Race winning Vento makes comeback

Once they’ve enjoyed their time in the spotlight, typically old one make race cars are carted off to an industrial estate somewhere, abandoned, then eventually broken for spares. Then, what’s left of them ends up being munched down and re-cycled for home insulation. But incredibly, this historic VR6 Vento has managed to buck the trend…

The car in question was campaigned in the VW Vento VR6 Challenge 20 years ago by former BTCC racer, David Pinkney, and made its miraculous re-appearance at the Race Retro event in February. To mark the occasion, Classic VW Cup Championship founder and technical guru, Ian Fowler, re-united David with both his race winning Vento and former Pinkney teammates.


Displayed on the Classic Touring Racing Car Club’s stand, Dave paid credit to the thorough 18-month restoration undertaken on the Vento by current owners Andrew Dean and Stuart Kendal. And, believe it or not, it all started by chance! Having spotted the Vento advertised on the PistonHeads website, Andrew realised it may well be Dave’s car, a car Stuart and he ran as part of the Pinkney Motorsport fleet. Apparently, Andrew spotted the words ‘Think Pink’ written on the dashboard in the advert, which he painted on there two decades ago. The Vento was duly purchased and once they had contacted old team member, Mark Levene, they set about the restoration process, using period photos as reference so they could return it to its original livery.

retro shot

David Pinkney sat in the Vento for the very first time at Oulton Park’s opening round of the 1996 series – and won. He then finished a creditable second in the 1997 Vento Challenge. Having now been restored, he will race it again in the Classic VW Cup at Cadwell Park and Thruxton this summer. Dean will make his race debut in the Vento at Rockingham in April then do a further round and Stuart Kendal will also do two race weekends.


Formed in 2015, the Classic VW Cup offers affordable yet competitive entry level motor racing for pre-2003 Volkswagen and VAG cars. Entry numbers continue to rise with a full seven-race series already confirmed for the 2017 season. VW Heritage are supporting the whole series and also sponsor the trophy for the Class C cars.


Classic VW Cup calendar

Apr 8/9 Rockingham

May 13/14 Cadwell Park

Jun 24/25 Silverstone GP

Jul 29/30 Brands Hatch

August 12 Lydden

Sept 2/3 Thruxton

Oct 7/8 Silverstone (Int)


We wish them luck!


The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of VW Heritage

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