John Whiteman Visited
the Warwickshire Show
Billed as ‘Europe’s Number 1 Historic Motorsport Show’ Race Retro took place at its usual venue, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, on 23-24 February and showcased its normal wide range of cars and motor cycles. The 40th anniversary of Formula One’s ground-effects era was highlighted with an excellent feature display, including Lotus 79, Williams FW07, Ensign N180 and Arrows A4, as well as Formula 2 Chevron B48 and Toleman TG280. Alongside these were an earlier McLaren M14A and, perhaps, a car not familiar to everyone, the 1972 Connew F1. This car is probably unique in that it is being restored to original condition by its creators, cousins Peter Connew and Barrie Boor, who were on the interview stage during the weekend recounting their exploits of living the “Formula One dream.” This car was literally built in the cousins’ garage, something that could never happen in the modern era and is probably difficult to comprehend by current enthusiasts.
The Historic Sports Car Club’s new race category for up to 2-litre single-seater racing cars from the 1980s, the Geoff Lees Trophy, will open with a double-header at the HSCC Wolds Trophy meeting at Cadwell Park on 19-20 September. Competitors will also have the chance to race at the Dijon Motors Cup meeting on 3-4 October, subject to the travel situation to France.
Competitor interest is growing for the new series open to Formula 2, Formula Atlantic, Formula 3, Formula Ford 2000 and Formula Super Vee cars built and raced during the 1980s. There is also an invitation class for other suitable period single-seaters including those from Formula Vauxhall Lotus and Andy Wallace in an F3 Reynard Photo Mike Dixon Formula Renault. Early entries for Cadwell Park include the Formula 2 Chevron B48 of Steve Worrad and the Formula 3 Dallara 389 of Samuel Harrison. An ex-Damon Hill Ralt RT30 is also being readied, while aiming to join the grid is regular Formula 3 racer Paul Smith in his Reynard 873, the 100th F3 car to be built by the Reynard factory.
Titled in honour of one of the UK’s most popular and successful single-seater racers of the era, Lees has given enthusiastic backing for the series.
Jean-Marc Laffont, President of the Association du Circuit des Remparts d’Angoulême issued a statement on 16 august announcing the cancellation of the 2020 event. “Despite all our determination, the sudden spike of COVID-19 cases in the last few days has brought with it an ever-increasing number of measures and restrictions that has brought us to the ineluctable conclusion that, due to the very nature of the event, the Circuit des Remparts cannot go ahead this year.
“It is with extreme sadness that we make this announcement, but in view of the large number of people that the event attracts, it is clear it would represent a public health risk, even if all the precautions were followed.
The whole team wants to thank all the volunteers, the partners, the suppliers, and the competitors, who have done so much in the planning of the event. We start working now on a 2021 event that will be even more successful than the last three that we have had the privilege to organise since 2017.”
The Circuit des Remparts attracts huge crowds from the whole Charente region, and a large number of British competitors, who, at the time the announcement was made, are still under restrictions if they travel to France.
One of the biggest international race meetings of the year is still on track to take place on 24-27 September, but as we go to press – still some six weeks before the meeting is set to kick off - the requirement for those visiting Belgium to go into quarantine when returning to other European countries is still in place, which could seriously jeopardise the numbers on the girds. However, word coming from Brussels is that the pandemic is coming under control and they are hoping to be off the list within the next couple of weeks. With a large number of teams coming from the UK, the good news is that they will have a special dispensation, for attending a sporting event, whether or not the quarantine is lifted.
As things stand, there will be no extracurricular activities in the paddock – no clubs, no vendors village, no FBVA meeting, no parking for ‘Oldtimers’.
This will certainly change the atmosphere in the paddock, but will not detract from the racing, which, unlike some other big festivals, is always the main focus of this meeting. “We still don’t know whether we will be able to welcome spectators,” said organiser Vincent Collard, “so we are concentrating 100% on the racing. We have to wait until the regional government gives us the go-ahead for that, and for other questions, such as press accreditation, catering, etc., and at the moment, even the authorities don’t know what will and will not be possible when the time comes.” Collard’s ever-resourceful Roadbook organisation has set up a reservation system, so that if spectator numbers need to be limited, the tickets will be allocated to those who booked in advance.
