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Race Retro 2008 (Historic Motorsport Show) - 14-16 Mar 08

Posted: April 3, 2008 11:08 PM - 8525 Hits


Posted: April 3, 2008 11:08 PM

Heavy rain and strong winds failed to stop die-hard historic motorsport fans enjoying the live action of the Slowly Sideways Group B rally cars at this year's Race Retro at Stoneleigh Park. Only adding to the fun, rally legends Markku Alen, Bjorn Waldegard and Russell Brookes thrilled the crowds as they slid around the stage.

Following a busy first day, the inclement weather on Saturday and Sunday did impact visitor numbers. Overall, the show was ten percent down on previous years, which the organisers feel is a good result in the current economic climate.

The feature area dedicated to the use of biofuels and greener motorsport received a positive response from event organisers and clubs, with a number of leading organisers planning to allow or use low-level gasoline and ethanol blends in the 08/09 seasons.

Another highlight was the bringing together of Junior Rallying, BTRDA Juniors, Autograss, Minicross, Saxmax and T Cars, to highlight the opportunities for juniors aged from 12 to 16 years old to compete, a first for the motorsport industry.

This year's chosen marque, Ford, was celebrated with an exciting display of cars, including Colin McRae's Focus, Maurice Gatsonides' Zephyr and the first Escort ever to win an international rally - Roger Clark's from the 1968 Circuit of Ireland.

Another feature display - covering 40 years of the Ford Escort - was sponsored by "Retro Ford" Magazine and included a number of iconic cars: there were two ex-Hannu Mikkola cars, Jari-Matti Latvala's 2008 car was displayed by M-Sport, and an Alan Mann racing Escort was also on display.

Bonhams' auction proved to be one of the best so far this year, with sales exceeding £500,000 and 70 percent of the available lots being sold, including the Ford Escort which Bjorn Waldegard drove to victory on the East African Safari Rally in December 2007, sold for £80,000.

The display of competition sidecars at the entrance to Hall 3 was a unique sight, with the current World and British Sidecar Champion Tim Reeves in attendance, along with ten-times champion Steve Webster MBE; and Stan Dibben, who raced with Eric Oliver in the 1950s. Outfits from over 50 years were on display. Another motorcycle feature was the Wall of Death, which first appeared in the UK in 1929 and is one of only two left in existence in the UK; this proved immensely popular with visitors of all ages.

The Ace Cafe area was again re-created and expanded, after its success in 2007, and now included a Concours of Cafe Racers, which was won by Gary Lawrence with a Norvin (Norton/Vincent). The Ace Cafe was sponsored by Footman James and the Concours Awards by Autoglym.

Alongside the Ace Cafe was a new stage for interviews and celebrity autographs. There were 28 celebrities this year. Malcolm Wilson and Mark Deans, Head of Ford Motorsport, opened the Show on Friday; the British World Sidecar Champions opened proceedings on Saturday; Markku Alen, Bjorn Waldegard and Russell Brookes did so for the rally fraternity on Sunday.

Event and series organisers and sporting motor clubs were out in force and reported strong interest from competitors. The Historic Sports Car Club showcased Historic Formula 2, which they took over in 2007, while a new series for 1000cc Formula 3 cars from the 1960s was launched by Keith Messer. Formula Junior was back from Australia and New Zealand, where it launched a global FJ Series for 2008, in celebration of its Golden Jubilee.

A whole range of classic car tours and less competitive rallies had stands in Hall 1. Of the more well-known public events, Classic Silverstone reported strong interest, as did The Rally Show at Chatsworth. Additionally, in the rally area, Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation and The Lombard Rally (for standard cars up to 1400cc) reported themselves very pleased with entry enquiries.

Retro car sales and enquiries were strong, with Proteus, GT40 Supercars, Nostalgia Cars and Tygan very pleased with the level of interest at the show. Lola Cars, celebrating 50 years as the World's most prolific racing car producer, showcased a T70 Mk III Continuation Car and announced a new series build of the T70 Spyder and Coupe cars, both eligible for vintage and historic racing. Morgan brought the Aeromax from the Geneva show to sit alongside their competition ready Roadster 3.0 V6.

The private car sales area also expanded in 2008 and Barry Walker, who only booked space at the last minute, sold an MG J2 and a replica MG K3, which together fetched over £75,000.

The 2009 Race Retro will be held from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th March. To book tickets and for the latest updates, visit


Posted: April 3, 2008 11:06 PM

  • Race Retro asks how can historic motorsport go green?
  • Race Retro 2008 continues at Stoneleigh Park with new three-year agreement.

