Estoril Classics – Get Yer Earplugs Out


Honestly folks, I don’t know where to even start.

I think if you’re addicted to motor racing and in need of a hit, this stuff is custom designed for you: I got gakked up on vroom chicken alright, am referring mainly to this rather marvellous Maserati 250F – and in blue! OMG, the sound it makes, the exhaust note, the flames – it’s a flame thrower on wheels. You can literally start seeing Fangio in front of your eyes, the strongest and wildest catharsis of my entire adult life.

I mean it spits flames at high revs and when it idles the floor in the garage shakes. Sweet Jesus! Scrap hybrid engines, this is what I want to see and hear.

And who can forget the croissant wing mounted right behind the front tyres, the tastiest bit of F1 aero I’ve ever seen. Look at that!

250F in all its glory

It’s not hugely fast through the corners and even 40-something year old Estoril is decidedly too modern for the venerable Maserati, I fancy watching it somewhere where it belongs naturally: Reims or old Nurburgring. It has to be driven the way it was designed to be driven, the Fangio way, on the limit, sliding, the Maestro way. The car is too precious and expensive to destroy it at a club event, so I get it that the owner was a bit catious with his driving. It was fun to watch regardless, big thumbs up to everyone responsible for bringing it to Estoril Classics.

The paddock was bustling with life, energy: one could spot Ari Vatanen casully chatting with Mikko Hirvonen. Massive legends. Mikko drove his old WRC Focus and did some impressive improvised donut celebrations on the main straight which sent the crowd into raptures. And it must’ve been the biggest crowd in a wee while. I was so glad to see the circuit once again full of life.

Hirvonen’s antics felt like an epic blast from the past: I watched Mikko in Porto in May 2010 doing the same thing in the same car during the Porto Roadshow/Rally Portugal. What a glorious reunion!

There’s so much more to talk about – in the next post.

I’d just like to thank Nick Padmore and Forza Historic for their warm welcome: I was once again invited by the team and took advantage of their coffee supply. Forza won the sportscar race later in the day (from pole in the pretty Chevron) and provided me with my favourite photo sequence of the day: driver change mid-race.

I was shooting with my mobile phone as a social experiment and it turned out quite old-fashined, in the spirit of the event; a decent effort from my Huawei. I never thought mobile phones could one day replace a proper camera! Anyway, driver change is invariably the high point of any sportscar race. You have the dynamics, brutal forces, adrenaline; it happens so fast, nothing is allowed to go wrong. It’s a lot of pressure, it’s drama. It’s what we want!

Another interesting discovery was our contributor’s Tony Hall’s mystic appearance in Estoril with his own racing team. I asked him on Twitter what went on/who was the second Hall and he commented: “It has to be my grandson as he is as mad as me but he has one advantage he is only two.”

Estoril Classics 2019

Please now take some time to review my photos my mobile phone took for me. Peace out.

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