The 10 best 2018 historic racing events in the UK

Celebrating motorsport's past while delivering deeply competitive classic racing – AutoClassics previews the highlights of the UK historic calendar

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The 76th Goodwood Members’ Meeting kicked-off the UK historic racing season in stunning fashion. But if you missed out owing to tickets selling out or it being, as the name suggests, a closed meeting then don’t despair. AutoClassics runs through the wealth of halo classic motorsport events in the UK still to come.

Donington Historic Festival

May 4-6. Donington Park, Derbyshire

Pre-war motorsport through till the 2006 BTCC will be in action at the Donington Historic Festival. Watching a flurry of Aston Martin DB4 GTs manage oversteer as they descend through the Craner Curves never gets repetitive. Add in the overhead traffic from East Midlands airport and engine notes reverberating off the grass banks and the DHF adds to something of a sensory overload. The circuit may only have hosted one grand prix in its history, but the circuit carries a proud history. For the full experience, a deviation through the circuit’s museum is well worth the entry fee to see the range of Vanwalls, McLarens and Williams lining the corridors.

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Brands Hatch Masters Historic Festival

May 26/27. Brands Hatch, Kent.

Arguably, the Masters-run championships are the most eminent in historic motorsport and the Brands Hatch Festival is the organiser’s blue riband event. That means two days dedicated to historic F1 cars from the 1970s and 80s plus the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championships. Most notably, this year’s event will be the UK debut of the Masters Endurance Legends series which houses late 90s and early 2000s sports and GT cars. The likes of the Aston Martin DBR9 and Peugeot 908 LMP1 car have all appeared with the fledgling series previously and the Kent circuit offers unrivalled views of the track.

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Thruxton 50th Anniversary Celebration

June 2/3. Thruxton, Hampshire.

Due to noise constraints, Thruxton is criminally underused. It’s the fastest circuit in Britain and undeniably fearsome for those lucky enough to have experienced it at race speed. To celebrate its golden anniversary, Super Touring cars and the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy and Stirling Moss Trophy will take centre stage. With the Williams FW08C F1 car and a wealth of Minis out on track also, it really does cover the breadth and scale of motorsport.

For more details click here.

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Goodwood Festival of Speed

July 12-15. Goodwood House, Chichester, Sussex

The Duke of Richmond’s annual hillclimb is as much modern car as classic, with current F1 and WRC drivers mixing it with the historics in action on the hillclimb and the slippery chalk surface of the rally stage. It’s also morphed into an exhibition for car manufacturers to launch brand new cars. With a timed shootout running also, there’s a healthy competitive element as cars brush the infamous Flint Wall.

For more details, click here.

Silverstone Classic

July 20-22. Silverstone, Northants

Branded as the world’s largest classic festival, over 100,000 spectators pass through the gates of Silverstone for the yearly Classic. The 2018 edition is shaping up nicely with celebrations for the 24 Hours of Daytona and 60 years of Formula Junior already confirmed. Alongside that, the usual contingent of Masters F1 and RAC Tourist Trophy races will star. Off circuit, campers will be treated to the likes of UB40 and cars clubs displaying on mass as the event’s popularity shows no signs of abating.

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Oulton Park Gold Cup

August 25-27. Oulton Park, Chesire.

Arguably the jewel in the Historic Sports Car Club’s season, the Gold Cup celebrates six decades of motorsport. It features sportscars, single-seaters and touring cars from the 1950s spanning through till the 80s. It draws huge crowds to the Cheshire circuit and, away from the stunning circuit action, super car displays, rally stages and a concours all feature. Of note, this year’s Gold Cup will celebrate 50 years of the Chevron B8 with a one-make race in its honour.

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Goodwood Revival

September 7-9. Goodwood Motor Circuit, Sussex

Arguably the greatest on this list, the Goodwood Revival is the most high profile historic motorsport event on the planet. No other event attracts quite this level of drivers and this many Ferrari 250 GTOs all in one place. Everyone passing through the gates is expected to wear period attire that would once have been commonplace at the Goodwood Motor Circuit between 1948 and ‘66 – which the Revival celebrates. On track, it offers deeply competitive motorsport and near-priceless grids of D-types, Ford GT40s and Lola T70s.

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Super Touring Festival

September 15/16. Knockhill, Fife.

In celebration of the most expensive and complex era of the British Touring Car Championship comes the Super Touring Festival. Held at the Knockhill circuit, expect plenty of two-wheel theatrics as the field clip the kerbing through the chicane. Plus, with a separate class for Group A cars that run alongside the post-92 two-litres, flame-spitting Ford Cosworth RS500s only add to the spectacle. Tin top greats such as Gabriele Tarquini, John Cleland, Frank Biela and Gianfranco Brancatelli have all appeared on the entry list in recent times too for that authentic nostalgic hit.

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Castle Combe Autumn Classic

October 6. Castle Combe, Wiltshire

Like Thruxton on this list, Castle Combe is another circuit that has managed to retain its intimate and historic charm. It’s high-speed and has little area for run-off before grass banks and tyre walls are there to collect the unfortunate. For the 2018 Castle Combe Autumn Classic, pre-1966 touring cars – with grids most likely dominated by Lotus Cortinas and American V8s – and celebrating the 24 Hours of Le Mans take centre stage with a separate demonstration of the Ford GT40. Away from the racing, car club displays will dominate the remaining space in the paddock.

For more details, click here.

Walter Hayes Trophy

November 3/4. Silverstone, Northants.

Strictly speaking, the Formula Ford-celebrating Walter Hayes Trophy isn’t a predominantly historic-orientated event. That being said the Historic Formula Ford grids produce great action. The real history here though is in continuing the 50-year legacy of the iconic single-seater formula. Reigning IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden and Formula 1 champions, including Ayrton Senna and Jenson Button, have all cut their teeth in a Kent-powered car. More than that, the on-track battling is simply unrivalled for its competitiveness. Testament to its draw, F1 commentators and sportscar champions litter the grandstands. With the winner gaining entry into Mazda’s Road To Indy shootout for a possible $200,000, it’s just as likely to create its own bit of history by giving a young driver a vital career boost.

For more details, click here.

More 2018 classic car events

For more events, please check out our diary of 2018 classic car events here.

Which are the greatest classic car events in the world? Click here to find out.

Start 2019 the right way

Autosport International

January 10-13. NEC, Birmingham.

With this year’s Autosport International already having been and gone, you’ll have to wait for 2019 to visit. But, it’s well worth hanging on as the show is a celebration of all ages of motorsport. Last year the World Rally Championship swapped Casino Square in Monaco for the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham for its launch. Recent editions have featured celebrations of rallycross – spanning from early, narrow-bodied 911s, through Group B heroes to the current iteration of supercars. The Autosport stage also attracts F1 world champions, American racing greats and Le Mans winners to reminisce in front of the audience.

For more details, click here.

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