The fantastic array of historic rally cars blasting around the tarmac stage remained the star attraction at Race Retro. The spectacular live action was headed by rally legend and world champion Bjorn Waldegard in a raucous ex-1971 Monte Carlo Rally Porsche 914-6, passengered by the car’s owner, Jay Kay of Jamiroquai.
Waldegard then went grass cutting in the battle scarred, pumped up Porsche 911 in which he recently won the East African Safari Classic. British champions Russell Brookes and Jimmy McRae also joined in the fun as Audi quattros, MG Metro 6R4s, Renault 5 Maxi Turbos, Lotus Sunbeam Talbots, Rover Vitesses and even a Firenza V8 Chevrolet popped, banged and slewed sideways around the narrow and twisty course.
As visitors headed for the indoor halls, they were greeted in the foyer by a pair of bright red historic MGBs to celebrate 50 Years of the model. The first competition MGB, registration 6DBL, was raced in 1963 at Sebring by Christabel Carlisle and Denise McCluggage and the first MGB GT works entry, LBL 591E, took a class win in the ’67 Sebring 12 Hours, driven by Paddy Hopkirk and Andrew Hedges.
Another birthday being celebrated was 30 years of Group C racing and on display were the 1982 ex-Ickx and Bell Rothmans Porsche 956 chassis 001, the Shell liveried 962 driven by Stuck, Bell and Ludwig to second place in the 1988 Le Mans and the third place Blaupunkt Joest Racing 962.
Honda HRC are also thirty, with pride of place in their motorcycle display going to the great Mike Hailwood’s 350cc four which he rode to six Grand Prix victories in 1966.
Other treats included a 1959 BRM race transporter with an ex Graham Hill BRM P57/3 Grand Prix car on board, classic Kart demonstrations, a display of old stock cars, the superbly restored Lindner Nocker low drag lightweight E-type Jaguar and on the Octane stand, the ex Stirling Moss 1953 Tojeiro-MG.
All in all, a great show, and proof that the interest in historic motor sport is definitely on the rise. Visitor numbers proved it - up from 28,300 in 2011 to 28,500 in 2012.