Posted: March 7, 2008 10:21 AM

Race Retro, the international historic motorsport show, has added more racing and rally legends to its amazing line up when the doors open from the 14th to 16th March at Stoneleigh Park. Racing drivers Tim Parnell, Richard Attwood, Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams and Willy Green will be making appearances along with rally drivers and co-drivers Rosemary Smith, Paddy Hopkirk, Nicky Grist and Mike Wood.

Driver Tim began in motorsport as a mechanic to his father Reg Parnell and didn’t start racing until 1957 in the Cooper-Climax 1100 Sports car. When he retired from racing in 1963, he moved into motorsport management and was the BRM Team and Works Manager from 1966 to 1975. Richard also started his career out of the driving seat as an apprentice at sports car manufacturer Jaguar
. He started racing in 1960 at the wheel of a Triumph TR3 and went one to drive with the BRM , Lotus and Cooper Formula One teams.

The female star of the highly successful Rootes Rally Team, Rosemary Smith will also be appearing. During the 60s, Rosemary was an icon to an army of fans of the sport and won countless awards during this time. As did Paddy, who is best remembered for winning the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally with Henry Liddon in a Mini Cooper S. His victory sheet spans from 1955 at 1990.

Rally co-driver Nicky Grist is most closely associated with the late Colin McRae , for whom he was co-driver between 1997 and 2002 in the World Rally Championship as well as Colin’s final three WRC events in the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Nicky has founded the Nicky Grist Co-Driver Academy to help young co-drivers wishing to make an impact in the sport. He is also involved with Nicky Grist Motorsports Ltd, a business which sells motorsport products and has a stand at the show.

These names will join Markku Alen, Bjorn Waldegard and Russell Brookes in signing autographs as well as demonstrating their skills on the Live Rally Stage in the Park.

Motorcycle racers attending include Phil Read MBE, John ‘Moon Eyes’ Cooper, Charlie Williams, Frank Perris and Chris Vincent as well as the Yamaha Classic Racing Team members Rob Gould, Dieter Braun and Ferry Brouer.

Eight times motorcycle GP World Champion Phil Read and his works Yamaha machines won 250cc World Championship titles in 1964, 1965, and 1968. For the earlier part of the 1960s, Frank Perris led the Suzuki works team assault against the rival Japanese manufacturers, taking 125 GP wins at Suzuka, Sachsenring, and Brno. John ‘Moon Eyes’ Cooper is one of England’s most successful and popular motorcycle racers of the late 60s and early 70s.

Tim Reeves, World Sidecar Champion for the past three years, will be joined by his racing partner Patrick Farrance as well as ten times former champion Steve Webster MBE, to conduct the show opening ceremony on Saturday. They will be joined by several of the other former British champion riders and passengers including Steve Abbott, Stan Dibben and Darren Dixon. A memorable gathering and showcase for the elite of the sidecar racing community and their special racing machines.

For more information on Europe’s premier historic motorsport show and the latest updates, visit

Top names from the world of rallying are visiting this year's Race Retro, the international historic motorsport show held at Stoneleigh Park from 14th to 16th March, to reminisce about the golden days of motorsport's most gruelling discipline.

Markku Alen, Bjorn Waldegard and Russell Brookes will be showing they've still got what it takes, with a series of demonstration runs during the event on the Live Classic Rally Stage. All three drivers have links with this year's featured marque, Ford.

Finnish hero Markku Alen is one of the most successful rally drivers of all time. His rallying career started in 1969, driving a Renault 8 Gordini. His first professional drive was with Ford in a Mk1 Escort, after which he joined Fiat in 1975, driving for them and Lancia until 1989. Alen piloted the first Group B Lancia, the 037, and won 20 rounds of the World Rally Championship (WRC), including six victories on Finland's Rally of 1000 Lakes, his home event. He also won the 1988 Lombard RAC Rally.

Bjorn Waldegard posted many international wins at the wheel of a Mk2 Escort RS1800. He began his rallying career in 1962; in 1967 and 1968, he won the Swedish Championship, and in 1969, at the wheel of a Porsche 911, he won the Monte Carlo Rally. After a stint with Lancia, Waldegard moved to Ford at the end of 1976, and between then and 1980 notched up wins on the Safari, Acropolis, RAC, Swedish and Ivory Coast rallies, driving RS1800s. His successful career continued with Toyota. Last year, aged 64, he won the car-breaking East African Safari Classic, with his son Mathias as co-driver.

Russell Brookes is one of the UK's most popular rally drivers and is forever associated with his Andrews Heat for Hire-sponsored cars. Brookes began competing in 1968, twice winning the British Rally Championship - in 1977 driving an Escort RS1800, and in 1985 at the wheel of an Opel Manta 400. In 1973, he signed with Ford and drove for the blue oval until the end of the 1979 season. He switched to Talbot for two years, then moved to Vauxhall/Opel, and in 1989 went back to Ford for the British Rally Championship. At the wheel of a Cosworth Sierra, he won the Manx Rally in 1989 and 1990.

