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.

 

Bits and Pieces

Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR), organisers of Daytona 24 Classic and Sebring Classic 12 Hour, amongst many others, has been named the new sanctioning body of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (WRLS).  The previous sanctioning body was the Historic Motor Sports Association.

In the new multi-year partnership, HSR will provide expertise in vetting entries for authenticity, competitor and participant registration and full technical scrutineering for both the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and Monterey Pre-Reunion.

Previously owned by SCRAMP, who also held the franchise for the track, and now owned by the County of Monterey, new track managers A&D Narigi will take care of the event in its entirety, retaining the marshals, rescue and medical, timing and scoring and all ancillary activities associated with the event. 

HSR will play a critical role in the selection process and ensure the cars are appropriately grouped.  It will take responsibility for technical inspection, competitor relations and conduct driver meetings, etc.  When it comes to on-track racing, HSR will be the primary point of contact.

Established in the mid-1970s, HSR is currently operated by David Hinton, who acquired majority ownership of the organisation in 2012 in partnership with the late George Tuma.  A racer himself, who often participates at Monterey, Hinton has served as HSR President ever since.  When asked about his plans for the event, Hinton said, “I think what they’ve got going on has been phenomenal with the best cars in the world racing out there and I don’t think we need to change that.  It’s simply the best vintage race in the country.  Some of the people on the East Coast have never been comfortable going out there, so I think they might be a little more inclined to send an entry in now.”

“Our intent is to continue evolving the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion to new levels of excitement by continuing to attract and present the very finest historic and authentic race cars that owners want to drive and fans want to see,” explained John Narigi, president and general manager of WeatherTech Raceway. “In partnership with HSR, we will continue this journey.”

The Blower Continuation Series is a run of 12 newly-built recreations of one of the most famous Bentleys of all time – the supercharged 4½-Litre ‘Blower’ Bentley raced by Sir Tim Birkin in the late 1920s.  Forming the world’s first pre-war continuation series, Bentley Motors is creating 12 cars amid protests from owners of real Bentleys and the disapproval of many historians and lovers of the original cars.  All 12 new cars have been pre-sold.

 

From our Editor..

We have a pretty active Facebook group, the members of which are historic motor sport enthusiasts from all the corners of the world, and I always look forward to reading their posts.  I saw a post by Ian McAlpine that I loved and decided to share it here.  However I then started looking into the personality of its subject and had to add some of what I found in my researches to what Ian originally posted.

The driver Alfonso Antonio Vicente Eduardo Angel Blas Francisco de Borja Cabeza de Vaca Y Leighton, better known as the Marquis de Portago, would have made James Hunt’s exploits seem run of the mill.  He was born in London and, aged 17 flew a light aircraft under Tower Bridge to win a $500 bet, losing his pilot’s licence in the process.  He played a ferocious game of Jai-Alai (Pelota), swam competitively, won a tennis title and took up top-level polo, yachting and shooting.  He was a fearless horseman, winning three successive French amateur titles, rode in the Grand National twice and, in 1956, represented Spain at the winter Olympics in their bobsleigh team coming a creditable fourth.  He also won bronze medals in the two-man event at Cortina d’Ampezzo  and the 1957 FIBT World Championships in St. Moritz.  He competed in many other sports, including the Cresta run, but unlike Hunt, de Portago wasn’t a drinker.  Wealthy, young, tall, dark and handsome, he was an international celebrity, plastered as much across the social columns and tabloid front pages as he was in the sports sections.  He was fluent in four languages.  His Godfather was King Alfonso XIII of Spain.

He won six major races, including the Tour de France, giving the 250 Ferrari its “Tour de France” nickname, the Grand Prix of Oporto, and the Nassau Governor’s Cup (twice).  He participated in five World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 1 July 1956.  Enzo Ferrari offered him a works F1 drive  in a Lancia-Ferrari D50A for the French GP at Reims.  His best result was a second place at the 1956 British Grand Prix (in a shared drive with Peter Collins).  In the British GP he was called in to hand over to Peter Collins. In Germany he was again called in, but didn’t object.  “One day someone will be asked to hand over to me”.  Ferrari valued the gentlemanly side of ‘Fon’, “that always managed to emerge from the crude appearance he cultivated”.

