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Features and Reports

Anniversary Edition

Way back in April, when the Modena Cento Ore was postponed to 11-15 October, it seemed like an impossible dream, but the persistence of Luigi Orlandini and his team paid off when a reduced grid of 24 cars in the competition section and nine regularity competitors, as compared to the usual hundred cars, lined up in Rome to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this popular event. 

Crews gathered at Villa Borghese in the centre of Rome for scrutineering and then set out for an early evening parade through the city centre, taking in all the monuments and tourist attractions the eternal city has to offer, with some racing cars suffering from being forced to run at such a slow pace.

he annivesary event started with a tour of Rome.  Photos Courtesy Canossa Events

 

The following day, crews drove to Perugia via two runs over the classic hillclimb Rieti Terminillo, steep, but fast if you have the horsepower, while the following day, the cars paraded through some of the hilltop towns that characterise this part of central Italy on their way to Florence, with a stop for racing at the Magione circuit on the programme.   With so few cars they all shared a common grid. 

The cars line up at Imola for the last race of the event with Janssens’ Porsche up front

As always on the Cento Ore, there is racing and there is enjoying the sights of Italy, and before the final drive into Florence crews paused for drinks in Arezzo under the Logge del Vasari in Piazza Grande.  Belgians Glenn Janssens and Tom de Geetere arrived at the top of the leaderboard in the Piazza Ognissanti in their Tuthill Porsche 911 SC, with Andrew Siddall and Sebastian Perez 1800 Escort less than 2 seconds behind.  Initial leaders, Kevin and Lee Jones from GTO Engineering, suffered mechanical problems in their Ford Escort RS 1600 and so had dropped down the order.  Richard Evans and John Faux arrived a day late in their Iso Rivolta IR 300, having repaired the clutch that failed during the parade in Rome.  First period F car was Roddie Feilden’s Shelby Mustang, co-driven by Simon Jeffries and the stunning SEFAC Ferrari 250 SWB of Arnold and Melanie Meier, was the first Period E car.

The Kadoorie Porsche continued its winning ways over the stages, but was clearly too far behind to be able to catch up

In the regularity section German crew Stephan Rohleder and Nadia Hahn led in their Porsche 911 2.4T by a tiny margin.

The following day was just as much of a challenge for organisers as it was for the competitors.  First test of the day was on the beautiful Mugello circuit just outside of Florence, where, as the cars lined up on the grid, the rain started.  This soon turned into a storm that brought out the safety car.  The race was able to resume after a few laps, and amongst various spins and offs, which happily didn’t lead to any damage, Philip Lawrence Kadoorie and Daniel Wells, in their Dansport Porsche Carrera RS proved the most agile in the conditions, with Sidall up next followed by Janssens.   The Iso Rivolta showed what it was made of by coming fifth, and Roddy Feilden somehow managed to tiptoe his big Mustang to the line in sixth place ahead of the E-type of Swiss crew Thomas Kern and Stephan Peyer to take Period F honours. 

Glenn Janssens and Tom de Geetere celebrate overall victory

Two stages in the wet rounded off the day without change in the leaderboard.  It was all change, however, for the organisers, when new rules governing distancing and gatherings were published 24 hours before.  The Gala Soirée at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, planned for that evening, had to be re-routed to the Ballroom of the St. Regis and they were also working on changing the final prizegiving ceremony from the Military Academy of Modena to the Enzo Ferrari Museum.

On the final day, the goal of arriving in the Piazza Roma in Modena was now firmly in sight, but first two more hillclimbs awaited and the best treat was reserved for last, a race on the circuit of Imola.  The day offered, wet, dry, dusty and leafy conditions.  The Kadoorie Porsche was clearly too far behind to be able to catch up, while Janssens’ Porsche enjoyed a comfortable cushion to Sidall’s Escort.  Kevin and Lee Jones were back in their Escort, performing well on the stages, but way behind in the overall rankings. 

