The Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA) and Bonhams today announced a new series for under 2 Liter sports racing cars built between 1950 and 1962 to take place at the HMSA’s Barber Historics and The Sommet des Legends in 2016. The U2 series will feature the “giant killer” sports racing cars from the 1950’s such as the Lotus 11, Lola Mk1, Maserati 200S(I), Ferrari 500TR(C), Ferrari 196 Dino SP and Porsche 550/RSK/RS60-62. Drivers will be competing both on and off the track with awards given for race results and best “giant killer” performance, as well as the most period correct car on the grid and for the person and or team who best exhibits the spirit of the 1950’s sports racing scene.
“At Bonhams we see the world’s best collectable automobiles at our auctions every year,” commented Mark Osborne. “The new Bonhams U2 Challenge series will allow fans and participants alike to fully appreciate these great cars by seeing and hearing them in action racing wheel to wheel on the track”.
In the 1950’s sports car racing was just as important as Formula 1. Races such as Le Mans, the Mille Miglia, and the Nurburgring attracted all the top drivers of the day and had classes based on the type of car and engine size. The under 2-liter cars were used as a stepping stone for drivers wanting to make it to the big time and would, as a result, regularly push their larger engined competitors for high overall results. The spirit of the underdog succeeding over bigger stronger rivals was too good to resist for racers and fans alike. Future formula one stars such as Graham Hill and Howden Ganley got their start racing these cars and even the designers such as Colin Chapman of Lotus and Eric Broadley of Lola could be seen racing and winning in their own creations.
The 1950’s were a special time in history of motorsports. The war was over, business was booming, and people fell in love with sports cars. Racing was a high adrenaline fix that attracted the brightest and the best. With series like the new Bonhams U2 series HMSA continues to celebrate the people and cars that were the foundation of the sport we all love today.