Founder of Autosport magazine, Gregor Grant, said of him, “The fellow does everything fabulously well.  Never mind the driving, the steeplechasing, the bobsledding, the athletic side of things, he could be the best bridge player in the world if he cared to try, he could certainly be a great soldier, and I suspect he could be a fine writer.”

Unsurprisingly, he was precocious when it came to women as well.  At just 20 he married Carroll McDaniel, a former model he barely knew who was several years older than him.  Though they had two children together, he soon divorced her so he could legitimise a Mexican marriage certificate to Dorian Leigh, a fashion model eleven years his senior, with whom he fathered a son. There was also a third lover, the last woman he’d ever kiss. The story goes that Mexican actress Linda Christian, ex-wife of actor Tyrone Power, was waiting for him at the Rome checkpoint of the ill-fated 1957 Mille Miglia.  De Portago stood on the brakes, ran to her, kissed her and carried on.

He was killed when a tyre burst on his Ferrari 335S and the car crashed into the crowd killing 10 spectators, himself, his co-driver and the Mille Miglia.  That was the last time the race was run.  He was 28 years of age.

As one contemporary said of him, “He packed more into his 28 years than most people pack into a much longer lifetime.” 

I was always aware of his fame as an international playboy, much of his story as a racing driver and his reputation for bravado, but when I started reading about all his other accomplishments I must admit I became fascinated by his character.  I’ve now discovered that Ed McDonough published a book about him in 2006, now out of print, about which one reviewer said, “It reveals many of the “exaggerated” claims that have been spread since Portago’s death, without doing damage to the reality of his life.”  So do take all of the above with a grain of salt.

Now that’s what I call Sprezzatura.  Steve McQueen eat your heart out.  Thank you, Ian, for your post.  CS

MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > King of Cool

It’s a race meeting.  Who is it and where is she?

Bonus question:  What Year?

Hint:  If you stood in the same spot today you’d find that not much has changed since this photo was

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > Competition

In order to support the organisations and the involvement of men and women volunteers in the field, the FFSA Steering Committee on July 29, 2020 decided on the following measure:

“Volunteers holding a license in 2020 will be offered the same license in 2021, subject to meeting the delivery conditions defined in the FFSA regulations.”

The Committee also sent out a reminder of the previous decisions designed to aid clubs and organisers with the challenges of the COVID situation.

- Reimbursement of calendar fees for organisers for events cancelled during the COVID-19 crisis.

- Freezing of technical regulations until the end of the 2021 season (apart from those related to security).

- Amount of the contribution for all Auto Sport Associations and Karting reduced to a symbolic €1

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > FFSA Announcement on Measures to Help French Motorsport

After the resignation of Frank Lyons, following his conviction by the UK’s governing body for cyberbullying, the Historic Sports Car Club members have elected Roger Bevan as their new Chairman.  Bevan, who is finally stepping down from racing his ex-Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus 69 F2 car, is already the man behind the runaway success of the Club’s Historic Formula 2 International Series.  Though Lyons reconsidered, “due to the tremendous support I have received from members and friends,” and put himself up for re-election, the membership decided a new face in the position was required.  Bevan’s commitment to Historic F2 has made it one of the best historic single-seater categories in Europe and his passion for the class goes back half a century to watching Fittipaldi race the Lotus at Crystal Palace. “It was a surprise result considering the strengths of my fellow contestants,” said Bevan, “Now the hard work starts!  So many unknowns, so many questions in this strange new world.”

Roger Bevan is stepping down from racing his ex-Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus 69 F2 car and stepping up to the role of HSCC Chairman

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > New Chairman for the HSCC

Since he joined the NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series in 2017, dynamic young Christchurch driver Michael Collins (Leda LT27) has been tipped as a likely overall series’ title winner.  And that is exactly what the 24-year-old now is, as the New Zealand Formula 5000 Association decided to call the result of the COVID-19-interrupted series after the fourth round and officially cancel the series’ final, which was to have been run at Hampton Downs in March.  Collins, with the most points to his credit in the season so far, has therefore been named champion.