Arnold Maeier’s stunning SWB SEFAC nished ninth and second in Period E

So it was Glenn Janssens and Tom de Geetere that rolled into Modena as overall winners of the 20th anniversary edition of the Cento Ore.  Though they only won one stage outright, their consistency while all around them faltered, paid off.  They were followed by Andrew Siddall and Sebastian Perez, with Philip Kadoorie and Daniel Wells on the third step of the podium, all three cars in the G/I categories.  Period F winner, and an excellent fourth overall was the Swiss Scuderia Apax Jaguar E-type of Thomas Kern and Stephan Peyer.  Louise and Jason Kennedy captured the Period E Trophy and the Index of Performance award, driving  their Lancia Aurelia B20. 

Stephan Rohleder and Nadia Hahn maintained their lead in the Regularity section in their Porsche 911.

Competitors, many of whom had braved quarantine and logistic restrictions to get there, were grateful to Orlandini and his team that the event took place at all.  They had seen an autumn Italy, with the leaves turning red and gold and the sun lying low, in stark contrast to the usual mid-summer date.  Canossa Events CEO Orlandini summed it up, “There is no doubt that this was the most difficult edition from an organisational point of view.  I have my team to thank for their commitment and for their prompt action when faced with the never-ending changes in the regulations, as well as the authorities for their advice and support.  But the biggest thanks of all go to all the participants who decided to come and join us on our 20th anniversary”.

Though socially distanced, there was still elegant dining in Florence

For a more detailed report see out December 2020 issue…

a little smaller, just as loud

Patrick Tremblay Reports

The Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) Classic Daytona presented by IMSA shook the coast of Florida for its fifth running on 4-8 November with a colourful spectrum of historic race cars.  More than 60 years of speed were represented, from late-‘50s American muscle to barely-past-their-prime prototype and GT cars, all attacking the famous high banks for the 24 hour event. 

Billing itself as the “World Center of Racing,” Daytona works hard to earn the title.  The coastal Florida city is famous for its long sandy Atlantic beaches, but its thundering heart is the Daytona International Speedway.  This sprawling complex is built around a 4-kilometre (2.5 mile) tri-oval stock car track, bordered on one side by a massive 123,500 seat grandstand, hosting a variety of motorsport events including the NASCAR crown jewel, the Daytona 500. 

Jim Cullen and Frank Beck keeping their distance atop the Group A podium  Photos Patrick Tremblay

Sports cars get another mile of asphalt with the addition of a tricky infield road section, as well as a chicane to break up the super-fast outer track.  This full 6.23 km (3.87 mile) course is home to the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Rolex 24, which joins the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans to form what many call the triple-crown of endurance racing. 

If attending an event at Daytona is a pilgrimage craved by most enthusiasts, then the chance to race there is to be lusted over.  HSR’s annual event provides the perfect opportunity, with seven classifications designed to create close competition for almost any car.  The Classic Daytona 24-hour race debuted in 2015 and was originally intended to run every other year on a schedule opposite Le Mans Classic.  This would give international competitors an opportunity for a premier round-the-clock race annually, in Europe one year and America the next.  However, HSR’s second event, in 2017, proved so popular that it became an annual running, growing each of the next two years. 

R III Racing brought a 1979 BMW M1 Procar

Then 2020 arrived, pandemic in tow.  Like most of the world, HSR had to cancel some events and reconfigure others, but decided ultimately to go ahead with its signature Daytona Classic with concessions made for travel restrictions and social distancing.  The downsides were evident; fewer spectators, more subdued and distanced celebrating, and most significantly, the absence of dozens of European teams that had added colour, intensity and flair to the past few events. 

The winning Corvette’s original red, white and blue livery was modi ed in a homage to US President Donald Trump

Competitors seemed unphased by the lack of fireworks, autograph sessions and driver’s forums.  The thousands of masked fans in attendance, likewise, didn’t seem to mind.  The focus has always been on the machines, mechanics, drivers and support crews that make the glorious speed, sound and fury possible. 

