2011 ‘Classic’ an Island paradise for enthusiasts
The Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motorsport from March 18-20 this year will again be paradise for car ‘perves’, with an entry approaching 500 vehicles – more than 30 from overseas – now certain for Australia’s largest historic circuit event.
And with special anniversaries being celebrated at the meeting for the Bathurst-winning Nissan GT-R (20 years), the XY Falcon GT HO (40 years), the Jaguar E-Type and the Mini (50 years) and the 60th anniversary of Porsche in Australia, there will be as much happening off the 4.55km Grand Prix circuit as on it over the weekend.
More than 60 cars are entered for the meeting’s Regularity events that will see an eclectic mix of vehicles compete against the clock in an average speed competition.
Standout vehicles from the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart in this event include the eight-cylinder Porsche 908-02 that won the 1969 Targa Florio road race in Sicily and the Type 718 RS60 Spyder that won the 1960 Daytona 24-Hour race outright.
Other notable vehicles to be seen on track include a 1928 Alfa Romeo 6c, a 1929 Bugatti Type 37A Grand Prix car, a 1948 Talbot Lago monoposto, a 1963 Austin Healey ‘Sebring’, a 1965 Alfa Romeo TZ1 and a rare 1974 Lancia Stratos Group 4 coupe.
A highlight of the historic Formula Ford races will be the appearance of 23 year-old Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series star Tim Blanchard in his 1973 Van Diemen. Blanchard finished runner-up in the 2010 Fujitsu series and also picked up the covered Mike Kable Young Gun Award for the best rookie driver.
The combined Group C & Group A touring car field of more than 30 cars will see at least seven V8 Toranas take on five Commodores, two BMW M3s, a Jaguar XJS V12 and an ex-factory Nissan Skyline HR31, while the rival Fords include a 1988 Sierra RS 500 Cosworth, a Falcon XD and two Capri 3.0S – one driven by 1965 Bathurst winner ‘Bo’ Seton.
Meanwhile there’s a huge Historic Touring Car entry, with the Over 3.0-Litre cars including 14 Mustangs, nine Torana XU-1s, two Valiant Chargers and an XY Falcon GT HO, while the Under 3.0-Litre category is currently over-subscribed with a waiting list!
The most popular category of the meeting is again Production Sports Cars, with 105 already entered – around a quarter of the total racing cars at the meeting!
The Group Sa and Sb cars are again fully-subscribed, with a lone Shelby GT350, a Chevrolet Corvette and a Morgan Plus 8 taking on 12 MGs, nine Austin Healeys, eight Triumph TRs, four Porsches, a Lotus Elan and a Mercedes-Benz 190SL.
And in the always-popular Group Sc, at least 10 Porsche 911s will face three De Tomaso Panteras, three MGB V8s, three Ferraris, a Renault Alpine and a Corvette Stingray.
With the feature event of the meeting being the Sunday’s 30-minute race for big banger sports cars, the 2011 Phillip Island Classic features one of the strongest sports car fields seen for many years, with nine Lolas, six Porsches, two Elfins, a Sauber-Mercedes and a genuine Ford GT40 amongst the early entries.
Off the track, the hundreds of display vehicles include special cars from 32 clubs in the Shannons Walk, with 200 on display Saturday and 400 on the Sunday.
Meanwhile there will be another 80 special vehicles on show in the enclosed Expo Centre throughout the weekend, including the original Aston Martin DBS used by George Lazenby (aka James Bond) in the film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ and the Volvo P1800 driven by Roger Moore (aka Simon Templar), in the 1960s TV series, The Saint.
A record 22 trade stands will offer visitors a wide range of historic motoring items from books, memorabilia and badges to posters and unique clothing.
The 2011 Philip Island Classic Festival of Motorsport is organised by the Victorian Historic racing Register and will again be supported by Shannons, CoolDrive and Penrite.
Friday 18th March $20.00
Saturday 19th March $25.00 (Gates Open 7.00am)
Sunday 20th March $35.00 (Gates Open 7.00am)
Two day pass $50.00
Three day pass $70.00
Children under 16 Free