BRING MOTORSPORT ENTHUSIASTS OUT IN FORCE AT RACE RETRO
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 over ten per cent with around 24,500 visitors enjoying rally legends Russell Brookes, Mark Higgins and Rauno Aaltonen in action on the live Rally Stage.
Thousands gathered to see Rauno reunited with his original 1964 Monte Carlo Rally Mini Cooper S before joining Mark Higgins in the 2008 Aston Martin GT V8 Rally car. Russell Brookes put the Andrews ‘Heat for Hire’ cars through their paces while the drivers of Slowly Sideways GB showcased their skills in Porsches, Austin Healeys, Opels and Sunbeams.
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 where the most versatile man in motorsport Steve Parrish held court. Steve was joined by motorcycling racers Mick Grant and Guy Martin as well as playing quiz master for the Question of Motorsport.
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.”
And it wasn’t just the box office booming as the H&H Classic Auction also proved successful with over £800,000 worth of sales. A 1954 Arnolt Bristol Bolide was sold for £115,500 while a 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT was brought 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 Halewood for his 1st Place victory in the 350cc Race of 1966 secured a price of £13,500.