“At the time we were quite bullish about getting in our final round, “ says committee member Glenn Richards. “But as the days turned into months I think we all started to realise that a better idea would be to put a line under the 2019-20 season and start planning for ‘20-21.”

The long-running NZ-based series could hardly have a better champion either.  A former karter and 2016/17 South Island (of NZ) Formula Ford champion, Collins has been impressing everyone with the maturity and racecraft he first displayed behind the wheel of the Alastair Hey-owned, Collins family-run, Leda LT27 at the opening round of the 2017/18 series at Pukekohe Park Raceway.  Then just 21 years of age, the mild-mannered young man, who works as an electrician, won his first F5000 race at the second round that season.  He enjoyed similar success over the 2018/19 season but like the year before, prior commitments meant he had to miss the final and key points-scoring round.  Congratulations to the new Champion.

Michael Collins won the 2019/2020 SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series in the family-run Leda LT27 after the  nal round was cancelled

 

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > Final Call on 2019/2020 Tasman Series - Michael Collins is Champion

A second weekend of 2020 track action took place at Shelsley Walsh with two meetings over the weekend of 8-9 August.  The annual Vintage VSCC day was held on Saturday and was followed by the Reg Phillips Trophy meeting on Sunday, as drivers got back in the seat and sharpened their skills up the 115-year-old hillclimb.

Both events were held behind closed doors, with the Midland Automobile Club ensuring  safety for all, and the sun flooded the Teme Valley all weekend to make the freshly cleaned 1000-yard hill as good, quick and grippy as possible.

The ever-quick James Baxter won the VSSC meeting with superb consistency over his two runs – he twice recorded 34.80 seconds in the Riley TT Sprite.  A host of new drivers also attacked the hill, including Charlotte Bowyer, who shared the family Lea-Francis P Type with father Simon.

The stunning class of Shelsley Specials included the GN BHD, the Becke Powerplus and the simply incredible 97-year-old Spider, which first took the outright record at Shelsley with Basil Davenport in 1926.  David Leigh was again at the helm of the car that utterly epitomises the pioneering spirit of hill climbing to this day, fresh from a winter engine rebuild and quickly getting back into the groove after all drivers had a bonus practice run.

It was perfect weather and the course was grippy and fast

Several competitors from the vintage day stayed over as modern cars joined them for the Reg Phillips Trophy meeting on Sunday.   The stunning Type 51 Bugatti of Edmund Burgess whirred its way up with the supercharger noise echoing through the Worcestershire trees, and the Freikaiserwagen that ran at Shelsley pre-war also made a return.

David Leigh in Spider that held the record at Shelsley in 1926...94 years ago!

David Leigh in Spider that held the record at Shelsley in 1926...94 years ago!

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > Shelsley Re-opens

While Club racing is restarting all over Europe and the US, those events that rely on large club and spectator participation have virtually all been cancelled for 2020.  From Monterey to Goodwood, from Silverstone Classic to le Mans Classic, all have fallen victim to COVID. 

These are the very events that require the most capital investment and huge amounts of forward planning, contract negotiations with all sorts of suppliers, staff recruitment, etc. etc.  While the organisers have put in all the work to stage them, alas, they will see no return on their investments this year.

Two such organisations have asked for help.  The Duke of Richmond and Gordon, who of course relies on activities and events at the Goodwood Estate, including the horse racing, has written to the friends of Goodwood and other interested parties asking that they join the Goodwood Supporters’ Association (GSA), with the joining fees going towards keeping the estate running during these hard time.  “It is my hope that, with the renewal of the GSA, you may consider standing beside us as we weather this storm’”, he wrote.  It seems he was answered by his many friends, as two weeks later, he sent a message of thanks.  “I wanted to convey a heartfelt thank you from both me and the team at Goodwood.  Our loyal Goodwood visitors have been overwhelmingly supportive in getting behind our reinvigorated Goodwood Supporters’ Association (GSA) and while the challenge still prevails, the kindness and support shown by so many of our fans will go a long way to ensuring that the spirit of Goodwood and our unique interpretation of the sport we love will continue.”

In the meantime, he has announced a new initiative, Goodwood Speed Week, for which many of his sponsors, including his main sponsor, Mastercard, have signed up, for an online race meeting (see our news item in the August issue).

