First announced in 2009 as a special one-off race for pre-’63 GT cars at the Silverstone Classic, the popularity of the formula became immediately apparent, when organisers, Historic Motor Racing, received entries from all over Europe. The brainchild of Ben Cussons, the race where the short wheelbase Ferraris, and the DB4 GT Astons could shine once again, and with classes for cars rarely seen any longer in international racing, such as MGAs, Turners, Lotus Elites, Alfa Romeo SZs, Corvette C1s and Austin Healey 100s, attracted oversubscribed grids in subsequent years and led to the involvement of the Royal Automobile Club that dedicated a new, perpetual Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars to be awarded to the winner. The first winner of the RAC Historic TT was Carlo Vögele, driving his 1962 GTO Ferrari and, in 2011, Stuart Graham, the only driver to have won the TT for motorcycles and the Tourist Trophy for cars, which fittingly allowed him to complete the TT set. Assisted by co-driver Richard Attwood, the pair drove one of six Aston Martin DB4GTs entered. The following year Pre-’63 GT became a three-race series, which continued to include the TT Trophy race at the Classic.
Now, for 2018, after a record grid at Silverstone in 2017, and by popular demand of the drivers, the series is back with a three-race calendar that includes the Donington Historic Festival, the Silverstone Classic, where the TT Trophy will once again be awarded, and the Algarve Classic Festival. The series will be supported by DK Engineering, which has entered a pre-’63 spec Jaguar E-type each year.
We are very grateful to DK Engineering”, said Carol Spagg of Historic Motor Racing, who still organises the TT at Silverstone each year and who will be running the series. “I think the time for these cars has well and truly come. Having been mirrored at Goodwood with their Kinrara Trophy and now the Equipe GTS who have instigated a pre-’63 race for their club racers, we are flattered that our idea has found such strong support. DK has entered a car from the start, and their dedication to quality preparation, first class presentation and originality is exactly fitting with the spirit of the series.”
The regulations stipulate that all cars must run to Appendix K standards and the cars’ spec will be even more strictly monitored, particularly with regard to tyre and wheel dimensions and ride height.
“Though we are tightening up the spec for the series, as opposed to a one-off race, we may still let cars in without HTP, but only exceptionally, and only if our scrutineers can inspect them beforehand and make sure they are running in pre-1963 spec,” said Spagg. “We have been lucky enough to have some truly historic cars on the grid. These have not always been the front runners – often they are running for class - but they are highly valued on this grid for their history and originality, and we want to encourage the cars that are not hyper prepared, but rather prepared as they would have been in period when each class winner was just as important as the overall winners. Needless to say, with so many priceless historic cars on the grid, the highest driving standards are demanded, and a gentlemanly conduct on and off track has always been part of Pre-‘63 GT.”
Race format will be one-hour races for one or two drivers with mandatory pit stop.
Probably the most famous Ferrari specialists in the world, DK Engineering has been an active participant in historic motor sport since the beginning. Its in-house range of skills and facilities have been built up over more than 40 years and, as well as a providing world class restoration and race preparation services, DK is at the forefront of the international historic motorcar sales scene, buying and selling the finest road and race cars all over the world.
“We are pleased to be supporting the Pre-‘63 race series,” said James Cottingham, son of company founders David and Kate. “This series sees some of the prettiest and purest GT cars racing to original specification, as they did in period. We hope that our association with the series will not only help maintain its position as one of the best series in which to take part, but we also hope our involvement will allow participants to use our acquisition and consultancy services whether it be for road or race cars.”
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