Previews of upcoming events, Race & Rally Reports, News, Reviews, Letters and Regulation Information from Historic Motor Racing News.
Carol Spagg writes – We have lost yet another giant in the world of historic Motorsport, in fact someone who helped kick the whole movement off. While pursuing a successful career as a privateer in what was then modern motorsport, he also found time to collect and race historic cars. Collector, broadcaster, historian, journalist, raconteur, Spitfire pilot, tour guide, racing driver and good friend to many, Alain De Cadenet died on July 2 at the age of 76.
In the two Masters Racing legends races for 1966-85 F1 cars on 7-10 July, it would have been a double victory for Jamie Constable in his Tyrell 011B but a broken wing allowed Jonathan Holtzman to take the second race in his Lotus 87B. Ron Maydon won the pre-78 class in his Lec CRP1. Meantime Danny Baker had no such trouble to win both the Formula Atlantic races. David Porter in his Peugeot 908 dominated both the Endurance Legends events.
Top aviator and long-time stalwart of historic racing Tony Bianchi was recovering from an expensive and painful impact suffered at Silverstone when he had been stuffed into the barriers by a pushy competitor when the thought occurred to him and racer wife Pia that it was time for a new type of race series. It should be one that would take it back to the very roots of the sport when Guy Griffiths and Betty Haig presided at the birth of the HSCC.
The St Moritz Car Week takes place on 4-9 September and as we go to press the organisers are still asking for entries. It incorporates the Targa Poschiavo Engiadina, a two-day rally for pre-war cars from 1905 to 1962, a Sotheby’s auction, the Motorsports Rendezvous (described as a luxurious garden party amongst vehicles with special themes), a Super-Car rally, a Mobility forum (including discussions about e-fuels) and for historic racing enthusiasts the famous Bernina Gran Turismo hillclimb. https://i-s-a-w.com.
The HRDC’s inaugural Gerry Marshall Trophy for Group 1.5 Touring Cars, the first by that name outside of Goodwood, took place at Snetterton on 19 June with a 45-minute single pit stop race. An impressive 29 car grid started with 19 different makes or models represented in a field of…
Early September will see two big historic meetings on the US East Coast. Celebrating its 40th year, the Lime Rock Historic Festival on 1-5 September in New Hampshire launches into action over Labor Day weekend with a 17-mile tour through the area on Thursday’s Vintage Race Car and Sports Car…
Continuing a theme of Historic Racing looking for new directions, the iconic race meeting at Laguna Seca on 21 August will for the first time conclude with a reverse direction hillclimb. Advisory Council member Bruce Canepa said the climb will be exciting, “I’ve raced several times at Goodwood Festival of Speed yet doing it up the Laguna Seca Corkscrew is an unprecedented experience. I don’t know who will enjoy it more, the drivers or the fans”. Part of a strategy to engage new fans and give entrants and their attending families a chance to unwind, the ‘shoot out’ will be limited to 60 cars that competed in the historic races or are deemed of special interest.
Supporting IMSA’s Chevrolet Grand Prix Masters USA were two Masters Racing Legends races for 1966-1985 Formula One cars on 1-3 July. Although there were only eight starters at the legendary Mosport circuit in Canada, it was Britons Jamie Constable and Lee Mowle who shared the wins. After a troubled qualifying, Constable starred in Saturday’s race by hauling his Tyrrell 011B all the way from the back, to eventually pass Bud Moeller’s Williams FW08
The Historic Racing Drivers Club took over the lesser-known Kent circuit on 3 July to run double races for the Jack Sears Trophy, Dunlop Allstars and their ever-growing Alfa Challenge. In the latter category, George Osbourne in the ex-Peter Hilliard GRP2 Alfetta GTV normally driven by Chris Snowden, came out on top after close battles with Ben Colburn in a Giulia Sprint GT. Both Jack Sears and Dunlop Allstars races were ruled by Pete Chambers’ Cortina, despite the close attention of Nathan Heathcote’s Mini which, well suited to the short up and down hill track, at least won the first heat.
June 18-19 saw one of the world’s largest vintage racing organisation return to Indianapolis Speedway after a two-year break. Featuring pre-war Indy cars, single seater classes and numerous sports and GT races there was plenty to attract interest. Champion racer Jimmy Vassar made a return to his roots and won both the Formula Ford events while Formula Vee was popular as ever. The other star attraction was Geoff Brabham, who did almost as well, winning the second of his races in a 1971 1600cc Brabham BT35. It was also the 47th annual convention of the Shelby American Automobile Club.
