Touring car legends celebrated with new race series

| 18 Feb 2019
Classic & Sports Car – Touring car legends celebrated with new race series

The evocative Dunlop Saloon Car Cup has been launched by the Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC), bringing three of the best-loved generations of touring cars together on one grid.

This new series will compete four times in 2019 between May and August across the UK, with three classes, each race paying tribute to a touring car legend: the Tom Walkinshaw Trophy, the Tim Harvey Trophy and the David Leslie Cup.

It promises to bring a mouth-watering selection of classic touring cars back on track going wheel-to-wheel, and the Cup will make its debut on 18/19 May at Silverstone.

Classic & Sports Car – Touring car legends celebrated with new race series
Tim Harvey (left) and Tom Walkinshaw

The Tom Walkinshaw Trophy will feature Group 1 cars and the HSCC anticipates that it will attract a broad range of racers from the ’70s to the ’80s.

In period, the class structure meant that you’d see anything from a Mini 1275GT to a Chevrolet Camaro take the start.

Walkinshaw passed away in 2010, but the HSCC has the blessing of his family and his son, Sean, is excited about what’s in store.

“It’s going to be great to see all these Group 1 cars on track, especially as this was way before my time. I’ll maybe even see one of my dad’s old cars race again.”

“I’m really grateful that the Trophy is using dad’s name,” he added. “He achieved so much in touring car racing, both as a driver and team owner and it all started in the ’70s Group 1 era.

“Touring cars were always my dad’s passion and it was the building block to what TWR eventually became.”

Classic & Sports Car – Touring car legends celebrated with new race series
Sierra RS500 Cosworths will once again please the crowds

Plenty more fantastic machines will be eligible for the Tim Harvey Trophy, for Group A-era touring cars.

The BTCC’s 1992 championship-winning driver still commentates on the series and is looking forward to seeing these cars race again.

“The Group A era had it all. Recognisable cars, more power than grip and rear wheel drive.

“My first BTCC win was in the V8 Rover Vitesse in 1987, but it was the Ford Sierra RS500 that became the fans’ favourite. I’m proud of my victories in the Labatt’s liveried Sierra.

“It’s going to be fabulous to see these cars emerge from collections and allow a new generation of fans to experience the sights and sounds of a brilliant era of touring car racing.”

Classic & Sports Car – Touring car legends celebrated with new race series
David Leslie led the Nissan team to success

The third – and most modern – era competing in the HSCC’s quartet of races will come together in a class named after another late British touring-car star, David Leslie.

Representing the Super Touring generation, in which almost 30 different models were homologated for racing, it’ll feature the likes of the Nissan Primera GT and Honda Accord.

Indeed, Leslie won in both of those models, as well as with Ecurie Ecosse Vauxhall Cavalier, and his family is delighted to see him honoured in this way, with his wife, Jane Leslie, saying there are “endless happy memories” of his years in the BTCC.

“It was a fantastic era of technology and competition and the family are truly honoured that David’s legacy will be celebrated with this event. The cars were sophisticated and demanding and I think the historic racing community is amazing in how they bring these cars and memories back to life.”

Cars from the lower-cost BTC Touring era of the early 2000s will also feature in this class.

Classic & Sports Car – Touring car legends celebrated with new race series
David Leslie was a much-loved BTCC star

“We’re delighted to have the support of the Leslie and Walkinshaw families and the endorsement from Tim Harvey,” says Andy Dee-Crowne, CEO of the HSCC.

“The three eras of Touring Car racing appeal to different generations and for the HSCC it marks a new opportunity. It widens our span of racing to include the ‘modern era’ of the mid-2000s and will attract a new fanbase to HSCC events.”

Visitors to this weekend’s Race Retro will be able to see a vehicle from the Dunlop Saloon Car Cup on the HSCC stand, and you’ll be able to catch the track action at one of these meetings:


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