This year’s Race Retro, powered by Motor Sport, will pay tribute to racing driver and long-time supporter Barrie Whizzo Williams when it returns to Stoneleigh Park from 22-24 February.
Barrie, who passed away in September 2018, had appeared at Stoneleigh Park every year from its inception. Naturally, ‘Whizzo’s’ passion for motorsport ensured he was a firm favourite - from demonstrating his enviable driving skills to his antics and anecdotes on the Live Stage, visitors were guaranteed to be entertained which makes this year’s tribute all the more poignant.
Acting Show Director Lee Masters said: “Barrie was one of the long-term stars of Race Retro, and you could see how the visitors reacted to him that he was as respected as he was loved. We will miss him and invite all those who knew him to join us at 11am on Friday 22 Feb at the Motor Sport Live Stage where rather than a minute’s silence, we’ll encourage a minute of applause in celebration of one of motor sport’s amazing characters.”
A proud member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, ‘Whizzo’ brought unfailing enthusiasm and dedication to his role as President (and latterly, Brand Ambassador) of the British Motorsport Marshalls Club. And forming a particularly special connection, the Club’s new Brand Ambassador, Andy ‘Ace’ Harrison, drove with him for many years and Race Retro is proud to announce Andy’s tribute Mini will be on display at the show along with a helmet in Barrie’s racing colours.
Named ‘Whizz’ in honour of the legendary racer the car has been owned by Andy since he was seventeen years old, and together with his long career in motorsport it is no wonder he has been made an Honorary Member of The Mini Cooper Register. Well-known on the race and rally scene, work on the car was completed at the beginning of 2018 and is a fitting testament to Barrie’s history with Mini.
Acquiring the nickname thanks to his flamboyant and entertaining driving style, Barrie’s career spanned more than 50 years and encompassed just about every form of top-level motorsport.
Making his competitive debut at Prescott way back in 1957, he would soon bring the famous Mini Cooper to prominence by giving the car its first notable rally win on the Welsh International Rally in January 1964.
But rallying was just one of Barrie’s many talents as he would use his legendary skills behind the wheel to taste success in everything from single-seaters - he would win first time out in Formula 3 - to touring cars, driving for the works Colt team in the British Touring Car Championship. There were also numerous victories in a variety of one-make championships and long-distance events.
And he would also prove hugely popular in historic racing circles, not only demonstrating that his fiercely competitive spirit remained undimmed but greeting all who met him with a ready smile and an entertaining anecdote or two.