Estoril Classics Week is a new, and growing, attraction
Estoril Classics Week fits in oh-so-well to the historic racing calendar, making full use of Cascais’s stunning weather with a small handful of events ranging from concours to racing on October 2-7. But could it rival Goodwood?
Leaving guests of the Concours d’Elegance outside Casino Estoril shaken was a (coincidental) forest fire that had sprung up after the classic rally in the Sintra Mountains.
This is a glamourous setting, and appropriately so as Cascais – a safe haven for spies during World War II – inspired Ian Fleming to pen the James Bond novels. Far more stirring was the presence of cars such as the Ferrari 166MM and Aston Martin DB7 Zagato.
Promoter and head of the local tourism board Duarte Nobre Guedes, has finished the Paris-Dakar rally three times and started out as a racing driver and instructor.
“The idea was to put every existing event together in one week, but I don’t want to go against Goodwood or the Le Mans Classic – we have our own personality – and we’ll always be a second choice to Goodwood.
“But our ambition is to grow, and people here feel that the variation of historic racing competition at our event is wonderful. I believe that what counts is the people, and this is the strength of Cascais,” he said.
Estoril Circuit itself, however, is an ageing concrete behemoth, and the sparse crowd of spectators, locals in particular, seemed far more concerned about the upcoming match between Benfica and Porto: O Clássico.
Goodwood this was not, but there’s room for the event to grow and, in such a spectacular corner of Europe, Estoril Classics Week could well become an important international fixture in the historic racing calendar.