SHELSLEY WALSH CLASSIC NOSTALGIA
When: July 22/23 Where: Shelsley Walsh, Worcestershire Web: shelsley-walsh.co.uk There is nowhere in the rest of motorsport quite like Shelsley Walsh. This most historic of venues is steeped in the sport’s history going back 111 years and the venue’s annual Classic Nostalgia weekend is now firmly established as one of the must-do events in the classic calendar.
For a venue with such a remarkable history, the July weekend caps a busy season of hillclimbing on the 1000-yard adrenaline rush up the side of the Teme Valley. For the very quickest, it is all over in less than 25 seconds, but the atmosphere and appeal of the Worcestershire venue keeps competitors and fans alike coming back for more.
Classic Nostalgia is a trip through hillclimb history, with classes spanning eight decades of the sport. From humble road-going production sports cars to period single-seaters and the amazing Shelsley Specials, there is constant action on the hill.
However, that is only part of the event. The ever-crowded paddock area is home to live music and a raft of other period attractions, while the spectator car park is crammed with classics of all ages.
The climb to the Esses is a bit of a pull for spectators, but it is worth every step as 200 pre-1980s cars take on the challenge of one of Britain’s finest motorsport venues.
When: September 23 (provisional) Where: Castle Combe Circuit, Wiltshire Web: rallyday.com Was it better ‘back then’? Who knows? Rallying is one of the worst sports for donning the rose-tinted spectacles and imagining everything Group B or BDA was better than modern day.
Maybe it’s right. But current rallying is pretty spectacular too. Just ask Kris Meeke after his record-breaking Rally Finland win.
However, if you like a bit of both, you can have your cake and eat it at Rallyday. It’s a festival of old and new. Stars from the British championship and national rallying bring the up-todate R5s and R2s for those hooked on current rallying. There’s always a great dose of modern at the event.
But those Group B and earlier fans won’t be disappointed by what’s on offer either. An eclectic cocktail of historic monsters take to the track for demonstration runs.
Can we speculate now? Last year we had Elfyn Evans and Eric Camilli at the event giving a Ford Fiesta R5 a spin. The squad has a new member this year, Sebastien Ogier. And he’s attended before.
Could the four-time champ be in attendance this year? The prospect of Ogier turning up, never mind a new 2017 Ford Fiesta WRC, is tantalising. It may never happen. But we can dream.
Shelsley’s Classic event is home to great machinery