Another victim of, in a way, his own success (because his event is so big), is Nick Wigley of Goose Live Events, who had to cancel the Silverstone Classic.  He has set up a crowd funding site to help his small events company through the crisis.  “As a small independent events company passionate about what we do, Goose Live Events has been hugely challenged financially by the need to cancel the Silverstone Classic in 2020.  With 10 months’ work already done by the team in preparation for the Classic prior to its cancellation and costs incurred for an event that isn’t now happening, COVID-19 has set us back by at least 10 years.  We will survive it, but we’d really appreciate your help,” he wrote to friends and competitors.  “Any support you feel able to provide would be hugely appreciated... and in recognition of the fact that our charity partner, Alzheimer’s Research UK, is expecting a drop in support by as much as 45% as a result of COVID-19, we will donate 10% of any funds received in this way to their very important cause.,” he added.  The address for donations is https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/support-the-silverstone-classic.

For those readers who have not followed the story so far,  Nick Wigley and Goose were originally engaged to run the Silverstone Classic on behalf of erstwhile organisers Racing at Silverstone Ltd. (RAS).  With nearly a year of work done, RAS was ready to pull the plug on the whole enterprise, which would have left Wigley facing a large unpaid bill for all the work his team had put in.  The alternative was to take over the event himself, debts and all.  They say necessity is the mother of invention, and Wigley saved the very existence of the Classic, which has gone on to thrive under his stewardship.

Looking on the positive side to 2021, provisional dates for next year’s Silverstone Classic are 30 July–1 August.  As usual, these will remain unconfirmed until the dates for the British Grand Prix are ratified by the FIA, usually at the start of December.

Those events that rely on large club and spectator participation have virtually all been cancelled for 2020 

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > Organisers Fall on Hard Times

Dear Carol, 

Thanks for the link of the May issue of HMRN, very funny article about the Reykjavik GP, a good read.

About Peter Collins’ article entitled The Time and Space Continuum, if of any interest to you, I started a lap time analysis back in the days I was working for Peter Auto that I continued up to 2016.  I feel the article is of interest but misses quite a few things.  Goodwood is probably the only place where one can compare lap times, given the circuit has not changed since its heyday, but of course it has been resurfaced.  Anyway, the interesting fact is if you look at those values:

2006, Pre-66 Whitsun Trophy and best time by Frank Sytner in a Lola T70 Spyder is 1:22:513 and which was also the last year I believe that the T70s were allowed to run the front high downforce spoiler, which is now only possible if you run a McLaren M1 like Chris Godwin.  Then comes the T70 times of 2012 (Pearson 1:19.703) and 2014 (Hart at 1:19.985), but what about 2016 and Padmore, who did a 1:17.079?  All competent drivers, just like Hadfield.  Both Pearson and Goodwin are even faster than the reference taken in HMRN but Padmore, another very competent driver, was really a break in terms of performance.  Ever since 2016 it seems that the previous level of drivers chosen for the race has changed back to a more capable but enthusiast type, maybe a way for Goodwood to hide the fact that it was getting out of control.  You may also remember the crash of Michiel Smits from the Netherlands and I guess things had to be calmed down.

If you compare all of the above with period times, it’s true that Hadfield, Pearson and Goodwin are all close to Clark’s inferior Lotus 30 although my reference time shows a 1:23:200 as fastest time for Bruce McLaren in his Zerex Special that year and Clark in close second with a 1:23:800, a clear gap. 

The other one to look at is the Tourist Trophy, not far off from the best times of period today either if comparing the 1964 Tourist Trophy and the high-level drivers in today’s race.

What appears more disturbing today is the fact that back in the days, all the best times were achieved by a bunch of World Champion level drivers, all of whom - Moss, Hill, Clark, Gurney, etc. - would go on to achieve the best one could achieve at professional level and today are recognised as some of the best there ever were.  And they were young and benefitted from full factory backing and development, the highest level back then.  Today’s drivers are good, but pardon me, Simon Hadfield, Gary Pearson, Chris Goodwin were all in their 50s when achieving those times, on engines probably sourced from the same place with Tim Adams, all Chevy work but nothing special.   The Tourist Trophy is a “feature” race with skilled ex or active professionals in cars prepared by competent teams, but nothing like the Cobra/Ford effort of 1964, proving that the performance has grown. 

