TEXT: JAVIER ROMAGOSA / PHOTOS: UNAI ONA
PeterAuto There is only one, and it organizes the best races in Europe. Over the years, the French organizer has grown to number one, with eight top-of-the-line events held per year. Its merit? Getting the best cars on the continent on the track thanks to a less than impeccable job.
As we said at the beginning of this chronicle, Patrick peter entered Spain through the Jarama Circuit, a classic layout that matched really well with the jewels that had to be released there. Two priceless editions, in 2016 and 2017, delighted a few fans from the downtown area, who were aware at all times that it was a historical event.
And is that, how many Ferraris 'pata negra', Porsches 917, real AC Cobras or Maserati barchettas have you seen lately? Personally, I have only had the privilege of doing it three times, two of them already reviewed. That is why I cannot be saddened that the disagreement between the organizer and the RACE about the desired dates has ruined such a magnificent opportunity to have a good time. I think it is an event that the Jarama I should never have let slip especially when Barcelona already had, as we will see below, its portion of high-octane retro.
Maserati 300S Vs. Seat 600: One thing does not take away the other
With that said, let's go with the Spirit of Montjuïc. In 2014 I was able to attend the fourth edition of this magnificent festival, which at that time was paired with the FIA Masters Historic Series. These are very similar to those of PeterAuto; They involve first-class machinery, albeit of a somewhat inferior character to that brought by the French except in regard to historic Formula 1, a discipline in which they have no competence. However, even with all the wonders present, it always gave me the feeling that the modern Circuit of Montmeló it was very big to the classics.
The distances are enormous and wherever you look, although there is a more or less reasonable amount of public, it always seems that the paddock and the stands are empty; it's cold and I don't like that. And speaking of the public, it is really a shame that the fans do not flock to these types of activities, because really, even if the entry costs 20 or 30 euros, they are unavoidable. Over the years, I realize that we have been pigeonholed into the world of popular classics without being able to appreciate the leading historical motorsport. And one thing does not take away the other, A Maserati 300S is just as incredible as a Seat 600, with the difference that the annual opportunities to see the first are unique and must be taken advantage of.
The Spirit of Montjuïc races 2018
This year, the weather in Espíritu de Montjuïc was variable: Friday and Saturday it held but on Sunday a good downpour fell. Far from sitting down, the participants and their Car 244 They gave their all in the races of the different series, which are the following:
The Classic Endurance Series They bring together sports cars and prototypes into two subcategories: 1966-71 and 1972-81. In these they run English fiber racing cars such as the Lola and the Chevrons and also a lot of Porsche 911 and even a porsche 917, un Ferrari 512M or an Alfa-Romeo T33, among others. Then there are the EuroF2, competition that brings together single-seaters participating in the European championship between 1967 and 1978 and that was not very crowded to say; and also the series of Group C, one of the highlights of the festival with devices such as the Porsche 962C, Mercedes C11 (!), Jaguar XJR12 or Rondeau M382, among other heavyweights in the world of resistance.
For its part, the Heritage Touring Cup takes us back to a place closer to Earth with its passenger cars from 1966 to 1984 typical of the European Touring Car Championship or ETCC. Thanks to this trophy, we were able to enjoy an infinity of Ford Capri and Escort that beat the copper with the de rigueur BMWs. Already in the Sixties Endurance, It was the turn of the pre-63 sports cars and the pre-66 GTs, whose nutritional peak. so to speak, they were undoubtedly the most 10 AC Cobra originals present.
We leave the best, in the opinion of this humble servant, for the end: In the Greatest Trophy They contained Italian machines of the size of several Ferrari 250s, a Maserati 300S, a Bizzarrini or an Alfa-Romeo Giulietta Sprint Zagato. The culmination was put in this category by the Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan and a 250 LM, in addition to the Maserati reviewed.
Given the modern conception of the Catalan circuit, PeterAuto left the old prewar glories at home. If already in the Jarama it seemed that the Bugatti, Alfa 8C and Delage 135 were moving slowly, here it would have been the closest thing to seeing a turtle race. Legends like those are much better in urban circuits than the one in Pau, where it is chilling to see the drivers crossing them at every turn. Finally, the other great absentees were the historic Formula 1, since at the moment the French giant does not work on this sporting discipline.
Festival in the paddock
As we have said in previous years, the truth is that the paddock could have been something more nurtured of classics. We are not referring to the racing cars that were exposed there while they did not thunder the track, but rather to the accompaniment of the clubs and the assistants with classic who are the ones who could bring the greatest number of vehicles to the festival and convert it, saving the distances, in a small Catalan Goodwood.
On the other hand, it has once again given us the feeling that those who did dare to support the event were confined to a corner of the circuit, thus reducing their prominence. Its legitimate space was occupied by the vintage market, the clown tent, the dance floor or the children's fair, among other elements arranged with the aim of turning the Spirit into a weekend activity for the whole family. We understand that this is necessary to be able to enjoy the fans accompanied, but we think that perhaps it would be good if they gave part of their space and centrality to the parking lot for classics.
Separate mention It deserves that a figure of the stature of Jürgen Barth, the famous Porsche driver who won the year 1977 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was signing copies of his book 'Racing & Recipes', and also the organized roundtable talk by the Catalan Federation of Antique Vehicles to discuss and report on the prohibition of driving classics in cities for environmental reasons.
Here we end, until next year!