Porsche 911 iterations were the weapon of choice in Group B

Though some distant teams weren’t able to attend this year, and grid numbers were down, there were still many significant or rare cars on track being run at full tilt.  Two fan favorites, both from 1979, were cars that hadn’t been raced in decades.  The No. 94 “Road Atlanta” 1979 Porsche 935 was recently restored by Carlos de Quesada and his Alegra Motorsports team.  Fans and competitors alike were thrilled to see the deep-yellow ex-Whittington Brothers Racing car make its first race start since winning the 1979 IMSA GT final at Daytona more than 40 years ago. 

For the full report see our December 2020 issue

The final of this year’s Swedish Racinghistoriska Cup was run during the Velodromloppet Historic GP in Karlskoga.  Postponed to 16-18 October from its usual June date, the meeting was run in very rainy autumn conditions, with everyone thankful that at least it didn’t snow!  For this and other reasons, the meeting saw the lowest grid numbers seen in years, with fewer than a hundred cars.  All the competitions this season have been run without an audience, but just like in Falkenberg, the proceedings were live-streamed.

Bengt-Åce Gustavsson Reports

Many participants have been lost in all the classes this year, but one of the great joys is Formula Vee, which has kept a steady and high level of participation - and what exciting races they have offered.  Lars-Gunnar “Vegas” Johansson took pole by just over a tenth of a second ahead of Johan Lund, with this year’s shooting star, Richard “Tiny” Persson, who had come to the meeting leading the championship, qualifying third.  It was these three fighting for the podium places in the final.  Lund proved strongest and won both races, meaning that he took the “grand slam”.  Winner of the Formula Vee series, he also took this year’s overall RHK title and won the National Championship for historic formula cars!  “Tiny” had to settle for second place in all three contests.

Formula Vee Champion Johan Lund took the “Grand Slam” of championship titles.  Photos Bengt-Åce Gustavsson

 

Lund also participated in the Formula Ford heats with his double-carburettor Formula Vee.  As it was raining, he had the great advantage of his rain tyres and was therefore first over the finish line in both races, while the Formula Ford drivers fought amongst themselves. 

There weren’t so many slicks in Formula Slicks, where the F2s of Torgny Johansson (March 782) and Michaela Månlycke (March 812) had a hard time finding grip for all their horsepower.  Mikael Nordlander stepped forward and won both races with his F3 Ralt RT30. 

The 1000cc Cup has had a tough year with many dropouts, and for the final only ten cars started.  Hans Beckert was in a class of his own in the wet conditions in his 970 Mini, finishing far ahead of teammate Torbjörn Andersson in an identical car, who was having his first race of the year.  Old rally fox Håkan Huggare took care of third place in both heats. 

Stig Blomqvist enjoying the weather, in a Mini in the over 1000cc race

In the races for pre-‘66 GTs, Anders Schildt dominated in his Austin Healey 3000, once again beating Lars Weigl’s Porsche 911 and the MG Midget of Per Roxlin in race 1.  Sixth in the first race, Jimmy Edvardsson upset the order in his MGB in the second race, passing both Roxlin and Weigle – as well Bengt-Åke Bengtsson’s Lotus Elan - to finish second.  Claes Andersson scored a fifth place in heat 1 and sixth in heat two in his Austin Healey 3000, giving him enough points to win the 2020 GT-Sportscars title.

Two over 1000cc Saloon Car contests were topped by Kevin Bengtsson, who finished two seconds ahead of none other than Stig Blomqvist (both in Mini Coopers) in the first race.  Hans Eklund was third in his Saab Sonett II.    Blomqvist didn’t contest the second race and Jonas Pölda, who had not been in the first race, took second in his Mini Cooper MK2 ahead of Hans Beckert.

Finally, the race was on for the newer Saloon and GT cars where Anders Berger took his Ford Escort 1600 RS to two victories. 

Along with Formula Champion Johan Lund and Sportscar Champ Andersson, the overall Saloon Car title went to Kenneth Nilsson, driving his Volvo 142 “Swedish flying brick”.

