Roundup of vintage racing news and notes includes Mazda Laguna’s 2018 calendar and a 73-year-old race winner
The recent Kop Hill Climb in Princes Risborough, England, celebrated early 1900s motorcar competition while raising money for local charities. Kop Hill was a regular competitive venue from 1910 to 1925.
The fans’ favorite at the event was Genevieve, a 1904 Darracq, star of the 1953 film by the same name and a regular participant in the London to Brighton run and part of the Louwman collection.
“From the sublime to the ridiculous,” organizers noted, was that Genevieve was followed up the hill by Edd China and his Casual Lofa sofa “car.”
73-year-old among Shelsley Walsh champions
While the Kop Hill event was staged primarily for fun, the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb is a summer-long series of competitive events staged by England’s Midland Automobile Club at what is claimed to be “the oldest motor sport venue in the world still in continuous use,” with an inaugural event in 1901 and in continuous use since 1905. The event also was the first “outside” broadcast ever by the BBC (in 1932) and reportedly was the first motorsports event to use electronic timing.
Many of the competing cars are of recent vintage, but the Morgan Sports Car Club Techniques Speed Championship for 2017 went to 73-year-old George Proudfoot and the 1939 Morgan Series One he has owned since the mid-1970s.
The Paul Matty Sports Cars Lotus Championship was won by Tony Shumate in a Lotus 69 — a formula car produced in the early 1970s — that two years earlier “was merely a chassis and 11 banana boxes of bits,” Shumate said.
Celebrities in old cars racing for charity
The Silverstone Classic not only claims to be the world’s largest vintage-racing festival, but both entertaining and generous at the same time with its Celebrity Challenge Trophy race. The race puts various famous folk into vintage Austin A30 and A35 cars adapted for racing by the Historic Racing Drivers’ Club Academy program.
An inexpensive kit converts an aging car into a racing “saloon” with spec engine and safety equipment, ideal for novice racers — or celebrities.
Funds raised by the event, and by the auction sale of a restored 1984 Ford Capri — go to Prostate Cancer UK. More than £45,000 (more than $60,000) was contributed from the events this year.
Mazda Laguna announces 2018 vintage race dates
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has announced its 2018 vintage racing dates: The second Spring Classic is set for May 18-20 and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is August 13-19, preceded as usual by the Monterey Pre-Reunion the previous weekend, August 18-19.
A bonus event on the 2018 calendar will be the Rennsport Reunion VI, an all-Porsche, all-vintage racing program hosted by Porsche Cars North America on September 27-30. The event includes a concours open to racing participants.
The track also commissioned John Cerney, an artist from Salinas, California, to create a pair of his billboard-sized pieces of art for display at the track. One is of the Mazda 787B that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the other shows motorcycle racing champion Wayne Rainey on a Yamaha.
“The artwork really demonstrates who we are and what we do,” Gill Campbell, the track’s general manager, said in a news release.
Cerney likes that the car can be seen as people drive past the track on California highway 68. He also said the car is one of his largest installations.