The right way to celebrate an anniversary?
Formula Junior celebrated its 60th anniversary of racing with a three-year world tour that culminated at the Silverstone Classic, an event that attracted more than 100 entries.
In a year seemingly packed full of anniversaries, there doesn’t seem to be one correct way to celebrate a landmark. Formula Junior’s own world tour began in South Africa in January 2016, making its way to Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the United States before returning to the UK for the final leg in May/July.
What’s clear from Formula Junior’s approach is that there’s a tremendous appetite – particularly from British historic racers and spectators – to herald the bygone eras and heydays of motor sport. The first phase of Formula Atlantic’s potential revival, at the HSCC’s Legends of Brand Hatch meeting in July, further drives the point home.
It’s not just racing series; manufacturers such as Porsche, Land Rover and even Leyland have had their respective birthdays – 70th, 60th and 50th – celebrated this year and the 60th anniversary of the Austin-Healey Sprite Mk1 was commemorated at Shelsley Walsh in May.
Anniversaries are an easy way to drum up public support for an event, adding further historic relevance to a meeting and, as was evident at the Silverstone Classic, the series and manufacturers being celebrated don’t seem to be stepping on the toes of the other featured series.
Is there a risk that an anniversary overload might leave spectators feeling jaded? There is no hint of that as yet.
As long as affinity remains so strong for the UK’s incredible array of historic series and marques, either defunct, dormant or dominant, then it seems nobody really minds what we’re celebrating.