2016 promises a host of historic delights – and while 2015 will be a tough act to follow the signs are that our fast-growing area of motorsport will again entertain and delight in the year ahead.
In the UK the big players have already set their stalls for the forthcoming season, with Goodwood as ever setting the benchmark with its Members’ Meeting, Festival of Speed and Revival events. The West Sussex venue has become a worldwide ‘name’ in historic motorsport, with numerous people on our recent US trip announcing ambitions to visit one day, but that is purely as a result of the work the Goodwood team have put in over the years to make a visit an immersive experience as much as a race meeting.
July’s Silverstone Classic continues its further refinement of a winning formula, with a host of varied races and demonstrations backed up by a packed infield of displays and classic cars – plus the ubiquitous ‘race and roll’ element which sees popular beat combos entertain in the evenings. If, as organisers claim, they saw 100,000 spectators over the three days of the 2015 event despite the heavy rain on the Friday and the Sunday, then it is obviously a winning formula.
The pearl in the shell for 2016 has to be the Le Mans Classic, the biennial French event a leap of faith for organisers when it started in 2002, but now a much anticipated staple on the historic calendar. Offering the opportunity to see classic cars separated into age groups take on the full Le Mans circuit for 24 hours of racing, France in the second weekend of July will be the place to be!
The HSR in the US have smartly moved to have their Classic 24 Hour at Daytona event out of step with the Le Mans Classic, but have announced a new 2016 season closer at Sebring which includes an aviation element combining both threads of the long heritage of the Florida circuit. Both the HSR and SVRA have full US schedules, events there with far more of an emphasis on competitors than the big crowd headline European meetings.
Other things to watch out for are the well-organised Peter Auto meetings (the Le Mans Classic just one of their scheduled events) which are enhanced this year with the addition of the popular Group C series. In the UK the HSCC and VSCC will be just two organisations with full and varied schedules – and we are aiming to fulfil an ambition to finally get to Shelsley Walsh for a VSCC meeting this season.
We are busy updating our calendar for 2016 – but if you need your fix of historics right away then the Sunday Scramble at Bicester Heritage in Oxfordshire on Sunday January 3rd will provide a fine start to the year!
Sunday Scramble, Bicester Heritage, Oxfordshire, UK - January 3rd.
Goodwood Members’ Meeting, Goodwood, West Sussex, UK – March 19th and 20th
Goodwood Festival of Speed, Goodwood, West Sussex, UK – June 23rd to 26th
Le Mans Classic, Le Mans, France – 8th to 10th July
Sliverstone Classic, Silverstone, Northants., UK – 29th to 31st July
Goodwood Revival, Goodwood, West Sussex, UK – September 9th to 11th
Sebring Historics and Classic 12 Hour Pistons and Props, Sebring, Florida, UK – December 1st to 4th