Journal: Blasting Around the Moscow Classic Grand Prix

Blasting Around the Moscow Classic Grand Prix

By Andrey Smazhilo
August 10, 2014

Photography by Maxim Gurianov for Petrolicious

Some are content simply enjoying their cars’ beautiful lines and gorgeous design. Others like to take it out on early-morning drives for coffee and to rendezvous with similarly-minded enthusiasts. But there are those, perhaps more hard-core, who are not content with just driving around town. They need to push the car and explore its limits on a track, in competition. Unsurprisingly, Russians are no exception.

It is hard to spot a classic car on Moscow’s streets for many reasons, one of which is the weather being too unstable and destructive to old metal. Fortunately, classic car owners start clubs and do go racing. This year a three-stage championship for classic cars, called the Moscow Classic Grand Prix, took place on Moscow Raceway–a racetrack on which a stage of DTM, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, is also held. And it is definitely the place to see some gorgeous classics!

At first, a classic car race might seem slow and undynamic but it only takes a short while to understand that speeds are lower due to the technical characteristics of the cars. People who race their cars on a racetrack don’t seem to be afraid of the possible consequences. Going full throttle in a 1925 Bentley and then throwing the car desperately into corners seems as natural as it can be. The car is large and charming, and does not look agile. Nevertheless, the lap times said the opposite–its teeth are still sharp. It took a win in its class–arranged according to the cars’ production year of cars–and it was more than words.

Another car that was seriously impressive was the Ferrari 308 Quattrovalvole, painted in traditional Rosso Corsa. A rare car in and of itself and the only one known to exist right now in Russia, it was not the fastest one in its class–muscle cars with their engines’ capacity being at least two times larger than the 2.9L of the Ferrari V8 were faster. But were the muscle cars more beautiful? Nope, not at all, since Italian design is hard to beat even forty years after.

Although the racing wasn’t professional-level, it’s good that it’s been established and great that people are out, not just driving but racing their classics. It also presented a terrific opportunity to witness some great old cars in action and see what they are capable of. If you’re still undecided whether you should try racing your vintage car or not, let Muhammad Ali’s words inspire you, “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it–then I can achieve it.” It’s true for racing too: have a little faith in yourself and simply prepare your car well, and you will achieve success in it. Or maybe not. But at least you’ll have a blast!

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Jo Moore
Jo Moore
9 years ago

“Ferrari 308 Quattrovalvole, painted in traditional Rosso Corsa. A rare car in and of itself and the only one known to exist right now in Russia…” Ha! That’s funny!!!
That’s because EVERYONE has Lamborghinis, 458s, Californias, etc. See ’em all the time blasting around the Garden Ring and down Noviy Arbat.
Also see this guy around Arbat all the time! He drives the shit out of his car!!

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