In love with old racing cars? Planning your season to catch the best historic race meetings around the UK and beyond? Then look no further. Our annual Historic Racing Guide, produced in partnership with our friends at Credit Suisse, is all you need to mark the key dates on your calendar for another packed season of action.
The question is, which events are ‘must-see’ this time around? Flick through our novel back-to-front, upside-down special and make a mental note of those races, rallies and shows you know you just can’t miss – and the answer is likely to be most of them!
The Members’ Meeting at Goodwood is a great place to start, then there’s the HSCC’s 50th anniversary special at lovely Castle Combe. The glorious Brands Hatch Grand Prix track features twice in just three months, and the pair of Silverstone meets have race entries unmatched anywhere in the world. What about Cholmondeley or Brooklands in June? How about Donington in May or July? The Chateau Impney hillclimb is back after its heralded return last year. Then there’s Shelsley Walsh, Oulton Park, the RAC Rally of the Tests… and that’s without even mentioning the biennial Monaco and Le Mans classics.
The tapestry is rich when it comes to historic motor racing – and your diary will be full in no time. Truly, we’ve never had it so good. Damien Smith, Editor
The 2016 season is a ‘Monaco year’ for us here at Credit Suisse and we are very much looking forward to the 10th edition of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique in May. While a fleet of stunning historic machinery will occupy the paddock, there will be a new building in the middle of it: the Credit Suisse Drivers’ Club. We will offer once again a place for recreation and networking for drivers, VIPs and our guests. Moreover, there will be activities for the press.
I will have the pleasure of hosting our seventh Historic Racing Forum in Monaco on May 13 where our racing legends will share entertaining stories of their racing past. As always, we will publish the Forum video on our website credit-suisse.com/classiccars. You will also find there a splendid video of the 2014 GP de Monaco Historique, with anecdotes from Derek Bell, Sir Stirling Moss and Alain de Cadenet. In parallel we will organise our ‘Monaco Classics’ Rally which ends with our Rally Parade on the race track.
September is time, of course, for Goodwood, where Credit Suisse will once again call the Race Control building its home for the weekend. In 2015 I drove my 1955 Austin Healey 100S in the Freddie March Memorial Trophy ‘night race’ – and what fun it was. On the website you will find our video including great historical footage of this special race.
As usual, our season will end in October when Adolfo Orsi Jr publishes the bible for every classic car collector, the annual Classic Car Auction Yearbook.
I hope you enjoy this Historic Racing Guide produced by our long-standing partners at Motor Sport. Karsten Le Blanc, Credit Suisse
For more information on Credit Suisse classic racing click here.
April 9-10 Masters Festival, Zolder
A new event will kick-start the mainstream historic racing season in Europe, when Masters Historic Racing makes its debut at Zolder, Belgium.
The meeting will feature the opening rounds of the FIA Masters Historic Formula 1 Championship and the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship. By moving the start of the season to northern Europe, Masters is sure to attract strong grids for both races.
Sharing top billing will be the modern Belcar series for a wide array of GT machinery. Although overshadowed by Belgium’s other track at Spa, Zolder hosted the Belgian Grand Prix 10 times and has a strong annual programme.
In May 1966, the first Griffiths Formula race for sports cars from 1945 to 1955 ran at Castle Combe – catalyst to the formation of the Historic Sports Car Club.
Half a century later, the club is going to celebrate this landmark anniversary by commencing its season with a two-day race meeting at the Wiltshire track.
The big attraction will be a recreation of that first grid, with some original cars and matching models for the others. Drivers and mechanics from the 1966 race will be on hand and the public will be able to take part in a grid walk to see the machinery up close.
Easily the market leader in race and rally tours, Tour Auto is a glorious evocation of the former Tour de France with five days of competition on race tracks and closed public roads.
The 2016 route has overnight halts in Beaune, Lyon, Valence and Marseille before the finish in Cannes, with a special loop of night stages in the mountains to mark the event’s 25th edition. Races will be held at Dijon, Bresse, Ledenon and Paul Ricard.
Sports and GT cars of the 1960s and 1970s pack the entry and 200 of the 240 available places were booked before Christmas, including Jochen Mass in a mighty De Tomaso Pantera.
It is a long-established tradition that the Vintage Sports-Car Club racing season begins at Silverstone in April, with the Spring Start meeting. Although the eclectically diverse VSCC motor sport season will have been in full swing for four months, the Silverstone date heralds the start of a five-meeting race schedule.
The usual mix of VSCC trophy races and short handicap events will be enhanced by the return of the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association with a race for rear-engined Grand Prix cars. Front-engined cars will be welcomed into the Patrick Lindsay and Amschel Rothschild Trophies race.
As ever at VSCC events, the public car parks will be full of classics spanning a century of motoring.
One of the elements helping Donington Park return to its very best is the annual Historic Festival, now firmly established over the early May Bank Holiday weekend.
For three days the focus is on top-quality racing at a track that is superbly suited to period cars. The 2016 edition will be the sixth, and three full days of on-track action will be supported by parades, demonstrations and car club gatherings on the infield.
The full programme had not been confirmed at the time of writing, but pre-war machinery will be prominent as the weekend celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Donington Grand Prix win for the Alfa Romeo of Dick Seaman and Hans Ruesch.
The weekend marks the dawn of the 2016 Super Touring Trophy and Historic Formula 2 campaigns, while the new Pre-80 Endurance Series will draw out sports-racing and GT cars from the World Endurance Championship of the 1970s.
Period sports cars feature in the Woodcote Trophy and Sir Stirling Moss Trophy from Motor Racing Legends, while the revamped Historic Touring Car Challenge will field a grid of cars from the 1970s and 1980s.
Demonstration runs from more recent Grand Prix cars will complete the weekend.