Zoute Grand Prix 2018. It’s only been a few weeks and we are already looking forward to Zoute Grand Prix 2019! With its 9th edition, Zoute Grand Prix keeps getting better each year. This oldtimer event is definitely a highlight for Belgian petrolheads. The 4 day car festival has a very varied program; from auctioning of classic cars, to concours d’elegance, to a 2 day oldtimer rally and many more! This year, Car Journalism got the opportunity to photograph as official photographers for the event, which gave us some unique opportunities.

Zoute Grand Prix starts off with the ZOUTE RALLY on Thursday 4 October. 200 cars from 1920 till 1965 are being prepared for the 2 day rally. I love to see how people passionately work on their cars. The technical scrutineering takes place on the dyke of Knokke and turns it into a paddock with a nice view on the coastline. This might be my favorite part of the rally! Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to knokke that day..

On Friday, I woke up early in the morning and took the train to Knokke. When arriving, I headed to the displayed cars of ZOUTE TOP MARQUES, which turns Knokke into an open air motorshow. This year, the Mercedes Project One stole the show and I saw it for the first time! Also some brand new cars were displayed such as the track-focused McLaren 600LT, McLaren’s 4th longtail, the Rolls Royce Cullinan, which I didn’t really like. Then there was this guy bringing his Audi Quattro S1 to the event. You sir, are a legend! I had a small conversation with the person driving this group B monster. He told me the car wasn’t factory built but it’s built by Audi and it has original parts of the Audi Quattro S1. Still very impressive nonetheles.

Photos by Sian Loyson

My Friday came slowly to an end around midnight. What a first day! and the best had yet to come! At home I decided to do some late night edits as I couldn’t wait untill the weekend was over.

ZOUTE CONCOURS D’Elegance

I only slept a few hours and woke up early in the morning and found my way to the ZOUTE CONCOURS D’Elegance. It was totally worth it as the sunrise combined with the fog was breathtaking!

First thing that came across my path on the golf course was the line-up of Iconic Cars;

The Italdesign Zerouno, the first car of Italdesign automobili speciali. I am more than happy I had the opportunity to photograph one, it could be the only one I will ever see. That’s not strange if you know only 5 units are built. The concept of this car is creating a road legal car with race car features and performance. The engine of this car, a naturally aspired 5.2 V10, is the engine we all know from the Audi R8 V10+/Lamborghini Huracan. This car is something else.

Another car Iconic Cars brought to the concours was the Ferrari Sergio by Pininfarina. Why is this car so cool? Because it’s a limited edition designed to celebrate their longstanding co-operation with Ferrari. You might think Sergio is a bit a weird name for a Ferrari, but Pininfarina named it after Sergio Pininfarina. The man, the legend! Only 6 units were built and it costs 5 million. Yes 5 milllion! It’s basicaly a 458 Spider with a design inspired by Pinifarina cars from 60’s and 70’s. Oh and if that isn’t already cool enough, the Ferrari Sergio has in fact the engine of a 458 Speciale Aperta.

The 3th car Iconic Cars brought was the almighty P1 GTR. The P1 GTR was first shown at Pebble Beach concours d’elegance back in 2014 and it was officially unveiled at Geneva Motorshow in 2015. With the P1 GTR, McLaren is celebrating 20 years since their 1995 24 hours of Le Mans victory with the F1 GTR. The P1 GTR is a Track only variant of the P1. But historic racing team and McLaren F1 specialists Lanzante Motorsport converted thus far 30 units to road legal circuit monsters.

Quite a special line-up if you ask me! But I’d have the P1 GTR for sure.

Photos by Sian Loyson

photos by Beau Ackx

Porsche celebrates their 70th anniversary and we already had a few exciting surprises such as the modern Porsche 935 and the all new 991 Speedster. So the biggest theme at the concours d’elegance of Zoute Grand Prix was Porsche’s 70 years.
The Porsche 356, which was the first Porsche produced, had a special place on the concours. Different types of the 356’s were placed along each other. From Speedster to Coupé and From Pre-A and Pre-B to Pre-C.
My personal favorite Porsche present was the 993 GT. The Porsche 993 GT was created so the Porsche 993 GT2 would be approved for the FIA GT2. With only 57 993 GT’s produced the 993 GT is one of the rarest 911’s! Prices on the market for the 993 GT are nowadays extremely high. Apart from the fact that the Porsche 993 was the last aircooled 911, it’s the looks that really make me fall in love. It’s wide, badass and elegant at the same time. A true masterpiece and a pinnacle for the Porsche 911.

photos by Sian Loyson

Another theme of the concours was 40 years of BMW M1. In my opinion one of the greatest BMW’s if not greatest cars ever made. Nowadays the BMW M1 still looks like a spaceship, can you imagine how modern it looked when it first came out?  The BMW M1 is one of the few cars from which a race version has been created from the series model, the BMW M1 Procar. Even I prefer to see the M1 Procar on track but seeing those M1 Procars lined up was quite impressive. Have you ever seen as much M1’s in one place?!

Photos by Sian Loyson

And last but not least theme, the Iconic F1’s! How cool is it to see Ayrton Senna’s McLaren MP4/5B next to Nigel Mansell’s Williams FW14, Jean Alesi’s Ferrari F93A, the Benetton B189, Renault RE50 and Williams FW22?! While I was watching this part of Formula One history, it made me think Formula One isn’t the same as it was. And unfortunately I have never seen Formula One like that.

Photos by Sian Loyson

Jaguar had quite a nice line-up as well. C-type, D-type, E-type and F-type were placed along each other. I am a huge fan of the C and D-Type as it was designed for winning Le Mans 24 hours, which it did! The C-type in 1951 and 1953 and the D-type in 1955, 1956 and 1957. The E-type on the other hand looks very elegant and is being said the most beautiful car on the world, especially the coupé! I’m not a huge fan of the F-type but the Project 7 is nuts. I love how Jaguar refers to the D-Type!

Photos by Sian Loyson

A concours d’elegance wouldn’t be a concours if there wasn’t a winner. This Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Touring Superleggera Coupé was the best in the show and won the Post-war Closed class.

Photos by Sian Loyson

Of course, there were many other interesting things to see on the concours d’elegance. Let the pictures speak for themselves.

Photos by Sian Loyson

Photos by Beau Ackx

ZOUTE RALLY Finish

And if the concours d’elegance wasn’t crazy enough yet, we caught up to the ZOUTE RALLY on their way to the finish. Every year some of the greates classics show up in this rally, such as Mercedes 300SL Gullwings and Roadstes, Porsche 356’s, Porsche 550 Spyders, A Ferrari 250’s and many many more!

Photos by Beau Ackx

Photos by Sian Loyson

ZOUTE GT TOUR

After the ZOUTE RALLY, I was really exhausted and went home early. After all there was another day waiting for me. If you’re not really into this classic stuff, which I seriously doubt, maybe sunday is something for you. On sunday 7 October the ZOUTE GT TOUR closes the event. A tour for modern GT’s less than 20 years old. There’s the tour itself, lunch, closed roads and the ZOUTE GT SPRINT where all participants can go full throttle.

Photos by Beau Ackx

And as icing on the cake, my brother got a McLaren 570S from Bavaria Motors for the weekend.

photos by Sian Loyson

In short; Zoute Grand Prix was for me a weekend with awesome cars and friends, friends who share the same passion. Each year I meet new people at Zoute Grand Prix and this year I am writing for Car Journalism. What’s up for next year? Anyway, I am already counting down till 10 October!