The Magazine

Previews of upcoming events, Race & Rally Reports, News, Reviews, Letters and Regulation Information from Historic Motor Racing News.

These stories are all from the pages of Historic Motor Racing News.  Some have been abbreviated for this web site.  If you'd like to receive the full version, go to Subscribe where you will find postal subscriptions available.  A full subscription also entitles you to access the current issue online (available soon), so you can take it with you and read it anywhere, and we are working on providing full access to our archives of back issues exclusively for our subscribers.  Those who subscribe online are automatically given access to our bulletin board area.

The Magazine

The Historic Sports Car Club has devised an outstanding 12-race (six race weekends) calendar for its 2021 Historic Formula 2 International Series, with highlights to be prime slots at three of Europe’s biggest historic racing festivals: The Historic Grand Prix de France at Paul Ricard, the Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix and, after the 2019 event was marked by a record field of more than 50 Formula 2 cars, the Silverstone Classic (see our calendar section this issue). Historic F2 was declared ‘race series of the year’ in the 2020 Royal Automobile Club Historic Awards. According to Championship Chairman Roger Bevan, “The signs are clear that the tremendous momentum gathered in 2019 will readily carry forward into 2021.”

The Championship is open to cars built to period regulations for Formula 2, Formula Atlantic and Formula B, starting from 1967 and running right through to the end of the 1978 season. Later cars, designed to employ ground effect technology, are not permitted. See hscc.org.uk for full regulations.

Karin Kölzer and Stefan Eckhardt, organisers of the German-based Youngtimer Trophy for cars from homologation years 1966-1991, have presented an eight-event calendar for 2021 that spans three countries for its 29th season. Races include a three-hour support race on the world’s most demanding racetrack, the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where the Youngtimers will be on the racecard of the ADAC 24h race.

For 2021 most races are of an hour’s duration, but the visit to the Nürburgring GP track will be run in two 30-minute heats with combined results. Such is the demand for places on the grid, cars will run in two race groups. From the small displacement cars such as NSU TT, VW Polo and Audi 50; to the stars of the 1970s like Opel Kadett C Coupe or Ford Escort; to the most recent vehicles, such as BMW M3 or Mercedes 190E, models that were successful in the DTM; or Group 5 Porsches that are regularly seen on the podium, the Youngtimer Trophy hosts a huge variety of machinery. See
www.youngtimertrophy.de for details.

Youngtimer Trophy, Provisional Calendar 2021

April 16-18, Hockenheim

May 21-23, Nürburgring GP

June 03-06, Nürburgring Nordschleife

July 16-18, Spa Francorchamps

August 27-29, Assen

September 17-19, Nürburgring Nordschleife

The 2021 Appendix K is available online at
www.fia.com/regulations-0

23-25 April Rechberg, Austria
28-30 May Ecce Homo Sternberk, Czech Republic
18-20 June GHD Gorjanci, Slovenia
02-04 July Trento Bondone, Italy
09-11 July Cesana Sestriere, Italy
27-29 August GHD Petrol Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenia
17-19 September Buzetski dani, Croatia
24-26 September Coppa Chianti Classico, Italy

The Grand Prix De France Historique is, like its modern counterpart, moving from Magny-Cours to the Paul Ricard circuit at Le Castellet, and this year the biennial event will take place on 10-13 June, two weeks before the Formula One GP, when the weather and the joys of Provence should be at their optimum. Designed as a festival for single-seaters, the programme includes rounds of all the popular monoposto series: Historic Formula 1, MAXX Formula, Formula Ford Historic, F3 FRenault, the Lurani Trophy for Formula Junior, HSCC Formula 2, and two grids of GP cars from the HGPCA, for pre-‘61 and pre-‘68 cars. Promoted by HVM racing, entries should be made through individual grid organisers. Other races include GT and touring cars, Lotus Trophy, as well as a round of the Masters Sports Car Championship.

The Dutch Championship for pre- ‘66 Historic Touring and GT cars, NKHTGT, was established in 1996 and will enter its 25th anniversary year with a busier schedule than ever. Instead of the usual six events, drivers will get seven race weekends on some of the best European circuits, including two races at Barcelona-Catalunya on 3-4 September, which will be free of charge for season entrants. As support to the Hankook 24H Series, one of the races will be run at night. A very affordable series, thanks to large numbers of loyal followers on the grid and also to the generosity of sponsor Nolte Kitchens, the 2021 package deal for the entire NKHTGT season is €3,250 and single entries are €795 per event, for two races.

Always a series focussed on preserving automotive heritage, organisers are at the same time looking ahead to the next 25 years. Effective from this year, the series will reduce its carbon footprint by offsetting greenhouse gas emissions from its races. This will be in collaboration with the Land Life Company, a technology-driven reforestation company with a mission to help restore the two billion hectares of degraded land worldwide. To achieve this, Land Life Company uses data and technology - drones, artificial intelligence and monitoring apps. By planting trees in places where they are most needed, the company ensures the restoration of important ecosystems, increased biodiversity and social and economic benefits for local communities.

