Late February saw the latest Race Retro 2017 show taking place at the Stoneleigh Park showground near Kenilworth, Warwickshire. The Stoneleigh Park
site is normally associated with a different type of horsepower of the 1 horse type, along with other matters agricultural. The Exhibition stands were arranged within 4 halls with a separate area for the Silverstone Auction, and its exotic super cars and competition cars!.
On a chilly and windy morning, the outdoor special stage saw first a parade of historic karts from 1960s to 1982 race around the short track.
Then, with commentary from Tony Mason (who was Roger Clark’s co-driver when winning 1972 RAC Rally), the Group A, B & C historic rally cars, including Ford Escort’s , Subaru’s and Mitsubishi’s were flung around the short course in front of a large crowd of spectators.
The driving line-up included Finn’s Ari Vatanen (driving a BMW M3 and Ford Escort) and Markku Alén (driving a Subaru Legacy)
and home grown stars David Llewellyn (Subaru Impreza 555) and Russell Brookes (Opel Manta 400).
This year there was for the first time a Motor Sport Hall of Fame Live stage, run by Motorsport magazine, and the crowds heard from motor racing stars such as Danish 9 times Le Mans 24 hours winner Tom Kristensen, USA Motor Bike champion Freddie Spencer and Finnish rallying greats Ari Vatanen and Markku Alén. Brits Russell Brookes and Barry “Whizzo” Williams were also interviewed by Motor Sport magazines editor Nick Trott.
After pressing from the audience about Tom Kristensen’s favourite car he plumped for the Audi R18 etron Quattro.
In the same hall as the Live stage was a spectacular display of racing cars including the Bentley Speed 8 that won the Le Mans 24 hours in 2003 with Tom Kristensen, Guy Smith and Dindo Cappelo. Other historic cars included James Hunt McLaren M23, the Williams FW08 as raced
by Keke Rosberg, John Surtees TS14 and the Vanwall as raced by Stirling Moss in 1957. From the rallying stage, we had on display the Subura Impreza WRC97001 as driven by Colin McRae along with a Fiat Abarth 131 driven by Markku Alén.
From the modern era, we had a championship winning Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE, a modern Bentley Continental GT3 car and the new Ginetta G57 LMP2 prototype, as used by win in early 2017 in Dubai with Nathan’s Freke’s Century Motorsport.
In a separate hall on the site was the impressive line-up for the Silverstone Autions. This was in three stages with competition cars first, then classic cars put up for sale. The competition cars included a 1989 Aston Martin AMR1 Group C prototype, a 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile and from the rally world several Ford Escort’s, a 1998 MG Metro 6R4. From the historic Goodwood Revival, an Austin A30 that BTCC star and 2013 championship winner Andrew Jordan drove with his Dad Mike Jordan to a win in 2016. From the BTCC Super Touring era there was a Honda Accord Supper Tourer as driven by the late David Leslie.
The other halls had a wide selection of cars and bike from all eras and manufacturers, including Ford and Jaguar along with art of historic F1, Sports car and rally cars in action.
In the last hall was the Autojumble section along with the Pride of the Paddock display and Parc Fermé for the line-up of 80 Rally cars, for the spectators to have a closer view and chat to some of the drivers.
The action was enjoyed by the crowds and the Race Retro show 2018 in late February 2018 is not to be missed if you are into historic cars, racing cars and bikes