Three JPS Team Lotus type 79s
have taken to the track together, for the first time ever.
At Snetterton on Wednesday
4th May 2011, 33 years after winning the 1978 Formula One World
Championship, Classic Team Lotus ran three JPS type 79s; chassis 1, 2 and
3. This never happened in period.
On behalf of American owner
Paul Rego, the Team Principal of Regogo Racing based in Dallas, Classic
Team Lotus has undertaken a complete restoration of chassis 1, which was
driven by Mario Andretti in testing and practice throughout the 1978
season, then raced by Jean-Pierre Jarier in the US GP at Watkins
Regogo Racing Works driver
Doc Bundy was at the wheel for testing prior to airfreight back to the
States in time for the car to be raced in the Legends of Motorsport event
at the Barber Raceway on the 22nd May.
Chassis 2 and 3
are part of the Classic Team Lotus Works Collection. Chris Locke, as
Patron of chassis 2, contributed to its restoration and the car is fitted
with his engine. Chris
Dinnage, Team Manager of Classic Team Lotus, was at the wheel.
Chassis 3 was
driven by Clive Chapman, son of Lotus founder Colin Chapman.
Classic Team Lotus and Regogo
Racing were joined by a number of the 1978 Championship winning team,
including designer Martin Ogilvie and Chief Mechanic Eddie Dennis.
The Team Lotus type 79
dominated the 1978 World Championship to such an extent that the team
would ‘sandbag’ their cars in qualifying so that their advantage did not
appear too great. The shape of the underside of the car in relation
to the track surface created a venturi profile which, together with the
all important sliding side skirts acting as seals, created a lot of
downforce for relatively little drag. Mario Andretti and Ronnie
Peterson finished first and second on four occasions, at a time when such
a result was rare.
In chassis 2 Mario won the
Belgian GP and Ronnie won the Austrian GP. In chassis 3 Mario won
the Spanish, French and German GPs. (Mario won the Dutch GP in
chassis 4, the other JPS type 79, but this car was unable to attend.)
The type 79 has topped two
polls of ‘Most Beautiful F1 Car Ever’ and was chosen as the best technical
design in a survey of F1 designers.
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