Star cars line up for Race Retro

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Historic show returns for 2018, again in association with Motor Sport

The story of ground effects and the dramatic race cars it spawned will be a core theme of Race Retro 2018, when the International Historic Motorsport Show opens for business in February. The 16th edition promises to be the best yet at Stoneleigh Park, near Coventry, (February 23-25) and Motor Sport is proud to be a key partner. For the second year running Race Retro will be powered by Motor Sport.

There will be a special area dedicated to Motor Sport magazine and the Motor Sport Hall of Fame, including a live stage. The area will primarily focus on our Hall of Fame awards, which celebrate the greatest drivers and personalities in our sport’s history. The aim at Race Retro is to give visitors a flavour of the awards, which take place in June, by bringing together cars, celebrities and industry figures, together with members of the editorial team and other key writers.

Race Retro will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Formula 1’s ground-effect era, with a display of several key cars from the period including the title-winning Lotus 79, kindly loaned by Richard Mille, and Williams FW07. Lotus founder and designer Colin Chapman was the first to develop the concept that a racing car as an inverted wing could be forced onto the track, delivering huge downforce and grip.

The Lotus 79, introduced early in 1978, took Mario Andretti to the world championship: one year later Alan Jones won the championship in Patrick Head’s response to the Lotus 79, the Williams FW07.

Other cars from the ground-effect era will include the Ralt RT3 Martin Brundle raced against Ayrton Senna in British F3 and the ex-Siegfried Stohr Chevron B48 F2 car, freshly restored by Steve Worrad Racing. They will be joined by Porsche 956 chassis 103, which finished second at Le Mans in 1984 driven by John Paul Junior and Jean Rondeau. Other rare Porsches will feature courtesy of the Porsche Club GB, an official Hall of Fame partner.

Many organisations and businesses from across the sport will be exhibiting and race organising clubs on show will include the Vintage Sports-Car Club, MG Car Club, Historic Sports Car Club, Classic Touring Car Racing Club and the Classic Sports Car Club. Equipe GTS will be on hand with details of its new race series for pre-63 GTs.

Outside the exhibition halls, the grounds of Stoneleigh Park will be turned into a special stage and a raft of period rally cars will be in action on Saturday and Sunday. At the core of the demonstration sessions will be the Rallying with Group B movement, but the cars in action will span more than 50 years of the sport.

A special display will honour the work of Prodrive founder David Richards, our 2017 Hall of Fame Industry Champion, recently appointed chairman of motor sport’s UK governing body the MSA.

Four cars will showcase his impact on rallying, including a Subaru Impreza from the era of Colin McRae and Richard Burns.

The HERO ‘arrive-and-drive’ classic rally fleet will allow visitors the chance to try classic rallying for themselves, and the hugely successful Silverstone Auctions sale will be held on Saturday. HERO, the Historic Endurance Rally Organisation, will again run the Race Retro Classic Tour in support of the event.

Show Director Lee Masters said: “The feedback on the 2017 event has been fantastic. We have taken on board suggestions from the motor sport community so we can build on that success as the show moves forward. In 2018 we will see more cars, more celebrity guests and there will be more interaction for visitors to enjoy.” Advance tickets are just £20 per day or £35 for a two-day pass and can be ordered via the event website: www.raceretro.com.

AMERICAN MUSCLE

In other news, 1960s American V8 racers will star at the Silverstone Classic next July, when the Trans-Atlantic Touring Car Trophy for pre-1966 saloon cars returns to the schedule.

After being rested this year, the event promoters are hoping to attract as many as 40 US V8s to the race. Inevitably the entry will be dominated by Ford Mustangs and Ford Falcons, but also expected are examples of the monstrous Galaxie and the rare Mercury Cyclone Comet of Kiwi Roger Wills.

The race will relive the arrival of American muscle cars into the British Saloon Car Championship more than 50 years ago. The US invasion was pioneered by Jack Sears, who split his time between a Lotus Cortina and a Ford Galaxie to win the 1963 title. Roy Pierpoint (Mustang) and Frank Gardner (Falcon) later used V8 power to triumph in the fore-runner of the modern-day BTCC.

SCOTTISH SHOWCASE 

Scotland’s motor sport heritage will be celebrated with a new event to be held in June at Inveraray Castle on the West Coast of Argyll. The Argyll Festival of Performance will bring together significant cars and drivers from Formula 1, Le Mans, Indycars, touring cars and international rallying, plus a whole host of unique vehicles never before seen in Scotland.

The Duke of Argyll has confirmed a minimum three-year programme for the event, starting on the weekend of June 2/3. However it will be, at least initially, a largely static display event. There is not a Goodwood- or Cholmondeley-style course and there will be no element of competition.

The Duke of Argyll said: “We are delighted to be able to host the inaugural Argyll Festival of Performance here at Inveraray Castle. With such an iconic location in the very heart of Argyll, the dramatic landscape and setting will, I hope, draw people from far and wide for a very special weekend.”

The theme for the inaugural festival is Formula 1, marking the fact that Scotland is the fifth most successful nation for producing world champions.

Event director Bill Telford is the driving force behind the project. He said:

“Scotland has an enviable reputation in motor sport but, as yet, there has never been an event that celebrates this success. The Argyll Festival of Performance has been created to do just that with a theme each year to really allow the stories to be told.

“In year one it will be Formula 1, and Scotland boasts some of the biggest names in the sport from the legendary Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart to multiple race winners like David Coulthard. We are also immensely proud, and believe it is very fitting given the Formula 1 theme of our inaugural year, that the Jim Clark Trust will be our chosen charity for the Festival in 2018.”

Cars already confirmed for the event include the Lotus 18 raced by Innes Ireland, Scotland’s first GP winner, and later raced by Jim Clark. The car is now owned and raced in HGPCA events by Sir John Chisholm. The one-off Lotus 32B built for Jim Clark to race in the 1965 Tasman Series will be there from Classic Team Lotus as well as Tyrrell 001, raced by Jackie Stewart in late 1970 and 1971.  Prolific Scottish historic racer Tony Wood
will take the one-off TecMec Maserati and a Cooper Bristol.

RALLYING CALL

Two reunions for historic stage rally cars will be held next year, in a bid to inject fresh momentum into forest rallying for pre-81 cars.

Rally North Wales in March and the Red Kite Stages in June will run to the new Rally 2WD format and the team behind it is working to encourage as many historic crews as possible to support these historic reunions.

Rally North Wales (Saturday March 24) and the Red Kite Stages (Saturday June 23) will offer historic crews the best possible stage conditions by running all the two-wheel-drive mileage ahead of the four-wheel-drive cars. The plan is to build significant historic entries by making these two rallies a celebration of historic rallying on gravel.

As well as generating strong entries for the two fixtures, the idea of the historic reunions is to bring back the atmosphere, camaraderie and fun that was always a key element of historic rallying. Unfortunately, changes to event running order – brought in on safety grounds – have fragmented and decimated historic entries.

Simon Wallis from Rally 2WD said: “This is designed to encourage historic and all two-wheel-drive cars back to the forests, but it needs everybody’s support to make it work or one day we won’t have any rallies left. The idea behind the historic reunion is to ensure that this movement does not disappear with cars being left unused in garages and competitors finding other things to do with their time and money.”

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