Classic Outback Trial at Race Retro – February 2015

After their enjoyment of the 2014 Classic Outback Trial, the two UK entries of Warren Briggs and David and Sarah Rayner returned home raving about their adventure down under.

Warren Briggs suggested we share the fun – he suggested that we should attend the Race Retro exhibition in February 2015 in Stoneleigh, Coventry UK to promote the 2016 event. Race Retro is “aimed at the historic trade for the active competitor and classic motorsport enthusiast”.

Race Retro promo banner

Around 28,000 people attend the event over 3 days in 5 very large exhibition halls.

With the enthusiastic support of David and Sarah Raynor, Warren Briggs and the Northern Territory Tourism, the decision to attend and internationally promote the 2016 event in Alice Springs was made.

Assisted by regular COT competitor and entrant in many international rallies, Ian Swan, we departed Australia and arrived in the wet and cold UK with LOT’S of brochures and other display material, and were greeted by Warren Briggs.

On a typical cold wet winter’s day we set up the stand on Thursday 19 February and displayed the wonderful red Mustang of Warren’s along with a very nice 3.0ltr 1972 Porsche kindly loaned by Francis Tuthill, maker of some of the world’s finest Porsche rally cars.

The COT stand

Ready for business

The stand was well visited. The cars and banners, featuring outback red tracks, blue skies and sun, certainly attracted many people. Our visitors included World Champion Ari Vatenan, who stopped in for a chat.

While it is difficult to estimate how successful we have been, we had a very positive response, including many people leaving contact details to learn more and great social media support during the exhibition. With the exchange rate in a very positive position for the UK to Australia dollar, our package prices were very popular, with many talking about combining a run in our event with a holiday in the fabulous Northern Territory.

We had the fortunate experience to visit the Tuthill Porsche workshop and it was easy to see why they build rally-winning cars. From a bare chassis to the finished product the eye for detail and build finish was very impressive.

Back in Australia now and we will be following up the people we met at Race Retro in the hope they will join us for the 2016 event in Alice Springs. It was a great trip – thank you to Warren Briggs, David and Sarah Rayner and Francis Tuthill for both their company and support in getting us to Race Retro.

See more of my pics from the trip at Race Retro gallery.

Philip Bernadou
Event Director