Starting tomorrow and running through the Sunday, Austin, Texas, will be the site of the first Formula 1 race in the United States since 2007.

In a truly American twist, Willie Nelson will perform at a kickoff event tonight; some 120,000 people in all are expected to watch the action over the next few days.

Meanwhile, to coincide with the launch of this year’s F1 season, director Ron Howard is getting ready to release his new movie Rush, about the 1970s Formula 1 rivalry between British bad boy James Hunt and Austrian Niki Lauda.

The flick stars Chris Hemsworth, who does a creditable imitation of the fast-living, faster-driving Hunt, as pictured in a still from the film below.

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But to celebrate the Austin F1 event, we decided to bring you a look back at the original at another landmark American F1 event during the height of the rivalry depicted in Rush.

At top, Hunt puts the moves on the “Race Queen” at the first United States Grand Prix West held in 1976 in Long Beach, California, the year he won the Formula 1 World Championship.

While history has not recorded the outcome of the encounter, we’d be willing to bet good money that Hunt bagged his blonde; he once calculated that he’d bedded upward of 5,000 women during his colorful career.

The devil-may-care driver (below) liked to indulge in sex and drugs minutes before a race, which only sometimes prevented him from winning, was fond of dining with his pet Alsatian at expensive London restaurants, and had a penchant for having it off at 30,000 feet with hot airline stewardesses—or as Hunt referred to them, “trolley dollies.”

A hard act for this year’s F1 drivers to follow—but then again, Austin is known as something of a party town…