To mark its second year as the official timekeeper of the Goodwood Festival of Speed (28 June – 1 July), TAG Heuer is staging a remarkable photographic exhibition at the event, dedicated to the legendary French racing driver, Alain Prost.
Prost, whose outstanding career in Formula 1 resulted in 51 victories, 33 pole positions and 106 podium finishes between 1980 and 1993, became closely associated with TAG Heuer early in his F1 days driving for the TAG- sponsored McLaren team - with which he secured three of his four World Championship victories.
Last year he returned to the fold of TAG Heuer ambassadors and one of his first, major roles has been to assist The Earl of March in curating the brand's inaugural Festival of Speed photographic exhibition, which tracks every milestone of Prost's path from schoolboy kart racer to the second most prolific Formula One winner in the sport's history.
More than 100 images - many of them never before been seen in public - range from the candid to the posed, perfectly encapsulating the agony and ecstasy of F1 competition during one of its most thrilling and glamorous eras. On-track shots ably demonstrate why Prost's super-smooth driving style won him the soubriquet of 'le Professor', while spur-of-the-moment photos captured in the pit lane and during post-race celebrations reveal the respect he earned from fellow drivers and his millions of fans around the world.
In tandem with the Prost photographic exhibition, TAG Heuer will also use the Festival of Speed to launch the 80th birthday celebrations of another legendary figure in its history - Jack Heuer.
The great-grandson of Heuer founder Edouard, Jack was the man responsible for forming the brand's original Formula 1 alliance in 1969, when he made Jo Siffert the first driver to partner a watch company before uniting TAG Heuer with Scuderia Ferrari two years later as its official timing partner in what proved to be a decade-long relationship.
Now TAG Heuer's Honorary Chairman, Jack Heuer was deeply involved in motor sport during the 1960s and '70s, and became personal friends with many of the most renowned drivers of the time, among them Jacky Ickx, Clay Regazzoni, Emerson Fittipaldi and Niki Lauda.
He also met the Mexican grand prix driver Pedro Rodriguez and his brother, Ricardo, who so enthralled him with tales of their adventures in the Carrera PanAmericana road race that, in 1963, he created a watch named in its honour - the now iconic Carrera chronograph. It is fitting, then, that TAG Heuer has chosen the Carrera as the basis for a special version being produced in an edition of 3,000 pieces to mark Jack's 80th birthday. The watch will be officially launched at the Festival of Speed. TAG Heuer will also unveil its new Speed collection at Goodwood too.
Jack Heuer says "I'm very proud that we will launch my 80th birthday celebrations at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. There are few more iconic fixtures on the motoring calendar and it will provide the perfect backdrop for our new, impressive range of timepieces. I look forward to being part of it."
To further honour the 'Heuer Years' during which Jack was first employed by the company, a special Celebration Class comprising eight cars intrinsically linked with TAG Heuer's motorsport heritage will be on display. These will range from track thoroughbreds such as the Ferrari 312 PB, McLaren MP4/4 and Porsche 917 (famously driven by Steve McQueen in the 1971 cult classic Le Mans) to the latest, all-electric Tesla Roadster.
The Festival of Speed attracts the top works F1 teams, and to date seven 2012-season teams have indicated their intention to attend Goodwood this year. Nowhere else in the world can motor sport enthusiasts get so close to the latest and greatest cars and drivers. Current F1 teams expected to appear this year include McLaren, Lotus, Ferrari, Mercedes, Williams, Caterham, plus reigning Constructers World Champions Red Bull Racing.
In addition to Alain Prost’s attendance, look out at Goodwood this year for familiar F1 faces such as Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Bruno Senna, Sir Jackie Stewart, Martin Brundle, Murray Walker, Sir Frank Williams, Ron Dennis, Patrick Head, Ross Brawn, Christian Horner and Adrian Newey, all of whom have attended the Sussex Festival in recent years, with most expected to return this year.
About the Author: Janet Bradley is Motorsport PR officer for Goodwood Festival of Speed
Published 5th May 2012
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