Screening ‘Rush’ with Highcroft Racing

Last week, we brought you our thoughts on the new Ron Howard film ‘Rush.’ (Spoiler: it was damn good) Our friends at Lime Rock Park were kind enough to invite us to watch it with them at a theater in Danbury, CT. The reception for the screening was at Highcroft racing (the people that helped build this), who happened to have on-hand the actual F1 car driven by James Hunt in the 1976 season.

Quite literally the first thing you see when pulling into Highcroft is the McLaren M23 Formula 1 car driven famously by James Hunt in the 1976 F1 season. And that was just the start of the automotive treats.

RELATED: Ron Howard’s ‘Rush’: A BoldRide Movie Review

06-Highcroft

Spinning on a turn style was the Lola EX257, which Highcroft campaigned in the 2006 (?) ALMS season. This vehicle finished third at Petit LeMans that year.

RELATED: Top 10 Racing Movies (Not Including Senna)

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The same year that Lauda and Hunt were battling out the 1976 Formula 1 championship this McLaren-built F2 racer was being campaigned by a privateer team in the sub-F1 feeder series.

05-Highcroft

This No. 27 car was driven by Jaques Villeneuve to at first place finish in the 1995 Indianapolis 500.

03-Highcroft

But the true star of the pre-screening reception was the McLaren M23 driven by James Hunt in the 1976 Formula 1 season.

02-Highcroft

It is powered by a Ford Cosworth V8, and the two most surprising elements are that its color is something of a day-glow orange…and that it is smaller than one would expect.

01-Highcroft

Its presence only heightened the anticipation for the movie, and also shed some light on the danger of the sport. There is not a whole lot of protection for the driver, who is surrounded by fuel tanks and an internal combustion engine. It really did take a special breed to race in that era.

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