The Espiritu de Montjuic 2019 was staged 5-7 April at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmeló, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Peter Auto’s first historic car race of the season featured eight grids battling the 16-turn, 4.655-km road course. Since opening in 1991, the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit has become the measuring rod for the manufacturers involved in Formula 1, making it fitting that the 2019 historic racing season should kick off on this benchmark layout.
In 2004, Peter Auto introduced Classic Endurance Racing (CER) as a support grid for the Le Mans Series meetings. Fifteen years later CER has been transformed into one of the leading grids at Peter Auto events, serving as an inspiration for several more. Since its creation, six other grids have followed the trail it has blazed each one celebrating an era and a theme associated with endurance racing: cars in The Greatest’s Trophy, GTs from the 1960s in Sixties’ Endurance, Porsche 911s in the 2.0L Cup, the Francorchamps 24 Hours from the halcyon era of touring car racing in the Heritage Touring Cup, prototypes from the 1980s in Group C Racing and now supercars from the 1990s – 2000s in Endurance Racing Legends.
The latter, introduced last year as demonstrations, was held as a race for the first time at the Espiritu de Montjuic 2019. Certain observers who arrived at Montmeló asked whether it was a good idea to organise a race between relatively recent cars equipped with technologies that are difficult to operate in the context of motor races. Their questions were answered out on the track thanks to a fantastic battle between an Aston Martin DBR9, Bentley Speed 8, Chrysler Viper, Ferrari 333 SP and Panoz Esperante GT1, among others.
Other notable cars present at the Catalonian event that have not been seen racing for a long time were a Ferrari 250 GTO (1962), a 3.8-litre low-drag lightweight E-Type Jaguar (1963), an Alfa Romeo T33/TT3 (1972), a Lotus Esprit (1979), a Lola T600 (1981) and a Sauber C8 Kouros (1986).
The evocation of the Montjuich name brings to mind the eponymous team, a renowned local privateer outfit, which finished second in the 1971 Tour de France Automobile with its striking Ferrari 512 S. This prototype recognisable by its typical yellow livery raced in the CER 1 grid.
Similar to 2018, Sports Car Digest also documented the 2019 Espiritu de Montjuic with the following selections from Spain.
Espiritu de Montjuic 2019 – Photo Gallery (photos: Photo Classic Racing, Fotorissima, Julien Hergault)
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[Source: Peter Auto; photos: Photo Classic Racing, Fotorissima, Julien Hergault]