Previews of upcoming events, Race & Rally Reports, News, Reviews, Letters and Regulation Information from Historic Motor Racing News.
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Vengeance and Compensation Ater two years of postponement and rescheduling, Rétromobile was finally back on its spot on the winter calendar where it belongs – early February. And with a vengeance, as it proved hard to find anyone disagreeing with the observation that the French car show was bigger and…
F5000 New Zealand
Taupō International Motorsport Park was the venue for the second round of the SAS Autoparts MSC, NZ F5000 championship on the weekend of 20-22 January. In perfect weather, five cars put in impressive sub 1:30 qualifying times on the full 3.4km International circuit, the quickest of which was Grant Martin (Talon MR1/A) at 1.27.295, (circuit record for the category is held by Michael Lyons at 1:25.301), while favourite Kevin Ingram (Lola T332) failed to qualify, and withdrew on the first lap. Tony Roberts, in the ‘high wing’ McLaren M10A, was the fastest of the older Class A cars, achieving a personal best of 1.32.952.
Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique
The first edition of the of the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique was run in 1998, and it took place at the same time as the modern WRC rally. Such a huge undertaking caused all sorts of logistical problems for the organisers, so after that the ACM took the decision to separate the two events, and ever since they have run ten days apart.
Silver Fern Rally of New Zealand 2022
Winner of the St Mary’s Trophy race at the Goodwood Revival, multiple class winner at Rally GB, Brabham and McLaren Formula One team insider, BBC Television’s Formula One pit lane commentator and more, Tony Jardine has an impressively diverse motor sport CV. He has also been a rally driver for over 40 years, competing in 26 WRC RAC rallies.
Classic Sebring 12 Hours – HSR Props & Pistons
Now owned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) was formed in the mid-1970s with one goal: to celebrate the race cars of the past. Amongst the many meetings now organised by HSR is the annual Props & Pistons meeting at Sebring that, running from Wednesday to Sunday, brings a packed schedule of racing that features the 12 Hours of Sebring tribute race and includes a Friday “fly-in” and weekend display of military and civilian aircraft from the last half century.
Gulf Historic Dubai GP Revival
While most of us settled down as the winter closed in, the Gulf Historic Dubai GP Revival returned to the Dubai Autodrome for the second year on 25-27 November, showcasing F1 cars of the ‘70s through to the ‘90s and GT, sports and prototypes of the ‘80s and 2000s, with numerous motorsport legends racing and/or giving demos on track. Amongst these were Alain Prost, Mark Webber, Stefan Johansson, Timo Bernhard, Thierry Boutsen, Stanley Dickens and Marco Werner, enjoying the 35-degree sunshine.
The Estoril Classics meeting has grown and grown in popularity amongst the drivers, with healthy grid sizes, and with the local population, the circuit announcing 35,000 spectators filling the grandstands and tickets to the paddock areas sold out. Supported by Peter Auto, on a five-year contract, it was also the theatre for the final round of the 2022 season for the Series by Peter Auto on the weekend of 7-9 October.
Castle Combe Autumn Classic
The presence of a golden orb in the sky above Castle Combe for the 10th anniversary Autumn Classic on September 24 was a welcome novelty for competitors and spectators following several soggy editions. Long hailed as the most relaxed on Britain’s historic calendar, the event attracted some sensational cars and provided some superb racing, none better than in the returning GT & Sports Car Cup’s inaugural Group 1 Touring Car sibling.
Spa Six Hours
First run in 1993 on the hallowed Francorchamps circuit, Roadbook’s Spa Six Hours remains the world’s favourite endurance race for Pre-1966 cars, this year run on 30 September. The number of teams was a little over 10 per cent down this year – 90 cars turned out for qualifying – but the coveted Belgian prize gets no easier to win. While the 7.004 kilometre circuit remains unchanged, the glorious backdrop between La Source and Eau Rouge looked very different to regular pilgrims.
French Championships Historic Tour Charade
The circuit of Charade is the only one to have appeared on the calendar of the Historic Tour every year since it was first run in 2015 and therefore holds a very special place in the French Championships. The 3.9km permanent mountain track created at the end of the 1980s retains the genes of the previous “big” Charade road circuit with its sinuous up and down character, frequented in its time by Formula 1.