Fine hot weather and the joy of returning crowds lining the routes and town squares greeted participants in the Mille Miglia run on 15-18 June. Entries were up 25% on last year and over 400 cars were chosen to take the start. Navigating their way through the time trials (some even on dirt) that have taken the place of the original 1950s road race, Andrea Vesco and Fabio Salvinelli won again in their 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C1750 Zagato.
Picturesque Vernasca lies deep in the Piacenza region of northern Italy where, between 1953 and 1972, it hosted a legendary hillclimb that ascended 290m from Castell’Arquato via Lugnano over an 8.5km course. Many a famous name drove here when it was part of the European Championship in the 1950s and 60s, but these days it is run as an untimed demonstration in a festival atmosphere.
With a final court appeal denied, it is now all but certain there will be no more racing at the historic eastern Canadian Circuit Mont-Tremblant after a campaign by locals led by the “Association des Résidents pour la Qualité de Vie”. It’s a significant blow to the sport in general and the Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA) in particular. “I was informed on June 10 that Le Circuit has exhausted all legal options regarding the sound-limit restrictions to continue racing at the track,” explained a shocked and saddened HMSA President Cris Vandagriff.
British Pair Nick Sleep and Alex Montgomery won the Plateau 5 event in their Lola T70 at the Le Mans Classic, but it took a turn of events worthy of the Michel Vaillant comic book ‘le Fantome des 24 Heures’. Sleep in an Elan broke down at the Mulsanne chicane…
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion takes place this year on 17-20 August at Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca. It usually attracts a top selection of some of the most authentic race cars in the USA and afar. Complementing the planned 24 Hours of Le Mans centenary kick-off celebration will the appearance of record nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans champion Tom Kristensen who will serve as Grand Marshal. Remarkably he won half of all his Le Mans starts, quite a career. Info at https://hsrrace.com.
The Alfa Spettacolo Sportizo returned to Zandvoort in Holland on 2-3 July, finally without the COVID pandemic restrictions of previous years. This festival of the ‘Alfisti’ featured races from the ‘Squadra Italia’ series, including their classes of diverse models from the 1970s upwards and the 105 series cup. There were demonstration runs called ‘Tribunes‘ and also opportunities for visitors to drive the on the track.
One hundred and eight rather special automobiles gathered in southern France for the annual International Bugatti Meeting, this year organised by Club Bugatti France on 12-19 June. These iconic examples of motoring that were built in Molsheim between 1910-1939 congregated in the village of Najac for a week. There were entrants from 18 countries across Europe, North America, Japan and Australia who came to enjoy the 1200km route, sample some of the Occitanie region’s best driving roads, and celebrate the brand’s history. Among the diverse fleet of automobiles were two outstanding creations from the famous French marque, the 750kg lightweight Type 35 “Grand Prix de Lyon” from 1924, and a 5000cc Type 54, one of four to remain in existence.
If an early autumn trip to Italy’s Veneto region sounds appealing, what about a visit to Auto e Moto d’Epoca fair at Padua, which returns on 20-23 October. Only 20 minutes from Venice this classic car and bike show has all manner of delectable items from the rich but not often seen catalogues of collectors from 46 different countries. Up to 5000 models are on show or for sale and there are exhibitions, specialist car parts and automobilia. Visit www.autoemotodepoca.com
Only two weeks before the start date the organisers have reluctantly had to postpone the rally until 1-5 November after it became clear they would not get the required authorisations from the tourist district authorities. This event which comprises 1200 km in total, includes 430 km in 29 timed special stages and normally compliments the Winter version in January. Previously run in mostly warm, dry and dusty conditions through the remote forests, it could take on a different character during the new late autumn dates. Info at www.romania-historic-rally.com.
The ‘Midnight Sun’ of Sweden’s summer was one of the iconic names of 1950s and 60s rallying, held on mostly forested dirt roads closed to the public, combined with some tarmac tests often around race circuits. The 2022 event was no exception and incorporated some iconic stages dating from events as far back as 1951. It is the country’s largest historic rally, attracting crews from across Scandinavia and 5000 spectators gathered to watch the start.