“We are pleased that as a racing series we can contribute towards making historic motorsport more sustainable. This is not a stand-alone initiative. We do this in cooperation with race organisers and the circuits. Together we are working towards the future of our sport, under the umbrella of the FIA Guide for Sustainable Events. Together, as drivers and supporters and board of trustees, we look forward to the next 25 years of historic racing in the NKHTGT,” commented NKHTGT Chairman Bert Mets.

NKHTGT 2021 Calendar

16-18 April Hockenheim

4-5 June Zandvoort

25-26 June Spa-Francorchamps

9-11 July Zolder

6-8 August TT-Circuit Assen

3-4 September Barcelona

8-10 October Dijon

The traditional start to the German Historic Motorsport season is the Bosch Hockenheim Historic event, dedicated to the memory of Jim Clark. This year, on 7-8 May, the feature race at the long-standing event will be a new Group C Super Cup race for Group C, IMSA & GTP cars running to 1982-1993 specification. With support from competition suspension specialists and main sponsor, KW automotive GmbH, this will be an inaugural standalone race for 2021 with more events planned for 2022. Zoe Copas, who has been the main contact and admin for the Group C series for many years, first with Bob Berridge at the helm, and then with Patrick Peter, said a number of people have been asking, “if we could do some races for those with smaller budgets, newcomers, less frequent racers etc. So in conjunction with Hockenheim circuit and the Gebhardt Marketing Services we will be the feature race at the Bosch Hockenheim Historic. The last time these cars raced at Hockenheim was way back in July 1985 when they ran in the 1000kms WEC race.” For entries contact zoe@groupcracing or see more details at www.groupcracing.com.

As tradition dictates, the Formula Junior Lurani Trophy championship will also start their season at the Hockenheim Historic, and the HSCC will bring a round of its F2 Championship. Amongst local races on the programme is the German-based Tourenwagen Classic series, celebrating DTM cars of the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Just a few of short months ago, we reviewed Tony Merrick’s outstanding book, ‘A Life Restoring & Racing Historic Cars’ (see our September 2020 issue), and this month we must report the death, on 15 December, of this pillar of the early historic motorsport movement. As Tony set out in his book, he was one of the first to be enthusiastic about racing what were at the time out-of-date racing cars. He was one of the pioneers that conserved and restored these cars without knowing they would one day be a valuable part of our industrial heritage and without whom there would be far fewer of them left in the world.

Tony was an early board member of the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association and at various times was the Association’s President and Vice President. A talented mechanic, who brought back to life, and at times even re-created, some of the worlds’ most important racing cars, Tony was also a fine driver himself and a life-long supporter of the sport. His book is a must-read for anyone interested in how the idea of racing old cars took off in such a big way starting from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Tony was very much a pivotal part of that story and remained a racer until recent years. We send our sincere condolences to his wife, Yvonne, who was very much involved throughout the journey, and to the rest of his friends and family.

The last 2020 meeting of the World Motor Sport Council has ratified a change to the Chairmanship of the FIA Historic Motor Sport Commission. By statute incumbent Chairman Paolo Cantarella could no longer hold the position after he had reached the age of 75. Cantarella was appointed in 2014 with strong support from Jean Todt, himself about to reach the cut-off date for office. The new Chairman, John Naylor, is President of Motorsport Ireland (the Irish ASN) and will continue to hold that office, and was already a Commission member. He also chairs the FIA Historic Circuits Sub-Commission. In recent years he has acted as permanent steward for the FIA Historic Formula One and Historic Sports Car Championships. “I got my first racing car when I was 18,” said Naylor, talking about how he grew to love the sport, “My father and I went to Mondello, it was my first time there, and we ended up buying a racing car before we left and I’ve been hooked ever since,” he recalled. The car was a Lotus 69 Formula Ford 1600. Now aged 57, he has a collection of historic cars. An experienced hillclimb racer, John is a long-time member of the Wexford Motor Club, serving as the Club’s Chairman on three different occasions. John has been married to wife, Una for 27 years and has a son aged 23 and two daughters aged 21 and 16.

In our September issue, we described the frightening accident that occurred at Elkhart Lake circuit when the Shadow Can-Am car driven by Jim Pace went airborne and landed upside down before skidding along the track for hundreds of metres. It could have easily ended in serious injury or even death for Jim, but he crawled out of the wreck completely unscathed. “I am fine. Not a scratch or bruise,” he said.

Instead Jim Pace has been felled by COVID-19, on November 19 at the age of 59.

Tributes have been flowing in for the sportscar racer, Daytona 24 and Sebring 12-hour winner, racing instructor, historic race organiser and, latterly, partner at Historic Sportscar Racing, the organisation responsible for the Classic Daytona 24 and Classic 12 Hour Sebring events, amongst many others. Pace’s relaxed southern style and natural elegance will be greatly missed in the paddock.