The death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II eight days before the event opened, ending a magnificent seven-decade reign, changed the 24th Goodwood Revival Meeting’s dynamic to one of all-pervading respect and admiration for the United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch. Set against the venue’s 1948-1966 backdrop, with union flags at half-mast above the pits and tributes from a visibly moved Duke of Richmond, the cream of the racing over three gloriously warm and sunny September days nonetheless remained sensational.
Something or somebody different in the winner’s circle, especially when the natural order is overturned, is always appreciated by dyed-in-the-wool motor sport enthusiasts bored with samey World Championship Formula 1 races every other weekend. The Classic at Silverstone provided just that when Ben Mitchell beat the period-dominant March 782s to score the first Historic F2 victories for a French Martini chassis built at Magny-Cours.
Anderstorp Race Festival
The Swedish Racerhistoriska Klubben and the Anderstorp Racing Club jointly organised the fourth round of their 2022 championship at Scandinavian Raceway Anderstorp, their first visit to the southern Swedish circuit since 2013. Close to 200 drivers participated, including the guest grid NKHTGT from Holland with their pre-’66 GT and touring cars. Some Swedes took part in the Dutch heats and some Dutch took the opportunity to enter the Swedish races where they enjoyed driving on the 4.02-kilometre ex-F1 circuit in very mixed weather conditions. Indeed, it rained all day on Saturday, while on Sunday there was some sunny respite between showers.
Dix Mille Tours
As the August holidays came to a close, the 12th edition of the Dix Mille Tours on the Paul Ricard circuit ran on the same weekend (26-28 August) as the Silverstone Classic in blazing southern sunshine enjoyed by an audience of 15,000 spectators and nearly 460 cars from the clubs, coming to take advantage of the sinuous roads of the Var that lead to the circuit on its plateau above the resorts of Bandol and St Cyr-sur-Mer.
French Championships Historic Tour Val De Vienne
At the end of a long break of four months, the Historic Tour season resumed for its second half at the Val de Vienne circuit on 9-11 September for the fourth of six 2022 race meetings. The 3.7km circuit welcomed nearly 300 drivers over three days for two sprint races in each of the various championships, and the 200km Endurance race on Saturday evening.
Monterey Car Week
Exotic Ferraris, Jaguars, Aston Martins, Corvettes, Mustangs, a Lotus, Porsches, Maseratis passing us on Highway 101, just a reminder as we drove south from the San Francisco area through the hills and valleys of Steinbeck country toward the Monterey Peninsula that the Monterey Car Week was beginning. With over two dozen major events it is a busy week.
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
Regular Monterey-goers will fondly remember the days when seeing Stirling Moss, Tony Brooks or Juan Manuel Fangio in the Laguna Seca paddock was not all that unusual, and this year’s event was like old times, with its own star-studded cast in attendance, including Patrick Long, Dario Franchitti, Lyn St. James, John Morton, Rick Knoop, Jochen Mass, Jacky Ickx, Tom Kristensen, Henri Pescarolo, Stefan Johansson, Ron Fellows, Peter Brock and Bob Garretson, to name just a few.
HSCC Croft Nostalgia
Last run in 2019, pre-COVID, the Croft Nostalgia event brought the Historic Sports Car Club’s brand of racing back to the north east of England to a rousing reception on September 3-4. A good spectator turnout, many of whom arrived in a vast spectrum of classic cars – including an immaculate MG TA bought by its owner from a scrapyard for four pounds and 10 shillings in 1968 – witnessed some fine racing on one of the country’s most pleasant circuits.
VSCC Mallory Park
The Vintage Sports-Car Club made its annual visit to Mallory Park in Leicestershire on Sunday 21 August for the last of four 2022 race meetings. After morning practice, a grid walk-about was staged featuring the Edwardian class and much of the large crowd attended for a closeup view. John Whiteman reports…
The circuit is set in a natural bowl with excellent viewing over virtually all its 1.35 miles, but it was a great pity that the two commentators could only be heard in the paddock and not by the large crowd of spectators. Apparently, this is not an uncommon occurrence at Mallory.
Vintage Sports-Car Club Prescott Speed Hillclimb
In modern day parlance Prescott would be The Vintage Sports-Car Clubs ‘halo’ meeting but suffice it to say, it is the club’s most anticipated event as much for its social side as for the hill climbing. This year’s was held on 6-7 August in perfect conditions, both for climbing and picnicking in the Orchard. John Whiteman sends this report..