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.
Circuit des Remparts Angoulême
Traditionally held in mid September (this year 14-16), the Circuit des Remparts came under new management last year, as Michel Loreille and his team picked up the ball very late in the season and made the best of what had already been instigated by the outgoing organisers. This year they have had time to prepare and innovate, and while some of the successful grids remain on the programme, there are some changes too. The Plateaux Raymond Sommer and Maurice Trintignant for under and over 1500cc pre-war cars respectively, remain, as does the ever-popular Bugatti race, now named in honour of Retromobile founder and Bugatti exponent Marc Nicolosi. The Beltoise and Greder grids this year are for GT, touring and sports racers built before and after 1965. Gone are the Legendary Circuits invited grids, and in their place there will be races for Frazer Nash cars, so popular with the many Brits that travel to Angoulême each year, and the Plateau Louis Rosier, for Le Mans and Mille Biglia-Type cars of the ‘50s.
One of the highlights when this year’s Festival of Porsche returns to Brands Hatch will be a special 70th anniversary race for all Porsche cars built between 1953 and 1973. Supported by Porsche Cars GB, which is running a 1965 911 SWB in historic events throughout 2018 in conjunction with its four Classic Partner Centres, the race will take place on the Indy Circuit on September 2, showcasing the marque’s exceptional sporting pedigree.
To commemorate its 80th anniversary Prescott will celebrate with a special reunion of former hill record holders. The very first meeting was held at the Gloucestershire hillclimb venue on April 10th 1938 and on July 14 the celebration will gather together as many former hill record holders as possible, with the list of those who have confirmed attendance reading like a Who’s Who of Hillclimbing. 1960s pacesetter and multiple Hillclimb champion David Boshier-Jones, Martyn Griffiths, David Grace, David Franklin, Alister Douglas-Osborn, Chris Cramer, who plans to compete in the 1985 British Hillclimb Championship winning Gould 84G, and six-time Hillclimb champion Scott Moran, also competing in his Gould, the most winning car in British Hillclimb history, are all on the guest list. Lady record holders will also be well represented with Joy Rainey, Margaret Blankstone-Schoiber, Sandra Tomlin and Sue Young attending. The latter two will be competing in their modern single seater Pilbeam and Gould respectively. Many of the racers will be re-united with suitable cars from their era, either for a parade or for full-on competition. The event will feature a strong field of 150 cars on track, including a special class for Bugattis.
Although an airfield-based circuit was used earlier, it was in March 1968 that Thruxton in Hampshire opened as a permanent racetrack. The layout remains unchanged half a century later, making it one of the UK’s fastest tracks. The circuit will celebrate its 50th anniversary on 2-3 June with a two-day race meeting that will include appearances by former Thruxton pilots and demos of cars and bikes of historic significance, including the ex-Keke Rosberg Williams FW08C Grand Prix car. The Thruxton Centre – the circuit’s new, £2 million hospitality facility – will be officially opened at 12:00 noon on Sunday by former World Champion, Nigel Mansell alongside his lifelong friend and motorsport commentator and journalist, Murray Walker.