Historic Winton 2014
Classic racers from all ages star in the sun at the 38th Historic Winton...
Historic Winton 2014
In two years’ time, Historic Winton will celebrate its 40th anniversary. That’s no mean feat, but this year it looked like the party had started early. As usual, entries numbered over 400, making the 38th Historic Winton one of the best-attended (and longest running) historic race meetings in the country. Hats off to The Austin 7 Club (with the Historic Motorcycle Racing Association; it’s a two-plus-four meeting), which runs the show.
Anniversaries were a common theme this year at Winton, with highlights including 110 years of Rolls Royce and Hispano Suiza; 100 years of Dodge, Aston Martin and Maserati; 90 years of the Bugatti Type 35 and Bentley’s first Le Mans victory; 60 years of the Ford Thunderbird and Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint and 50 years of the Ford Mustang. Examples of most of
these vehicles, dating from the 1920s to the 1980s, were on display or plying their wares on the racetrack.
With most races only running for five to eight – in deference to the age (and speed) of vehicles – the weekend was action-packed, with races and Regularity runs starting almost as soon as previous event had finished. The great thing about Historic Winton is the sheer variation in vehicles; from the carparks to the track. They spanned generations, from Stuart
Brown’s 1919 Dodge Tourer (Vintage Regularity) to Adrian Wilkinson’s 1989 Van Diemen RF89 Formula Ford.
International marques weren’t the only machines being celebrated, with a fine line-up of Australian Grand Prix Specials dating from 1924-58 showcasing the engineering abilities of ingenious Aussies who could turn MGs and the like into quick race cars. Group Nb, always a hot bed of tin-top racing, featured a swarm of 16 angry Cooper Ss harassing bigger, more
powerful Mustangs, GT-HOs and Valiant Chargers through Winton’s tight turns; always fun to watch.
With the sad passing of Sir Jack Brabham, it was great to see five beautiful Brabham formula cars, ranging from Tony Simmons’ 1963 BT6 to Robert McConville’s 1970 BT29, hit the tarmac in Group M Sports & Racing. And the late Harry Firth, who was a regular competitor in the early days of Historic Winton in his rapid MG TC Special, was also remembered. Unfortunately, the great race cars of the past are outliving the great drivers of yesteryear but events like Historic Winton keep their memories burning brightly.
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