Photo Jeff Bloxham
The entry lists are not yet published, but the Six Hours entry list is full, with reserves, and organisers are still fielding two or three new requests a week. “And people are really looking forward to it. There is so much enthusiasm from the people who are contacting us, you can feel their excitement to get back on the track! He added, “All the teams on the list are European. For obvious reasons we have lost the usual American, Hong Kong, and South American teams, but apart from that the percentages for the various European countries have remained pretty much the same, with at least 60% coming from the UK.”
Roadbook has an excellent web site that is kept scrupulously up to date. Keep your eye on it for developments: www.spasixhours.com. You will also find the full list of support grids there and contact details for entries into each one. These include the Masters FIA F1 and Sports Car Championship grids, as well as all the Motor Racing Legends grids, the HGPCA, Formula Junior and an HSCC closed-wheel race. Bonus: there will be more room in the paddock for the teams!
Fulfilling a long-held ambition, Paulo Pinheiro, founder and CEO of the Autodromo Algarve has succeeded in bringing Formula One to his circuit. This is good news for all of us, as at times in its history the circuit has been barely viable and this will give it the fillip it so richly deserves and help secure a healthy future for the venue. However, it comes at a momentary cost for the Algarve Historic Festival, which has had to be postponed from its original 24-25 October date to 6-8 November, in order to accommodate the F1 cars.
This will put a full month between Patrick Peter’s Estoril meeting (9-11 October) and the Festival. Grids are set to remain much the same as last year, with Motor Racing Legends bringing Pre-war cars, touring cars of all ages, and of course their flagship Woodcote and Stirling Moss Trophy grids that race into the night, which will come even earlier in November. In addition the GT and Sports Car Cup and the Pre-’75 sports cars are on the timetable.
Weather in the Algarve is pretty reliable and is expected to still be fine in November for those very last rays of sun before it’s time for winter sports.
Amongst the races at Algarve, the GT & Sports Car Cup is on the bill
Always an eclectic mix of cars for the Barry Sideways race at Spa
Peter Auto has announced its 2021 calendar, which includes five race meetings for its regular series, very similar to what it should have been this year, plus the postponed Le Mans Classic, the date for which has been set at 1-4 July. A new feature will be two test days for its series competitors at the Paul Ricard circuit in early March. The schedule will be marked by anniversary celebrations of the 10th running of Le Mans Classic and Spa-Classic and the 30th anniversary of the Tour Auto Optic 2000.
In the wake of the dreaded COVID pandemic, the Valletta Grand Prix Foundation announced that the Malta Classic, which was to take place on 8-11 October, has been cancelled. 2020 will be the first year since 2008, that the annual street racing event, along with all its peripheral activities, will not be taking place. Attracting thousands of enthusiasts to the picturesque island each year, the Malta Classic committee has promised, “the most thrilling edition yet for its drivers, patrons and spectators alike for Malta Classic 2021.” The four-day national event is scheduled to be back on the road on 7-10 October next year.
Racing in the streets of Malta will be back next year
The German Cup and Touring Car Trophy started its 11th season in full summer sunshine around three months later than usual on the weekend of 4-5 July at Hockenheim, with a 30-car grid.
In the first race, Harald Tänzler (BMW E46 WTC) celebrated a safe start-to-finish victory, his second overall victory in CTT. “The boys did a great job over the winter and put me in a super prepared car,” said Tänzler. Michael Nolte in a Porsche Supercup 3500 NM crossed the finish line eight seconds behind, while Jesco Kaczamarek was happy with third place in his Audi TTS. “The hot temperature meant I had to struggle with waning brakes in the second half of the race,” he said.
The fight of the race came - albeit in different classes – from Mike Münch (Ford Fiesta), Christoph Eicker (Renault Clio RS III) and Oliver Davidovic (Mini Cooper R56). For 30 minutes the three fought door-to-door, but always clean and fair and were a joy to watch. Münch, who is only 16 years old, came out ahead to take tenth overall.
Michael Nolte won the second race in bright sunshine. Manfred Lewe, who had been fastest in qualifying, had to let Nolte pass after a few laps. Despite everything, Lewe was more than satisfied with the result. After an accident in the first race, in which a rival had roughly driven into the side of his Seat Leon WTCC, putting him out, he was just glad to be able to start the second race, “Thanks to my boys who managed to get the car back so that a race was possible!” As in the first race, Jesco Kaczamarek completed the podium and, after two class wins, also leads the overall points table of the Cup and Touring Car Trophy.
