Posted by Andrew Smith

If you watched the 2022 Dutch GP broadcast by Sky Sports F1, you may have seen a rather good film about Hesketh Racing when they won the event back in 1975.
While the completed film only lasts 10 minutes, the journey for us to get it made took nearly three years. It’s an ‘against all odds’ story rather like that of Hesketh Racing itself.

How did our little company that operates from a converted milking shed on a Surrey farm, convince the F1 and Sky Sports conglomerates to make a film about Hesketh Racing’s stunning achievement?

This is the background story from the initial idea, to filming and finally having it broadcast on Sky Sports F1.

To find out more about Hesketh Racing, please visit the website:

The completed film


After the cancellation of the 2020 Dutch GP, F1 announced that the 2022 race was to be scheduled for September 4th. I started looking at the project again to see if it could be resurrected and sent out a few emails to the people who were involved for their thoughts. Neil Wooding from Sky Sports F1 was an immediate yes.

It’s only when we contacted F1 that we discovered that after an illustrious career in F1, Kate Beavan had resigned and yet again we had to start the process of finding the right person to talk to.

The car dramas also continued. James Hagan had decided to take his 308 to the USA for a few races and I could not make contact with the owner of Ferrari 312t 018. His mobile number was unavailable, my emails were unanswered and the Automobile Club de Monaco had no idea where he was. I certainly hoped he was well.

Subsequently, even if we could find the right person at F1 to give us the green light, we had no cars to participate.

Surely now was the time to pull the plug. Or did it just require a rethink?

I had held onto my original vision of Hunt and Lauda’s 1975 cars in procession around Zandvoort for so long that it was difficult to let go. But looking at the problem pragmatically, 2025 would in fact be the actual 50th anniversary of the Hunt vs Lauda battle, so maybe we had a chance to simply reschedule.

As it happens there was another 50th set for this year. 2022 would mark 50 years since Lord Hesketh and Bubbles Horsley decided they needed to inject some excitement into their weekends. If we refocused our energies on Hesketh Racing’s birthday, we could reduce costs, eliminate many of the logistical problems whilst retaining the projects authenticity and meaning.

We had one last hope, Fred Fatien’s Hesketh 308-2.

Looking at the motorsport calendar for the year, this time there would not be a clash with the Monaco Historic Grand Prix. That was one problem out of the way. The next was attempting to connect directly with the elusive Mr. Fatien.

Over the next week I tried every avenue open to me but without success. With my hope and confidence dwindling fast, I needed some intervention. I needed a bit of luck.

As I mentioned in Part 1, if you come up with a great concept and put in the hard work, you will usually succeed. Sometimes the end result almost seems like fate, predetermined by some supernatural power.

Out of the blue I received an email from Simon Turner who explained that he had a friend in Dubai who owns a few historic F1 cars and this friend was enquiring if my business would be interested in producing a range of merchandise for each of them.

I knew that Fred Fatien was based in Dubai and apart from 308-2, he was also in possession of a few other historic F1 cars. Was it just a coincidence or was fortune finally beginning to swing in our favour? Fred had no idea that the owners of were the same people that owned the Hesketh Racing trademarks and who had been badgering him to get his car to Zandvoort back in 2019. 

‘This friend of yours’, I asked ‘it wouldn’t happen to be Fred Fatien would it?’

‘Yes it is’, came the reply.

We had been trying to make contact with Fred for nearly two years and now Fred was actually trying to make contact with us. I explained the situation, sent over a pitch deck and waited…and waited. A few days later I received a phone call from Simon. It was a YES from Fred.

We were back on track. We had the James Hunt 1975 Dutch GP Winning 308, we had Sky Sports F1, all we needed now was for F1 to sign it off.

Andy King (the master connecter) weaved his magic and found Chris Secker, Brand Experience at F1. Chris is an innovative thinker and very experienced in event management. After a couple of zoom meetings he quickly appreciated the entertainment value we could provide to F1's audience and gave us the go ahead.

From that point, things started to crank up quickly. Hesketh 308-2 was loaded onto a ship, import documents were prepared and John Danby Racing were appointed to get the car, race ready at Zandvoort.

Neil Wooding from Sky Sports F1 informed me that they intended to break their film into two parts.

Hesketh Racing Film Part 1: Interview with Lord Hesketh at the BRDC, Silverstone.

Hesketh Racing Film Part 2: Hesketh 308-2 Demonstration laps around Zandvoort on the Friday before the Dutch GP.

Jenson Button driving the Hesketh 308-2 around Zandvoort 

The completed film would be broadcast during their coverage of the race over the weekend. But who would interview Lord Hesketh and who would drive the car?

It just so happens that I knew Jenson Button was a fan of Hesketh Racing and we all know he can steer a bit. I’ve also seen JB wearing a Hesketh Racing T Shirt at a couple of events. He was already scheduled to cover the Dutch GP for Sky and was available to interview Lord Hesketh on the Wednesday before. We could not have wished for a better scenario.

Now everything was set, our involvement was done, and it was time to walk away to let the professionals get on with it. Our job was to breathe life into the concept and we certainly had to put some huff and puff into this one. We had taken the project as far as our experience could take it.

It’s hard to let go of the reigns when you’ve invested so much blood, sweat and tears. You certainly feel a sense of loss as the control is passed on to others. But as Clint Eastward said in Magnum Force, ‘A man’s got to know his limitations’.

For our little team, it was a massive victory against all the odds. From the initial concept (Task #1) there must have been 999 others tasks that needed to be completed before we could finally reach Task #1,000 - sitting down on a Sunday afternoon to watch the Sky Sports F1 Hesketh Racing, Zandvoort reunion film played out on TV.

We felt an immense amount of pride to see Jenson having so much fun in Fred's 308. We hope you all agree that is was a fitting tribute to the 'Biggest Little Racing Team in the World', who had captured the imagination of so many people all those years ago.

Happy 50th Birthday Hesketh Racing, from all your fans around the world.

Hesketh Racing logo

Jenson Button drives the Hesketh 308
JB at the wheel

Now it’s just the small matter of doing it all over again in 2025.

Many thanks everyone who played a part in this amazing, exhausting journey. And to YOU for taking the time to read about it.

Andy King, Kate Beavan, Neil Wooding, Chris Secker, Simon Turner, Fred Fatien, James Hagan, Joseph Pomfret, Jenson Button, John Danby Racing, Lord Hesketh and my long suffering partner / business partner Fiona does she put up with me???



To find out more about Hesketh Racing, please visit the website:


  • Posted On November 10, 2022 by Paul Foot

    Thank you for the fantastic film you must be so proud 1972 seams like yesterday just amazing

  • Posted On November 10, 2022 by Tim Scott

    What a wonderful story Andrew,congratulations to all of you.

    I will be watching it a few more times!!

  • Posted On May 09, 2023 by Tim Scott

    What a wonderful story Andrew,congratulations to all of you.

    I will be watching it a few more times!!

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