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Sydney Classic Speed Festival – 2017

“Everything old was new again” across the June long weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park for the new Sydney Classic Speed Festival. The inaugural event focused on the Golden Era of  racing in the ‘60s and ‘70s, showcasing its fantastic cars and even some of the fabulous drivers!

Spekture couldn’t wait to see this event unfold – staff photographer Blake Curtis was on hand to hear and see these classic cars in action. Saturday’s events were threatened by the heavy rain and wind that had been present in Sydney all week leading up to the event, and whilst the clouds were low and grey, the rain held off to provide a dry track for the drivers and motorsports fans young and young-at-heart to enjoy.

Despite the threat of poor weather, crowd numbers were good, everyone excited to see the best of classic racing cars with a fun 60’s/70’s themed festival atmosphere. No less than eight race categories with a total of more than 13o entries were featured through the weekend’s racing, with new and exciting race formats including scratch, handicap and also split-grid starts providing fiercer competition on the track, and more exhilarating heart-in-your-mouth photo finishes.

One of the headline events was the phenomenal Formula 5000’s. These thundering open-wheelers were faster than the F1 Cars in their day; many being able to go top 300kmh (180pmh)!

A major feature were the Heritage Touring Cars which wowed the crowds at Bathurst from the 70’s through to the early 90’s. Fans were able to see the legendary cars of this era including Commodores, Falcons, Skylines, Sierras and BMWs. Furthermore, the ever-popular Sports and Touring Cars such as Porsche, Mustang, Camaro, Torana and Mini were among the crowd’s favorites. Also well attended at the meet were the historic Formula Fords celebrating their 50th Anniversary of international competition.

Aside from the competition, there was also themed entertainment, Retro and Car Club displays, and Sydney’s newest Concourse event, attracting hundreds of the best display vehicles in Sydney.

Whilst the event brought so many together to share their awesome machines, the racing across the weekend was also competitive. Winners of the races held over Saturday and Sunday included:

  • Group C and A – Saturday, Tony Alford (1991 Nissan Skyline GTR) and Sunday, Duncan MacKellar (1992 BMW E30 M3)
  • Formula 5000 – Saturday and Sunday, Tom Tweedie (1973 Chevron B24/28)
  • Formula Ford – Saturday and Sunday, Cameron Walters (1986 Van Diemen)
  • Group N – Saturday, Ben Wilkinson (1968 Ford Mustang) and Sunday, Brad Tilley (1964 Ford mustang)
  • Sports Cars – Saturday, Michal Gibson (Lola) and Sunday, Alan Nolan (197 Nola Chev)
  • BMW E30’s – Saturday and Sunday, Rob Neal (1983 E30 BMW M3)
  • Group S – Saturday, Geoff Morgan (1975 Porsche Carrera) and Sunday, Wayne Seabrook (1976 Porsche 911)

Classic motorsport events like these are a great reminder of what modern day racing is built on, and the camaraderie and sportsmanship between competitors, teams and fans was on show for all to see. The owners of these classic cars are to be congratulated for the time effort and funds invested in maintaining these rare and historical machines, and for sharing their passion with the enthusiasts and fans that made the event the success it was. We can’t wait to see the Sydney Classic Speed Festival on next year’s calendar!

Blake Curtis
Blake Curtis

Blake is a freelance photographer based in Sydney, Australia, focused on motorsport, glamour and commercial photography projects.

Having been involved in motorsport from the age of 11, Blake stepped away from racing to pursue interests behind the camera lens.

Blake holds CAMS photography accreditation for motorsport events within Australia, and has also photographed motorsport events internationally. Blake provides event coverage alongside his photography online here at Spekture.
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