Crowds flocked to Snetterton race circuit yesterday as film director Ron Howard began shooting scenes for his new movie.

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Based on Formula One legend James Hunt, people had the chance to see classic racing cars from the 1970s as Howard urged people to come and watch the day.

The film, called Rush, focuses on the epic rivalry of Hunt, played by Chris Hemsworth, and Niki Lauda, played by Daniel Brühl, in the 1976 F1 season, which was ultimately won by Hunt at the finale in Fuji.

Yesterday’s scenes, which will continue today, saw historic racing cars take to the track, recreating scenes from the 1976 season.

Howard, who starred in popular American comedy Happy Days and directed films including Apollo 13 and The Da Vinci Code, said: “The acting scenes are entirely complete now and now we’re dedicating the last portion of the production to recreating these very intense races.

“What we’re doing is using different corners and sections to replicate tracks that we either can’t get to, or have changed so much that we need to do things to make them historically accurate.

“We were able to find a lot of that at Snetterton and that’s why we’re here for a couple of days of shooting, including a day of full work with the actual historic Formula 1 cars.”

Many found out about the filming from Howard’s Twitter account on which he wrote: “Historic F1 cars will be running Tuesday at Snetterton. Come watch the filming/racing and get in the spirit, dress 70s.”

David Aitchison, 57, from Hopton, said he had come to view the cars on show and added: “I wanted to have a good nose. I’d like to get a close look at the cars but I don’t think we’ll be able to.

“I think it’s excellent they’re filming; it’s not something you often get in Norfolk and it’s nice to see. It’s just amazing how much money and equipment is being used – there’s one camera down there with 10 people around it.”

Luther Walker, a house-husband, added: “We’re into Formula One and racing generally and this is really unique. It’s a good opportunity to see cars from that era.”

Melvin Johnson, 68, from Norwich, said: “Word gets around quickly about this sort of thing – it goes like bongo drums with people who like taking photos.

“Someone told me and I told my friend because we’re both motoring enthusiasts and I said ‘why not come down’?.”

A £3.5m revamp of Snetterton’s circuit was completed last year, making it the second longest track in the country.

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