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The ever-industrious Patrick Peter has announced some changes to the Peter Auto programme for 2020, starting with the Dix Mille Tours event at Paul Ricard, which next year switches from its end-of-season October date, to a season opening 4-5 April. Dates for Spa Classic and GP de l’Age d’Or remain stable in May and June respectively, and in early July the Peter Auto team will be concentrating all its efforts on the biennial Le Mans Classic. This year the race grids ran at Monza in September, and will do so again next year, while, to cap off the season, Peter’s team is to take over the running of the Estoril Classic event, next year on 9-11 October. See peterauto.peter.fr.
Photo Agence Austral
Six years after the last edition organised on the Paul Ricard circuit, the only 24-hour race exclusively for historic cars, will be back next year. The new chapter in the event’s history will begin on 6-8 November, 2020. As in the past, V de V Sports will be the prime promoter, but this time the event will also benefit from the support of HVM Racing, official organisers of the historic events for the FFSA. Laure Van de Vyver will be in charge of the general coordination.
After excursions to Australia and the US this year, New Zealand’s world-leading SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series, will stay closer to home in the coming 2019-2020 season. “One of the main reasons is cost,” said NZ F5000 Association committee member and spokesperson Glenn Richards, owner/driver of the ex-Eppie Wietzes Lola T400. “The majority of the series regulars pay all their own car, maintenance and travel bills and it all adds up, particularly if you are away from your home base and business for more than a week at a time,” he explained. “As the demand from race meeting organisers here is stronger than ever, we have five rounds between November this year and March already sorted - and a sixth – in April next year – a distinct possibility.”
Photo Fast Company/Geo Ridder
The Historic Sports Car Club has confirmed plans to build on the success of the inaugural Dunlop Saloon Car Cup season in 2020. The series covers three distinct groups of saloon and touring cars: Group 1, Group A and Super Touring/S2000, and provides eight races at four high-profile historic race meetings for cars from 1970 right through to 2006. All three groups have a dedicated podium after each race. Next year’s calendar will again focus on four double-header events at prime UK tracks, giving eight races at very competitive entry fees. There will be some detail changes to the class structure but the headline features of the series will remain unchanged.
Photo Courtesy HSCC
A total of 40 drivers took part across the four events this season in a fabulous array of cars, ranging from Super Tourers to a Group 1 specification Mini 1275 GT and six examples of the stunning Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth. See hscc.org for entries and details.
Formula Ford’s 50th anniversary in the United States was celebrated on 11-15 September at Road America. Hosted by the Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association and sponsored by Ford, over 200 drivers competed from 33 states, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and the UK. The FF50th was a busy weekend both on and off the track with three Formula Ford race grids, a birthday party on Thursday evening, a group photo on Friday, and a concours d’elegance and banquet on Saturday.
Photo Jay Bonvouloir
As usual we will be publishing a full calendar of races, rallies and special events in our January/February issue, which you will receive at the beginning of the year. However, we can share a few dates now for those of you who are planning to get married or have babies next year and want to avoid clashes, and for those just keen on planning ahead.
Divided into three groups - Pre 1965, 1966-1971 and 1972-1990 - the Norwegian finals for historic racing were run at the 2.5km race track at Vålerbanen on 8 September.
Atle Ramberg on his way to victory the last race of the year in his Ford Escort 1300 GT.
Photo Bengt-Åce Gustavsson - www.racefoto.se
The late summer heralded two Italian asphalt rounds of the FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship, the Rally Alpi Orientali Historic, on 28-30 August in the north east of the country and the 31st Rally Elba Storico on 19-21 September on the spectacular island of Elba. On both events, the competition over special stages on closed public roads was fierce across the four age-based categories.
In Category 1 for pre 1970 cars, it was local crew Antonio Parisi and Giuseppe D’Angelo (Porsche 911S) who claimed maximum points on both events to take top spot of the category. The big challenge to the Porsche regularly comes from Ernie and Karen Graham in their 1600cc Ford Escort Mk1 twin-cam. The UK husband and wife crew suffered from brake issues on day one of the Alpi Orientali but fought back on day two to finish third in class.
