victories set by his friend Jim Clark. Brazil's Emerson Fittipaldi finished second in a Lotus-Ford, with Swedish teammate Ronnie Peterson third.

This was the first race for future World Champion James Hunt, driving a March-Ford entered by Hesketh Racing. Hunt suffered an engine failure in the closing stages of the race, but was classified ninth.

1975 BRDC International Trophy

The 1975 BRDC International Trophy, formally known as the 27th Daily Express International Trophy, was a non-championship Formula One race held at Silverstone Circuit on 13 April 1975. It was organised by the circuit owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club, as a "curtain raiser" for the European portion of the 1975 Formula One season. James Hunt, driving for the small Hesketh Racing team, set the fastest lap time in practice and took pole position for the start. In the race he continued to run at the front, heading the leading pack for many laps and setting fastest lap of the race on lap 14. Third-place runner, McLaren driver Emerson Fittipaldi, equalled his time on lap 23. However, Hunt's engine failed at the start of lap 26 and the lead was inherited by second-place runner Niki Lauda in his Ferrari. Lauda held the lead for the remainder of the race, despite Fittipaldi "pull[ing] out the stops" to try and pass him. At the finishing flag, Fittipaldi was only one-tenth of a second behind Lauda, with Mario Andretti in a Parnelli taking the last podium position in third.

1975 Dutch Grand Prix

The 1975 Dutch Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Circuit Zandvoort on 22 June 1975. It was race 8 of 14 in both the 1975 World Championship of Drivers and the 1975 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers. It was the 24th Dutch Grand Prix. It was held over 75 laps of the four kilometre circuit for a race distance of 318 kilometres.

The race is memorable for one of the greatest underdog victories in Formula One. British driver and future world champion James Hunt won his first Formula One Grand Prix, giving small privateer operation Hesketh Racing the highlight of its six-year history with its first and only Grand Prix win. Hunt drove his Hesketh 308 to a one-second win over the Ferrari 312T of the World Championship points leader, Austrian driver Niki Lauda. Third was taken by Lauda's Ferrari team mate, Swiss driver Clay Regazzoni.

1978 Belgian Grand Prix

The 1978 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 21 May 1978 at Zolder. It was the sixth race of the 1978 World Championship of F1 Drivers and the 1978 International Cup for F1 Constructors. The 70-lap race was won from pole position by Mario Andretti, driving the new Lotus 79. Teammate Ronnie Peterson was second in the older Lotus 78, with Carlos Reutemann third in a Ferrari.

Charlie Whiting

Charles Whiting (12 August 1952 – 14 March 2019) was a British motorsports director. He most notably served as the FIA Formula One Race Director, Safety Delegate, Permanent Starter and head of the F1 Technical Department, in which capacities he generally managed the logistics of each F1 Grand Prix, inspected cars in parc fermé before a race, enforced FIA rules, and controlled the lights that start each race.

Cosworth

Cosworth is a British automotive engineering company founded in London in 1958 (1958), specialising in high-performance internal combustion engines, powertrain, and electronics; for automobile racing (motorsport) and mainstream automotive industries. Cosworth is based in Northampton, England, with American facilities in Indianapolis, Shelby Charter Township, Michigan and Mooresville, North Carolina.

Cosworth has collected 176 wins in Formula One (F1) as engine supplier, ranking third with most wins, behind Ferrari and Mercedes.

Formula One drivers from Ireland

There have been five Formula One drivers from Ireland.

Frank Williams Racing Cars

Frank Williams Racing Cars was a British Formula One team and constructor.

Harald Ertl

Harald Ertl (31 August 1948 – 7 April 1982) was an Austrian racing driver and motorsport journalist. Ertl was born in Zell am See and attended the same school as Grand Prix drivers Jochen Rindt and Helmut Marko.

Ertl sported an impeccable Inspector Clouseau-style moustache and beard. Basically a journalist, he worked his way through the German Formula Vee and Super Vee, and then on to Formula Three, before a successful switch to Touring Cars. During this period, he gained sufficient sponsorship to enter Formula One, where he drove with various outfits between 1975 and 1980. Ertl is probably best remembered as one of the four drivers who helped to get Niki Lauda out of his burning Ferrari in the 1976 German Grand Prix.

Hesketh 308

The Hesketh 308 and its derived sister model the 308B are Formula One racing cars designed by Harvey Postlethwaite for Hesketh Racing to compete in the 1974 and 1975 World Championships. The car gave James Hunt his first World Championship Grand Prix win in the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

The 308 replaced the ageing March 731 chassis that the team had been using since coming into Formula 1 the previous season, and was loosely based on the March design. It was powered by the Ford-Cosworth DFV and when the car was first launched featured conventional front suspension comprising double wishbones with outboard mounted coil-spring damper units. Postlethwaite was looking for a way of fitting simple, lightweight progressive springing to the car and latched onto the idea of using rubber springs after a friend involved in designing rubber damping for buildings in earthquake zones suggested the idea. Early tests in 1974 proved unsuccessful until a special non-creep rubber was developed by the Malaysian Rubber Producers Association. This was formed into springs by the Aeon Products company and following more productive testing results, fitted to the car from the 1975 Argentine GP. Originally, Lord Hesketh had plans to fund and have built a V12 engine to accompany the car, but this never came to pass, and the DFV V8 was used exclusively. Four chassis were built over the three seasons the car competed.