The catch-up race was provided by Marc Ullrich, who, coming from the back in his VW Golf GTI, was still eighth overall. Next race for these Youngtimers will be on 11-13 September at Zolder.the three fought door-to-door, but always clean and fair and were a joy to watch. Münch, who is only 16 years old, came out ahead to take tenth overall.
Harald Tänzler showed a clean pair of heels to all comers in the first of two races, to score his second outright CTT win
Members’ Meeting: Cancelled, Festival of Speed: Cancelled, Goodwood Revival: Cancelled, but the Duke of Richmond is not to be downcast. Instead he has announced a new, online event to take place on 16-18 October, that will be, in the Duke’s words, “The fastest, most exciting and spectacular event we have ever staged.” The most ambitious event ever held at Goodwood, Speedweek will be broadcast to the world free of charge in innovative ways, with technology such as putting viewers in the racing seat, with layers of interactivity to create an immersive experience. Without spectators present, the action can be faster and more extreme. According to the press office, “It will redefine the experience of watching motorsport at home in much the same way that the Festival of Speed and Revival changed forever the perception of classic car events.” The programme of events and full driver line-up will be announced over the coming weeks and months.
As reported in our July issue, the Historic Sports Car Club still wants to offer the Jaguar drivers at least one event in 2020, and have announced their own race for pre-‘66 Jaguars at the Oulton Park Gold Cup on 29-31 August.
The Dunlop Historic Trophy will be a one-hour race for with mandatory pit stop and the option of two drivers. There are classes and awards for E-types in both standard and race modified specification, Mk1 and Mk2 saloons and the XK range. An invitation class will be open to suitable cars that do not fully meet pre-‘66 specification.
The race will celebrate a long association between the HSCC and racing Jaguars, which started when Neil Corner’s D-type won the first race in the HSCC story at Castle Combe in 1966. At the conclusion of the 1969 season, the Historic Jaguar Trophy was awarded for the first time and the recipient was David Beckett for his performances in a Lister Jaguar.
HSCC CEO Andy Dee-Crowne said: “The loss of the Jaguar Classic Challenge to the COVID-19 pandemic was a great disappointment to Jaguar racers, but the Club is honouring its commitment to them with a chance to get back racing in this special race at Oulton Park.”
Sadly, after searching for a date on which to run the postponed Donington Historic Festival, organisers have been forced to hold it over until next year. The 2021 date will be announced soon.
In the meantime, though, there is excitement in the ranks as the Legends’ season will be underway soon with a revised date of 15-16 August for the Thruxton Historic meeting. With some grids missing out on their races at the cancelled Donington Festival and/or Silverstone Classic, Duncan Wiltshire has announced that all Motor Racing Legends grids will be able to race at Thruxton. “We plan to run all of our race series at this meeting,” said Wiltshire, “with the Woodcote Trophy and Stirling Moss Trophy grids having separate one-hour races, and the Historic Touring Car Challenge/Tony Dron Trophy with two 40-minute races - to be shared with the Sixties Touring Car Challenge with U2TC.”
In addition, there will be a 40-minute race for Pre-War Sports Cars, and a 60-minute race for Pre-‘63 GT. The GT & Sports Car Cup and Julius Thurgood’s HRDC grids will also be on the bill.
“We now have official confirmation that competitors who choose to stay overnight will be able to camp in the paddock; be it in a motorhome or caravan and the paddock will be open for set-up on Friday afternoon. Our hospitality arrangements are still under review, but we definitely aim to provide COVID-compliant lunch on each day and to host some sort of socially-distant gathering on both Friday and Saturday evenings,” added Wiltshire.
After that the Motor Racing Legends will continue their season as scheduled at the Spa Six Hours meeting, where there will be races for Woodcote Trophy, Stirling Moss Trophy, Pre-War Sports Cars, and all the touring car classes, and the Algarve Historic Festival on 23-25 October, where the Pre-’63 GTs will race and a pre-war sports car double header has been added to the programme. Entries for these meetings are strong and it is clear that the Legends drivers are keen to get back out on track. See www.motorracinglegends.com for details and entries.
