Famous, fast and on the Golden Mile

GY Cars festival

GY Cars festival - Credit: Archant

Historic racing cars that put Norfolk at the front of the Formula 1 grid are heading to Great Yarmouth seafront.

Famous fast and furious machines from the Classic Team Lotus collection are the stars in the town’s Wheels Festival this weekend, September 3 and 4.

Among them is a Type 79 in John Player Special livery, driven in 1978 by Mario Andretti and Ronnie Peterson to first and second place in the drivers’ championship and securing Lotus’ seventh constructors title. It took F1 by storm by using “ground effect” through a shaped underside and sliding skirts to increase down force.

Also on display from the team’s Hethel-based collection will be a Camel-liveried Type 99T driven to victory at Monaco and Detroit by Ayrton Senna in the 1987 season, a one-off 1965 Type 32B in which Jim Clark won the Tasman championship in Australia.

They will be among five Classic Team Lotus cars in a marquee at Anchor Plaza on the Golden Mile, where there will also be archive film footage of the cars and team.

The Great Yarmouth Wheels Festival, in its second year, will also feature Lotus sports cars – such as the Esprit, Europa and Elise – owned by members of the East Anglia Lotus Club at Britannia Pier Plaza.

Visitors can try their hand at Formula 1 track action and pit crew skills with a F1 driving simulator. Other attractions are American low-rider and muscle cars; Lotus Carltons and other big Vauxhall Opel makes from the Autobahn Stormers Club; a Ford GT40; Jaguar XK8 and an Austin truck.

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There is also wheels action in the Market Place, with BMX bike jumps, choreographed routines and a mountain bike trail show from the Extreme Wheels Roadshow’s Pro Action Sports team.

And people travelling between the town and seafront display areas can do so in vintage style on board a classic 1959 Spratts coach.

The festival is funded by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement District, and supported by the borough council and Joyland Diner.