Vintage racing: Goodwood looks back, but also to the future

Vintage racing: Goodwood looks back, but also to the future

The Goodwood Festival of Speed celebrates its 25th year with a theme of “Perks of Performance – Motorsports game-changers” on June 29-July 2 in England.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed celebrates its 25th year with a theme of “Perks of Performance – Motorsports game-changers” on June 29-July 2 in England. Since it first ran in 1993, the event allows enthusiasts to get up close and personal with motorsports legends, favorite cars, and also catch a glimpse of new cars.

This year, the event celebrates race cars, rally cars, and bikes that were so good they forced a rule change, or at least a slight tweak in regulations.

2016 Goodwood Festival Of Speed F1 car | Goodwood photo

2016 Goodwood Festival Of Speed F1 car | Goodwood photo

Among the featured vehicles will be thousand-horsepower turbocharged Grand Prix cars from the 1980s, Can-Am racers, European racers from the 1930s, and Group B rally cars.

Additionally, the reigning F1 champion, Nico Roseberg, will take the 2014 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport W05 Hybrid up Goodwood’s demanding 1.16-mile hill climb circuit. Also challenging the hill will be the Red Pig, a replica of the 300 SEL 6.8 that AMG raced in the 1971 24-hours at Spa. Visitors also will see Mercedes’ horsepower E63 S, GT C Roadster, GT R and the SLS AMG Black Series.

Roseberg and the Mercedes will be joined by more than 60 Formula 1 cars that span seven decades, including over 20 Ferrari single-seaters in celebration of the Scuderia’s 70th anniversary. Modern F1 cars from McLaren, Renault and Williams also will be on hand.

New this year at Goodwood will be the first drift competition, featuring “Mad” Mike Whiddett and Vaughn Gittin Jr, in addition to Formula Drift championship leader James Deane, among others.

The event also includes a Future Lab, an attraction featuring “cars of the future,” including a driverless race car said to be capable of 200 mph. The car was created by automotive futurist Daniel Simon, a former VW group designer with a passion for the weird and wonderful whose fantasy cars have become a hit in Hollywood blockbusters such as Tron: Legacy, Oblivion and Captain America.

An additional display will celebrate the Dunlop’s motorcycle dynasty since 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of Joey Dunlop’s first Isle of Mann TT victory.

The festival also celebrates the career of Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen and the 110-year anniversary of the world’s first purpose-built, paved race track –- Brooklands.

All Festival of Speed action can be seen on the ClassicCars.com Facebook page via a live broadcast.

Other upcoming  events

 The Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational, organized by SVRA, kicks off June 14 and runs through Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The event includes the Indy Legends ProAm Charity race which pairs 33 veteran Indy 500 drivers with amateur racing partners behind the wheel of Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs for a 45-minute race on the IMS road course.

Bentley competing in rally | Baltic Classic Rally photo

Bentley competing in rally | Baltic Classic Rally photo

Starting Friday, the Indy Legends Oval Race Car Exhibition & Concours will take to the track for three runs with pre-war as well as roadsters and rear engine racers of pre-1970 vintage.

Other highlights include the first time cars from the TransAm Series will run at Indy. The Mazda MX-5 Cup is another addition to the weekend.

Other upcoming SVRA events include the Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, now in its 35th year, June 22-25 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, and the Portland Vintage Racing Festival,  July 27-30 at Portland International Raceway in Oregon.

The Portland program will feature the return of Trans-Am cars to Oregon, with a Mazda Miata Heritage Cup Series race as well.

Additionally, the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix presented by Jaguar is set September 6-10 at Watkins Glen International in update New York; followed by the Heacock Classic Gold Cup, September 21-24 at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia; the 2017 Slaying the Dragon Hill Climb, set for October 6-8 at the Tail of the Dragon in Robbinsville, North Carolina; and the U.S. Vintage National Championship held November 2-5 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Set for August 17-20, the Rolex Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca will feature 550 cars based on authenticity, race provenance and period correctness. The event honors the 60th anniversary of Formula Junior, 60th anniversary of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and 70th anniversary of Ferrari.

Goodwood racecar

Goodwood racecar

The Vintage Sports Car Club of America offers a complete race program in addition to rally and other automotive conservation events with an emphasis is on rare or unusual sports & racing cars including pre-war and certain post war cars through December 31, 1965. Upcoming club events include the Thompson Vintage Motorsport Festival held June 22-24 at Thompson Speedway in Conneticut, the Biennial Wilbraham Hill Climb held July 7-8 in Wilbraham, Massachusetts; and on August 12-13 the club celebrates the 69th anniversary of the Mount Equinox Hill Climb in Arlington, Vermont.

Remaining club events include the Lime Rock Park Historic Festival in Connecticut, September 1-4; followed by Radnor Hunt Concours and Rallye, Septmber 9-10 in Malvern, Pennsyvania; The Fall Finale — The Prewar Celebration, set for September 29-30 in Connecticut; and the Nutmeg Rallye held October 21 at The Historic Beekman Arms, in Rhinebeck, New York.

The Willow Springs Commemorative Road Races, promoted and sanctioned by the Vintage Auto Racing Association, are set September 16-17 at Willow Springs International Raceway in California and will feature race groups for Big Bore (2000 cc and over) and Small Bore (under 2000 cc) pre-1958 model cars, with reserved paddock space for each group.

Then, on November 4-5, the VARA holds the Lucas Oil Big Bore Bash at Willow Springs with a Ford vs. Chevy Challenge. The Los Angeles Shelby American Automobile Club will also be in attendance to take part in an exhibition run group.

The Vintage Auto Racing Association also holds Rennsport Races at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, October 7-8. The event will feature racing cars of Germany and include a special feature race for all German production cars and the Formula Vee Challenge.

The HSR & HMSA host Le Sommet Des Legendes at the Circuit Mont-Tremblant on July 6-9 followed by the Atlanta Fall Historics which feature sprints, enduros and speciality cars on September 14-17 at Road Atlanta, followed by the Savannah Speed Classic on October 26-29 in Georgia.

The Classic 24 hour at Daytona, presented by IMSA, runs November 8-12 and features a full weekend of racing, practice, and qualifying sessions, sprint races, enduros, night races and an open paddock. Shortly after, HSR holds the Sebring Classic 12 hour on November 29-December 3 at Sebring International Raceway.

The NVRA sanctions and promotes the “Vintage Thunder” Racing Series, the largest touring vintage stockcar racing series in the United States.

Highlighting race results

Vintage Bentleys dominated the Endurance Rally Association’s inaugural Baltic Classic Rally taking the three top spots in the Vintageants category. The event ran from Copenhagen’s Clarion Hotel on May 2, and continued for 14-days, during which drivers traveled through Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland before finishing in Berlin on Saturday June 10.

Recently the SVRA held the Open Wheel World Challenge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to provide open wheel racers from around the world the chance to experience what it is like to race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The inaugural event honored the 50th anniversary of Formula Ford racing and showcased open wheel cars, including Formula One, Formula 5000, Indy cars, Indy Lights, Formula Vee, and Formula Junior cars.

Images from Goodwood and  Baltic Classic Rally

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