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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.
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
Otherwise known as the Brighton Run, the Royal Automobile Club’s London to Brighton event took place on its traditional date of the first Sunday in November in unseasonably mild weather and under cloudless skies.
Photo Peter Collins
Nearly 90 cars are already entered for the 12th Flying Scotsman from the Endurance Rally Association. The three day rally for pre-war cars runs from 3-5 April and takes crews from Chester to the Gleneagles Hotel near Perth in southern Scotland. Among the entries are Will Onions and vintage radiator expert Rob Smith, best known for rallying Ford Escort Mk2s. They will compete in a 1934 MG Magnette K3 that Onions recently added to his stable. It will be their first experience of such an event.
Photo Gerard Brown Courtesy ERA
The Modena Cento Ore is 20-years-old, and to celebrate, a special 20th anniversary edition is planned for 2-7 June, featuring a long-awaited departure from the Eternal City. Competitors will spend two nights in Rome and two nights in Florence with, as always, the prize-giving and final night in Modena. Circuits next year will be Vallelunga, Magione, Mugello and Imola and Luigi Orlandini and his team at Canossa Events have promised “some new, great special stages.” With both competition and regularity categories for cars up to the ‘80s (Period I), a ‘50s drum-braked sports car class with its own classification and special prizes was introduced last year to try to encourage more early cars. Previous entrants took priority until 31 October, and entries are now open to all online at www.modenacentooreclassic.it.
Photo Courtesy Marathon de la Route
The 2020 edition of the Marathon de la Route will run from June 13 to 16 across the Bourgogne-Franche Comté, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Occitani regions of France. The route will cover 1800km including 50 regularity sections. “The course will be completely new, with two short loops on Saturday and Monday, 99.9% of paved roads and less than 100 kilometres of highway to bypass the centre of major cities on the course,” said organiser Joseph Lambert. “When imagining this route, we wanted to focus on some of the highlights of the history of motor sport in France.”
The 2020 calendar for the Motorsport UK British Historic Rally Championship has been unveiled. The schedule grows from seven to eight events and takes in five gravel events and three asphalt events, including two closed-road rallies. The Jim Clark Rally returns to the calendar after a break with closed-road stages in the Scottish borders. The Kielder Forest Rally, which replaces the former Pirelli Rally, will run in late April in the North Tyne Valley.
Dates are: March 28, Rally North Wales; April 25, Kielder Forest Rally; May 29-30, Jim Clark Rally; June 14, Red Kite Stages; July 26, Harry Flatters Rally; August 22, Ulster Rally; September 25-26, Trackrod Rally; and October 24, Carlisle Stages.
The final round of the French Historic Championships took place at the 3.7km circuit at Le Vigeant in western France. There were still five candidates for the two French titles, so the weekend of 26-27 October was to be decisive. In the ‘Monoplaces/Protos’ contest, Arnaud Dousse (Van Diemen in Formula Ford Kent-Zetec) and Frédéric Rouvier (Martini MK34 in F3 Classic and Lucchini SP94 in SportProtosCup) were the contenders, while Didier Gruau (TVR Griffith 400 in Asavé Racing 65) was in indirect competition with Franck Quagliozzi (Honda Civic in Youngtimers GTI Cup) and Xavier Jacquet (Lotus Seven in Lotus Trophy) for the ‘GT/Tourism’ crown.
Reigning champion Frédéric Rouvier (no 59) ew from all the opposition to secure two F3 Classic wins and the 2019 Monoplaces/Protos’ title. Photos Guy Pawlak
Over the last 19 years, the Tour de Corse Historique has become a major event on the French and international historic rally calendar, and many drivers, including many with great past rally successes to their names, continue to return to the legendary Corsican stages. After a first day of technical inspections and a short shakedown stage in the wet, the sun came out on 8 October for competitors, who, for five days were to rally over some 900kms and 16 special stages totalling 350kms on a route that is altered each year. Eighty-eight cars in competition and 61 in regularity delighted the enthusiastic Corsican public, who never seem to tire of lining the road to admire and listen to the melodious song of cars from the glory years of rallying in Corsica.
The revived Estoril event, first started by Francisco Santos of GP do Porto fame, and now run by Diogo Ferrao’s Race Ready organisation, proved itself again a great success as part of what the local Municipality is billing “Estoril Classics Week”.
Classics Week kicked off with the Rally Portugal Historica, which started its tough 2000km route on Wednesday 9 October from the Casino Gardens in Estoril, for a finish on Saturday at Estoril racing circuit, where the rally cars took to the track to be time-tested through slaloms and laps. In addition there were celebrity exhibitions by drivers such as Ari Vantenen. Reputed to be one of the toughest asphalt regularity events in Europe, the rally was won by the Franco-Belgian team of Philippe Fuchey and Christophe Hayez driving a Porsche 911 SC.
Not everyone remembers it, but it is at the Paul Ricard Circuit that several years ago the format that the French organiser has so successfully brought to the some of the world’s most important circuits was first tested. This year was the 10th running of the Dix Mille Tours event. That the event was successful can be taken for granted. In fact it was a record year in terms of numbers of entries.
Didier Denat was an early retirement from the 90-minute 2L Cup race. Photos Courtesy Peter Auto
The Algarve Classic Festival is a most agreeable finale to the European historic racing season. Rain or shine, sometimes both, southern Portugal is warm in late autumn and the sensational Autodromo Internacional, opened in 2008, is a favourite among drivers and teams. This year’s event – promoted by Diogo Ferrao’s Race Ready concern – moved to the first weekend of November. While some grids were weak (in part due to cross-border movement uncertainty in what was supposed to be post-October 31 Brexit) the best action was tremendous.
GTSCC Tops the bill. Photos Eric Sawyer
Heavy rain, snow, ice and bright sunshine ensured that the 2019 Rally of the Tests was a big challenge for around 80 crews during three full days of classic rallying from Torquay to Chester on 7-10 November.
Steve Entwistle and Mark Appleton led from start to nish in thier Mini Cooper S. Photos Paul Lawrence
Through it all, the Mini Cooper S of Steve Entwistle and Mark Appleton dominated the action with neither crew member faltering as the Mini led from the short prologue section on Thursday evening. As the overall awards are restricted to pre-1968 cars, the overall runners-up were GT racer and Porsche expert Phil Hindley and his co-driver Martyn Taylor (Porsche 911).
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