Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Event Report -


The 13th Race Retro – the show that tra­di­tion­ally gets the Bri­tish mo­tor­sport sea­son off to a roar­ing start – wel­comed its busiest ral­ly­ing sec­tion ever, with 76 race-bred ma­chines tak­ing to the muddy cir­cuit last week­end. That’s 26 up on last year.

In to­tal, 29,500 peo­ple vis­ited Stoneleigh Park to watch the non­com­pet­i­tive ral­ly­ing ac­tion on the clas­sic car cal­en­dar with fans’ favourites from pre­vi­ous years re­main­ing the su­per loud side-exit ex­hausted Vaux­hall Firenza Can Am driven by Mick Stafford. Cars not reg­u­larly run at the event also caught many fans’ eyes in­clud­ing a Chrysler Avenger and a Tri­umph Dolomite Sprint.

Group B ma­chines like the Metro 6R4 and Lan­cia Delta S4 were out in force too, along with a stream of mod­ern front-wheel drive hatch­backs giv­ing them a good run for their money.

But views from vis­i­tors were mixed. Si­mon Han­nam, tak­ing part in an MG Midget, says the show scores highly for giv­ing younger driv­ers the op­por­tu­nity to drive with the greats. ‘You grow up watch­ing some of th­ese cars and now you can take part against them. Where else of­fers you the chance to do that?’ he says.

How­ever, sea­soned show­goer Warner Lewis, a com­pet­i­tive his­toric rally driver, was less happy with the week­end. ‘Race Retro was a bit of a let­down this year. It ap­peared to have half the stuff that there was last year – it def­i­nitely seemed smaller all round.’

Race Retro cel­e­brated the ca­reer of 1996 For­mula 1 World Driver’s Cham­pion Da­mon Hill, mark­ing the 20th an­niver­sary of his ti­tle and his time with Wil­liams. As part of the cel­e­bra­tion four of his cars from the Wil­liams Her­itage Col­lec­tion were on dis­play – his cars from 1996, 1995 and 1993, as well as a 1990-91 FW13B.

Tom Sid­dall, event di­rec­tor of Live Pro­mo­tions says: ‘We would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to thank all the ex­hibitors, ve­hi­cle own­ers, part­ners and vis­i­tors who have sup­ported us over the years.’

All in all, a fit­ting swan­song from the show’s or­gan­iser which is hand­ing over the reins to Clar­ion Events. Let’s see what fresh blood brings for 2017. Mur­ray Scul­lion

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