Previews of upcoming events, Race & Rally Reports, News, Reviews, Letters and Regulation Information from Historic Motor Racing News.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
After races at Barcelona, Pau and Spa, Historic Endurance Racing held its first race on Portuguese soil this season at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve on 30-31 July. The meeting was held in the heatwave conditions that have affected most of Europe.
A regular fixture for the Dutch National NKHTGT Championship, competitors gathered at their home circuit of Assen on 5-7 August for their fourth round of the season. The series, for GT and touring cars also accepts some prototypes by invitation, but this time they shared the track with the German-based Triumph Competition & British HTGT cars, so no prototypes were on the grid.
A week after the Oulton Park Gold Cup, which this year featured a mixture of races from different organisers, the Historic Sports Car Club returned to the Cheshire circuit to give its core club drivers the opportunity to race on the International circuit for a one-day meeting on 6 August. Summer holidays and competing events resulted in thin grids amongst the HSCC rank and file, who nonetheless spent an enjoyable day.
With a new organiser taking up the mantle, the longest standing historic event in the world was looking to wash away the memories of COVID and last year’s floods, even though its club-sized meeting in 2020 proved anything but unpleasant. Having been forced to postpone its 49th edition for a year, the 2022 Oldtimer Grand Prix did feel like a fresh start, with Masters, the HGPCA and Formula Junior returning to add to the numerous local series. Mattijs Diepraam reports…
Originated in 1954 as a non-championship Formula 1 race, the Oulton Park Gold Cup evolved over many phases before becoming North West England’s contribution to British Historic racing’s landscape. In a bid to counter a decline in support in recent years, exacerbated by COVID-19 and travel restrictions for overseas competitors, and a seemingly fait accompli sequestration of its traditional August Bank Holiday date by Classic Silverstone, circuit group owner MotorSport Vision instigated a broader selection of races on 29-31 July this year, inviting some from outside logistics organiser HSCC’s portfolio.
After COVID put paid last year to a new end-of-year meeting at Spa, (to be known as Spa Hat trick), organiser Roadbook scheduled its third Spa meeting, after the Spa Summer Classic and Spa Six Hours, for the weekend of 5-7 August this year, and named it SuperSpa, launched with the slogan ‘not all heroes wear capes, some wear helmets.’ While Spa is well-known for its erratic and anything but predictable weather conditions, drivers and the public enjoyed three days of uninterrupted sunshine. Marcel Hundscheid Reports..