The living car museum hits the road

In an unmissable weekend for fans of historics, this weekend sees the launch of the FIA Historic Sports Car Championship and the return of the rebranded FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship.

While the FIA Historic Formula One Championship has formed a cornerstone of historic racing sice its inception in 1995, the 2013 season will see it rebranded and expanded in partnership with Masters Historic Racing. The series is now known as the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship, and will run alongside the FIA Historic Sports Car Championship.

“We are about to see a major revival of historic circuit championships, and thanks to this partnership with Masters Historic Racing, the FIA will offer two Championships equal to the prestige of the cars involve,” said John Hughes, President of the FIA Historic Motor Sport Commission.

“Bringing these Championships together in the context of the same meetings will strengthen their attractiveness for the public, for the teams entering cars and for the drivers, several of whom have cars in their collection which are able to compete in both championships. This confluence of all current FIA historic circuit championships is yet another indication of a successful future, possibly with even more categories in store for 2014.”

After this week’s season-opening event in Barcelona, the eight-round calendar will move on to Brand’s Hatch, Dijon-Prenois, Silverstone, Nurburgring, Zandvoort, and Spa-Francorchamps before concluding in Jerez de la Frontera in mid-October. The calendar exclusively features circuits that have played host to Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, although in some cases the configuration has been changed beyond recognition in the intervening years.

 “I am delighted that we have now become the guardians of the FIA Historic Formula One Championship, and to create for the first time a sister FIA championship for historic sports cars,” said Ron Maydon, President of Masters Historic Racing. “Having worked closely with the FIA over the past many months, we are delighted with the terms of the FIA agreement, which offers us freedom and security to develop both series in the coming years.

“We are pleased to be able to have kept our entry fees at similar levels to previous years, with the added benefit for all competitors of FIA Championship status. We hope we will be able to provide a focus for an excellent Historic Formula One category in 2013 and beyond, running alongside the new FIA Historic Sports Car Championship.”

The FIA Historic Sports Car Championship is open to Sports Cars, Prototype Sports Cars and Group 4 GTs from 1962 to 1974, and the grid will feature a number of iconic cars from the FIA World Sports Car Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Two historic F1 champions will be crowned in 2013 – one driver champion of the ground-effect cars, and one of the non-ground-effect cars.