The fact is that today, average pros or competent amateurs are able to lap at a pace that in period was only accessible to the best of the best.  The thing that sits between the seat and wheel is a big part of the equation but historic motor sport and associated development has succeeded in narrowing that parameter and its importance.  Imagine what Dan Gurney would achieve in a Lanzante run Cobra Daytona Coupe today if he was still alive and in his late 20s or early 30s?  I bet Kenny Brack could go home. 

Take care.

Best, Louis Quiniou

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MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > From Our July 2020 Letters Section From Joel Wykeham

Faster Now Than Then?

Not Faster Than an Arrows

Dear Carol,

Peter Collins’ excellent piece in the April issue about the relative speed differential of some cars now and in period, reminded me of the well documented case of the Arrows A4 F1 car.

In 1982 this basically sound but heavier Grand Prix design would get smoked every time by the likes of Williams, McLaren and Brabham.  Despite having the same DFV engine and some highly competent drivers, it was, for example, over three seconds a lap slower than the leading FW08 at Brand Hatch that year, a huge gap by F1 standards.  Fast forward to Historic F1 in 2014-2017 and talented amateur driver Steve Hartley was using an A4 to beat many of the pros in their period-superior machines.  How was this possible?  Much credit must go to Nigel Rees at GSD race dynamics.  A very clever man who recently revealed he was once part of the support crew of the ‘good old boys’ Terry Sanger Camaro team at the Spa 24 Hours way back in 1973.  His company has since developed increasingly sophisticated engineering and computer analysis capabilities for all manner of race cars.  By recording detailed measurements and data, plus the use of potentiometers and software programming largely unavailable back then, they are able to make up for many of the advantages in dynamic road-holding, handling and aero efficiency that the bigger budget teams had at the time - and for much lower cost.  The need for the  ‘black art engineering’  role of a test driver is also thereby reduced to a minimum by science.

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > From our June 2020 Letters Section, From Simon Hadfield

Dear Carol,

Strange days these, I trust all is well with you.  Just to pick up on an article in the May HMRN about lap times, your correspondent interestingly takes my time from the last time I raced a T70 at Goodwood to make his comparison.  The point is that I was asked (effectively told) not to go faster than 1’20”.   I’m actually quite proud of my 1’19.955 done without a lap timer!  Your correspondent should really have compared Nick Padmore’s very much faster time, also set in a T70 that so “rang the bells” at the MSA. 

More interesting still are the lap times set at the TT in 1959.  Stirling was on pole at 1’32 and change in the Aston, Brooks second on 1’33 and a bit in the Testa Rossa and third was Graham Hill in the works Lotus 15 in the 1’34s.  Last time I looked the fastest Lotus 15s are now doing 1’25s....... and are not being driven by Graham Hill!

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > From our June 2020 Letters Section, From Nick Atkins

Dear Carol

Thank you for producing a very enjoyable magazine at a time when there is nothing substantial to report.

John Hopwood’s article in the May issue on technical developments in historic motorsport is very well balanced and in my opinion the directions that he proposes and the questions that he asks are all the right ones.

At club level, the CSCC for instance, operates loosely Appendix K events, as well as a number of other nostalgias such as Modsports and Supersaloons that are very enjoyable, but for National and International competitions a set of clear regulations is essential.

As I perceive it the current position of the FIA is back to basics, back to the homologation papers and any other hard information from period, and I’m personally happy with that since it means that it should not be necessary to invest in lighter and shorter lifed parts not used in period.

As we all know there are always opportunities to improve performance that are invisible to the kind of cursory inspection that time allows for scrutineering at competitions.  Right now the easiest things to check are most rigorously inspected, the labels on seat belts and fire systems dates, seat homologation, gloves, boots, suits.

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > New-Look Zandvoort

Niek van Gils did a track day at the renewed Zandvoort Circuit and loved it!

