The cars out on track, some of them at least, look as though they are hot off a World Endurance Championship grid. It’s a double-take moment because the prototypes and GTs lapping Donington Park — an Aston Martin DBR9 GT1 racer and a Lola-Judd LMP1 coupé among them — are now historic racers. Machinery that competed at the Le Mans 24 Hours this century, and deep into it, has found a home in a new series launched by Masters Historic Racing.
Post-historic would probably be a better term for the cars that compete in the series started up in 2017 by the British-based organisation, best known for its FIA Masters Historic Formula 1 Championship. Masters Endurance Legends (MEL) from next year will encompass cars built from 1995 to 2016.
The new championship is a departure, at least in the European culture of historic racing. (Over in North America cars find a place on the grid in classic series almost as soon as they are superseded in contemporary racing.) Unusual maybe, but it is perhaps a necessary one, reckons Masters founder and president Ron Maydon.