What’s enough to make a grown man’s eyes light up and a grin spread across his face? Why, the Red Bull Ring Classics, of course! In ideal weather for a day at the races, thousands of fans descended on Spielberg for a nostalgic journey back to the golden age of motorsport, featuring more than 200 historic racing cars.
The roll call of classic racing series selected to fill Saturday’s programme of events included the Group C Supercup, the BOSS GP, the Alfa Revival Cup, CanAm & Sportscars, the Sports Car Challenge, 100 Miles of Red Bull Ring Classics, the Youngtimer Touring Car Challenge, the Dunlop Gentle Drivers ’65, the Super Sixties and the Touring Cars Golden Era. Fans were allowed into the paddock, where they had a close-up view of the veteran vehicles as parts, secured at the last-minute, were hastily fitted and, in some cases, an automotive diva required emergency resuscitation. During the interludes between races, Ferrari Sharknoses, Lotus models from ChromeCars in illustrious black-and-gold livery, and a 52-year-old BMW 3.0 CSL were taken out on show runs. It was an action-packed day, but the entertainment on Sunday promises to be no less spectacular.
Before everyone gets carried away, we need to explain that the great Sebastian Vettel is not making a motorsport comeback at the Red Bull Ring Classics. However, his younger brother Fabian is making his debut in the Boss GP Racing Series. Under the watchful eye of his father, Norbert, the 24-year-old showcased his own driving skills in a GP2 racing car fielded by the Austrian team Top Speed. Unlike in Formula 1, the drivers are not partitioned off from the public at the Red Bull Ring Classics; instead, they move around freely in the paddock. And there are no ‘restricted zones’ for the fans either – they can amble around in the pits and indulge in nostalgic memories while inspecting historic racing cars at close quarters. Anyone who failed initially to spot their motorsport hero in the paddock got a second chance at the autograph sessions and during interviews on stage in the Fan Zone. On Saturday, stars of the sport such as three-time Le Mans winner Marco Werner and motorsport stalwart Prince Leopold of Bavaria were in attendance.
The grand finale on Sunday will serve up all the events listed on the programme plus some bonus features. At midday, the Flying Bulls’ F4U-4 Corsair will perform a lap of honour above the Red Bull Ring. Tickets are available at the box office (open from 08.00 am). Your ticket is your passport to the racing of yesteryear, granting you free access to all open grandstands, the paddock, the Fan Zone, autograph sessions and the Pit Lane Walk. If you would like to get even closer to the action on the track, you can book a Service Road Tour. Special tour cars will take you around the Red Bull Ring to selected photo spots – an experience usually reserved for professional photographers and VIPs.