Buying the motorsport fan in your life a Christmas present that they can enjoy can be tricky. They probably already have enough pictures of their favourite cars and books about their favourite drivers, whilst the cupboard is full to bursting with unwatched race DVDs. So what do you do? Fortunately the staff at Travel Destinations are here to help you with this festive predicament.
So these are our motorsport gift suggestions for this Christmas. What are you going to choose?
You can make a reservation for any of the motorsport events featured on this website with just a deposit & we will send you a gift letter appropriate to that event.
*Alternatively you can purchase Travel Destinations gift vouchers. These are available in various amounts from £50.00 upwards. These can be sent straight away to be ready for Christmas day!
Call Travel Destinations now on 01707 329988 to book the perfect Christmas present for the motorsport fan in your life.
At a time when Formula 1 has witnessed a fall in audience numbers, and when the ground-breaking Formula E struggles to find a crowd, there is one form of motorsport that continues to grow in terms of spectator numbers and events. It is perhaps ironic then that these motorsport events focus on looking back at history, rather than forwards to the future. The growth in historic motorsport is not necessarily a new phenomenon, as it has been happening for many years, particularly in Europe, but now historic racing is attracting larger crowds and an international audience. The attraction is clear; historic motor racing appeals to the many not just the few.
Historic motorsport events are now being held all around Europe. Some are on existing circuits, whilst others utilize less well-known arenas. Some events feature full competitive racing, others concentrate on the display and uniqueness of the location, so it can be difficult to choose which event is best for you. Below we look at a selection of our favourites to show the differences across this growing motorsport sector.
Le Mans Classic; 3rd – 5th July 2020
Attracting crowds approaching 150,000 people, the Le Mans Classic has been a real success story for the organisers Peter Auto. Taking place every other year, the Le Mans Classic recreates the rich and varied history of Le Mans from 1923 right through to this century. To guarantee authenticity priority is given participants with cars that actually raced at Le Mans. For spectators there is much to see and do, with unique themed displays and car club areas covering large areas of the infield. Options are available for staying inside and outside the circuit, but we recommend you book early as the best options always sell out in advance.
Spa Classic; 17th – 19th May 2019
The little sister of the Le Mans Classic, the Spa Classic still attracts more than 30,000 spectators every year. The Spa-Francorchamps circuit has a rich and varied history which is reflected in the participating grids that include historic touring cars, endurance racers and single-seater Formula. In recent years the welcome addition of a Group C grid has added to the spectacular action on the track. Although spectators can’t stay on the circuit, there are plenty of options for hotels and camping in the local area, making the event very accessible.
Mille Miglia; 11th – 22nd May 2019
Attracting 450 of the finest vintage and classic cars in the world, along with their professional and celebrity drivers the legendary Mille Miglia recreates an open-road endurance race that originally took place from 1927 until 1957. Beginning and ending in the Italian city of Brescia, with Rome marking the half-way point, this 1000-mile event has become one of the must-see events on the historic motorsport calendar.
Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or ; 6th – 10th June 2019
Originally held in the French town of Rouen back in 1964, this historic weekend of motorsport then moved to Montlhery, before finding its current home in Dijon in 2014. The Dijon-Prenois circuit was previously made famous by hosting the French Grand Prix between 1974 & 1988. This Peter Auto organised event features sixties endurance racers, historic touring cars, a whole grid of 2 litre Porsches as well as single seaters such as formula 2. There are car club displays away from the action on the track ensuring there is always something interesting to view.
Nurburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix; 8th – 12th August 2019
Around 600 cars will compete across 11 different grids across the weekend using a combination of the F1 circuit and famous Nordschelefe. Cars from pre-war through to end of the 1990s will be represented on track with manufacturers and clubs creating exclusive displays on the infield. Access is good for spectators with free grandstands, paddock and garage access throughout the weekend. There is a campsite adjacent to the track and a number of hotels in the local area making visiting this event simple and fun.
Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix; 5th – 9th September 2019
Nestled in the sand dunes of the Dutch coastline, this undulating circuit is perfect for hosting historic motorsport; It is challenging for the drivers and viewing opportunities are excellent for spectators. Expect to see grids of historic Formula 1, DTM, touring cars and historic world endurance championship challengers across the weekend. A relaxed paddock enables everyone to get close with cars and drivers alike. There are campsites and hotels within walking distance of the circuit making this event an easy introduction to historic motorsport.
