As travel destinations go, Iceland is becoming increasingly popular, because of its extreme landscapes, welcoming but sparse population, and also perhaps because it is one of the last places not to be ‘conquered’ by tourists. Rallies for classic cars usually pretty much reflect the general travel trends, and many participants treat them as tourist events with the added bonus of seeing a destination from the wheel of their own car, and therefore often off the main tourist routes. South America, and Patagonia in particular, is another destination that has become popular for both tourists and rally tourists.
A return to the Island – The Three Legs of Mann
With motor sport ingrained in its rocks and mountains, there’s no place quite like the Isle of Man, with its variety of roads: From open and sinewy to twisty and testing single track lanes, to fast tarmac stretches, the Island has it all. HERO will be using these roads, and adding some closed-road sections and the possibility of some forestry stages, on its Three Legs of Mann rally next year. Taking place over an intense day and a half, on March 15-16 2019, the rally will run on some of the legendary sections of road used in classic motor sport events throughout the year. Tests take place on either private land or on closed-road sections, giving drivers a chance to fully demonstrate their driving skills. The tight lanes in the lowlands that have a maze of junctions will make the regularities very interesting too, as will the Friday evening section in the dark.
Organised by Malcolm McKay’s ClassicRallyPress organisation, this year’s Liège-Brescia-Liège Rally for Triumph TRs in July saw 26 TRs from 1953 to 1976 take part. The rally closely followed its original 1958 route but was split over 10 days instead of the original continuous 60hrs with just one 8hr break. Still formulated as a navigational endurance challenge, with three circuit tests, drivers were offered the possibility to drive the rally as a tour, but none of the TR owners were interested in that option, all battling to find the route controls and win at least a class award, if not win overall.
The route headed over the Belgian Ardennes into Germany and the Dolomites, crossing Austria to Italy then headed east into Slovenia and over the challenging Vrsic pass before dropping down to Ljubljana, where a day’s break allowed competitors to service their cars and visit the city.
The weather was superb throughout – making the scenery all the more stunning and the roads more enjoyable.
Rådström Reigns on the Road....
Fastest from the off, Arne Rådström dominated Sweden’s most important historic rally, the KAK Midnight Sun Rally, in his Volvo 262 at the head of a highly competitive 130-car field, finishing each of the three days, from July 10 to 13, in the lead. But, after 900kms and over 150 stage kilometres, the Volvo driver was disqualified for a technical infringement, which was upheld after appeal.
This gave second on the road Patrik Dybeck and Jonny Norling the victory in their Opel Kadett GSI over the Volvo 242 of class-winning Harry Joki and Tony Sundkvist by a margin of 23 seconds. An expected podium place for Ola Axelsson evaporated on the final day when he was sidelined with clutch problems in his Volvo 244, gifting the place to Mikael Wisti’s Volvo 240. A worthy fifth were reigning European rally champions Mats Myrsell and Esko Juntilla in their Porsche 911 RS, who also won their class.
Fastest from the start, Arne and Dennis Rådström were disqualified for a technical infringement in their
Volvo 262 SE
The Truck stop in Örebro is to become a service site and the start and finish of the KAK Midnight Sun Rally in 2019. The huge area (55,000 square metres) will not only give the 180-200 competitors and their teams, trucks and caravans all the space they need, it will also be, “A full service area that few rallies can match,” said Wilhelm Douglas from KAK, as organisers have taken the idea of a service park a few steps further and will provide fully equipped garages, access to a tyre shop, car wash facilities and much more. The huge area will also give space and parking to thousands of spectators, who will be welcomed with events and experiences for all ages including an ‘open
Terre di Canossa
On 19-22 April the Terre di Canossa will begin its 600km journey through the art cities and sites of natural beauty in Tuscany, Liguria and Emilia. Brought to you by Scuderia Tricolore, of Cento Ore fame, the Canossa goes at a different pace and gives competitors more time to savour the lunches and dinners, the palaces and places of cultural and natural heritage that these regions have to offer. Salsomaggiore Terme, La Spezia, Portovenere, Lerici and the Cinque Terre, Forte de Marmi, Lucca, Pisa and Reggio Emilia are all on the menu, with special tests and regularity sections including a visit to the Autodromo di Varano along the way. Though the cut off date for cars is 1976, the pace and the route are also suitable for pre-war cars.
The third revival edition of the Cap Corse rally was back for three days of racing on 9-11 March, offering more than 225kms in 11 special stages and a further 250kms of sinuous liaison sections. The Ronde de la Giraglia, which took place in the ‘70s in the wildest part of this rugged and unspoilt Island, was once a round of the European Rally Championship. Now, like then, it took four loops around the Cap Corse Peninsula, with the rhythm increasing with each loop.
FIA Historic Rally Championship
‘Lucky’ and Fabrizia Pons have continued their winning streak in the European Historic Rally Championship in their Lancia Delta Integrale 16V with a storming drive on the Rally Weiz Historic, winning all but two of the 14 special stages in the Austrian round of the Championship on the weekend of 18-20 July.
Second overall and rst in Category 3 ‘Zippo’ and Denis Piceno took maximum championship points
The first day already saw the Italian pair with a lead of 1m25.2s ahead of their nearest rivals and well ahead of the second placed Category 4 competitor after the Porsche 911 SC of championship leaders Mats Mysell and Esko Juntilla suffered a technical problem on the fourth stage of the day.
Real revival of the Rallye du Maroc in its World Rally Championship golden age, the Morocco Historic Rally offers the breathtaking roads, the warm welcome of an entire country and a spirit of camaraderie along with an exceptional car race. Competitors will be hosted in two cities, Marrakesh, where the rally will start and finish, and Essaouira on the coast overlooking the sea. According to organiser Yves Loubet, the 10th edition will be less demanding for men and cars and overall more friendly and festive, with 25 special stages, 45% of which will be new to the event. Welcoming cars up to 1985 with a few selected 2-wheel drive cars up to 1990 also accepted, entries close on
With 850kms of which over 300 are special stages, the Tour de Corse Historique very much follows in the tyre tracks of the original Tour de Corse of which it is a revival and a celebration. Each year in October over 200 historic car drivers line up for a five-day tour of the magical, mountainous island at the time of year when the weather is almost always crystal clear and still warm and mild. Open tocompetition cars up to 1990, there is a race class and a regularity category, and the in both is fierce with many ex-rally champions and regularity specialists taking part. Fighting for a win in one of the many classes, from period E (1947 to 1961), all the way up to the J2 cars of the ‘80s and early ‘90s, the competitors all have one thing in common:
Regularity Category winners, Philip Vlieghe and Filpp Deplancke tackle the ‘Mallorcan Pike’s Peak’
The 14th edition of the Mallorcan Classic rally was held on its usual mid-March date with the support of Puerto Portals, the most prestigious marina on the Island, which again hosted the rally service park on its quays, lined as ever with some of the most luxurious yachts in the Mediterranean, while long time event supporter and keen competitor Michael Stoschek continued his involvement through his Brose Motorsports concern. Stoschek, a former German National rally champion, has driven his remanufactured all carbon Lancia Stratos as a zero car for the past couple of years, but this year the lure of the chase proved too much for him and he returned to the competition section in a 1965 Porsche 911.