A galaxy of stars from racing’s past and present is set to descend on Race Retro, which takes place on February 23-25, as Britain’s leading historic motor sport show opens its doors. Most of the action will take place around the Motor Sport stage, which will feature a packed programme of live interviews with drivers, engineers and members of the magazine’s editorial team.
The star attraction over the weekend is likely to be Brian Redman (right), who is travelling from his home in America to talk about his career. The Lancastrian is best known for his spectacular success in 1969 with a works Porsche 908, co-driven by Jo Siffert. They won five times to help clinch the Stuttgart marque’s first World Sportscar Championship. He drove John Wyer’s Porsche 917 during 1970 and landmarks included victories in the Daytona 24 Hours and Targa Florio, before he switched to Ferrari.
One of the nicest men in racing, Redman was inducted into the Motor Sport Hall of Fame last year and he will be joined over the course of the weekend by other famous names. They include John Barnard, the McLaren and Ferrari designer; Frank Dernie, one of the the men responsible for the Williams FW07; Peter Connew of the eponymous F1 race team; Norman Dewis, the legendary Jaguar test driver; Paddy Hopkirk, England’s best loved rally driver and BRDC president; Matt Neal, triple BTCC champion; and Tony Jardine, rally driver and TV pundit. Visitors should come armed with questions…
Hall of Fame Live
Adjacent to the Motor Sport stage will be a special Hall of Fame Live exhibition that has been curated by the Motor Sport team. It will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the ground effects era in F1. To bring the celebration to life we have collected a stunning selection of cars that tell the story of one of racing’s finest eras and visitors will be able to get up close over the weekend. Confirmed cars include a Lotus 79, Williams FW07, the 1983 Ralt RT3 F3 car that was raced by Martin Brundle against Ayrton Senna in period, a Chevron B48 and the Porsche 956 (chassis 103) that featured in the February issue of Motor Sport.
Hall of Fame inductee Tribute
The area will also host a special tribute to David Richards, one of the most influential men in British motor sport, whose career has included a world rally championship as a co-driver, a successful stint as team manager with Prodrive and most recently the chairmanship of the Motor Sport Association. Richards was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year and the display will comprise a car from each of the key eras of his career including a 1984 Porsche 911, a Colin McRae 1996 Group A Subaru Impreza, a BAR F1 racer from 2004 and a 2015 Aston Martin GTE.
Other Hall of Fame tributes
And that’s not all: other displays will celebrate Jaguar at Le Mans, 30 years after it won at la Sarthe with the Jaguar XJR-9 in Silk Cut livery, and a 1956 long-nose D-type that raced at Le Mans, finishing sixth. The influence of Porsche in motor sport will be marked with the display of a 991 GT3 RS, a race-prepared 997 and a short-wheelbase 911 all courtesy of the Porsche Club GB. There will also be a Dan Gurney tribute to remember the life of the great American racer who died in January. The 50th anniversary of the London to Sydney Rally will be marked with the display of a replica of the winning Hillman Hunter. A new Racing Car Award will be introduced at this year’s Hall of Fame, aimed at recognising some of the finest machinery from rallying, sports car racing, touring cars and Formula 1. The short list comprises some of the most fearsome machines ever to race and will be represented at Race Retro by the fire-breathing Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 and Audi S1 Quattro.
One of the most popular attractions of Race Retro is the live action stage – a one-mile-bespoke rally course featuring about 80 rally cars, including Group B monsters. This year’s rally theme has been expanded and the show will welcome Italian legend Miki Biasion, who is celebrating 30 years since the first of two WRC title wins and who will be back behind the wheel on the live stage to remind spectators of his pedigree. Other cars in action over the weekend include Markku Alén’s Fiat 131 Abarth, the Ford RS1700T tested in period by Ari Vatanen (plus a lesser known Vatanen car – a BMW M3), and an ex-Jimmy McRae Vauxhall Chevette HSR. And spectators can do more than just watch: Rallying with Group B, the organisation putting on the feature, will also be offering passenger rides for charity donations as well as introducing modern rally drivers, from those in the junior ranks to British and European champions, so visitors get the chance to see the old alongside the new. Visitors can book a ride in one of the cars for £25. Readers can also win a ride in a rally car by entering via the Race Retro website, see panel.
Pride of the Paddock
It is not just the organisers who will be putting on a breath-taking display of cars. Private owners can also enter their classics in a Pride of the Paddock competition. Visitors then vote for their favourite over the course of the weekend to decide who wins the title. Entries so far include a Lancia Delta Integrale, a 1956 Austin Healey and a Triumph Vitesse.
The Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation (HERO) will be running its popular Training Session on the Sunday of the event. The course is aimed at newcomers or those looking to brush up on their skills ahead of taking part in historic rallying and covers basic map reading as well as other slightly more advanced topics. HERO is also offering its popular Arrive and Drive Classic Car Experience, giving visitors the chance to get behind the wheel of a variety of classics and drive them on the public roads around the venue. Prices start at £45; please bring your driving licence to the show.
Last year the auction house recorded its best ever sale results at Race Retro, with lots worth £5.7m going under the hammer. This year looks set to exceed even that figure. The Competition Car Sale takes place on the Friday and the lot list includes an ex-Vatanen and McRae 1993 Subaru Legacy RS Group A, and a 1970 Ford Escort Mk1 RS1600 race car fielded in period by Vince Woodman. The Classic Car Sale takes place on the Saturday and will feature among others a 1956 Jaguar 3.4 XK140 FHC, a 1983 Lamborghini Jalpa and Rowan Atkinson’s Ferrari-engined Lancia Thema 8.32.
As ever, among the key attractions of Race Retro are the independent stands of exhibitors specialising in everything from race memorabilia to race kit for the new season. The stands will also include a wide variety of competition car manufacturers and tuners, engineering services and motoring clubs and associations. Race series and clubs confirmed so far include:
• 1000cc F3 Historic Racing Association • 750 Motor Club • British Historic Kart Club • Classic & Sports Car Club • Historic Sports Car Club • MG Car Club • Classic Touring Car Racing Club • Equipe Classic Racing • Vintage Sports Car Club • Chevron Heritage • Delta Motorsport
Motor Sport is offering two lucky readers the chance to win a ride in an ex-works rally car
The two winners will get to experience the thrill of Group B rallying from the passenger seat of a Peugeot 205 T16, driven by Kevin Furber, joint owner of the vehicle with Andrew Medlicott. The prize is open to any reader who has bought a ticket to the show. It consists of one complete lap of the live action stage. The two slots are on Saturday and Sunday. Readers can enter the competition by buying a ticket to the show via the Race Retro website (www.raceretro.com) and entering the following code: RR18RALLY.
Show opening hours
Friday Feb 23 – 9.30am to 5.30pm
Saturday Feb 24– 9.30m to 5.30pm
Sunday Feb 25 – 9.30am to 4.30pm
Free standard parking
VIP parking available – Podium parking £16, Pole parking £26
ADVANCE TICKET PRICES
• Adult/Senior 16+: £20
• Child (5-15): £5
• Child (0-5): FREE
• Groups (10 or more adults): £19.50ea
• Weekend pass (Friday & Saturday): £35
• Weekend pass (Saturday & Sunday): £35
• Three-day pass: £54
ON THE DOOR TICKETS
• Adult/Senior 16+: £26
• Child (5-15): £7
• Child (0-5): FREE
• Weekend pass (Friday & Saturday): £48
• Weekend pass (Saturday & Sunday): £48
• Three-day pass: £60