Varied Attractions at Race Retro
This is the fourth year of the International Historic Motorsport Show at Stoneleigh Park, which looks set to attract more visitors than ever in 2007. Certainly the 400-plus exhibitors and four live events are a big draw to competitors and organisers, restorers, dealers and engineering companies – anyone, in fact, involved in historic motorsport.
Now called Race Retro, the Show runs from 23-25 March 2007 and new attractions are being announced on a regular basis. Most recently, we’ve heard that an all-new London to Sydney Marathon, which in 2008 celebrates the 40th anniversary of the original event, is to be launched at the Show. A faithful replica of Andrew Cowan's winning Hillman Hunter complete with kangaroo-bar, spare wheels and toolbox, will be the central feature of the stand. As route consultant John Sprinzel says, “This could be the most authentic historic rally so far: original route, original cars to the correct specifications, and roads that haven’t changed much in 40 years.” The rally will feature a full crossing of Iran and Pakistan to India.
An outstanding feature of the Show is that all motorsport disciplines are covered, on both two wheels and four – track racing, speed events, rallies, hillclimbs, trials and autograss – and so the attractions are highly varied. “It’s the only show we consider it essential to exhibit at – we’re here every year, without fail,” says Duncan Wiltshire, Chairman of historic race organisers Motor Racing Legends, who will be exhibiting on ‘Speed Street’ in 2007.
“It’s the combination of a vast audience and the breadth of exhibitors from all branches of historic motorsport which make Race Retro such an unmissable event.” Judging by the exhibitor list, plenty of other race organisers agree that Race Retro is the place to be this March – The Masters Racing Series and U2TC are among the many which have booked stands.
Whichever branch of the sport you favour, there is plenty of opportunity to meet the stars. Motorcycle heroes Jim Redman, Phil Read and Frank Perris, who were in fierce competition in the 250cc World Championship throughout the 1960s, will open the Show on Friday – and on Saturday, it will be the turn of Michele Mouton, one of the best female rally drivers of all time. Mouton will then take the wheel of her 1985 Pikes Peak-winning 500bhp Audi S1, for a demonstration on the Race Retro live rally stage. On Sunday, the Show will be opened by racing legends Richard Attwood, Derek Bell and Vic Elford.
Meanwhile many motoring clubs use the Show to promote their own activities – such as the Classic Sports Car Club’s ‘trip of a lifetime’ to race at Daytona, as guests of the Historic Sportscar Racing Club of America. Says Club Chairman Sarah Hutchison, “We’ll be letting people know about our prize draw for all the marshals who sign on with us in 2007 – for a pair of tickets to fly with us to Daytona in November.”
A star-studded Charity Awards Dinner on the Saturday evening of the Show will see the winners of the 2006 Historic Motorsports Awards announced. Tickets for the black-tie Dinner, held at the Chesford Grange Hotel near Stoneleigh, are available for £75 and will raise funds both for the Motorsport Foundation and the Joey Dunlop Foundation, which benefits people with a disability (see www.joeydunlopfoundation.com).
Race Retro 2007 runs from 23-25 March at Stoneleigh Park, near Coventry. Advance one-day tickets cost £18.00 (and two-day tickets £32.00). See www.historicmotorsportshow.com or call +44(0)8701 262121 for tickets.
Text: Classic Driver
Photos: Race Retro
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