LEADING THE HUNT

We track down the special McLaren P1™ GTR that celebrates James Hunt’s 1976 Formula 1™ title, following its debut at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

 

 

At the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the 40th anniversary of James Hunt’s Formula 1™ Drivers’ World Championship was honoured by the unveiling of a very special McLaren P1™ GTR. Inspired by his distinctive race helmet – black, and simply decorated with bands of red, blue and yellow to represent the colours of his childhood boarding school, Wellington College in England – the distinctive McLaren P1™ GTR featured a similarly understated design. 

 

The McLaren P1™ GTR features a host of aerodynamic upgrades to increase downforce at high speeds, while the mid-mounted twin-turbo V8 and powerful electric motor combine to produce 1000PS (986bhp).

 

Across the three days of the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed you may have glimpsed this special McLaren P1™ GTR running up the famous Goodwood Hill in the hands of Top Gear presenter Chris Harris, McLaren P1™ GTR Driver Programme Mentor Bruno Senna, and fittingly, Freddie Hunt, the son of James.

"IT MAKES ME FEEL VERY WARM INSIDE TO SEE HOW MUCH EVERYONE REMEMBERS HIM, AND HOW MUCH HE WAS LOVED. TO SEE HIS LEGACY CARRY ON IS WONDERFUL"

Freddie Hunt

'McLaren have done a lovely job decorating it in my father’s livery,’ said Freddie Hunt before taking the wheel for a high-speed run in front of thousands of fans. ‘It’s an amazing car – 1000 horsepower and a real monster. It was at Goodwood that I started my racing career, and it was at Goodwood that Dad had his first test in a Formula 3, first test in a Formula 2, and first test in a Formula 1™ car. It’s the 40th anniversary of my Dad’s championship, and it makes me feel very warm inside to see how much everyone remembers him, and how much he was loved. To see his legacy carry on is wonderful.’

 

 

Flash back 40 years and James Hunt joined the McLaren team following the unexpected departure of Emerson Fittipaldi. And after a tumultuous season, James and arch-rival Niki Lauda headed to a championship showdown at the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji. Ultimately Lauda, a close friend away from the track but a fierce adversary on it, retired, and a third-place finish earned James Hunt the 1976 Formula 1™ Drivers’ World Championship. 

This McLaren P1™ GTR, with its bespoke, one-off design, is just one of the ways McLaren is celebrating the 40th anniversary of James’s championship throughout 2016. 

 

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ALL IN A DAY'S WORK

We meet a Japanese owner who uses his McLaren P1™ for the daily commute through Tokyo.

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