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Strong grids and an end-of-term atmosphere at the annual HSCC Silverstone Finals Meeting on the weekend of 19-20 October saw some close finishes across 21 races and 280 entries. A number of season-long contests were settled including in a bumper grid of Historic Formula Ford 2000s where Andrew Park sealed a fourth straight championship title. Chris Drake (front-engined) and Andrew Taylor (rear-engined) were the key winners in Formula Junior, while Simon Armer clinched the Historic F3 title in his March 703.
The Historic Touring Car crown was shared between Roger Stanford and Bob Bullen, while Mark Charteris and Barry Webb claimed their respective categories in Classic Clubmans, with Charteris taking his sixth title in a row. Ross Hyett (Guards Trophy) and Ben Stiles (Classic FF2000) and Rob Smith (Over 50s FF1600) were the other winners across the weekend on the Silverstone National circuit.
The 2019 FIA Masters Champions are Matteo Ferrer-Aza, Martin Stretton, Henry Fletcher, Jason Wright/Andy Wolfe and Chris Jolly/Steve Farthing. Ferrer-Aza is the new post-78 FIA Masters Historic Formula One champion, with Stretton and Fletcher lifting the post-83 and pre-78 titles respectively. Wright and Wolfe took top honours in the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship, while Jolly and Farthing prevailed in the FIA pre-66 section.
The Wright/Wolfe Lola T70 leads out the FIA Sportscar pack at Brands Hatch in July Wright
doubled up by also claiming the sportscar version of the Grand Master Trophy Photos Eric Sawyer
Don’t change a winning formula is the logic adopted by the FFSA and HVM Racing for the 2020 Historic Tour season. Thus the calendar will again see five race meetings, the main differences from this year being a return to the Nogaro circuit and date changes for the meetings at Albi and Charade. The season will start in Albi, next year in mid-April, before continuing with its traditional Dijon date of 8-10 May. Charade will next year take place in June (19-21), followed by trips to Nogaro on 11-13 September and Val de Vienne on 27-25 September.
While some tweaks within the series are inevitable, the list of eligible series to determine the French champions, for single seaters and for prototypes, will remain the same.
HVM will also be organising the GP de Pau Historique on 30-31 May, and the traditional Dijon Motors Cup on the first weekend of October. With no Paul Ricard event this year, Laurent Vallery-Masson and his team will move to the Le Mans Bugatti circuit for the Le Mans Motors Cup on 16-18 October.
A lot has changed since 1990, when the first of what was then known as the Christies International Historic Festival was staged (see our March 2013 issue for the story of that first event) at Silverstone. It was a resounding success, and despite being preceded by events such as the Oldtimer-Grand-Prix in Germany and the Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or in France, it set a new benchmark for what a successful historic festival should be. It has now grown to a proportion that its founders probably never imagined, with 1000 entries and 100,000 visitors.
The First Historic Festival at Silverstone took place 30 years ago next year. PHOTO ALAN COX
The Historic Sports Car Club has unveiled the Production Car Challenge, a new race series for production touring, sports and GT cars from the 1980s. The new series will be open to cars with standard bodyshells and only minor modifications to engines and suspension, and will not be open to Caterhams or homologation specials. Cars will be split into classes based on engine size, with a separate class for turbocharged cars. Only treaded tyre types from the Motorsport UK list 1A, 1B and 1C will be allowed. There are plans to run several pilot races later in 2020, ahead of a fuller programme in 2021.
Photo Courtesy HSCC
The series will complement the Club’s existing Historic and 70s Road Sports Championships, which are for cars from the mid-1950s through to the end of 1979. The list of eligible cars for the new series is huge and many suitable cars are available and affordable. Typical cars that could be entered include the Alfa Romeo GTV6, BMW 3-series, Ford Fiesta XR2, Honda CRX, Morgan Plus 4, Porsche 944, Suzuki Swift GTi, Toyota MR2 and VW Golf.
HSCC CEO Andy Dee-Crowne said about the new series, “No organising Club can afford to stand still and we are keen to develop a cost-effective race series for the next generation of cars, which should also appeal to a wide range of drivers. The Production Car Challenge will offer another way into historic racing for newcomers to the sport. Our aim is to grow the category over the next couple of seasons.”
The French Championships concluded at Val de Vienne on the weekend of 26-27 October (see our report page 46) with Didier Gruau and Frédéric Rouvier crowned respectively as GT/Tourisme and Monoplaces/Prototypes champions, Rouvier for the second year running. Both won two out of two races at the Vigeant weekend, Gruau driving his TVR Griffith 400 in the ASAVE´65 series and Rouvier in his Martini MK34 in Classic F3. The 61 year-old Gruau won every ASAVÉ 65 race this year, with the exception of one at Albi where he took second place, in a car with exceptional reliability. Racing instructor Rouvier, who started his driving career in 1995, racing a variety of cars and even motorbikes, likewise won 9 out of 10 Classic F3 races throughout the season in his Blue is Blue team Martini. Congratulations to the Champs!
Didier Gruau (le ) and Frédéric Rouvier with Historic
Tour promoter Laurent Vallery-Masson Photo Guy Pawlak
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.