Photo John Retter
As we went to press with our July issue, news came from Goodwood that both the Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival meetings have been cancelled for this year. Lord March and his team held out for as long as possible in the hopes of staging both events later in the year, but it is just not possible for these events, which rely on the presence of large numbers of spectators and sponsors, to go ahead under current restrictions.
Behind Closed Doors
Dependant as it is on the public to come in large numbers, the mega Silverstone Classic was cancelled for this year and, with the strange quarantine rules in place in the UK, club racing will no doubt be the beneficiary, as the clubs can run without spectators for the benefit of their members. For the moment, sporting events, including motor sports, must be run ‘behind closed doors’, which is to say without spectators and with a limited number of people in each team.
HSCC off to a Strong Start
Despite the restrictions, the Historic Sports Car Club is reporting a 300-strong entry when UK historic racing resumes at its Legends of Brands Hatch Super Prix meeting on the Grand Prix circuit on 11-12 July. With the Club’s F2 series particularly badly hit by race cancellations in the early part of the season, two F2 races have been added to the timetable.
The Club has confirmed its race meeting schedule for the balance of 2020, taking in Brands Hatch GP (11- July), Oulton Park International (29-31 August), Cadwell Park (19-20 September) and Silverstone National (17-18 October) circuits.
Each of the four race meetings will include a wide range of the Club’s categories and series and the Oulton Park Gold Cup will feature a special one-hour, two-driver race for pre-‘66 Jaguars for which any intending competitors are asked to enter as quickly as possible.
HSCC CEO Andy Dee-Crowne said, “Our 2020 calendar is, of course, entirely dependent upon instructions from both the government and Motorsport UK. However, the signs are increasingly positive and we are very encouraged by the response to our Brands Hatch meeting. I’d now like to ask competitors to enter for the remaining race meetings this season as this really helps us in planning for these events.”
Entries for all events are now open via the HSCC website (www. hscc.org.uk) and entry fees will only be taken at the closing date for entries. For the balance of 2020, full refunds will be given for any entries withdrawn up to the date of the event.
As is customary for the HSCC additional dates for certain HSCC categories are scheduled, including Historic Formula Ford 2000 at Zandvoort (4-6 September) and Spa (10-11 October); Historic Formula 2, Dijon (3-4 October); Classic F3 and Thundersports at Spa (24-26 September).
The Bentley Drivers Club has confirmed that its Silverstone meeting will go ahead on the revised date of Saturday 22 August – a move from its original slot of 8 August due to the Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix now scheduled over that weekend.
The ‘behind closed doors’ policy will mean that neither Club members nor general spectators will be allowed to attend the meeting, removing its typical garden party-style atmosphere that makes it one of the highlights of the BDC’s annual social calendar.
But racing members are so keen to get back on track and the Club is expecting a surge in entries, which will be very welcome. This will be the Club’s 72nd consecutive annual Silverstone race day!
The Donington Historic Festival was postponed from its early May date, and while Duncan Wiltshire of Motor Racing Legends was optimistic about getting an August date for the event, this has proved impossible and the event will now be postponed until next year.
GT & Sports Car Cup
After the loss of its Donington round, the GT&SCC will continue on its originally scheduled dates of 3-4 October at Castle Combe for the Castle Combe Autumn Classic and the Algarve Classic Festival, which promises to be a bumper year for the event, on 23-25 October.
FIA Championships to Kick off on Revised Donington Date
Reduced to just three races this season, long before the coronavirus struck, the FIA Masters Championships are set to kick off on a revised Donington date of 18-19 July, after the cancellation of the Silverstone Classic. Quarantine rules in the UK currently prevent non-UK based competitors from racing there, but the FIA is confident that these will be lifted before 18 July. All other Masters grids will also be racing.
The Formula 3 European Cup will go ahead with its scheduled races at the Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix on 4-6 September, with a revised closing date for entries of 10 August. There is already a strong Italian contingent registered.
The Masters will continue its season with the postponed Brands Hatch meeting, which will now take place on 22-23 August, but not as an FIA Championship counter.
After that, the Masters’ calendar is set to run as scheduled, with the Zandvoort Grand Prix in early September, and the Spa Six Hours meeting on 25-27 September, both also rounds of the FIA Championships, running on their original dates.