On its debut appearance at the 1974 Brands Hatch, Race of Champions, Hunt put the car in pole position. The race was less successful and Hunt spun out in wet conditions on lap four. The 308 made its first Grand Prix appearance two weeks later in South Africa. This time Hunt could only qualify 13th but moved up to fifth place from the start, successfully holding that position until drive shaft failure put him out of the race on lap 65. The following week, Hunt again managed pole position at the International Trophy race at Silverstone in competition with several Grand Prix regulars. This time Hunt managed a stunning victory. From the start, Hunt dropped back with his clutch slipping and with the gear shift knob coming off in his hand. Gradually he overcame these difficulties and worked his way back to the front, eventually passing Ronnie Peterson's Lotus down the inside into Woodcote corner to retake the lead.This early success for the 308 was not repeated, and as the Grand Prix season progressed, the car proved itself to be quick but unreliable, failing several times with a variety of transmission breakages. Hunt also found himself eliminated in accidents with Tom Pryce, firstly in the Netherlands where Pryce collided with him at the first corner, and then two weeks later in France – although this time Pryce was forced into Hunt after he himself had been hit by Carlos Reutemann. Hesketh continued to steer the team towards greater levels of professionalism, and towards the end of the season, Ian Scheckter was entered in a second car for the Austrian race. Although, largely thanks to engine trouble, Scheckter failed to qualify, some within the team felt that running two cars would do much to improve the teams chances for the following season.For 1975 the 308 was updated to 308B specifications, with revised bodywork and repositioned oil radiators. The car was even more competitive and Hunt challenged for the victory in Argentina and Brazil before he broke his and the team's duck at the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix. It would be the team's only win however. He rounded off the season with several solid placings, which helped Hesketh finish fourth in the constructors' championship. The team folded at the end of the season as Hesketh could not afford to keep financing his unsponsored team, and Hunt moved to McLaren for 1976.

The 308 and 308B cars were sold to privateer teams who achieved little success. Perhaps the most famous post-Hunt Hesketh driver was Guy Edwards who arranged sponsorship with adult magazine Penthouse for 1976, which gained considerable exposure for the team. Edwards tried hard with the car, but did not score any points.

Hesketh 308C

The Hesketh 308C was a Formula One racing car designed by Harvey Postlethwaite and used by Hesketh Racing in the latter stages of the 1975 Formula One season. The car featured the rubber suspension which Postlethwaite had pioneered on the preceding 308B model and a Ford-Cosworth DFV engine. In 1976, the car was acquired by Wolf–Williams Racing and rebranded as the Wolf–Williams FW05.

Hesketh 308D

The Hesketh 308D is a Formula One racing car built by the Hesketh Racing team in 1976. The car was based on the Hesketh 308 originally designed by Harvey Postlethwaite, and was powered by a 3-litre V8 Ford Cosworth DFV engine.

Anthony 'Bubbles' Horsley updated the 308 to the 308D to continue as Hesketh Racing after Postlethwaite moved to Walter Wolf Racing. Nigel Stroud was team chief engineer and Harald Ertl was signed to drive the 308D for the 1976 season, with the team being sponsored by Penthouse Magazine and Rizla. Guy Edwards joined in a second 308D car from the Belgian Grand Prix, and Alex Ribeiro brought in some funds later in the year. The team scored no World Championship points in 1976, with Ertl's 7th place at the British Grand Prix being the team's best result of the year.

Hesketh 308E

The Hesketh 308E is a Formula One racing car model built by the Hesketh Racing team in 1977. The car was designed by Frank Dernie and Nigel Stroud and was the last car built by the Hesketh team before it folded at the end of 1978. The 308E was a relatively conservative design, with an aluminium monocoque chassis built around the common Cosworth DFV engine and Hewland gearbox combination. However, the 308E gained particular notoriety owing to Hesketh's team sponsors in 1977 – Penthouse and Rizla – and the resultant livery which incorporated a large rendering of a scantily-clad Penthouse Pet embracing a Rizla packet. During this year, driver Rupert Keegan managed to qualify the car at every race entered although its best finish was only seventh place at the Austrian Grand Prix. For 1978 the team reverted to rather less controversial sponsorship from the Olympus Corporation, although results were less dependable. Following Hesketh's withdrawal from the F1 World Championship the remaining 308Es were run for various competitors in the British Aurora AFX championship.

James Hunt

James Simon Wallis Hunt (29 August 1947 – 15 June 1993) was a British racing driver who won the Formula One World Championship in 1976. After retiring from racing in 1979, Hunt became a media commentator and businessman.

Beginning his racing career in touring car racing, Hunt progressed into Formula Three, where he attracted the attention of the Hesketh Racing team and soon came under their wing. Hunt's often reckless and action-packed exploits on track earned him the nickname "Hunt the Shunt" (shunt, as a British motor-racing term, means "crash"). Hunt entered Formula One in 1973, driving a March 731 entered by the Hesketh Racing team. He went on to win for Hesketh, driving their own Hesketh 308 car, in both World Championship and non-championship races, before joining the McLaren team at the end of 1975. In his first year with McLaren, Hunt won the 1976 World Drivers' Championship, and he remained with the team for a further two years, although with less success, before moving to the Wolf team in early 1979. Following a string of races in which he failed to finish, Hunt retired from driving halfway through the 1979 season.

After retiring from motor racing, he established a career commenting on Grands Prix for the BBC.

Hunt died from a heart attack aged 45.

Walter Wolf Racing

Walter Wolf Racing was a Formula One constructor active from 1977 to 1979, which won the very first race the team entered. It was owned and run by Canadian Walter Wolf. The team was based in Reading, UK but raced with the Canadian licence.

United Kingdom Hesketh Racing
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