The British Race Festival took place in Zandvoort last weekend. The event, based on British motorsport, gets better every year.
The Italian event Italia a Zandvoort has been a busy event on the circuit for many years. The British Race Festival needs a little more time to get up, but that too is now moving in the right direction. That is not least because Louwman Exclusive is now involved in the event: that company is organizing the Louwman Exclusive Fandays. That fits well, because the company deals with the McLaren, Bentley, Morgan, Rolls-Royce and TVR brands, among others. Although of course there were also some visitors who pointed directly to the Lamborghinis, Maserati's and a few Lexus that the company had also taken with them, but that was of course mainly in the context of their own Fandays and not because of the British Race Festival. It was of course nice that the company also showed a few classics from the Louwman Museum.
XJS on the circuit
Instead of the sponsors, we were mainly concerned with the races that were also shown during the British Race Festival. As almost always with classic races, it didn't matter who won: for the visitors it is especially nice to see the cars in action on the track. There was a class in which the various Austin Healey models compete against each other, while the Ginetta GT5 Challenge was also present. Our favorite were perhaps the races of the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club, because it was a long time ago that we had seen an XJS on a circuit.
Pre-war cars well represented
We always like to see pre-war cars on the circuit. They were well represented, because the Vintage Revival is a big part of this event. As a result, almost 60 cars from the Dutch Vintage Sports Car Club (DVSCC) were present, from relatively simple Austin Sevens to exclusive Bugattis.
Within the program of the British Race Festival there was also a race with pre-war cars, the Owners Driver Mechanic series, organized by the British Vintage Sports-Car Club. The participating cars all came from the 1926-1939 period. Within that class it was a bit of a shock when a car crashed on Saturday afternoon, because pre-war cars usually have no roll cage and seatbelts. However, the injuries of the driver later proved to be less serious than was initially feared.
More and more classic events at Zandvoort
Just like with the Historic Grand Prix, an explicit attempt was made to involve the village of Zandvoort in the event. In this case it happened by driving through the village with Austin Healey's on Saturday afternoon and doing the same again on Sunday afternoon with all street-legal cars participating in the event. In addition, an attempt was made to make the paddock fuller due to the presence of car clubs, including the MG A Type Owners Holland.
Of course it was helped a little by the nice weather, but all in all, the British Race Festival is actually an increasingly better event. And of course we can only applaud that the number of classic events at Zandvoort is still growing. Next stop on Zandvoort: the Historic Grand Prix in the first weekend of September!
Photos: Maurice Dioncre