Race Retro – Something for Everyone

Race Retro – Something for Everyone

Race Retro – Something for Everyone

The show season continued with Race Retro held at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire, a slightly less glamourous setting but one that is very popular with the motorsport fans and competitors alike.

Clarion Events who now organise the show seem to be making their mark, with a noticeable difference in various areas including some heating in the lesser halls.

The show has attracted the Motorsport Magazine as one of its headline sponsors and with it came a new level of standards with Hall 3 being much more focused and of a higher profile as the main stage became more prominent as were the stars attending over the weekend.

Attending were Steve Parrish, Matt Neal, Brian Redman, all of whom were celebrating a highlight in their career, were also joined by Jimmy and Alistair McRae and Miki Biasion. There were celevartions of Jaguar at Le Mans and Prodrive founder David Richards all of which gave a good excuse to display some very special cars.

One element that is always a winner with the fans is the live rally stage with over 100 rally cars from Group B, A and WRC taking part along with star guest Jimmy and Alistair McRae and Miki Biasion. Race Retro seem to be able to pull in and pay for some of these big names and reunite them with their cars from the past. Jimmy even spotted his old Toyota Celica on one of the stands and new it was his just by opening the door.

As with all shows you need an auction and Silverstone Auctions provided a great sale with the best ever collection of competition and race cars going under the hammer. An ex Rob Gravett Ford Sierra RS500 sold for £182,000. The biggest sale of the day!

Race Retro is well placed in the country for the motorsport world to visit, slightly further south than the NEC, attracting everyone who works in motorsport to visit, mingle and network. This is a real club motorsport show with a variety of stalls from great books to an autojumble and some great bonuses included too.

Mercedes AMG F1 W09 Launch

Mercedes AMG F1 W09 Launch

Mercedes AMG F1 W09 Launch

The launch of the new Mercedes AMG F1 car took place at Silverstone on a cold but bright day.

The days of big launches are long gone, the most notable being Eddie Jordan hiring Cirque Du Soliel to launch is new car.

Mercedes did it this year better than most by taking over Silverstone and inviting the media to join in with the launch and televising the Ferrari launch in the afternoon.

Toto Wolff was the first to be interviewed discussing pretty much everything, from Lewis’ contract negotiations, which he hopes will be conclude by the start of the season, to the dreadful Halo, which he would like to chop off with a chainsaw to Liberty Media and the negotiations with them over the future of the sport.

Next up was Lewis Hamilton who appeared to be in good form, very relaxed having travelled the world chasing the snow and waves. He was looking forward to getting into the car and was very impressed how everyone works together to produce a car that only two people get to drive, him and Valtteri Bottas, who at this time was pounding round Silverstone.

As the interview concluded it was down to the No1 garage for the official launch. Everyone gathered around the end of what appeared to be a runway which ran part of the length of the garages and sure enough to the sound of snippets from the season, some history, countdown clock and a light show, the engine fired up and the car appeared in the distance and travelled the length of the garages with Valtteri at the wheel.

This was the first chance to see the car up close and to really see what the Halo looked like. Like it or hate it, it is there for safety reasons. The car did look good and was an evolution of last years but the Halo has added significant weight and raised the centre of gravity, making it a designers challenge to find ways of balancing this out.

Valtteri was next up for interviewing. He had a better off season, as he got to recharge his batteries, unlike last year where he spent the time familiarising himself with his new team. He felt better placed to challenge Lewis, who he said is beatable. Time will tell and there are 21 races to do so.

HMI and London Classic Car Show a Great Success

HMI and London Classic Car Show a Great Success

HMI and London Classic Car Show a Great Success

The recent Historic Motorsport International show and London Classic Car Show which took place last weekend was a real success for the organisers.

The Grand Avenue once again proved very popular as a variety of cars were demonstrated down the “catwalk” to a crowd rows deep watching from the sidelines.

The organisers have pulled of a great idea with the Grand Avenue, with others due to copy it at future events, proving that you can showcase a wide spectrum of cars from Formula One to historics and classics inside.

Talking to Justin Law, who was demonstrating a number of Jaguars including the Le Mans winning XJ220 and a rare black XJR14, he said it was a great excuse to give it some wellie and spin the cars at the ends as he couldn’t get round in one go, thus providing a great spectacle.

The highlight of the opening day was the new Lister Thunder which was followed down the Grand Avenue by a black E-Type. The roar for the car reverberated around the halls drawing in the crowds.

The halls were full of exhibitors which also included the Supagard Theatre where broadcaster and journalist Henry Hope-Frost was interviewing the honoured guests culminating in Mansell Mania on the Sunday as the 1992 Formula One World Champion visited the event where he was being honoured. The crowds were so deep as he chatted away to Henry proving he is still a very popular draw.

Another highlight was the Getaway Car display curated by Philip Glenister. Naturally the famous Audi Quattro from Ashes to Ashes was present along with cars from Ronin and The Saint and the Lotus Cortina from the Great Train Robbery seeing the light of day for the very first time.

The halls had a loads for the public to come and see with some eye watering road and race cars. A gleaming Mclaren P1 was on display and up for sale along with some real classics like the Mercedes SL, a Lambourghini Countach and a lovely Healey.

There were classic race cars gracing the stands with sportcars and touring cars proving a popular choice. Car clubs too used this opportunity to promote their activities with the TR Register, Porsche Club GB, and the MG Owners Club to name a few.

The dates have been set for 2019 on the 14 – 17 February.