Edgy Edwardians star in SpeedWeek potpourri

Marcus Pye Reports

Curated to showcase the best aspects of the Goodwood Members’ Meeting, Festival of Speed and Revival - all lost to the COVID-19 pandemic this year - SpeedWeek was a colourful mix of motor sport genre performed behind closed doors at the motor circuit on October 16-18.  Streamed live, it provided a snapshot of the brand to loyal sponsors, GRRC members and Fellowship subscribers and petrolheads globally.  Filling the void was always going to be tall order, but overall the stopgap, which hung in the balance as lockdowns loomed and international travel logistics changed throughout its gestation, probably succeeded.

Drifting illustrated raw power in a bizarre tyre-frying skill set

For competitors, support teams, demo participants and those of us there covering the event it was very strange not having tens of thousands of spectators enjoying the opportunity to don genteel vintage wear, or buzzing grandstands, or commercial partners’ hospitality suites, or even the hurly-burly of myriad sideshows and trade stalls around the campus.  Nonetheless, at the heart of the three-day show, the core product was as strong as ever.  Unmistakably Goodwood, but without the motorcycle brigade, omnipresent since the inaugural FoS of 1993.

Seventy Years of Formula One and a Silk Cut Jaguar reunion brought daily colour.   Photo Courtesy MotoHistorics

 

The ‘Rally Super Special’ worked well, its seven short stages run in daylight and darkness.  Drifting - while not, perhaps, to the hardcore enthusiasts’ taste - illustrated raw power in a bizarre tyre-frying skill set.  While the Goodwood Hillclimb record-holding Volkswagen ID-R was a late withdrawal, the Shootout for the lap record brought surprises across a broad spectrum of machinery.  Seventy Years of Formula One and a Silk Cut Jaguar reunion brought daily colour, building to The Duke of Richmond & Gordon’s heartfelt tribute to ‘Mr Goodwood’, Stirling Moss.

Freed from the constraints of the Revival’s Pre-1966 timeline the race programme still commanded most excitement. 

Appropriately Gregor Marshall was on pole for the Gerry Marshall Sprint race in his Vauxhall Firenza.  Photo Jason Ingold

For spectacular motoring, nothing could match the SF Edge Trophy double-header for Edwardian cars in the spirit of the BARC’s remarkable Brooklands era, before that track was closed by the war in 1939.  The sight of four very different cars and their apparently fearless drivers doing battle was akin to a motorised chariot race of the early 20th century.  Ben Collings in the Sinsheim Museum’s Blitzen Benz Land Speed Record car; Mark Walker’s thunderous 200bhp Darracq - which completed a 1,000-mile return trip to Europe last year; hirsute son Hughie on the Hildyard family’s 10-litre aero-engined Theophile Schneider and Julian Mazjub’s sublime Indianapolis Sunbeam (which finished fourth at ‘The Brickyard’ in 1916, with Belgian Joseph Christiaens) were the protagonists at the field’s sharp end in two five-lap jousts.

Will Nuthall and Miles Grif ths battled at the head of the Richmond & Gordon Trophies pack

The Goodwood Trophy contest for Grand Prix cars and Voiturettes of 1930-‘51 went the way of David Morris in ERA R11B -  nicknamed ‘Humphrey’ for the marque’s financier Humphrey Cook, while the Glover Trophy was a period 1500cc F1 fixture of the ‘61-‘65 epoch, carrying much prestige among historic racers.  This time McLaren GT star Michael O’Brien, 26, put a cat among the pigeons by coming out in veteran Alan Baillie’s Lotus twin-cam engined Brabham BT14, Rodney Bloor’s period mount. 

Marino Franchitti was uncatchable in Nick Mason’s Maserati Birdcage in the Lavant Cup

The earliest sports racing cars on the programme were those of the 1952-‘60 era that populated the Lavant Cup race.  Marino Franchitti was uncatchable in Nick Mason’s Maserati Birdcage, try as James Cottingham (Tojeiro-Jaguar) did, ramping up the pressure when his Scottish rival’s rear tyres overheated. 

 

 

Two big double-driver Gran Turismo races were on the bill.  Cottingham’s day was Friday when team-mate Harvey Stanley battled Gary Pearson in the Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy Pre-‘63 event in similar Jaguar E-types. 

The Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy Celebration brought a magnificent Pre-‘65 field into focus.  Three-time Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer finally broke the ex-Peter Lumsden/Peter Sargent ‘63 race-contending Lister-Jaguar coupe’s luck - and the eight-year-old lap record - to the delight of its latest custodian Fred Wakeman.

The Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy for Pre-‘63 cars was last race of the meeting on Sunday evening

The Whitsun Trophy Pre-‘66 big-banger sports prototype race rewarded Mike Whitaker for the second time in his Lola-Chevrolet T70.  His task was aided by the early demise of Tony Sinclair, whose similar car was spun out at St Mary’s, leaving Gordon Shedden and James Cottingham disputing second in Ford GT40s. 

Two tin-top grids brought action aplenty as ever.  Driving Bill Shepherd’s ex-Bo Ljungfeldt Ford Galaxie, Stig Blomqvist beat Nic Minassian in Adrian Willmott’s Studebaker Lark Daytona 500 by 0.283s in Saturday’s celebrity leg of the St Mary’s Trophy Pre-‘66 contest. 

The later Group 1 cars of the 1970s - a Members’ Meeting favourite - saw Fred Shepherd drive a superb opening stint in the mini-enduro - bringing dad Bill’s Boss Mustang back from sixth to snatch the lead from Mike Whitaker (Capri 3.0S) - then handed over to Andre Lotterer with the lusty V8 in perfect condition. 

The reverse grid Sprint race - appropriately with Gregor Marshall on pole in his Vauxhall Firenza ‘droop-snoot’ - again started dramatically when Jason Brooks’ Mini 1275GT tagged the inside kerb and flipped through St Mary’s, causing a bomb-burst avoidance and the inevitable stoppage. 

After a busy weekend hopping from car to car across the race programme, Historic lap record holder former FIA Historic F1 champion Nick Padmore underlined his versatility in an ex-Derek Warwick 3.5-litre Arrows-Ford DFR A11 of a subsequent era.  From a short standing start through the timing beam Nick put together a splendid 1m09.973s (122.44mph) lap to win the Shootout on Sunday. 

Read the full report in our December 2020 issue

 

The curtain comes down on an intense season

Seemingly within only a matter of weeks from the delayed start of the season, the Historic Sports Car Club was on home ground at Silverstone for the annual Finals Meeting on the National circuit.  Good grids, some typical end of season excitement and decent autumn weather ensured an enjoyable weekend of racing even if Silverstone’s COVID classification meant that, like every event at the circuit in 2020, it ran without spectators.

Paul Lawrence Reports

Headlining the programme was a re-arranged Historic Formula 2 double-header to make up a little for the championship schedule being completely wiped out by the virus and limitations on pan-European travel.  That ensured it was a largely UK-based grid for the pair of non-championship races, but the 26-car field was another sign of the remarkable strength of the category.  Back in the Richard Evans-tended March 742, raced to a double win at Oulton Park by Tom Smith, Andrew Smith (unrelated) was peerless as he charged to a double Silverstone victory. 

Andrew Smith raced to a Formula 2 double in the Richard Evans-run March 742.  Photos Eric Sawyer

 

To back up his F2 victories, Andrew Smith also set the pace in Classic Formula 3/Classic Formula Ford 2000 races in the team’s March 783, but was denied victory on Saturday when the gearbox output shaft failed, but after an overnight trip back to Leamington Spa to get a replacement, Smith bounced back to win the second race on Sunday.

Former Caterham racer Luke Stevens was superb at the wheel of George Douglas’ Ginetta G16 in the 40-minute Guards Trophy race

Historic Formula Ford 2000 has enjoyed a fabulous season and an entry of more than 40 cars had to be split across two grids, but that made little difference to Benn Simms who had the handling of his Reynard SF79 right in its sweet spot to sweep to an impressive double. 

