The glorious sunshine and exceptional calibre of racing stars brought motorsport enthusiasts out in their thousands to visit Race Retro 2009 at Stoneleigh Park. Defying the credit crunch, audience numbers rose by more than ten percent with around 24,500 visitors enjoying rally legends Russell Brookes, Mark Higgins, and Rauno Aaltonen (above) in action on the live Rally Stage.
Vintage Racecar’s UK office had a booth at the show with a Connaught B7 as its centerpiece (below). The B7 was driven, in period, by Archie Scott-Brown, Roy Salvadori, and Bob Gerrard. It was also the car that current F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone failed to qualify for the 1958 Monaco GP. The car was kindly loaned to Vintage Racecar by present owner Patrick Morgan of Dawn Treader Engineering, who is to restore the car.
Now owned by Live Promotions, Race Retro also featured appearances for Paddy Hopkirk, Barry “Whizzo” Williams, Rosemary Smith, and Tony Mason on the interview stage. Colin Ward, Managing Director of Live Promotions, said: “We couldn’t have asked for a better weekend with the weather and the increased visitor numbers. As new owners, the most important aspect of the show for us was to encourage a younger audience into Race Retro and historic motorsport, and it was great to see so many families and youngsters at the show over the weekend.”
H&H Classic Auction also proved successful with over £990,000 worth of sales. A 1954 Arnolt Bristol Bolide was sold for £115,500 while a 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT was bought for £77,000. Although the 24-carat-gold-painted Aston Martin proved too rich for most, a fully inscribed silver cup from the Dutch TT, Assen, awarded to Mike Hailwood for his victory in the 350cc race of 1966 secured a price of £13,500.