Kristensen Reunited with 2003 Le Mans Bentley at Race Retro

Multi-Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen will be reunited with the Bentley Speed 8 he shared to victory at the 2003 Le Mans 24-Hours at Race Retro at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, 24th to the 26th of February. The Dane holds the record for Le Mans wins with nine, ranging from a win on his 1997 debut in the Porsche WSC-95 to a final success in 2013 in an Audi R18 e-tron quattro.

The win with Bentley came in a year when the factory Audi team stepped away from Le Mans allowing their sister-coming a run at winning the race, although they still had privateer teams running the all-conquering Audi R8 to take on. The Bentley has the Audi engines and ultimately the two Speed 8s took first and second,with Kristensen sharing the winning number seven car with Rinaldo Cappello and Guy Smith. The Bentley will be part of the Motor Sport Hall of Fame, a centre piece of Race Retro.

Other classics on display will be a brace Surtees DFV powered Formula One cars, TS7 and TS14. The TS7 was Team Surtees’ first Formula One car introduced for the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in 1970 driven by John Surtees, only to retire after 51 laps with an oil pressure problem. Surtees later won the Oulton Park Gold Cup in the car.

The TS14 was the first car to be introduced to complying with new safety regulations in 1972 and was driven by Mike Hailwood that season to take second in the Italians Grand prix amidst a raft of retirements. In 1973 Carlos Pace was third in Austria, but the car was always hampered by a lack of tyre development from Firestone.

Adding to the DFV 50th anniversary celebrations is James Hunt’s McLaren M23, the Williams FW08 raced to Championship victory by Keko Rosberg, and the Lotus 49B R10, along with the Cosworth 4-wheel and 6-wheel Tyrrell.  Lotus will also have a Jim Clark tribute with the first public viewing of Lotus 33 R11 in over 40-years, complete with Clark memorabilia from the Jim Clark Trust and Museum in Duns. 

Celebrating the Motorsport Hall of Fame inductees, the 1957 Vanwall which Sir Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks drove to success in the British Grand Prix will be on show. This was the first British car piloted by British drivers to win a World Championship race on its home ground.

There will also feature a 1950s D-Type Jaguar which has raced at the Sebring 12-hr, Aston Martin Racing’s endurance racer the V8 Vantage GTE, and a British Touring Cars Championship ex-works Rover 3500 SD1, driven in period by the likes of Steve Soper and Tom Walkinshaw.

Rally legends Markku Alén and Ari Vatanen are also represented with an ex-works Fiat 131 Abarth, and a Ford Escort 1700T, both driven by the drivers in period, displayed respectfully. They will also be reunited with period cars out on the Live Rally Stage, with both getting behind the wheel of the Subaru Legacy they drove in the early 1990s. Vatanen will also drive the iconic Rothmans Escort as well as the BMW M3.

Acting Show Director Lee Masters said: “We would like to thank all the owners who have supported Race Retro by loaning their cars and are so grateful in their efforts to make our 15th anniversary ‘’Super Show’ a huge success.”

The 2017 running of Race Retro will have more cars than ever before on static display as well as around 80 in action on the Live Rally Stage including examples of the Opel Manta 400, Ford Escort RS1800, and Sierra Cosworth, Dai Llewellyn’s Subaru Impreza 555, and the late Colin McRae’s Ford Focus WRC.

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