Lotus 77, Lotus LMP2, F1 Ferrari 61 and Lotus 21 – the portentous names alone are enough to increase the pulse rate of any true classic car and motorsport fan. As a spectator at the Red Bull Ring Classics, you have opportunity to see these (literally) unique cars in action. “They really are something very special. The two Sharknoses are the only ones of their kind in the world.” says Jason Wright, who will be driving the Ferrari 61 with the original 65-degree engine on Saturday and Sunday.
The second F61 will be paraded around the Red Bull Ring by Dan Setford. It is powered by the later V6 engine with the wide 120-degree cylinder angle which would come to dominate the world championship. The Sharknose engines have the familiar Ferrari acoustics. “The older generation will feel transported back in time, while the younger ones present will be amazed to hear that sound for the first time”, says Jason Wright who is now permanently based in Italy. “When fans go to an F1 race today, the sound they hear is completely different – nothing to compare with back then.”
The car collector and historic racer had the replica painstakingly crafted. It took four years (2013 ‑ 2017) for the cars to be finished, as Wright made a point of having them built using the same techniques as were available in the 1950s and 1960s, including gas welding.
When asked how it feels to race around the Red Bull Ring in these cars, Wright replies: “It’s hard to describe the feeling. These old-fashioned models cannot be compared to the current generation of Formula 1 cars. The F61 doesn’t have a seatbelt, you sit upright and the steering wheel, for one, is wooden and huge by today’s standards.”
From the same era, but designed to a completely different concept, is the Lotus 21. While engine power dominated all other aspects in the construction of the Ferrari F61, aerodynamics was the main focus in the design of the Lotus 21. “That’s why the car parts are much narrower and lighter”, explains Wright. “The steering wheel is also much smaller and the seating position is almost reclined.” When asked which car is more fun to drive, Wright replies without hesitation: “The Ferrari! The car has character.”
If you want to see the legendary cars for yourself, you still have the opportunity tomorrow and on Sunday. Day tickets are available from 35.00 euros at the box office (open from 8.00 am). Children up to 15 years of age enjoy free admission providing they have a prebooked children’s ticket and are accompanied by an adult.