With an action packed race schedule, a new rally stage and a diverse turnout of classics, the sixth Knockhill Speedfair and Classic Car Festival drew a decent crowd on the last Sunday in July.
But for regular Knockhill attendees there was perhaps too much similarity with the other summer meetings at the Fife-based Scottish circuit to create really impressive gate figures.
The static display of classics was diverse and appealing but the on-track action came exclusively from the Scottish Classic Sports and Saloons Championship and the Scottish Formula Ford Championship – the same as any other Scottish Motor Racing Club meet, but without the added variety of bike-engined Legends, Minis and modern Sports and Saloons.
Nonetheless, full grids helped keep things busy and interesting, and unusual cars such as George Leitch’s Mini Ogle, Harry Simpson’s Davrian and Scott Goodfellow’s Terrier Mk 2 caught the eye.
Fans of big engines and tyre smoke were entertained by Warren Dunbar’s power sliding Jaguar XJ-S while '80s Saturday night telly fans were amused at the sight of the Dukes of Hazzard-style livery of Shonny Paterson's TR8.
Other racing on the day featured the Scottish Formula Ford Championship with a particularly enthralling David Leslie Trophy Race. Current championship leader, Ken Thirwall, was in dominant mood taking both race wins in the Scottish Championship ahead and winning the David Leslie Trophy.
“It’s been a good day all round, three wins including the David Leslie Trophy, which is a big honour and l kept car intact. I’m really looking forward to the season finale now,” said Thirwall (below).
A new development for this year’s Speedfair was a purpose-built tarmac rally stage for the single-venue Speedfair Rally, which drew 26 crews from as far afield as the Borders and Aberdeen.
Classic Ford fans, in particular, got a treat with Mk1 Capris (above) and Mk2 Escorts in action although consensus among punters was that the stage needs to include more opportunity for the road rally cars to get past second gear so they can truly thrill.
Where the event did impress, however, was with the diversity of its static displays: more than 250 classics – from a late ’50s Cadillac Fleetwood (above) to a Ferrari Daytona and an Aston Martin DB4 – were on display in the event’s concours d’elegance which featured four decade-defined classes (1950s to 1980s) as well as a Commercial class (won by a 1965 Land Rover 110) and a club class.
First prize for the latter went to the Ferrari Owners' Club for its
amazing turnout (below) while the Restoration class was won by a 1936 Wolseley. Car of the Show went, rather fittingly – given the model’s golden
anniversary celebrations – to a Jaguar V12 E-type.
A good day out for most, but for the event to grow, a more radical overhaul is required: it’s a long flog for many English competitors and spectators paying a premium over a regular SMRC meet deserve to be rewarded with fresh and diverse grids.