 

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > Coyote and Peter Auto

Historic motor racing, even if it could be described as a leisure activity, is a branch of motor sport that has to comply with regulations ensuring the safety of all those involved.  In particular, the regs impose the deployment of a safety car in the case of an accident or breakdown to ensure that a low speed is maintained to make the circuit safe during activity by marshals or rescue vehicles.  On long circuits like Le Mans, the arrival of the safety car can signal the end of a race for the drivers.  This is why slow zones were introduced in 2016 at Peter Auto events enabling circuits to be divided up into several sectors thus isolating the zone at risk where an intervention is taking place.

The promoters of the Silver Fern Rally in New Zealand have confirmed more details of the November 2020 marathon rally.  The rally will be based in Rotorua and will start on Sunday November 22 before finishing back there on Saturday 28.  Overnight halts will be in Gisborne, Napier, Palmerston North and Ohakune.  Peter Martin of the Ultimate Rally Group confirmed that the seven-day gravel rally, will cover 650 stage miles amongst the breathtaking scenery of the North Island.  “We’re aiming at a field of 70 cars and we need to get at least half of them from overseas,” said Martin.  “This year we will be supplying stage route notes and a DVD eight weeks before the rally.”  The move to notes is aimed at encouraging European crews to enter.   See https://silverfernrally.co.nz for entries.

.

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > New Sponsor for U2TC Offering R&D Tax Relief for Preparers and Other Small Businesses

 Offering R&D Tax Relief for Preparers and Other Small Businesses

U2TC has found a new sponsor in the form of Prospect Brigstock Services, a firm specialising in corporate tax relief.  While this may sound esoteric, it is, on the contrary, very pertinent to many of the small businesses and workshops that supply the technology to run the cars.  Ria Goff of Prospect Brigstock explains, “Most of our clients will say they are NOT eligible for tax credits and cash and absorb R&D costs because they see the expenditure as day to day running costs.  Because of this only a small number of companies are making the most of the R&D tax reliefs available to them.  We’ve listed three questions to ask yourself below, if you answer yes to any of them you could be eligible:

Did you encounter problems that required unique solutions?

Have you worked on a project that was a challenge to resolve, and could you explain the challenges you faced and how you attempted to overcome them?

Have your designs involved innovative or creative ideas, perhaps around more sustainable, more efficient or durable products?”

This includes the scientific or technological uncertainty of turning something that has already been established into a cost-effective, reliable and reproducible process, material, device, product or service, or an advance in science or technology.  Simply put there must be an improvement.  Whether that’s in the form of a service or manufacturing of a product.

Sounds like a lot of preparers we know.  Contact Ria Goff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see if you qualify.

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > New Sponsor for U2TC Offering R&D Tax Relief for Preparers and Other Small Businesses

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > Motor Racing Legends Prizegiving

The Motor Racing Legends’ season was celebrated at London’s Royal Automobile Club in front of many significant personalities from the world of motor sport such as Chief Executive of Motor Sport UK David Richards and Chief Executive Hugh Chambers, RAC Chairman Ben Cussons, Silverstone Classic promoter Nick Wigley and, guest of honour, Touring Car and Le Mans racer, Tony Dron.  Awards were presented for all seven Motor Racing Legends’ series during the evening. 

Photo Oliver Flower

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > 110 Years of Alfa Romeo

On 24 June, 2020, Alfa Romeo will hit a new milestone - 110 years of the well-loved marque.   A number of events will take place to celebrate Alfa’s founding on 24 June 1910 in Milan, Italy and its subsequent achievements, both sporting and non-sporting. 

Alfa’s official team, the Scuderia del Portello, is inviting all Alfa drivers to Monza on April 4 for a mega Alfa festival, for historic and modern road cars, racing cars, touring cars, grand touring cars, prototypes and single-seaters.  All are welcome and many will get a chance to drive on the circuit.  There will also be a parade on the old Monza banking, as well as displays, demonstrations and more.  See http://www.scuderiadelportello.org for entries, but be quick if you want to drive on the circuit, as driving places are necessarily limited.

