Motor Racing Legends reports historic racers out in force
•Historic racing ‘extremely buoyant’ •Sir Stirling wins race… but loses battle over the colour of his car •1959 Le Mans-winning Aston Martin DBR1, and DBR1 which came second, to race at Le Mans The message from historic racers is ‘We still want to go racing, recession or not,’ according to historic race organiser Motor Racing Legends.
“We’ve seen a wave of fresh new entries to our three historic series this year, including some very special cars we’ve not had racing with us before,” says Duncan Wiltshire of Motor Racing Legends. “Rather than selling off their period machinery, or putting it into storage until the economy improves, owners of high-value historic race cars seem keener than ever to get out on track and compete in the most prestigious events. Since Motor Racing Legends has always focused on the top-flight cars – with genuine provenance and original period specifications – our series are benefiting from this. In the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy, for example, we had half-filled the grid within a week of publishing our entry forms – and the earliest entries included the genuine Ecurie Ecosse D-type ‘MWS 303’, a car we’ve not had racing with us before.”
Meanwhile, the Le Mans Legend, the historic support race to the Le Mans 24 Hours organised by Motor Racing Legends, has likewise welcomed unprecedented interest from owners and racers – including an entry from Sir Stirling Moss in his very own Osca FS372. Moss bought the car two years ago and first ran it in the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy race at Spa, last autumn – and won his class. At the time, the Osca raced unpainted because Sir Stirling and the car’s restorer, Rick Hall, couldn’t agree on the colour. Moss wanted it green; Hall wanted it red. Sir Stirling might have won the race but there is one battle he lost. The car will be racing in the Le Mans Legend, and this year’s Woodcote Trophy, resplendent in its fresh, new, red paint.
The Le Mans Legend race this year celebrates the Le Mans era of 1949-65, and welcomes entries from Le Mans-type cars which raced in the 24 Hours during that period. On Saturday 13th June 2009, shortly before Aston Martin contests the modern 24 Hours on this, the 50th anniversary of the marque’s legendary victory, the actual Le Mans-winning Aston Martin DBR1 from 1959 will be competing in the Le Mans Legend support race – as will the DBR1 which came second. The 1959 winner has been entered by Tim Samways Sporting & Historic Cars, along with two Ferraris from his stable. Says Samways, “Historic motorsport is extremely buoyant. There seems to be more interest than ever.”
As well as the Le Mans Legend, Motor Racing Legends runs three historic race series, each focusing on genuine historic cars running to period specification: the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy, the BRDC Historic Sportscars, and the Motor Racing Legends Pre-War Sports Car Series.