Organisers of this oversubscribed event are inviting anyone who wishes to participate in next year’s re-enactment of the race from Brescia to Rome and back again, to register at www.registro1000miglia.it. Dates next year are 13-16 May.
Entries are now open for this extraordinary competitive Moroccan adventure, which next year will take place much earlier than its usual end of April date. The 11th edition of the Maroc Historic will run from 2-7 March and organiser, Yves Loubet says this is to take advantage of better weather.
The road book will be officially released in mid-January once the route permits have been validated by the authorities. The three main regions crossed by the rally will be Marrakech, Essaouira and Sidi Ifni. See www.yl-historicrallyevents.com for entry forms.
Photo Courtesy Maroc Historic
Former five-time British Rally Champion Jimmy McRae used all his experience and pace as his Porsche 911RS finished leading historic car on the national section of Wales Rally GB in early October.
Three weeks before his 76th birthday McRae drove the car, owned by Brian Bell and prepared by Richard Lepley’s Prepfab operation, over the first two full days of Wales Rally GB, Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship. In the historic specification Porsche McRae tackled challenging conditions over classic Welsh forest stages like Hafren and Penmachno as heavy rain soaked the gravel tracks.
Tough going for 76 year-old McRae. Photo Paul Lawrence
The Spanish rally organisation RACC and Belgian organiser Ypres Historic Rally have reached an agreement to create the “Historic Regularity Challenge” for 2020. The aim is to promote two of the most interesting regularity events with a history in Europe: The Catalunya Rally and the Ypres Rally.
The winner of the Rally Catalunya Històric 2020, which takes place next year on 28-29 February, will get a free entry for the Ypres Historic Regularity Rally 2020, to be staged on 28-29 November, and the winning crew of the Belgian race will get a free Premium (all included) entry for the Rally Catalunya Històric 2021.
The winner of the Rally Catalunya Històric 2020 will get a free entry for the Ypres Historic Regularity Rally. Photo Courtesy Rally Classics
All crews participating in both rallies will score towards the Historic Regularity Challenge and the number of points will be those of the position in the final classification of each rally. The overall winner of the Historic Regularity Challenge will get a free entry for the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique 2021. See http://rallyclassics.club for more information.
Italian veteran ‘Lucky’ and his hugely experienced co-driver Fabrizia Pons were top scorers on the 53rd Mecsek Rallye in Hungary to finish the season as Category 4 champions in the FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship.
In a dramatic final round for the pan-European FIA-sanctioned special stage rally championship, their Lancia Delta Integrale moved back to the head of Category 4 (pre ’92) as former leaders Will Graham and Michael Johnston retired their BMW M3 mid-rally with alternator problems. ‘Lucky’ emerged as the only category champion not using a Porsche 911.
Monza Historic, sixth and penultimate act of the 2019 Peter Auto opera, performed on some of the most famous European stages, brought many expectations for the weekend of 20-22 September. The Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is one of the stages on which every motorsport actor likes to shine, either because, after the mutilation of so many European circuits it still lives up to its sobriquet of “the temple of speed” on which many epic pages of motorsport history have been written, or because it is one of those where the difference, as Jarno Trulli recalled in an interview a few years ago, is in the “guts” and not just the technicalities, which is why many actors look more favourably at Imola or Mugello. In short, it is a stage as famous as it is unforgiving. To make everything more complicated, capricious weather, characterised by two days of summer sun, and typically autumnal rain on the final day added to the challenge
The Circuit des Remparts Angoulême celebrated its 80th anniversary on 13-15 September, attracting nearly 1000 classic and historic cars into the city. The only street circuit in France to have remained unchanged for eighty years, the anniversary celebrations included a series of exhibitions, a special grid showing the cars of the first race in 1939 and, as always, the Concours d’Élégance, as well as Sunday’s races and demonstrations on the famous circuit. Former racing stars were amongst the invited guests, including Jean-Pierre Jarier, Anne Baverey and Jean-Claude Andruet. Hundreds of cars took part in the tourist rally, while 80 Bugattis were present amongst the 400 racing vehicles and there were some 12,000 spectators around the circuit.
