DARIO FRANCHITTI RACES TO JOIN MOTORSPORT ROYALTY AT CLASSIC GALA OPENING
Dario Franchitti, a three times winner of the Indy 500 and four times IndyCar champion, is the latest star to join special Gala Evening celebrations on the opening day of the London Classic Car Show (Thursday 23rd February).
Scottish-born Franchitti, who also won the Daytona 24 Hours in a long and highly successful career, will join four other round-the-clock race winners in a unique celebration of classic motorsport at the show, which runs from 23-26 February at ExCeL, London.
The others are Le Mans legends Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell with no fewer than 11 wins between them, Emanuele Pirro, who claimed victory at Le Sarthe five times and Jürgen Barth, who also shared a Le Mans win with guest of honour Ickx. Bell, meanwhile, can add three wins at Daytona to the marathon men’s tally.
Another star confirmed at the Gala Evening will be TV’s classic car guru Quentin Willson – he and Franchitti will officially open the show’s tribute to Ferrari on the eve of the Prancing Horse’s 70th anniversary, with Ickx and Bell, who both raced for Scuderia Ferrari in Formula 1 and in sports cars, adding further to what is going to be a very special occasion.
One of the show’s highlights will be an incredible collection of 20 Ferrari road cars together worth a cool £120 million. Among the mouth-watering gems will be a 1961 250GTO, alone worth an estimated £35 million; a 1984 288 GTO, worth £2.2 million; and a glorious 1972 Dino that’s a positive bargain at ‘only’ £350,000.
Other models in the Tribute Collection include a 1952 212 Inter, a Daytona from 1971 and three more recent Ferrari supercars – an F40, Enzo and LaFerrari.
And there’ll be more fabulous Ferraris elsewhere at the huge show which, for its third year, is bigger than ever. Club 96 will have no fewer than five Ferraris – 288GTO, F40, 512BB, 365GT and a 430 Spider – on its stand while six Ferraris will also take to The Grand Avenue, the show’s indoor highway, at regular intervals during the four days of the show, allowing visitors to see and, just as importantly, hear the cars in action.
The show’s other highlights include The Perfect Ten – 60 iconic classic cars split into ten body-type categories – which will also be driven along The Grand Avenue and showcased in the Open Paddock where visitors can get up close to their favourites.
Jacky Ickx, meanwhile, will be fêted with a display of five significant cars from his remarkable career – Grand Prix single-seaters and endurance sports cars will rub shoulders with a Paris-Dakar rally car – while a new feature of Car Club Square will be the unique pop-up Beaulieu Autojumble opening on Saturday and Sunday.