The Eifelland Type 21 displayed on VR’s stand at Race Retro, Stoneliegh, UK last weekend was a true star. Luigi Colani’s F1 racer hadn’t been seen in England in its current guise since the 1972 British GP, driven by Rolf Stommelen. Sadly, just a few weeks after the GP, the team folded following a fire at the Eifelland factory. The 15th Anniversary of Race Retro, now under new management, was a superb event and the VR Europe team welcomed many visitors to our stand, including “Mr. Le Mans,” Tom Kristensen, rally ace Ari Vatanen, racecar designer John Gentry and Austin Maxi rally girls from the 1970 World Cup Rally—Bron Burrell, Tina Kerridge-Reynolds and works driver Rosemary Smith.
VR’s European Editor, Mike Jiggle enthused, “There was a certain ambience this year, missing at the last few shows, and a great spirit among all visitors, stand holders and guests. It was hard work, but very pleasing to be part of this new era of Race Retro. Magazine subscriptions, advertising enquires, and offers for future profiles and interviews were all up. It was simply, a great weekend.”
For 2017, Race Retro opened its doors with a fresh new look, exciting new features, and more cars than ever before to celebrate its 15th anniversary, resulting in a record turnout over the three-day event. With plenty of motorsport action, both inside the halls and out on the Live Rally Stage, 21,000 attendees joined the party, with special guests like former Motorcycle World Champion “Fast” Freddie Spencer joining Vatanen and Kristensen.
One of the show’s many highlights was the new Motor Sport Hall of Fame Live, featuring around £30 million of stunning motoring history that ranged from the 1957 British Grand Prix-winning Vanwall, raced to victory by Sir Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks, to the latest Bentley GT3 racer that had come straight from pre-season testing.
A huge crowd gathered as Jim Clark’s Lotus 33 R11 was unveiled for the first time in public for more than 40 years as part of a launch for the Jim Clark Trust’s crowd-funding appeal. Jim’s cousin Doug Niven spoke of the plans to open a new Jim Clark Museum in 2018, asking for support to make the fantastic new development a reality.
Race Retro’s 50th anniversary celebration of the Cosworth DFV certainly turned heads with a display curated by engine designer Mike Costin, who founded Cosworth with Keith Duckworth, both Hall of Fame nominees for 2017. Cars featured in the tribute included the incredibly rare Tyrrell P34 six-wheeler, the Cosworth 4WD, the Lotus 49B, and James Hunt’s McLaren M23.
Out on the Live Rally Stage, under the watchful eye of the team from Rallying with Group B, around 80 Group A, B and C cars provided spectators with thrill after thrill, especially when former World Rally Champion Vatanen got back behind the wheel of the Rothmans Ford Escort and Subaru Legacy he drove in period.
Lee Masters, Acting Show Director of Race Retro, said: “We have had incredible feedback from visitors with a tremendous response to our new elements, especially the stunning display in the Motor Sport Hall of Fame Live. Exhibitors also reported strong trading with 60 percent rebooking for 2018 already. Planning for next year starts now!”
The next Race Retro will be held February 23-25, 2018. For the latest updates as well as all the highlights from 2017’s event, please visit www.raceretro.com