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > 110 Years of Alfa Romeo

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > No More Impney Hillclimb

Having heard last month on the day we went to press the surprise announcement that the Chateau Impney Hillclimb event was to be discontinued, we have now had a conversation with Rod Spollon, Chairman of the Chateau Impney Hill Climb Club and Director of the Chateau Impney Hotel who said, contrary to what has been circulating on social media, that funding the event was “certainly not an issue, nor was there an environmental concern.”  Reluctant to say much more, he repeated the words in the official press release, saying, “We set out to create a successful hillclimb event and we think we accomplished that, and we are moving on to other things.”  The event will be missed.

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > No More Impney Hillclimb

MAGAZINE  > BITS & PIECES > Car Parts

FIVA has backed an initiative by German Firm Parts4you GmbH to provide what seems to be a comparison-type web site for parts for classic cars.  In exchange for your personal information (you can’t use the site without registering), you can search “the independent and global service platform for the classic car community” as it is described on the home page, for suppliers of “spare parts, repair workshops, restoration or overhaul of assemblies as well as specialised experts.”  According to their press release, the FIVA Parts Catalogue provides a very complete cross reference between (original) part numbers and suppliers so that car owners can select the vendor to work with, based on proximity, price or other conditions.  See https://classicparts4you.com and, if you use the service please let us know how useful you find it.

MAGAZINE  > BITS & PIECES > Car Parts

 

24‐26 April Rechberg (AUT)
29‐31 May Ustecka 21 (CZE)
05‐07 June Ecce Homo Sternberk (CZE)
12‐14 June GHD Gorjanci (SVN)
03‐05 July Trento Bondone (IT)
10‐12 July Cesana Sestriere (IT)
28-30 August GHD Petrol Ilirska Bistrica (SVN)
18‐20 September Buzetski Dani (HRV)
25-27 September Coppa Chianti Classico (IT)

MAGAZINE  > BITS & PIECES > 2019 GT & Sports Car Cup Winners

The 2019 GT & Sports Car Cup season was celebrated at The Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall, London, where the year’s winners were announced. Chris Clarkson and David Smithies were overall GT & Sports Car Cup winners, as well as class GT3 winners, for their performance in their Austin Healey 3000.  Amongst other class winners were Malcolm Paul and Rick Bourne, who took the GT2 Class in their TVR Grantura MkIII, GT1 Class victors Marc Gordon and Nick Finburgh in a Lotus Elite and in Class GT4 John Watson and Dan Cox (Lotus Elan 26R). The Ladies Cup went to Barbara Lambert.

David Smithies (L) Chris Clarkson receive the GT & Sports Car Cup from Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club, Ben Cussons Photo charlieb. photography

MAGAZINE  > BITS & PIECES > 2019 GT & Sports Car Cup Winners

MAGAZINE  > BITS & PIECES > Laguna Seca

In the ongoing saga over WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, home to the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, the five-person Monterey County board of supervisors voted unanimously to enter into contract negotiations with A & D Narigi, LLC (A&D).  Provided both sides can agree terms, the company led by former Monterey Plaza Hotel general manager John Narigi will replace the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) and SCRAMP’s 62-year tenure as Laguna Seca’s manager will come to an end ahead of the new racing season.

According to commentators, the non-profit SCRAMP organisation’s volunteer base is its greatest asset. Assembled over decades, i t is unclear whether the hundreds of volunteers who’ve provided their support, and allowed many events to operate without the vast expense of a paid staff, would shift their allegiance to A&D.

Amongst other things SCRAMP has been organising the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion since it took the Monterey Historics from Steve Earl in 2010.

MAGAZINE  > BITS & PIECES > Laguna Seca

MAGAZINE  > BITS & PIECES > London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

Otherwise known as the Brighton Run, the Royal Automobile Club’s London to Brighton event took place on its traditional date of the first Sunday in November in unseasonably mild weather and under cloudless skies. 

Photo Peter Collins

MAGAZINE  > BITS & PIECES > Press release from SVRA:

REMINGTON ARMS BECOMES SVRA’s OFFICIAL RECREATIONAL FIREARMS COMPANY

Iconic American Company Fits Nicely In SVRA Paddock Packed With Racing Icons

Southlake, TX (October 29, 2019) – Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) today announced that the Remington Arms Company is now the “Official Recreational Firearms Company of SVRA.”  Founded in New York and headquartered in Madison, North Carolina, Remington is a leader in the production of ammunition, shotguns, and rifles.