Circuit des Remparts, Angouleme, 12th – 17th September 2019
Each year the French town of Angouleme comes alive to the sounds of engines as both vintage and classic car racers descend on the tightest of street circuits. Bugattis and Porsches will line the paddocks alongside Aston Martins and Jaguars, giving a really international feel to the event. In addition to the street racing on Sunday there are competitions and events throughout the weekend as classic car owners bring their own vehicles to join in the event.
Spa Six Hours, 27th – 30th September 2019
Just as the leaves on the Ardennes forest begin to change, this weekend of historic racing shows off the Spa-Francorchamps circuit at its best. There are many differing grids across the weekend but the signature race is the six hours endurance race that begins in the afternoon and finishes after dark. Expect to see AC Cobras, Jaguar E-Types and Ford GT40s both on the track and in the garages and access is unrestricted for all spectators. Once again campsites and hotels are available close to the track for this event.
For those that are looking to test themselves or learn new skills, Travel Destinations have also added a fantastic ice-driving experience with a long weekend in Sweden. Spaces are strictly limited and will sell out, so we recommend early booking.
To say we were excited about our visit to the Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix would be an understatement, and we were not disappointed. This year would be the seventh edition of the event and the organisers put on a very impressive show.
We chose to travel to the event via the Harwich to Hook of Holland route with Stena line. It was an extremely comfortable overnight crossing and with the Hook of Holland just over an hour drive to Zandvoort makes it extremely convenient too. We drove to the pretty town of Delft for a look around and coffee stop. It was then a short distance to the stunning Louwman museum. This is a ‘must do’ visit, the collection is breath taking and extremely well thought out and put together.
Zandvoort is a seaside town with a long sandy beach. The circuit is a short walk from the town amongst the dunes. We were staying at Centre Parcs which could not be situated more perfectly, adjacent to the circuit. In fact the noise of the cars practising on track as we arrived only heightened the excitement for the weekend. There is a large selection of bars and restaurants, that evening we elected to eat at a beach club whilst watching the sun set.
Saturday arrived and it was just a short walk through the dunes to the circuit, you are immediately into the paddock housing the Formula Juniors. The Paddocks got better and better as we walked through to the centre of the track. Attracting particular interest was the Porsche exhibition, as you entered the 908 Targa Florio car was the first car of the display. The rest of the exhibition housed some superb cars, notably the 4WD 961 that came 7th at Le Mans.
We made our way to the grandstands to watch some racing. First up a fantastic three way battle with the aforementioned Formula Juniors, made for a good start to the action. Next up were the local boys in their GT and Touring cars. Up the front was a very fast Porsche 935 K3 against a Ferrari Daytona which was doing well to hold its own, however in the end it was a Porsche 1,2 3. It was then Historic F2 and the very fast Matthew Watts in his March 772P, who was untouchable. The last race before the lunch break wasthe Historic Sports cars where Lola T70’s rumbled through for a comfortable 1-2 victory.
A real highlight was the ‘Tourenwagen’ class which mostly comprised of 90’s DTM cars. They put on a real show. This was followed by a very special BMW demonstration, only three cars but what a three! First up a M1 Procar driven by FIA Sportscar champion John Bosch. Next up a Mclaren F1 GTR Long Tail (in the BMW parade because of it’s Bavarian powerplant, of course) driven by BMW works driver Peter Kox. Lastly, local hero Jan Lammers drove the BMW V12 LMR, the car that won Le Mans in 1999.
Other famous drivers we spotted over the weekend were Arturo Mezario (in his iconic cowboy hat) driving a Ferrari 156 sharknose. Plus Le Mans winner Andy Wallace who was demonstrating the Le Mans Jaguar XJR9.
Plenty more fantastic grids raced on throughout the weekend including pre-66 Touring cars, F3-500 single seaters, the Gentleman Drivers 2 hours endurance race, F3 and not forgetting Historic F1, in which Nick Padmore (current Goodwood lap record holder) was mighty.
Another interesting addition to the weekend was the parade through the centre of Zandvoort town on Saturday evening. Lead by Jan Lammers, who is from Zandvoort, so at least he knew his way around! He was followed by 50 plus race cars as they did two laps around the town.
In summary we were really impressed with the event, superb grids, friendly atmosphere and Zandvoort is a lovely destination. Tour details will be published as soon as the dates for the 2019 event are confirmed.