Ricardo Tormo Valencia 3 – 4 March 2018
I have to be honest and say this race event ‘Racing Legends’ was not quite what I envisaged. I actually conjured up all sorts of thoughts the organisers going to resurrect the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio, Alberto Ascari, Ayrton Senna, Bruce McLaren? Or maybe the likes of Alain Prost, Niki Lauda, Nigel Mansell, Jackie Stewart would be in attendance! Not at all, I was wrong on all counts. Adrián Campos and Luis Pérez-Sala (both ex-Minardi F1) were on hand and motor bike champ Jorge Martínez Aspar.
On display in the garages was a Formula Nissan driven by Fernando Alonso and in which he won the 1999 championship and driving for Campos Racing. There was also the Minardi F1 car driven by Adrián Campos and sponsored by Lois. The organizers also proudly put on a tribute to the late great Angel Nieto who sadly lost his life in a tragic road accident last year.
Former racers Carlos Lavado and Carlos Cardus (who both raced in the 250cc world series in the early 90s) were on track showing the fans that they still had the racing speed and skills.
However, what I can say is what an absolutely fantastic ‘Racing Legends’ event the Ricardo Tormo and club organizers put on for the fans. I had expected perhaps to see a few old F1 cars like Maserati or Mercedes, a 60s Ferrari or a 70s Williams but what I did see were a collection of historic road cars and many classic racing motorcycles of varying ages from the 60s to more recent times. Triumph, Norton, Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, Bultaco, Seeley and many more were represented.
In addition to the many cars and motorcycles present at the circuit Ricardo Tormo, more than 6000 fans turned out for the event.
What fascinated me were the ages of the riders who were willing to race those historic motorcycles. I was born in the early 1950s and I think I was younger than most of the riders! One rider was walking around with crutches, other hunched over (I kid you not) but all were good at racing their machines.
I have to mention the mechanics for most of the older motorcycles, they were all more my age – they had to be to work on these engines, carburetors, coils, condensers, magnetos and old electrics. Timing the engine was done by listening with their ear as they tuned it.
There were a good selection of more modern cars and drivers who took to the track for the fun and thrill of racing. Porsche 911, BMW, Alfa Romeo, Ford Sierra Cosworth, Renault, Opel to name just a few.
This ‘Racing Legends’ event was obviously an enthusiast club event, with teams coming from Italy, Spain, UK and elsewhere. The good news was that there was not an FIA official anywhere poking their noses in and no Chase (let us make this more like the NFL) Carey.
It was my kind of racing – loud, smelly and tough. Man and machine v man and machine. I never thought I would love the smell of Castrol R so much. I am even thinking of promoting it as a perfume!
Hopefully my pics will help you understand what I witnessed this weekend. Would I go back for more another time? I think you know the answer to that!