Race Retro, the international historic motorsport show, scheduled for February 24-26, 2017, at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, UK, has lined up Finnish rally legends Ari Vatanen (above, Pete Austin photo) and Markku Alén for the show’s 15th anniversary celebrations where the pair will get back behind the wheel on the bespoke Live Rally Stage.
“Vatanen and Alén are larger than life characters who are guaranteed to delight the crowds,” said acting show director Lee Masters. “To have them with us at the show is one thing, but to have them in action, driving these amazing Group B cars on our Rally Stage is something you won’t see anywhere else.”
After winning the World Championship in 1981, Vatanen joined Peugeot and was set to win the 1985 title until a near-fatal accident in Argentina ended his season. Upon recovery he returned to the sport, winning four Paris-Dakar Rallies as well as smashing the record for the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in a 600bhp Peugeot 405 T16 in 1988.
Vatanen said: “I am very much looking forward to joining Race Retro and seeing all the rally fans over the weekend. To get to drive these fantastic cars again is an honor, and I can’t wait!”
Surprisingly Alén, known for his catchphrase “now maximum attack,” never won the WRC title, but he did hold the record for the most stage wins, at 801, until that record was broken by Sébastien Loeb in the 2011 Rally Catalunya. He did, however, win the FIA Cup for Drivers in 1978, the precursor to the World Championship for Drivers, and held the WRC title for eleven days in 1986 until a successful appeal by Peugeot took his win away.
Alén, who will appear on the afternoon of Friday February 24 and be in action on Saturday the 25th, said: “I am delighted to be invited to this great event and look forward to driving on the Rally Stage with my old friend Ari. It will be a great weekend and I look forward to meeting fellow enthusiasts.”
The Live Rally Stage will be in action on Saturday and Sunday with around 70-80 Group B and C cars taking to the stage under the watchful eye of Rallying with Group B and the Falcon Motor Club. The live action will be held over two sessions, morning and afternoon, with the British Historic Kart Club acting as a warm up for the rally action.
Tickets are now on sale for Race Retro, held from www.raceretro.com, with free parking and a free show guide for all visitors. For the latest information please visit www.raceretro.com