These legendary drivers will be joined by some of Ford's rallying elite, the people who have and continue to guide the Ford Rally Team to victory: Malcolm Wilson, Mark Dean and Tony Mason.

Malcolm Wilson, a former WRC driver and British Rally Champion, is the principal of M-Sport who build and prepare the current Ford WRC cars, as well as running the works Ford Rally Team. He will be joined by Mark Dean, the newly-appointed Director of Ford TeamRS, Ford's motorsport division in Europe.

Ex-Ford Rally Manager Tony Mason, the winning navigator of the 1972 RAC Rally with legendary British driver Roger Clark in a Ford Escort Mk1, will complete the Ford line-up, which will come together for an informal interview and to share their rally experiences on the Race Retro show stage.

For more information on Europe's premier historic motorsport show and the latest updates, please visit
Race Retro asks how can historic motorsport go green?
How can historic motorsport go 'green', will be just one of the questions asked by Race Retro 2008, the International Historic Motorsport Show.

Held from 14th to 16th March at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, Race Retro will bring together bio-fuel suppliers, experienced users and specialist equipment manufacturers, who provide tanks, seals, fuel hoses, fire extinguishers, etc, to present an opportunity for race organisers, competitors and car preparers to discuss the merits of using bio-fuels in historics.

This feature area will be situated in the engineering area of Hall 2 and manned by experienced users of bio-fuels. Competition cars set up to use E85 fuels and E5 (95 percent gasoline), will also be on display.

"The object is to highlight conversion problems for historic and classic race and rally cars and to improve understanding of the fuel and technical issues, so as to pave the way for event organisers, competitors and motorsport to move forward", says Race Retro director Ian Williamson.

"Some UK fuel suppliers are already blending high-octane fuel using ethanol, which is available at pumps and so meets the MSA criteria that pump fuel for competition should not exceed 100 octane (RON) and 2.7 percent oxygen. The FIA specification allows 102 octane (RON) and a higher oxygen content (3.7 percent), which allows 10 percent ethanol to be added. So far as is known, this fuel can be purchased directly for racing, but is not yet available at the pump.

"The debate is therefore about the effect of higher concentrations of bio-fuels in gasoline, both on weakening mixtures beyond the carburettor (caused by more oxygen) and the potentially corrosive effect on seals, rubbers and fuel hoses, as well as some metals.

"While 2008 sees the introduction of Junior WRC Ford Fiestas running on E85, A1GP running on E30 and the British Touring Car Championship permitting bio-fuel blends, these are all modern vehicles. Cars made before the early 1990s may only run efficiently on E5 or E10 blends, because they don't have knock sensors. To use E30 or E85, cars may need to have tanks replaced, all the rubber seals changed, etc."

With the first UK bio-ethanol plant, which uses sugar beet, already in operation, plus five bio-diesel plants, the government has already sanctioned that all pump fuel should contain 2.5 percent bio-fuel in 2008. However, the European Union has proposed that pump fuel should contain 5.7 percent bio-fuel by 2012, a blend which Formula 1 has already decided to adopt in 2009.

Ian added: "Historic motorsport needs to be seen to be making an environmental effort. Who knows what innovations the future will bring, but as public pressure and perception are growing, doing nothing is no longer an option. By bringing all the various parties together at Race Retro, we hope to inform the historic sector on the solutions available."

Race Retro is an official Campaign Partner of EEM, the Energy Efficient Motorsport Programme supported by Motorsport Development UK. For more information on Europe's premier historic motorsport show and the latest updates, please visit
The cars deemed too fast to race, the exhilarating Group B Rally cars, will be wowing the crowds at Race Retro 2008, the international historic motorsport show. Held from 14th to 16th March at Stoneleigh Park, near Coventry, the cars are being brought to the show by the Slowly Sideways Group GB and will roar along the three-quarter -mile asphalt rally demonstration stage on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th March.

Race Retro 2008 will see the first appearance of the very rare Michelotto-prepared Ferrari 308GTB QV Group B cars of the 1983 season, which have never been seen outside mainland Europe, as well as an example of the most spectacular Audi rally car of all, the hugely be-winged 600 bhp E2 quattro. They will be joined by examples of the MG Metro 6R4, Renault Maxi Turbo, Audi quattro and Ford RS200.

A selection of Group B monsters with African rallying history will also be in action, headed by the 1988 Juha Kankkunen Paris Dakar winning Peugeot 405 Turbo 16, recently released from the Peugeot factory collection and thought to be appearing in public for the first time since its glory days in Africa. Also in action will be four former Safari Rally cars, including an ex-works Peugeot 205 Turbo 16, ex-works Opel Manta 400s in both Rothmans and Marlboro colours, and an ex-works Lancia 037 Rallye in Martini colours. To round off the African theme, these will be joined by an ex-works Toyota Celica Turbo from the Bandama Rally, in the familiar Marlboro livery.