Local man Damien Kohler won the Plateau Henri Greder in his Lotus Elan. Photos Agence Austral
“I’ve never started last and won before. It was an amazing race,” said Will Leverett after his
famous victory in 70s Road Sports with his father’s Lotus Elan. Photo Eric Sawyer
Cameron Jackson and Adrian Langridge were crowned champions at Brands Hatch on 21 September, as the Historic Sports Car Club’s one-day race meeting on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit delivered some first class racing in warm sunshine.
Marcus Pye Reports
Victories for Jonathan Abecassis (Austin-Healey 100/4) and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards (Frazer Nash Super Sports) evoked memories of the past at Castle Combe’s seventh stand-alone Autumn Classic event on Saturday, October 5, by common consent one of the best (maybe the best) CCAC yet.
Photos Eric Sawyer
The first edition of the Normandy Beach Race took place on Saturday, 21 September on the beach of Ouistreham Riva-Bella (France, Normandy, Calvados).
Photos Grégoire Thorel
After participating in the Race of Gentlemen on the beach in California, friends Thomas Hervé, Jean-Marc Lazzari and Marc Félix were inspired to create the first such event in France. Everyone was encouraged to dress in 1940s style and the French, who love their period dress, responded with enthusiasm. This event was a real success with nearly 15,000 spectators coming to see the 80 or so European and American participants with their 2, 3 and 4-wheel vehicles from before 1947.
From humble beginnings in 2014, the Bernina Gran Turismo 2019 event proved there is an ncreasing appetite for a sociable hillclimb amongst owners of great cars. Staged on the Bernina pass just outside of the chic resort of St Moritz, this year’s event brought out an even greater variety of cars to run in the competition and regularity categories, with little distinction between the two - the road is closed and participants can run at any speed they choose. It is a chance for collectors to bring out some cars that they might not usually race.
The French Historic Tour resumed in the Auvergne at the undulating circuit of Charade on 20-22 September after a long summer break with 300 entries competing in 20 races. Clement weather on Saturday gave way to rain on Sunday afternoon, as the pilots wrangled for the two French Championship titles.
With Formula Ford forming the biggest grid of the meeting, 37 starters were headed by reigning F Ford Champion François Belle in his Lola T540E, ahead of Alain Girardet. These two distanced the rest of the pack, led by Alexandre Fournier and guest driver, Frédéric Rouvier, getting into his stride and moving firmly into third place. Half way down the pack, Brit Alan Crocker took Class A. The second race was a re-run of the first, Belle, taking it by 7/10ths of a second. Crocker took his second Class A win, ahead of Lombardi and Didier Mantz.
This time it was the turn of Alain Girardet to try a new formula, the Swiss taking a Ralt RT3 to third place in qualifying behind regulars Rouvier and Davide Leone in his March 783. A long safety car period two laps in, after Gianluigi Candiani went off, saw the trio circulating in that order, with only three laps left to run once the safety car retired. The sprint to the chequer saw Rouvier finish by a 7/10ths margin to Leone and Girardet, with Eric Martin (Martini MK39) and Ian Jacobs (Ralt RT3) completing the top five.
In the F Renault division, Tony Boudreault was the winner when Fabrice Porte, who had started from the back of the grid after his engine blew in qualifying, flew to the front in the few available laps, only to break again within sight of the flag.
The Dutch NKHTGT, the British Classic Sports Car Club, The Triumph Competition and British HTGT series, the Colmore Youngtimers and the new Maxx Formula grids brought an international cast to Dijon Prenois to do battle in some tough weather conditions on the weekend of 5-7 October at the traditional Dijon Motors Cup meeting.
Playing a starring role, the Formula 2 International series also had its final two rounds at the former French GP circuit. The category has gone through somewhat of a resurgence this year, with grids increasing in size at each meeting bringing new entries in throughout the season. This left those who began at the beginning with hopes for the championship title.
