F1 are back at Dijon-Prenois

The F1 cars are coming back to the Dijon-Prenois circuit… And not just any kind, but those of the Prost-Senna-Schumacher generation, powered by atmospheric 3.5-liter engines with a screaming sound. The date is set for the Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or, on 3-4-5 June 2022.

Williams-Renault versus McLaren-Honda, it’s the duel of the 1991 and 1992 seasons. Behind them, “small” like Lotus, Footwork or Tyrrell can still follow. (Crédit : Williams F1)

Peter Auto is getting ready to bring together an F1 grid for the first time in its history, on the Dijon-Prenois circuit where eight Grands Prix were held between 1974 and 1984. Called Formula Legends 3.5, these demonstrations will bring together models with naturally aspirated 3.5-liter engines from the years 1987-1994.

This period marked a golden age for the discipline with the pinnacle of the Prost-Senna duel and the emergence of Michael Schumacher who won his first title in 1994. Stimulated by the deployment of micro-computing, it was also the time of the last great technological innovations such as the paddle-shift gearbox, active suspension, ABS and traction control. It was a time when clever craftsmen like Ken Tyrrell and Eddie Jordan still managed to make a place for themselves alongside the big four, McLaren, Williams, Ferrari and Benetton. It was a time, finally, of the last single-seaters made in France from the workshops of AGS, Larrousse or Ligier.

In 1994, McLaren began a partnership with Peugeot as engine supplier (foreground) and Michael Schumacher wins his first title with Benetton-Ford (just behind). (crédit Peugeot Sport)

This relatively liberal regulation of the “3.5 atmospheric”, in effect during eight seasons (the first two in cohabitation with the 1.5 turbo), made it possible to bring face to face different engine architectures with, on one side, the V8s for followers of the light is right theory (Ford, Judd, Yamaha, etc.); on the other side, the V12s for the supporters of power at any cost (Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, etc.); and in the middle, the V10s for the more pragmatic (Renault, Honda, Peugeot, etc.). Not forgetting the Flat-12 (Subaru) or W12 (Rocchi) enthusiasts. In short, singular engines with powerful sounds that were among the most melodious in history, capable of exceeding 14,000 rpm.

These engines and single-seaters will be back on the track on 3-4-5 June 2022 in Dijon-Prenois for four 25-minute demonstrations. For the rest of the weekend, the usual series by Peter Auto will fill the – very dense! – timetable of the Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or.


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