Portugal is one of the least hard hit countries by COVID 19. Authorities there closed borders and locked down early, and now Portugal is enjoying the fruits of such prudent management with a pretty full schedule of racing for the rest of the season. They also have the advantage of good weather in the south late into the year. New on the calendar is a meeting organised at the last minute at the Algarve circuit, where the Portuguese Championships, Iberian Endurance, Group 1 Portugal and remaining championships plus Caterhams and Kia Trophy will run. Calendars for the two main historic championships are as follows:
Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade Clássicos (CPVC)
18-19 July – Autódromo Algarve – new meeting
12-13 September - Braga Circuit
23-24 October - Autódromo Algarve
5-6 December - Estoril Circuit
Race Ready Iberian Historic Endurance
18-19 July - Autódromo Algarve – new meeting
9-11 October - Estoril Classic
17-18 October – Jerez
7-8 November – Jarama
21-22 November - Estoril 250kms
After two months of only being able to report postponements and cancellations, we are very pleased to have received news from the V de V organisation that the Deux Tours d’Horloge, scheduled for 6-8 November at Paul Ricard is very much on! The Deux Tours is the only 24-hour race reserved solely for historic cars. Unlike some of its predecessors that ran in two 12-hour heats, this year the race will run continuously for 24 hours. So, those who missed out early in the season can indulge themselves in many hours of racing, all in a single 24-hour day.
“Today there is no particular worry about the holding of the event, nor from my side nor from the circuit management’s side, said organiser Eric Van de Vyver. “In truth, the biggest risk for us today is to receive more entry requests than places available on the track.” In mid-May, there were around 40 confirmed entries and some 20 others on the way. “We received a lot of calls during the confinement period,” confirmed event coordinator, Laure Van de Vyver. “It’s clear drivers are missing their track time and are looking forward to our event.”
Cars from the early ‘60s to 1990 are eligible, but no slicks are allowed - only historic tread pattern, or road tyres - and cars like Porsche 964 and Sports 2000s have special restrictions in order to limit their performance. See https://vdev.fr for entry forms and information.
The French “deconfinement” of the population will allow the 2020 season of the Historic Tour (the French Historic Circuits Championship) to start on 17-19 July on the circuit of Albi, at a race meeting originally scheduled to take place in April. In accordance with other postponed dates already announced, the Championship will then continue at Dijon on 14-16 August and then Charade on 28-30 August. As in most countries, the autumn will prove crowded with race meetings at Nogaro and Val de Vienne on 11-13 and 25-27 September respectively, as well as HVM Racing non-championship meetings at Dijon (2-4 October) and the Bugatti Le Mans Circuit on 16-17 October.
“Obviously, the Albi meeting will take place in compliance with the specific health system in force on this date so that the event can be carried out in the safest conditions”, specified the promoter of the championship Laurent Vallery-Masson of HVM Racing. “To date, this could involve wearing masks, distancing measures in the paddock, banning gatherings of more than 10 people and a maximum of 5000 people on site, including spectators. I also hope that the situation will continue to develop favourably at European level, so that we can have the pleasure of welcoming teams from abroad.”
There is due to be another announcement by French authorities on 22 June, just as we go to press. After that date, the specific FFSA measures will be updated on the HVM and FFSA web sites.
The undulating hills surrounding the Algarve circuit will once again be reverberating to the sound of well-tuned racing engines
Regrettably WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca’s new management team has cancelled the 2020 Monterey Motorsports Reunion, yet another event to fall victim to COVID-19.
In a July 12 statement that included all the usual remarks about public and staff safety, President and General Manager of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca’s John Narigi said, “As was our plan, we waited until June before making a final decision. No matter how much we hoped, no one can fully anticipate what state mandates will be in place that will affect public events and social gatherings.”
The County of Monterey Health Department has approved a reopening plan for private track rentals that have strict health and safety protocols. Following these protocols, a “Driver Appreciation Weekend” has been created for 8-9 August to allow the significant number of entrants who have expressed interest in still running their cars on the challenging circuit the opportunity to do so.”
This must come as a frustrating blow for the new management team, who have not yet had the opportunity to show what they can do with the event.
Sebring and Daytona
However, some events scheduled for later in the year, such as HSR’s, 4-8 November Classic Daytona and Classic Sebring (3-6 December) race meetings, are still expected to go ahead.