Sixty years after Belgian hero Jacky Ickx scored the last Le Mans 24 Hours victory for Ford’s GT40, with Jackie Oliver, 14 late-built versions of the icon started odds-on favourites to win the 27th Spa Six Hours, highlight of the Historic racing season, on September 28. The following day 70 plus GT40 evocations lined-up in echelon along the Formula 1 pit wall and were flagged away by Jackie Ickx for a two-lap celebratory cavalcade.
The FIA Appendix K-spec GT40s filled the top 10 places in qualifying. Another Belgian ace and former F1 driver, Eric van der Poele, secured pole, from which Ford Motor Company’s President, New Business and Technology, Jim Farley had the honour of starting at 15:55 on the Saturday, in the damp with 98 cars behind him, from the period downhill grid preceding the daunting Eau Rouge left-right and the ascent to Raidillon. No pressure then!
Zndvoort’s eighth Historic Grand Prix event, held on September 6-8, rolled the years back beautifully to what are now considered to be golden eras of motor racing. Hazardous years in which heroic drivers in charismatic and distinctive cars, mainly unencumbered by wings, hurtled through the dunes of the seaside town, entertaining legions of appreciative fans.
There was symmetry in the results too. Andy Middlehurst’s hard-won HGPCA double in a Coventry-Climax V8-engined Lotus 25 evoked memories of his idol Jim Clark’s Dutch GP wins in 1963 and ‘64, albeit outrunning Will Nuthall in a 2.5-litre Cooper T53 of the type in which Jack Brabham had won the 1960 World Championship round.
Lancastrian Tom Bradshaw’s dominant maiden FIA Masters Sportscar triumph in a Chevron-FVC B19, meanwhile, took seasoned onlookers back to September ‘71 when Red Rose Racing’s John Hine, local ace Ed Swart and his Canon Cameras team-mate John Burton drove Derek Bennett’s slippery Bolton-built creations to a resounding Trophy of the Dunes 1-2-3.
The venerable Vintage Sports-Car Club’s first ever race meeting at Brands Hatch was to form the centrepiece of its 85th anniversary celebrations but thanks partly to the proximity of the M25, which was supposed to make travel so much easier in the south-east of England but is fast becoming a tourniquet round London, and an unfortunate Bank Holiday timing on 24 August, the celebrations were largely cancelled. Several events did take place in the area organised by local members and happily what was left, a sprint and race meeting over the Brands Hatch Indy circuit was blessed with glorious hot weather, a large crowd and a good entry.
Tony Lees’ AC/GN Cognac was fastest in the sprint Photos Eric Sawyer
A rich and sportive history
Created in 1953 the Rallye Neige et Glace quickly became an unmissable event for the factory teams, keen on settling the score after the Monte-Carlo Rally. Gérard Larousse,
Bob Neyret, Jean-Claude Andruet and Jean Vinatier, in particular, are associated with the rally, considered by some to be even more challenging than the Monte.
The 2020 edition, will go back to its previous format, which commences with a meet at Sochaux at the Peugeot Adventure Museum for technical and administrative checks, before a first night stage to Malbuisson, rally headquarters for the next three days. Route masterminds Patrick Zaniroli and Alain Lopes have devised three loops using the winding roads along the Swiss border between the Doubs and the Jura and have increased the number of regularity zones to eight per day and minimized the untimed miles on the open road. With a return each night to the comfort of the Hotel du Lac in Malbuisson, organisers also offer a ‘Randonnée’ category, for those who want to join the party without the stress of being timed. Classes go from 1946 to 4 x 4s up to 1993, but most participants take cars of the ‘60s and early ’70s. Entry forms can be downloaded at www.zaniroli.com and there are discounts for early entries.
Dates for next year’s Tour Auto have been announced as 20-25 April. Each year a marque or type of car is favoured and next year will be the turn of the roadgoing Porsche Prototypes to take priority for entries. Expect to see 550 sypders, 904 GTS, Carrera Abarth and more. The itinerary for next year’s event has not yet been announced, but entries for this oversubscribed event can be made on the Peter Auto website: peterauto.peter.fr.
