Karun Chandhok to drive 1983 Williams F1 car at Thruxton

The ex-Keke Rosberg FW08C will take to the Hampshire circuit in celebration of Thruxton's 50th anniversary in June, with TV pundit and ex-F1 driver Chandhok behind the wheel

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Former Formula 1 racer turned television pundit Karun Chandhok will demonstrate a 1983 Williams FW08C at Thruxton during the circuit's 50th anniversary celebrations over the weekend of June 2/3.

Chandhok will drive the ex-Keke Rosberg Ford Cosworth DFV-powered FW08C on some swift laps of the high-speed Hampshire track and says it will be a big thrill to drive the car in which Ayrton Senna had his first F1 test.

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'It looks like it's going to be a lot of fun and I'm really excited for the event,' said Chandhok, a keen follower of motorsport history.

'I've driven the Williams FW08C a few times before. It's a very special car with its manual gearbox and Ford DFV engine. It's a truly iconic piece of kit, and there aren't many opportunities to see these cars in action anymore.

'I'll be giving it a blast at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix before Thruxton's 50th, which will serve as a nice warm-up.

'I'd obviously love to open it up properly, but at the same time, I'm very conscious that this car is being wheeled out of a museum for me.

'That said, as a racing driver, you're never inclined to take it particularly easy, and I'll certainly do my utmost to put on a real show for everybody watching.'

A Williams also featured during the circuit's 25th anniversary celebrations in 1993 when Damon Hill set an unofficial lap record of 57.6 seconds in his title-winning Williams FW15C. More recently, Michael Lyons won two Derek Bell Trophy races in 2015 in a Hesketh 308E.

'I've not driven at Thruxton since 2003, back in my British F3 days, so it's been a little while but I always loved racing there," said Chandhok.

'It's a unique challenge with its bumps and big kerbs - a proper old-school track.

'I love coming to Thruxton to spectate, too – it's every bit as enjoyable for fans as it is competitors.'

During the 50th anniversary weekend, Thruxton's new £2million hospitality facility will be officially opened at 12 noon on Sunday by Nigel Mansell CBE and Murray Walker OBE.

Images courtesy of Paul Lawrence and LAT Images

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