12 of the best historic racing events in 2022

If you think nostalgia’s not what it used to be, try our pick of the best classic historic racing events

Embassy Racing car in Historic Monaco GP

The Monaco Historique is your chance to rewind to the days of good, old-fashioned tobacco advertising

Grand Prix de Monaco Historique 

(May 13-15)

The loss of the 2020 event to Covid means that the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique is back in May, barely a year after the previous edition. This normally biennial event is all about Formula 1 heritage on the famous street circuit and features grids of F1 cars from the 1930s to the 1980s. New for this year is a later grid, taking the story to 1985 and the end of the Cosworth DFV era. For drivers and fans, the chance to see and even drive period F1 cars on the ultimate street circuit is unforgettable.


Brands Hatch Masters Historic Festival 

(May 28-29)

There are a few finer places to see and hear historic race cars in action than on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit. The three dimensional challenge offers drivers one of the best tracks in Europe. At the end of May, Masters Historic Racing takes over the GP circuit for the Masters Historic Festival. Headlining will be F1 cars of the 1970s and early 1980s, the era when the Cosworth DFV ruled. Other star attractions include sports prototypes of the late 1960s and early ’70s and the new Endurance Legends series for recent sports prototypes and GT cars.


Thruxton Historic

(June 11-12)

One of the newer kids on the block in terms of historic festivals is the Thruxton Historic, running at the high-speed Hampshire track that first hosted racing in the ’50s. The event is run in partnership with Motor Racing Legends and so the line-up has a strong MRL feel with favourites like the Woodcote Trophy, Stirling Moss Trophy, Jaguar Classic and Historic Touring Cars. Add to this competition from the Historic Racing Drivers’ Club and it all makes for an excellent weekend.


Ypres to Istanbul Challenge 

(June 13-July 3)

When it comes to endurance rallies, Rally the Globe is one of the leading organisers and its 2022 programme is topped by the sensational Ypres to Istanbul Challenge. This 20-day marathon pits classic cars against some of Europe’s most challenging and remote roads with timed competition and regularity sections. The route begins in Belgium’s rally capital of Ypres and crosses Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and finally into Turkey to finish in Istanbul. It’s a rally and a life adventure all rolled into one from one of the most professional organisers in the field.

Car on Ypres to Istanbul Challenge

How about a tour to Turkey?


Le Mans Classic

(June 30-July 3)

The chance to hit huge speeds on the Mulsanne straight in the dark of night is usually reserved for professional and semi-professional racers in the Le Mans 24 Hours. However, every other year, amateurs get the chance to tackle this fabulous track during the Classic when six age-related grids race three times across 24 hours, ensuring that each grid gets to race in the dark. The event is a living tribute to the history of the 24-hour race and is packed with cars of the type that raced in their heyday, from the 1920s to 1981.

Start line at Le Mans Classic

Le Mans Classic


Santa Pod Dragstalgia

(July 8-10)

Over the second weekend of July the Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire will be turned over to a celebration of drag racing history at the annual Dragstalgia. Billed as Europe’s premier nostalgia drag racing event, there is something for everyone including period dragsters and funny cars, outlaws, altered and American nostalgia, and there’s a special shoot-out for pre-1972 American-bodied cars and classes for pre-1980 bikes. As well as a fabulous array of straight-line competition, a host of off-track activities include Cracklefest and a beer festival.


Legends of Brands Hatch Superprix

(July 9-11)

The second big historic festival on the Brands Hatch GP circuit each summer is the Historic Sports Car Club’s Legends of Brands Hatch Superprix. Once again, the HSCC will fill the weekend with a vast array of racing, topped by its stunning Historic Formula 2 series, which has the first of three UK events at Brands. There will be bumper grids and close racing across popular categories like Historic Formula Ford, Thundersports and Historic Touring Cars. It’s a great chance to see historics on a wonderful circuit.


Shelsley Walsh Classic Nostalgia

(July 16-17)

When it comes to motor sport history, there’s no venue in the UK that can hold a candle to Shelsley Walsh. The Worcestershire hillclimb has been in permanent use since 1905, save for wartime and Covid, and there is no better place to celebrate the heritage of the sport than at the steep and fast rush up the side of the Teme Valley. Each summer, Classic Nostalgia brings a host of period cars here; 2022’s edition will feature a gaggle of BRMs celebrating 60 years since BRM’s F1 title.

Shelsley Walsh speed hillclimb start

Shelsley Walsh


Oulton Park Gold Cup

(July 29-31)

There is a new feel to the Oulton Park Gold Cup this year and a new date as it has traded weekends with Classic Silverstone. Now running in late July, the Gold Cup has a fresh line-up of races, covering everything from VSCC pre-war cars to the wacky Special Saloons and Modified Sports. The Historic Sports Car Club remains at the heart of the event and brings its fabulous Historic Formula 2 cars of the 1970s to make a glorious spectacle. The HGPCA makes a welcome return to add further quality with a grid of pre-1966 grand prix cars.


Classic Silverstone

(August 26-28)

With live music, thousands of classic cars and a huge array of off-track attractions, Classic Silverstone is a vast event. At its heart is a packed weekend of racing including a 12-hour marathon on Saturday with racing running from 9am until 9pm to finish in the dusk. A new date for 2022 puts the event on August Bank Holiday weekend, but the package remains similar with huge grids and top-quality racing from Masters, Motor Racing Legends and other promoters with everything from pre-war sports cars to
Le Mans prototypes.


Spa Six Hours

(September 30-October 2)

In its traditional late-summer date, the Spa Six Hours is one of the biggest events on the historic racing calendar and fills the wonderful Belgian Grand Prix track with classic cars from some of the best series in Europe. At the heart of the event is the annual Six Hour race into the darkness on Saturday evening. Over 100 cars start the enduro and it is usually dominated by Ford GT40s with 10 or more setting the pace. Supporting the Six Hours will be Historic F1 and much more at one of Europe’s biggest and best historic racing festivals.

Porsche at Spa Six Hours

You’ll be rewarded with a cavalcade of old campaigners at the Spa Six Hours


Historic Rally Festival

(October 15-16)

Britain has tended to be the poor relation in terms of historic rallying festivals, but an emerging event in October aims to address that issue. The second Historic Rally Festival will feature demonstration special stages for rally cars from the 1960s right through to the 2000s. The 2022 edition has been extended to include demonstration stages on Saturday in the spectacular setting of the former Ironbridge Power Station before action in Weston Park on Sunday. The event is based in nearby Telford and will feature up to 100 rally cars telling the story of this branch of the sport.