The Spirit of Montjuïc

A couple of weekends ago, the Espíritu de Montjuïc took place at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, launching this season’s Peter Auto series. In 2004, Peter Auto introduced Classic Endurance Racing as a support grid for the Le Mans Series meetings. It’s come a long way since then. Fifteen years later it’s been transformed into one of the leading grids at Peter Auto events and has been an inspiration for several more. Since its creation, six other grids have followed the trail it has blazed each one celebrating an era and a theme associated with endurance racing: exceptional cars in The Greatest’s Trophy, GTs from the 1960s in Sixties’ Endurance, Porsche 911s in the 2.0L Cup, the Francorchamps 24 Hours from the halcyon era of touring car racing in the Heritage Touring Cup, prototypes from the 1980s in Group C Racing and now supercars from the 1990s-2000s in Endurance Racing Legends.

The latter, introduced last year as demonstrations, was being held as a race for the first time in Barcelona. Thus, certain observers who arrived at Montmeló were still asking themselves whether it was a good idea to organise a confrontation between relatively recent cars equipped with technologies that are difficult to operate in the context of motor races. Their questions were answered out on the track thanks to a fantastic battle between an Aston Martin DBR9, Bentley Speed 8, Chrysler Viper, Ferrari 333 SP and Panoz Esperante GT1.

Other notable cars present at the Catalonian event that have not been seen racing for a long time were a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, a 3.8-litre low-drag lightweight E-Type Jaguar from 1963, a 1972 Alfa Romeo T33/TT3, and the 1986 Sauber C8 Kouros. There will be more at the next event, the Spa-Classic, with a Jaguar XJS/R entered in the Heritage Touring Cup. More proof, as if it were needed, that historic racing isn’t static and that the events are in a state of perpetual renewal.

Photos courtesy of © Peter Auto.