The Legends Parade is one of the highlights of the annual F1 weekend at the Red Bull Ring. No fewer than six big names in the sport will be parading showpieces of the CanAm heyday (1968 – 1972) around the track on Sunday 2nd July. Fans can look forward to the spectacular sight of prestigious marques such as McLaren, Lola and BRM. From 1966 to 1974, it was considered the most spectacular racing series in the world – it made Formula 1 look like a competition for pedal cars by comparison! Everything was permitted, and there were almost no limitations. The regulations did not stipulate any upper limit on engine capacity, and cars with turbochargers or superchargers were allowed. There were no other de facto technical restrictions. The only theoretical requirements for a car to compete were two seats, a body that enclosed the wheels and a roll bar.
When the retro rockets aren’t driving, they’re on display in the Legends tent in the F1 Fan Zone. Until Sunday afternoon, fans have the opportunity to get a close-up look.
Built by the famous F1 designer Tony Southgate for the British racing team BRM, the 157 is one of the ultimate CanAm cars of the 1970s. The car was driven by Mexican national hero Pedro Rodriguez (best race result: P3 in the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix). The successor model, the BMR P167, competed in the Interseries – the counterpart to the CanAm. At the wheel was 29-year-old Austrian Helmut Marko. It is therefore most fitting that none other than the Red Bull motorsport advisor should drive the legendary BRM 157 in the Legends Parade at Spielberg. By the way: The BRM 157 was already on the road on the Österreichring, namely on July 9, 1972 as part of the Interseries with David Hepworth at the wheel.
The M8C was manufactured by the British car manufacturer Trojan in 1970. The first owner was Canadian businessman and motorsport sponsor Dave Billes. The C in the type designation stands for “Customer” – John Cordt achieved sensational results in the customer’s vehicle and occasionally even trumped the powerful factory McLaren driven by Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme. In the 1980s, the McLaren M8C competed in the newly founded Supersport Series in England, winning the title twice (1992, 2000). Harry Read, one of the last ‘Gentleman drivers’, bought the car. After his death in 2018, the M8C went to his son Harry Schmidt, who successfully raced it in the CanAm Series. The McLaren M8C will be driven by former F1 driver Alexander Wurz in the Legends Parade.
Not much is known about the origin of this M6. The chassis number is assigned to Shelby American McLaren, the constructor that fielded the M6 in the CanAm Series in 1968. Instead of the small Chevrolet engine, Roger Penske was the first to use the big-block engine in the M6B for his driver Mark Donohue. Following a massive crash, the McLaren M6 was garaged for many years. Today, the McLaren M6 is back on the grid of the CanAm racing series. At the Red Bull Ring, David Coulthard will be the man behind the wheel. Interesting note: This legendary racing car was also on show at the Red Bull Ring Classics in early June.
The Lola was developed on the basis of the Lola Mk IIIB Coupé. While opponents increased the weight and size of their entries, the Lola T165 remained relatively lightweight and nimble. Bruce McLaren’s premise was ‘Make it nice and simple’, Lola boss Eric Broadley represented the opposite. But in the right driver’s hands, the T165 was a contender for podium finishes. When it became clear that it had had its day, Eric Broadley designed the Lola T222, followed by the T260 and the Lola T310. None of the cars bore any resemblance to the previous model, which many commentators see as the reason why Lola was eclipsed by McLaren in terms of success. Mark Webber will drive the car in the Legends Parade.
According to its documentation, the McLaren M8F was constructed by Canadian designer Lothar Motschenbacher in the winter of 1971/72 but subsequently parked in a garage following a serious racing accident. Former Le Mans driver Paul Canary rescued the McLaren M8F from storage and restored it. The car then passed through the hands of Paul Lazante, team boss of the 1995 Le Mans winning McLaren F1, before reaching its current owner, Peter Schleifer. Juan Pablo Montoya will occupy the cockpit of the McLaren M8F in the Legends Parade.
The McLaren M8F is one of the last cars built by McLaren in the framework of its customer racing programme. It was almost completely burnt out as the result of an incident in a race at Sears Point (USA). Restoration work on the car took many years and was only completed in the 1990s. The first test drive in the restored McLaren M8F took place with George Follmer at the wheel. His damning conclusion: “This McLaren is from hell.” However, that hasn’t dissuaded Dutch racer Michiel Campagnie from entering the car in the CanAm series. At Spielberg, Jos Verstappen will be driving the “hellish” McLaren.