Coming soon (November 27-December 6) is the big one – The Safari Rally. First run in 2003, the legendary East African Safari Classic Rally now run biennially, is a nine-day event covering some 5,000 kilometres through Kenya and Tanzania, rekindling the spirit of the original Safari Rally, which put East Africa on the motorsport map and earned an unassailable reputation as the world’s toughest rally.
Photo McKlein Images
Open to two-wheel drive, normally aspirated, FIA rally cars built before 1986, Safari Classic is a true adventure and replicates the challenge of the original Safari, travelling through the East African landscape, passing through famous game parks and overnighting at many of the finest lodges in the cradle of Africa.
Round 6 of the 2019 FIA Championship was held in Finland on August 9-10. The Lahti Historic Rally is the only gravel rally on the calendar and invokes memories of the legendary Thousand Lakes. Won on the road by Finns Antero Laine and Topi Luhtinen in an Audi Quattro, with Esa Peltonen and Jyrki Saarto in second place in their the Toyota Starlet 1300 and the first EHSRC entrant across the finish line, the Toyota was 1m03.5secs behind the Audi and 9.9 seconds ahead of the Audi Quattro of ‘Zippo’ and Nicola Arena, the Italians finishing third overall and second in the EHSRC contest. However, in post event scrutineering the Finnish Audi was disqualified for technical reasons, leaving the two Championship contenders first and second overall, as well as first and second in Category 3 of the Championship.
Overall winners Esa Peltonen and Jyrki Saarto in their Toyota Starlet1300 were also the first European Championship contenders across the line. Photos Jarmo K Mäki / @JamoPic.Photography
The 2019 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca, the scenic circuit that winds around a mountain top in the highlands just east of Monterey in California, was both a continuation of a great tradition and also a new beginning for the event. Organisers, SCRAMP were under the direction of new CEO Tim McGrane and, while he certainly qualifies as an experienced hand, it was nevertheless the first time out of the gate for him and many new team members. The general consensus in the paddock was that the event is in safe hands. None of this was hurt by the fact that the Rolex feature races were favoured with great weather, sunny but cool, and that the paddock was packed with wonderful, historic cars, with some 550 racers driving cars from 1910 to 2014.
Group 2A for 1955 - 1961 Sports racers produced a great dice between the Sadler Mk IV of Greg Meyer and Fantasy Junc on’s Spencer Trenery in a Cooper Monaco. A short pace car interrup on did nothing to cool the pair’s ardour, un l Trenery’s Cooper began to fade from the lead and nally pull o , promo ng Al Aciero (Lister Knobbly) and Rob Walton (Birdcage Masera ), who’d been having their own entertaining dice, to second and third respec vely. Photos Eric Sawyer
“Our visiting friends from Europe exclaimed, “We have nothing like it!” Two racing weekends, four major concours and a dozen others, six auctions, several rallies, dozens of private parties and all set in one of the most spectacular seaside resorts in the world. It attracts over 250,000 visitors and nearly 10,000 participants.”
Dan Davis of Victory Lane Magazine gives us a rundown of an intense week of activities centred on burning oil, gas and rubber...
Photo Rolex/Tom O’Neal
The Mantorp Park racetrack in Sweden celebrated its 50th anniversary on 24-26 August together with the Racerhistoriska Klubben. Event promoter MK Scandia managed to invite over 600 exhibition cars, and there was plenty to see throughout the weekend. In addition to many fine display cars there were also some familiar faces, including ex-Formula 1 driver Reine Wisell who gladly shared his stories about what it was like in the good old days.
Hans Hillebrink in his Lotus 20 was one of very few Formula Junior drivers Photos Bengt-Åce Gustavsson - www.racefoto.se
Ford Mustangs of all model series since the sports car’s launch in 1964 met on September 7 at the Lommel Ford Proving Ground in Belgium to set a new world record for the largest number of Mustangs ever gathered in one place. With a total of 1,326 Ford Mustangs, the previous record was broken, which was set on December 3, 2017 with 960 vehicles in Toluca, Mexico. More mustangs are sold per capita in Belgium than in any other European country.
Wonder how long it took them to get so neatly lined up Photo Courtesy Ford Belgium