We’re back in the real world after a brief trip back in time to the golden age of motorsport with this weekend’s Sydney Retro Racefest, and that makes it prime time to reminisce and check out some photos!
Thank you to everyone who got involved in the event and helped to put on two action-packed, welcoming and fun days of historic racing! 2016’s Sydney Retro Racefest was held over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, the 11th and 12th of June, and saw a brilliant collection of historic sports and racing cars gather at Sydney Motorsport Park for a jam-packed weekend of racing.
We kicked off on Friday with practice, which gave competitors a chance to get settled in, catch up with friends and make sure their cars were nicely sorted for the weekend’s racing.
Entrants did an awe-inspiring job preparing their cars, as they always do, and each and every machine was something to behold. They looked magnificent in the long rays of the winter sun, which thankfully shone on us unabated throughout the weekend – a very welcome change from the typhonic weather just a week prior!
The work we see is undoubtedly the tip of the iceberg of what goes into preparing for and running these events, and we’re extremely grateful for all that competitors do to get involved, as well as the care with which they do so.
We were pleased to be joined by a varied and storied collection of motor cars at Racefest, from the very exotic to the workhorses which fueled Australian motorsport in its formative and golden years. It’s lovely to see such variety in the cars which race with us, as it is the verve with which they are raced!
This year the event was headlined by the magnificent Australian muscle of the Heritage Touring Car series, and the legends of Bathurst did not disappoint. Drivers race door to door with all the vigor of the cars’ careers in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, but with a level of respect, neatness and professionalism that makes them a joy to watch and to host.
Despite a few racing incidents throughout the weekend, racing was similarly exciting and respectful throughout all of our categories – Q & R Racing & Sports and F5000, Group M & O Racing & Sports and Formula Vee, Formula Ford, Group N, Group S, Regularity and the aforementioned Group C & A touring cars of the Heritage Touring Cars Series.
Thank you to the drivers for respecting each other, leaving racing room and providing a safe, fun and social environment in which to race our historic cars. And for putting on a magnificent show for those of us who aren’t behind the wheel!
Speaking of a magnificent show – the excitement of a historic race meeting is not just found out on the track. We take great joy in providing unrivaled access for spectators to competitors and their cars. Retro Racefest 2016 was no exception, and the pits and paddock of the event were wonderful to hang out in.
The historic racing community is exceptionally friendly and social, so a wander through the pits always involves many a stop to catch up with friends, or make some new ones – and that’s what it’s all about really! Thank you for building such a warm and welcoming community and making the atmosphere at HSRCA events exceedingly pleasant.
Mercedes-Benz Parramatta, Sydney Retro Racefest’s major sponsors, set up an excellent display in the paddock, and brought along some particularly nice toys including one very exciting looking AMG race car. We will forgive them for the unexpected desires and potential lightening of the pocketbook that this has resulted in.
We would also like to thank them for providing the safety car for the weekend!
Club Lotus Australia and Simply Sports Cars were responsible for another excellent display in the paddock. The display featured six absolutely gorgeous Lotus Elevens, there to celebrate the model’s 60th birthday, as well as the brand new Lotus Evora 400 and a selection of classic and modern Lotuses. The Elevens in particular were lovely to see, both in the display and out in Regularity, and with some coming all the way from Queensland we’d like to send a special thank you to those involved.
We would also like to thank the car clubs who put on the classic car display as you entered the facilities. The response to this was magnificent, even surpassing 2015’s efforts, and we loved checking out the immaculately presented classic cars. Another relaxed and social area to explore and chat cars, life and everything!
As always, we finish on our most important thanks. Historic motorsport is made possible by many talented and dedicated volunteers, and we owe all of this to them. A huge amount of work goes into every aspect of a race meeting like this, and we wouldn’t be able to do it without the volunteers who dedicate their time, talent and love to giving us this opportunity to get together and go racing.
THANK YOU from everyone involved for giving us these opportunities and keeping us safe, and for all that you give to this sport and its community!
With that said, I imagine you’re well and truly ready to get to the photos! Take a few minutes to click through the links below and enjoy the many photos contributed by the talented photographers who cover our events.
Images thanks to Glenn Albert, Jeremy Braithwaite, Jeremy Dale Rod Mackenzie, Brent Murray, Seth Reinhardt, Mark Richards, Stuart Row and Peter Schell. Please click their names to click through to their websites for more, to organise prints and to support their work. To get in contact with Seth, Jeremy or Peter, send Seth an email at [email protected].
Once you’ve enjoyed the photos, make sure to hit play on the videos below to enjoy Blend Line TV’s fantastic coverage of Sunday’s trophy races.
Next up, we’re heading to Wakefield Park in September for our Spring Historic race meeting. We can’t wait to do it all over again, and hope you join us there!