To add to the celebration of 40 years of the Ford Escort in competition, the Slowly Sideways GB Group B cars will be joined by three rally-winning ex-works examples of Escort Mk1, Escort Mk2, and Escort RS Cosworth machines. All these impressive vehicles will be driven on the live action rally stage by celebrity drivers from the original Ford works rally squad.

With informed live commentary provided by Tony Mason, 1972 RAC Rally winning co-driver with Roger Clark in an Escort Mk1 and former Ford works team rally manager, the live action rally stage demonstrations are not to be missed by thrill-seeking spectators. Entrance to the live stage is included free in the ticket price for Race Retro 2008.

Other features include a replica Ace Cafe & Fire Engine Bar, informative seminars, celebrity autograph signings and photo opportunities. There is also the Bonhams Classic & Historic Motorsport Auction, as well as the opportunity to conduct private car sales and test drives. With demonstrations of historic kart racing (a popular and growing discipline) and championship-level autotests (showcasing expert car control), as well as the vintage "Wall of Death" (a great travelling live show featuring Indian V-Twin motorcycles), visitors will have plenty to keep them entertained.

More Details
The 2008 Race Retro, the international historic motorsport show, looks set to be the biggest and best ever, as exhibitor bookings are well ahead of previous years and over 70 per cent of space is already allocated.

In 2007, over 400 exhibitors spanned four halls at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, bringing together historic competition machines from all disciplines, motorsport memorabilia, rare parts and spares as well as race teams and organisers. The 2008 show returns to Stoneleigh Park from 14 to 16 March.

Historic and rare competition cars and motorcycles from eight decades will be on display at Race Retro, including off road, road legal and track racers. The show is aimed at active and potential motorsport competitors, classic motoring and motorsport enthusiasts, and specialist trade representatives, attracting over 20,000 visitors each year. Over 60 per cent of visitors attend race meetings, with 44 per cent owning or sponsoring a competition car.

With a live stage, a replica Ace Cafe & Fire Engine Bar, visitors will be entertained with informative seminars, celebrity autograph signings and photo opportunities. There will also be the Bonhams Classic & Historic Motorsport Auction, as well as the opportunity to conduct private car sales and test drives.

Race Retro also boasts two days of thrilling live-action demonstrations inside and outside the halls. The Classic Rally Car Stage features a host of legendary Group 4 and Group B rally vehicles and celebrity drivers who will share their motorsport experiences. Previous guest drivers include Stig Blomqvist, Michele Mouton, Pentti Airikkala and Russell Brookes.

There will also be demonstrations of historic kart racing (a popular and growing discipline), championship-level autotests (showcasing expert car control) and the vintage "Wall of Death" (a great traveling live show featuring Indian V-Twin motorcycles).

For more information on Europe's premier historic motorsport show and the latest updates, please visit
Race Retro 2008 continues at Stoneleigh Park with new three-yearagreement
A new three-year venue agreement for Race Retro, Europe's leading winter historic motorsport and motorcycle sport show, has just been jointly announced by the Race Retro show organisers, International Historic Motorsport Services Ltd, and Stoneleigh Park Ltd, the venue operators.

Race Retro 2008 will take place from 14th to 16th March 2008, midway between the show's original late February calendar spot and the 2007 experimental late March date, at Stoneleigh Park, near Coventry CV8 2LZ. It is returning for a fifth time to the popular West Midlands venue.

Ian Williamson, Race Retro event director, said: "We've listened to our exhibitors' and our visitors' thoughts on Race Retro. The conclusion is that the show and the venue complement each other so well that a new three-year agreement with Stoneleigh Park is our most sensible way forward to ensure the continuing success and growth of Race Retro."

With almost 20,000 square metres of quality exhibition hall space available, in a parkland setting with its network of roadways allowing the inclusion of the ever-popular Race Retro 'Live Rally Stage' action, Stoneleigh Park - with easy access to the Midlands motorway network, public transport and local airports - provides the perfect relaxed and visitor-friendly setting for Race Retro.

Race Retro 2008 will include over 400 exhibitors from the historic motorsport industry, representing manufacturers, restorers, preparation specialists, event and series organisers, motorsport art, memorabilia and books, the prestigious Bonhams motorsport auction, live rally cars, autotests, historic kart racing and motorcycle action in the park.

All this, coupled with the usual attendance by a host of invited celebrity guests and former champions from the world of racing, rallying and motorcycling, make visiting Race Retro a must-do experience for the enthusiast. The 2007 weekend attendance figure was over 22,000.

More Details

Topics: Race Retro 

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