Having announced the cancellation of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique for 2020, it was initially envisaged to wait until it’s natural date in 2022 for it to run again. This was largely due to the E-Grand Prix, run in alternate years in the May slot occupied in even numbered years by the Historique. However, by popular demand, the ACM has decided to run three Grands Prix next year, the Historique, which will take place on the earlier date of 23-25 April, the E-Prix on 8 May, and the F1 Grand Prix on 20-23 May, making a month of motor sport in the Principality, representing the past, future and present. It is envisaged that the Historique will then go back to its formula of alternate years, which means a special treat for historic racers, as it will also run on 13-15 May 2022.
“To organise three races in the space of one month will be a premiere for us all at the ACM,” commented Christian Tornatore, the General Commissioner of the Automobile Club de Monaco. “The logistical side promises to be complex, but not impossible to manage! Because of the new constraints, we shall need to start setting up the track earlier than usual, at the end of February, instead of mid-March.”
Bengt-Åce Gustavsson fills us in on how the Scandinavian season is shaping up…
Historic Racing in Sweden:
All racing in Sweden was banned during April, May and June. Now we are hoping that we can start racing in July, but we don´t know for sure. I´ll give you the calendar as it looks today: The opening round at Kinnekulle should have been raced in the middle of May, but is now moved to 5-6 September. The biggest race, Velodromloppet GP in Karlskoga, is moved to 9-11 October. Svenskt Sportvagnsmeeting at Ring Knutstorp is now postponed to next year. Our best hope is that the race meeting at Mantorp on 21-23 August will take place as scheduled, along with Falkenberg on 18-20 September.
The FIA European Hillclimb Championship has also been reworked to give competitors five events and the points rules revised accordingly:
11-12 July Trento Bondone
1-2 August Ecce Homo Sternberk
28-30 August GHD Petrol Ilirska Bistrica 18-20 September Buzetski Dani
25-27 September Coppa Chianti Classico
More generally speaking, the FIA, its Historic Motor Sport Commission, ASNs but also organisers have been working very hard to ensure the safety protocols necessary for motor sport to resume would be as clear as possible but also enforced at all levels. It looks like there is a strong will from the industry but also Competitors to come back on track.
We don’t envy the plight of race promoters in various countries in Europe and around the world, with each country mandating different safety measures when racing resumes, and these changing nearly from day to day. There is also the constant threat that the whole thing will go into reverse at the last minute and the resumption date further postponed. While this latter threat seems to be rapidly receding, organisers have been unable to give concrete answers to questions about what measure will be in place at their meetings. They can only reply that they will comply with government regulations in force at the time.
Roadbook organisation, which each year brings you the Spa Summer Classic and the Spa Six Hours meeting, is making it a hat-trick with a new, third meeting at the Francorchamps circuit, on 10-11 October this year.
HMR Holland will bring a full grid of monopostos for two races
For many years now, the other two meetings have been full to capacity, with many grid organisers being turned away due to lack of sufficient slots on the timetable. The Spa Hat Trick meeting, much like the Spa Summer Classic in its early days - before it became a meeting in its own right with its own character - will initially welcome the overflow from the other two meetings, but will no doubt take on a shape and character of its own in future years.
NKHTGT grids are full and diverse
One of the most memorable eras of motor racing was the first five years of Group A. The European Championship was healthy and the national series were rising. In the big class Rover, Holden, Jaguar, BMW, Ford and the old Volvos battled it out, and there was close racing in the 1600 and 2500cc classes as well. Nowadays, these cars are racing with the much faster FIA J2 cars, like Cosworth Sierra and BMW M3 and sometimes even with the Super Tourers of the late ‘90s.
Since its inaugural race at Donington late in 2018, the HRDC has successfully built up its Classic Alfa Challenge series in 2019 and will continue it into 2020 with a flagship race at the Silverstone Classic for the marque in its 110th anniversary year. Alfa races always attract good grids, the Alfa Revival Cup series in Italy, and the Scuderia del Portello-run Tutto Alfa races at Monza, being cases in point. Not many single marques would be able to do that. It is therefore hoped that a full grid of 75 Alfas from all over Europe will put on a fitting show to celebrate the milestone in the history of a company that has produced more racing cars and more top results than any other.
