The 1992 Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell and much-loved veteran F1 commentator Murray Walker will inaugurate The Thruxton Centre during the 50th Anniversary Celebration - Sat 2 – Sun 3 June. Plus, Mansell’s title-winning Williams F1 car will also be on display.
The Thruxton Centre – Thruxton Circuit’s new, £2 million state-of-the-art hospitality facility – will be officially opened at 12:00 noon on Sunday, 3 June by 31-time Grand Prix-winner and 1992 Formula 1 World Champion, Nigel Mansell CBE alongside his lifelong friend and semi-retired motorsport commentator and journalist, Murray Walker OBE.
Thruxton’s flagship hospitality building is the latest addition to the venue as part of a comprehensive modernisation programme. The fully-catered facility will comprise a new restaurant and bar, exhibition space, function rooms, hosting suites and outside viewing terrace.
Thruxton’s 50th Anniversary Celebration will take place over the weekend of 2/3 June, featuring 15 races as well as high-speed demonstrations from Williams’ 1983 FW08C and other iconic racing cars and bikes. As the stars of the eagerly-anticipated inauguration of The Thruxton Centre, Mansell and Walker will be amongst the high-profile guests, and both spoke warmly about the popular Hampshire circuit – the quickest in the country.
Mansell said: “I remember Thruxton very fondly from my early racing days, as a very fast, demanding circuit where I enjoyed several exciting and successful races.”
Walker added: “I’ve been commentating at Thruxton since the early 1950s, notably at motorcycle races, the great Formula Two events and the thrilling British Touring Car Championship. I love its friendly atmosphere and am honoured to join my mate Nigel for the opening of this superb new building.”
Mansell’s 1992 Formula 1 World Championship-winning Williams FW14B will also be on display. Penned by legendary F1 designer Adrian Newey OBE and Sir Patrick Head, the FW14B – pioneer of the sport’s game-changing active suspension technology – won ten Grands Prix, achieved 15 pole positions out of 16 and set 11 fastest laps in the hands of the Briton and team-mate Riccardo Patrese. Between them, the pair tallied no fewer than 21 podium finishes that year, with Mansell clinching the coveted Drivers’ crown as early as the Hungarian Grand Prix in August – a record at the time.
“We’re over-the-moon to be able to confirm Nigel and Murray to officially open The Thruxton Centre,” enthused Thruxton Group Managing Director, Bill Coombs. “They are both absolute motorsport royalty, not only in Britain but all around the world, and I am sure they will prove to be a huge draw at our 50th Anniversary Celebration. The new facility will truly enhance the Thruxton offering for race fans, manufacturers and corporate guests.
“For fans to also get the opportunity to see the Williams FW14B – one of the most dominant cars in the sport’s history – in the flesh will be a rare treat, and enhances the team’s presence at the event alongside the FW08C, which we announced last week. Better yet, there’s much, much more still to come – so watch this space!”
The first motorsport event to be held at Thruxton in the venue’s current guise was in March, 1968 and half-a-century on, a whole host of single-seaters, sportscars and saloons from the last five decades will hit the track for a spirited sprint down memory lane at the circuit’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.
Away from the race programme, there will be a raft of eye-catching demo runs, static displays and car club reunions, as well as a funfair, live music, overnight camping and a fireworks display in evidence of the festival’s family-friendly appeal.
Advance tickets for Thruxton’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on 2/3 June are available from just £12 for Saturday entry and £15 for Sunday – or £24 for both days. Sunday grandstand seats are an additional £5. Accompanied children aged 15 and under will be admitted free of charge.
Work on the inside of The Thruxton Centre continues. Image taken: February 2018