With no-holds-barred racing between some of the world’s most celebrated and valuable cars it is no wonder the RAC TT Celebration race is Revival’s showpiece event. This year it will be more unmissable than ever.
The hour-long, two-driver event is Revival’s biggest race and certainly one of the most closely fought, in defiance of the cars’ values – the TT is the world’s most valuable historic motor race. When the cars line up on the grid their collective worth will be in the region of £150 million (and, GRR fervently hopes, still that amount at the end of the race!).
No surprise then that the ‘Tourist Trophy’ is the race that Revival stops for, with eyes out on stalks at every circuit vantage point as early 1960s closed-cockpit GTs like the Ferrari 250 GTO, Aston Martin DB4GT and Project cars, Lightweight E-type and Listers all race as they were intended to race – flat out – in the hands of some of the greatest drivers. Frantic pitstops and driver changes add to the excitement.
There are some special reasons that make this year’s TT – Race No.14 on Sunday afternoon – even more of a must-see than usual. A sensational driver line-up includes a host of Le Mans talent such as La Sarthe’s most successful driver: nine-times victor Tom Kristensen. Tom will be driving the 1963 Lister Coupe formerly raced by Anthony Reid.
Tom won the TT in 2011 and will be out to do so again this year. He won’t have it his own way though, with Le Mans compatriots Emanuele Pirro, Jackie Oliver, Richard Attwood, Andy Wallace, Jochen Mass and Mark Blundell among the drivers all keen to show what they can do in this most prestigious of historic races.
The car line-up this year is just as sensational and features a pair of that iconic ‘60s GT racer, the Shelby Daytona Coupe. It’s the AC Cobra-based car’s 50th anniversary in 2015 and Revival is marking it by reuniting for the first time all six examples ever made. You will be able to see them on the circuit in demo runs all weekend as well as in a re-creation of the pitlane complex at Sebring, scene of many of the Daytona Coupe’s victories. The icing on the cake will be to see two of them (at least) racing in the TT – one of them by our favourite racing Frenchman (and another driver familiar with the Le Mans podium), Nic Minassian.
The Daytona Coupes will be joined on the TT grid by six significant other Shelby cars – Cobras. Always exciting to watch, one of them this year is being driven by touring car ace and Revival favourite Anthony Reid. GRR went testing with Anthony in the car a while back and you can see our in-car video of that here.
What else on the grid? A brace of Aston DB4 GTs and Aston Project 212, the spectacular ISO Bizzarini A3C, seven E-types including the ‘low drag’ coupe, a Sunbeam Lister Tiger (with touring car champion Matt Neal at the wheel), a Chevy Corvette Stingray along, of course, with the stupendous Lister Coupe that Mr Kristensen will be driving.
Anything missing? Of course: no TT would be complete without Ferrari and this year we are in for a treat with a 250 GTO, two 250 LMs, the unique 250 GT ‘Breadvan’, and a 330 GTO.
It will all add up on Sunday 13 September to an hour of spectacular historic motor racing, as closely fought as last year (when an AC Cobra won, see our highlights video here) and indeed as closely fought as Tourist Trophy races held at Goodwood in period.
There were seven of those, between 1958 and 1964, with Aston winning two with the DBR1 and Ferrari claiming victory in the others. Most winning driver? Stirling Moss of course, as in this priceless video clip from the 1961 race:
The narrator’s line at the end – ‘up against Stirling Moss you’ve got as much chance as a DA up against Perry Mason!’ – is perfectly in period, just like the RAC TT Celebration itself.