Scheduled for 6-8 November on the F1 track at the Paul Ricard circuit, this 24-hour event, unique in the world of historic competition, is decidedly back in favour after some lean times. With a maximum of 60 grid spaces available, the list of confirmed entries has already exceeded 40 with nine months to go before the event, with another 40 having expressed interest.
Amongst the entries are Henri Leconte, who will be at the wheel of Eric Van de Vyver’s TVR Griffith 200, and Philippe Gache who will partner "John Doe" in his Chevron B36. There will be family teams from Patrice Lafargue, whose IDEC Sport team is the reigning champion of the European Le Mans Series, and who will be sharing another B16 with his son Paul, while two TVR Griffith 400s will be driven by José Beltramelli and his sons Brady and Viny, and by 2019 French Champion Didier Gruau, joining forces with his talented heirs Julien and Ghislain Gaubert. Brothers Matthieu and Jean-Baptiste Châteaux will drive a BMW 635 CSI entered by their parental team, while Jean-Jacques Mancel, the editor of the magazine Berlinette Mag will share his Alpine A310 V6 with his son Cyril.
Diary of a Virus
28 February: The historic motor sport world is increasingly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, as more and more drastic measures are taken by governments to curb its spread.
Gatherings of 1000 people or more are banned in Switzerland, and The Ice event in St Moritz, due to run on February 29, is one of the first casualties, soon followed by the cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show. It is a decision that clearly didn’t take into consideration the rule of unintended consequences. On the same weekend that the outdoor Ice concours was cancelled, those who would have been strolling on the frozen lake were instead packing themselves into crowded cable cabins and going up the mountain. A number of cars went out on the lake anyway.
2020 is a special year for Zandvoort as FIA Formula One returns to The Netherlands for the first time since 1985 and the circuit is being upgraded to welcome its return. The upgrades to the circuit include two new banked corners, improved run off areas and expansion of the paddock (check out Google or Youtube for some videos of the ongoing work).
Zandvoort has long been associated with Formula 3
Single-seater racers from the Historic Sports Car Club will have the chance to race on the famous Pau street circuit, first used for the French Grand Prix in 1930 and virtually unchanged since. In partnership with event promoters HVM Racing, up to 2-litre cars from the HSCC single-seater ranks will tackle a double-header over the weekend of 30-31 May. Originally billed as a round of the HSCC’s Historic Formula 2 series, it became clear that the timing was awkward as the date falls immediately after the Masters Festival F2 round at Brands Hatch and is itself followed the next weekend by a round at Dijon. “Consequently entries will surely suffer,” said Roger Bevan, HSCC F2 Championship Chairman. Therefore the grid has been opened up to cars from the new Geoff Lees Trophy. Launched this year, the Geoff Lees Trophy series is open to up to 2-litre Formula 2, Formula Atlantic, Formula 3, Formula Ford 2000, Formula Vauxhall Lotus, Formula Renault and Formula Super Vee cars built and raced during the 1980s.
A Century of Automotive History on Track
Le Mans Classic, the biennial event with its six grids for cars from 1923 to 1981, will include even more cars racing on the legendary track this year, with single marque support races for both Porsche and Jaguar and, as has become the tradition, two Group C races. This year the latter will run in partnership with Mazda, who will take the opportunity to celebrate its centenary during the July 2-5 event. The Japanese manufacturer will be bringing its iconic 787B. Even later cars will also be running, with the Peter Auto series Endurance Racing Legends no longer on display, but engaged in real racing. A 75-car grid of these GT and prototypes from the 1990s and 2000s is expected.
Bravo (Belgian Racing Automobile Vintage Organisation) the promoter behind the ever-popular Belgian historic championship, has announced five rounds for the 2020 season. Starting early in the year, they go to Zolder to support the 1000km of Zolder 2CV Cup on 21-22 March. At the end of June they go to Spa-Francorchamps for the Spa Summer Classic, before returning to Zolder in mid-August for the Historic Grand Prix Zolder. With a return to Circuit Zolder for the American NASCAR Festival at the beginning of October (3-4), they will end the season at the Nürburgring on 16-17 October for the Westfalen Trophy meeting.
This year will see a new class, “Nineties”, for cars after 1990 but with a maximum engine capacity of 2500cc. The category is therefore open to small cars (Peugeot 106, Toyota Yaris, etc.) and serves as an entry class for drivers who want to discover circuit racing at an affordable price. See www.bravoracing.be for entries and details.