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Hunt (right) beat arch-rival and close friend Niki Lauda to the title in 1976 (Credit: Getty Images)
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James Hunt To Be Inducted To The Motor Sport Hall Of Fame

James Hunt will be inducted in to the coveted Motor Sport Hall of Fame later this month.

In a break from tradition, Hunt was announced early to whet the appetite for the ceremony held at the Royal Opera House on Wednesday 29 January.

The 1976 Formula 1 World Champion, who passed away in 1993, is remembered as one of the sport’s biggest personalities, even more so after his duel in 1976 with arch-rival Niki Lauda, who is one of 25 names already in the Hall of Fame, was immortalised in the 2013 Hollywood blockbuster, Rush.

“James Hunt belongs in rarified company as a great British sporting hero who transcended the arena that made him famous to become a genuine national – if not global – icon,” said Editor of Motor Sport magazine, Damien Smith. “During the 1970s you didn’t need to be a motor racing fan to know who James Hunt was.”

“Clearly, he was a natural star, but the force of his personality sometimes means his ability and achievements as a truly exceptional racing driver are overlooked. That is why we feel it is important that James is made a member of the Motor Sport Hall of Fame. It was his competitive instinct, bravery and sheer speed that carried him to the 1976 F1 World Championship, and he fully deserves to join former rivals such as Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter and Mario Andretti in our exclusive club of legends.”

Fifteen of the Hunt family are expected to be in London at the strictly ‘by-invitation-only’ event to see the accolade presented to Tom Hunt, James’ eldest son.

Highlights of the ceremony will be broadcast on Sky Sports F1 at 20:30 on Friday 31 January and will be repeated throughout the week.