“We are tremendously honoured to have Remington, an iconic American brand for over 200 years, as a partner,” said SVRA CEO Tony Parella.  “Vintage racers appreciate sportsmanship and leadership and everyone I have spoken with agrees there is a lot of synergy between the Remington and SVRA brands.”

MAGAZINE  > BITS & PIECES > Press release from SVRA:

MAGAZINE  > BITS & PIECES > Fiskens at Retromobile

Each year, for over 10 years Fiskens has curated, presented and sold an amazing selection of historic cars, including many competition cars, from its glamorous stand at Salon Retromobile.  The Fiskens team will be there again next year – dates are 5-9 February - with another array of cars for sale on one of the largest and most impressive stands of the show.  They are looking for a few further consignments.  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have a suitable car you want to sell.  

MAGAZINE  > BITS & PIECES > Fiskens at Retromobile

MAGAZINE  > BITS & PIECES > Nostalgia in Normandy

The first edition of the Normandy Beach Race took place on Saturday, 21 September on the beach of Ouistreham Riva-Bella (France, Normandy, Calvados).

Photos Grégoire Thorel

After participating in the Race of Gentlemen on the beach in California, friends Thomas Hervé, Jean-Marc Lazzari and Marc Félix were inspired to create the first such event in France. Everyone was encouraged to dress in 1940s style and the French, who love their period dress, responded with enthusiasm. This event was a real success with nearly 15,000 spectators coming to see the 80 or so European and American participants with their 2, 3 and 4-wheel vehicles from before 1947. 

MAGAZINE  > BITS & PIECES > Bernina Gran Turismo

From humble beginnings in 2014, the Bernina Gran Turismo 2019 event proved there is an ncreasing appetite for a sociable hillclimb amongst owners of great cars. Staged on the Bernina pass just outside of the chic resort of St Moritz, this year’s event brought out an even greater variety of cars to run in the competition and regularity categories, with little distinction between the two - the road is closed and participants can run at any speed they choose. It is a chance for collectors to bring out some cars that they might not usually race.

MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > Tour Auto 2020

Dates for next year’s Tour Auto have been announced as 20-25 April.  Each year a marque or type of car is favoured and next year will be the turn of the roadgoing Porsche Prototypes to take priority for entries.  Expect to see 550 sypders, 904 GTS, Carrera Abarth and more.  The itinerary for next year’s event has not yet been announced, but entries for this oversubscribed event can be made on the Peter Auto website:  peterauto.peter.fr.

MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > Tour Auto 2020

Lyn St James crashed James Heck’s Corvette out of a star-studded Charity Pro-Am race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the weekend of 3-4 August.   The seven-time Indy 500 starter and prominent sports car racer sustained minor injuries during the crash and was kept overnight in hospital as a precaution.  “St. James said. “I’m really thankful that all of the safety equipment that I wore and what was on the car functioned as it was designed to.  I am walking away from a pretty big hit.”

Willy T. finally won the Pro-Am race at Indianapolis Photo Courtesy SVRA

The race was won by Willy T. Ribbs and Edward Savadjian in a Duntov-prepared 1969 Corvette A Production racer, Ribbs’ first Sportscar Vintage Racing Association pro-am win after seven tries.  After a close battle Geoff Brabham had taken the lead of the 50-minute race until a belt broke in his similar Corvette, shutting off his power steering and rendering the car undrivable.

“We were having a great duel with Geoff, and I honestly feel for him,” Ribbs said from the podium. “We had the deal here all but closed the last two years and then something always happened.  There’s no place like the Speedway.  Anytime you win here, it’s a terrific day.”

Prescott is the great early August annual social occasion for VSCC members with the Orchard car park as full of desirable motor cars as is the competitors’ paddock.    Rileys are always well represented and with the grandson of founder William, and son of Victor Riley, Victor Jnr in attendance, this year even more so.   The hill also finds favour with Lady drivers, often sharing with their ‘other half’ which, of course, is more difficult to do when circuit racing, and there were many among the large entry. 

This year the Alvis marque was celebrated with a special display of
road cars as well as compe  on cars such as this, the 1923 Alvis
Racing Car No.1 and the Speed 20 on the hill. Photo John Retter
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