Vintage Motor Racing events in Europe
The reason why vintage car events are returning may be multiple, but there is no doubt that the general public is energized by the reappearance of some older events and the creation of new ones. Owners and drivers of historic vehicles come in two flavors. Those who like to keep their cars in a showroom condition spend hours cleaning and polishing their precious cars and never take them out on the open road. The other extreme is the owner/driver, who rarely cleans his car. They can only do a minimum to keep it running. These people seem to be more interested in driving than owning and are looking for every opportunity to start their bikes on the road, either in point-to-point challenges or even in track races. Another successful branch of historical motorsport is the discipline of ascent,
Historic car races and classic car races
The sports section we cover covers car rallies from location to location or historical competitions on motorcycle race tracks. These are events that are attracting public attention and now form a significant part of the motorsport calendar in different countries. One of the largest is the Goodwood Revival Festival in the UK, which attracts cars, owners, and visitors worldwide. There are real races where very expensive cars make their way on the track, which has been lovingly restored to reflect the bygone era when cars were originally raced. Visitors are invited to dress up in antique costumes, and a whole weekend is a special event.
A similar event on a smaller scale is the brand new Algarve Historic Festival, which takes place for the first time this year at the Algarve’s latest motor circuit near Portimao. Like the Goodwood festival, there will be competitive races for cars in different categories, and there are 16 other races and plenty of exhibition areas for cars not racing. Motor racing legend Sir Sterling Moss has accepted an invitation to race his car, a 1956 Osca, in the year he celebrates his 80th birthday. Sir Sterling is well known for not owning a normal car, preferring to travel around on public transport or his scooter. Also planned is a charity parade celebrating 50 years of the Mini and parade laps for Ferrari, Maserati, and Osca cars.
The Gambia is the final destination for a historic motoring event that sees a group of cars racing across Europe from Plymouth in England to Banjul, the capital. This unusual event started several years ago and required drivers to leave their cars behind in Banjul after the Rally to benefit the local community.
Another fairly low-key event is the Volta a Madeira, a motoring festival held on the Portuguese island of Madeira for the 22nd time this year. Some of the vehicles taking part in the most recent version of this event included cars from Ferrari, Mercedes, Triumph, MG, Lancia, and BMW. The Volta takes the competitors over the beautiful mountainous roads of the island during the four-day event.
Classic motorsport events
The island of Mallorca also has its classic car rally, known as the Rally Clasico Isla Mallorca, which challenges drivers on routes all over the island in springtime. This is a very popular event, and over forty cars have already entered for the 2010 event, the sixth running of the event. The oldest car competing so far is a 1954 Jaguar XK 140, which will join others at various stages around this beautiful island. The most spectacular of the 14 locations for spectators are bound to be those that take the cars into the Tramuntana mountains to the north of Palma. One stage runs between the northern town of Pollensa and Lluc, the location of one of Mallorca’s most famous old monasteries.
Another similar event is the Historic Commercial Vehicle Rally held on Malta’s island in March this year. Organized by the Malta Historic Vehicle Trust at the Ta Qali location, the event expects to grow into the largest motoring event in Malta. Amazingly on the first running of the Rally, almost 120 vehicles were on display, including old fire engines, trucks, vans, and military vehicles.
Finally, France has a huge heritage in classic cars and has two similar events at two of its legendary venues. The Magny-Cours track hosts the Masters Historic Festival every two years in July, while other years see the Le Mans Classic festival. Both events include competitive races for pre-1974 and pre-1966 race cars. Another French Classic Car event is the November Sun Run, which starts in the Champagne region of France on November 4th, 2009, and sees the cars driving 1400 kilometers towards the south of France, finishing on November 7th by racing up the famous alpine climb of Alp D’ Huez.
Banjul, Portimao, and Palma are just some of the new locations where vintage motoring festivals are held. The author covers a unique event and offers advice on finding low-cost flights to Banjul or Mallorca this year.