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Get set for the 47th Historic Winton

This weekend sees the annual Historic Winton event take place, organised by the Austin 7 Club in association with HMRAV. The 2024 edition is the 47th running of the event and is the countries longest running historic car and motorcycle event. If you enjoy your four-wheel or two-wheel history, it is something you are not going to want to miss.

This year the event is celebrating 60 years of the Ford Cortina in Australia, 50 years of the Lamborghini Countach, 60 years of the Porsche 911 and Ford Mustang, 100 years of the Bugatti Type 35, 125 years of Fiat and so, so, much more.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Ford Cortina, with thanks to the Historic Touring Car Association of Victoria (HTCV) and Cortina Mk 1 Owners Club, on Saturday afternoon at 2.00pm the 6-lap Cortina Challenge will take place.

This is likely to be one of the drawcard races of the 2024 event, as the secretary of the HTCV Jim Collins explained the Mk1 Cortina has remained one of the most popular cars racing in Historic Touring Cars.

“How better to celebrate the 60 plus years of competition than to have a “Cortina Challenge” feature race on the short track at the Historic Winton meeting, where numerous drivers would have had their first experience of historic racing,” Collins said.

“The challenge is open to all Mk1 Cortina Group Nb and Nc class log booked competition vehicles.

“The Winton short circuit used for Historic Winton has always been considered ideal for the Cortina. The drivers will be checking that they will have the right diff ratio for their car and brakes are in excellent working order before the event.”

One rivalry that has been going on for many decades on two wheels is Harley Davidson versus Indian Motorcycles, and at Winton that battle will be fought on the racetrack.

There will be no less than four Harley versus Indian Hand Shift battle races contested during the weekend. Notably as well sidecars will be on track, very rarely do we get to ever see sidecars race in Australia.

The event will commence at 8.30am on Saturday, with racing starting just a smidge after 11.45am.

The 20th and final race of the day concludes with the 10 lap Alan Jones Trophy race for Group S cars which starts at 4.22pm.
Sunday’s racing action starts at 8.30am, with the final race of the day, again Group S machines ending the day with there final race starting at 4.23pm.

The car racing categories include (many of the car classes will share the other track with other similar machines)

• Ja & Jb Vintage Cars (Pre-1931)
• Ka and Kb Post-Vintage Thoroughbred Cars (1931-1940)
• Lb Sports-racing & racing cars 1/1/1941 up to 31/12/1960
• M Racing & Sports racing 1/1/1961 up to 31/12/1965
• Na Production Touring Cars Pre-1958
• Nb Production Touring Cars (Pre-1965)
• Nc Production Touring Cars (1965-1972)
• Racing & Sports Racing Cars (1966-1969)
• Q Racing & Sports Racing Cars (1970-1977)
• R Sports and Racing Cars 1978 – 1987
• Sa Production Sports Cars (1941-1960)
• Sb Production Sports Cars (1961-1969)
• Sc Production Sports Cars (1970-1977)
• Formula Vee (Va pre-1975) and (Vb 1975-1985)
• Formula Ford (Fa pre-1978 and Fb 1978-1983)
• Regularity Trials

Bike classes include

• Class C
• 125cc
• P3 250cc
• P4 250cc
• Solos
• Sidecars
• P3 350cc
• 500cc
• P3 Unlimited Solos
• P4 350cc up to P4 Unlimited Solos
• P5 250cc up to P5 Unlimited Solos
• Harley v Indian Hand Shift Battle

It is not just an event for people to reminisce about the old cars, many young up and comers will be competing, including Abby Wingett who will be steering a 1962 Elfin Formula Junior. The 23-year-old is greatly looking forward to jumping behind the wheel.

“Bill Hemming’s asked me to race his 1962 Elfin in the Lb category which is racing, that’s the real deal,” she said.
“The car is very difficult to drive with the engine needing to run at 4,000 revs per minute and up to be drivable.
“I’m practicing hard and am ready to go. It’s a privilege to be racing the car that’s raced in over 30 circuits worldwide.”

As well as the 400 vehicles on track, there will be huge car and motorcycle displays as well.

One of the anniversary displays is the 90 years of the Austin 7 ‘Jewel’ collection. While on the two-wheeled side, there will be a display of motorbikes over 100 years old, and contains the 1914 Tourist Trophy winner.

Before the event even commences, on Friday the 24th of May, the 2024 Benalla Historic Vehicle tour will take place.
Organiser, Benalla Rural City Council’s Visitor Economy Coordinator, Alison Angus said the full day tour covers a wide range of locations and activities throughout the day.

“Once the historic vehicle enthusiasts depart at 8:30am, they will enjoy six different Benalla tourism treats,” Angus said. “They’ll meet farmer of the year, Mark Foletta, visit Kooyonga Winery, do a few laps of Winton Motor Raceway, and that’s just the first half of the day.”

The 2024 edition of Historic Winton is one you are not going to want to miss, it takes place this weekend May 25-26. Tickets available online and at the gate.

If you can’t make it trackside during the weekend there is no need to panic, you won’t miss a second of the racing action as for the first time ever, Historic Winton will be streamed. The team at Blend Line TV will be livestreaming every race throughout the weekend through its premium platform. For just $8 you can view all of the action on demand whenever you wish.

Photographer: Peter Knights
Photographer: Neil Hammond
Photographer: Col Roper
Photographer: Chris Barbour
Photographer: Andy Day
Photographer: Allan Hughes

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