Entries are rolling in for New Zealands favourite Historic and Classic motor race event, the 25th Anniversary of what is known as the SKOPE Classic, to be run on the 5/6/7th February and this year to feature the Historic Touring Cars, genuine or most excellent replica’s of the cars which raced in British and Europe Touring Cars and for a time in Australia and New Zealand in the eighties and nineties.
The sight and sound of the big cat Jaguar XJS, V8 Rover Vitesse, BMW 635csi, Sierra Cosworths, the more nimble BMW M3’s in race trim reverberating around the streets of Wellington captured the imagination of anyone who had a smidgeon of race fuel running through their veins. Drivers such as Longhurst, Bowe, Johnston, Brock, Richards, Brancatelli became household names and some of these drivers will join SKOPE 2016 to help celebrate the occasion.
Jim Richards is back to drive the beautifully presented JPS BMW 635 csi in Group C spec , Brancatelli will reunite with the BMW M3 he raced back in the day while Tony Longhurst will pedal the later BMW E36 Supertourer while Angus Fogg, ‘the entertainer’ will negotiate the ex. Prince/Hourigan XJS Jaguar’s way around Ruapuna.
Also competing in the Historic Touring Car feature class are genuine racing saloons that represent the most historically significant and desirable examples of 1970’s European hardware still remaining in captivity. Gary Wilkinsons 1977 Zakspeed Escort and the Cologne Capri of Roger Townshend’s should be consigned to museum display, such is their value and rarity and they are a real treat for young and old whenever they are brought out to play. Playing they will be, in a grid that most probably represents the most valuable race cars ever to race at one time here in New Zealand, so much in fact that perhaps ten million dollars might only be a healthy deposit.
There is no doubting a raucous dose of V8 horse power provides the main attraction of many successful motorsport events. This weekend at the SKOPE Classic both V8 saloon cars and single seaters will deliver what they do best; the sights and sounds of big banger American and Aussie muscle cars and the big wings and slicks of the 5 Litre powered Formula 5000’s. Both classes provided popular motorsport entertainment back in the 60’s and 70’s and the SKOPE Classic each year reminds us of the reasons why.
This is just one class of nine racing at the SKOPE Classic, over 35 races of non stop action including Formula 5000, Sports and GT’s, Classic Single Seater and saloon cars plus those magnificent men in their vintage racing machines.
The Vintage racing cars, the grass roots of historic racing present their largest field for a long time with over 25 cars taking to the track including ageless machines from the 50’s and 60’s the Ace III, Edelbrock Special, Zephyr 260M, the Crowe Special, Peter Leversedge and the Stuart Special. The 1929 Vintage Chrysler 62 Six is the grand daddy of the field and there are some very special open air sports cars of the time MGTF’s, a C Type Jaguar, a Triumph TR3A and the very special Healey Corvette with Eric Swinbourne at the wheel.
Free entry for children under 15 is an ideal chance to show children and grand children what it was all about. Racing starts from 9.30am Saturday and Sunday.