Celebrating the 50th Birthday of the Lotus 49 Photo and report Willem J. Staat
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The 6th Edition of the Dutch Historic Grand Prix was completely dedicated to the Lotus 49 which exactly 50 years ago made it’s debut at Zandvoort and started a complete revolution in F1 racing with the famous Ford Cosworth DFV engine. Jim Clark who’d never seen the car before won immediately at the Dutch Grand Prix and opened a new chapter in modern Formula 1 racing. In those days the cars did not stay into the pits and during the F1 weekend the cars were stayed at local garages in the village. On the Thursday before the 6th Edition the current owner of Clark’s Lotus 49, American Chris MacAllister drove the car through the village from the garage through the streets of Zandvoort. For a number of local inhabitants it meant quite a lot.
Beautiful cars of the early seventies returned to the track like the De Tomaso 505 from Belgian John Grant. Piers Courage died in a similar car here. But even worse Frenchman David Ferrer drove a March 701 from the same year which competed in the same race in which Courage died. Due to a mechanical failure Ferrer crashed in the opening lap of the first race. Unfortunately his car was turn into three pieces and had to be cut out of the car and had to be transported to a nearby hospital and unfortunately remains in a critical condition until now. There was no re-start. The second race on Sunday took place as planned and was being taken by professional racer Martin Stretton ahead of the Williams FW07B from Frank Lyons. The Classic F3 races in which great names like Ayrton Senna, Derek Warwick and Martin Brundle to put their name on the map, was also a great success with German Thomas Warken winning both races in a beautiful Ralt RT3. The pre 1966 cars races went both to Lotus drivers Andy Middlehurst in the ex Clark Lotus 25 which also wrote history in 1963 and Peter Horsman in a Lotus 19/21. The FIA Historic Sportscar race was being taken by Voyazides/Hadfield in a Lola T70. The First 1000cc race was being won by Francois Derossi with a Chevron B17. The second one went to Ewin Sergison.