The race is designed to celebrate the Champ Car competition that was held at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez from 2002 to 2007.

The drivers will use the same 500hp V8-engined cars that normally compete in the Gran Turismo Mexico.

The entry is headed by five Mexican drivers who raced in the Champ Car era, namely Adrian Fernandez, Mario Dominguez, Michel Jourdain Jr., Roberto Gonzalez and Luis Diaz. The latter had only two starts in the series, but both were in their home race.

Local stars will be joined by Paul Tracy, Mark Blundell, Alex Tagliani, Ariol Servia, Max Papis, Bruno Junqueira and Casey Mears.

Papiss, Blundell and Mears did not actually compete in the Champ Car race in Mexico City; Papis did not play a full season in 2002 and 2003, while Blundell and Mears left the series before the inaugural event.

Mexico City was a popular fixture on the Champ Car schedule before it was dropped in 2008 following the merger with IndyCar.

The only past winner of the Legends Cup is Tracy, who triumphed in 2003, although Junqueira was on pole last year.

Mexico City Champ Car, 2007.

Photo: LAT Photographic

Other winners in Mexico City include Sebastien Bourdais (2004, 2006 and 2007), Kenny Brack (2002) and Justin Wilson (2005).

“Before Formula 1 took place in Mexico, we promoted the Champ Car World Series at the Hermanas Rodríguez Circuit, and these days it was as big as Formula 1,” said Mexican GP CEO Federico Gonzalez.

“To be able to bring all these legends together in one event here in Mexico is a great honor for us and for the Mexican fans. We are confident that the Freightliner Legends Cup will be a successful event during this year’s race.

“It will be a special event to bring together the great riders who have given us unforgettable moments in the past.”

The last time such an event was held at the circuit was in 1989, when Michel Jourdain Sr. promoted a race called the Nations Challenge, a one-off precursor to the A1 GP featuring Chrysler production cars and drivers representing their countries.

It featured a variety of drivers including Derek Bell, Heinz-Harald Franzen, Gianni Morbidelli, Frank Billo, Jim Richards, John Andretti, Wilson and Christian Fittipaldi.