The Historic Formula Junior season concluded with four races and double wins for Ray Mallock (U2 Mk2) and Cam Jackson (Brabham BT2), both clinching titles in the process

At the wheel of the Ginetta G16 of George Douglas, former Caterham racer Luke Stevens was superb in the 40-minute Guards Trophy race and won by over seven seconds from the Chevron B6 of Andy Newall, and Kevin Kivlochan was the class of the 70s Road Sports field in his Morgan Plus 8, capitalising on the open spaces of Silverstone to stretch clear. 

Philip Hall failed to nish the rst Historic Touring Car race but returned to compete in second

An excellent field of Historic Touring Cars delivered two action-packed races and two winners.  Dan Williamson (Ford Falcon) won well in Saturday’s opening race despite a dogged pursuit from the Lotus Cortina of Richard Dutton.  But the Falcon developed an oil issue and didn’t start the second race, so Dutton was able to win from the similar car of his old mate Neil Brown.

For more details see our December 2020 issue

Bugatti Bonus

Though the French Championships were decided at Val de Vienne in late September (see our November issue), there was still some fun to be had and some points to score for a few  of the individual French series at the October 16-17 Motors Cup meeting at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit.  Originally conceived on an international scale, the dreaded virus stopped the foreign grids from travelling to France and the event was scaled back to a two-day meeting for the final rounds of six French series.  With one exception, grids had free practice and qualifying on Saturday and two races on Sunday.

Groupe PSA boss Carlos Tavares took pole and two wins in his Chevron B21, but José Beltramelli, impressive in his TVR Grif th, came away with the ASAVÉ pre-‘66 crown.  Photos Guy Pawlak

At the close of Sunday,  2020 titles went to Xavier Jacquet in the Lotus Trophy, Julien Grenet in Saloon Cars Trophy, Gérard Besson in ASAVÉ Racing 75 and José Beltramelli in ASAVÉ Racing 65.  Having already won the F3 championship, Frédéric Rouvier, was absent this weekend, but Christian Vaglio -Giors and Alexandre Faucher tied for the Formula Renault Classic title.

Breton Yoann Hervé (Peugeot 309 GTI) and 16 year-old Irishman Cameron Hawes (VW Golf GTI) had a splendid wheel-to-wheel battle for 45-minutes in the Youngtimer race

Read our report in the December 2020 issue

Marcus Pye reports on an event, conceived and executed within only a few weeks, that proved to be like food to drivers starved of racing this season

Historic Tourist Trophy brings Silverstone lining to MRL’s year

Organised in the wake of the Spa Six Hours event’s late but inevitable cancellation, which rubbed salt into the wounds of a season torpedoed by Coronavirus, Motor Racing Legends looked closer to home for its 2020 calendar closer on October 25.  With tremendous backing from loyal partners the Royal Automobile Club and DK Engineering, and wonderful competitor support, the one-day meeting on Silverstone’s 3.66-mile Grand Prix circuit did more than turn the year around.  It pointed the way to the future.    

Roger Wills and David Clark nished 7th in the TT in their Lotus 15, helping Ecurie Triple C to the Tourist Trophy title.  Photos Eric Sawyer

Star of the show - run out of the cavernous Wing pits with a convivial hospitality lounge in the midst of DK’s tempting sales stock - was the three-hour Pre-‘66 team race.  Usually run at the Silverstone Classic exclusively for pre-‘63 cars, but cancelled this year along with the rest, it was decided to award the prestigious Historic Tourist Trophy title to the winning three-car team.  This required each crew to make two five-minute ‘socially distanced’ pit stops at times of their choosing, rather than within set windows.  While tactics came into play, this gave them the freedom to change strategies as the race evolved.

“That was a proper race. I think we changed places ve times on one lap,” beamed Tomlin, having landed his rst HTCC win in the Batibouw/Thierry Boutsen tribute-liveried Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500

The 58-car field stampeded away in beautiful autumn sunshine, but soon the skies darkened, heralding showers that changed the track conditions constantly.  With greater contact patches to put their Ford V8 power down nothing would catch the Shelby Cobras of Julian Thomas/Calum Lockie (Daytona Coupe) or Andrew Jordan/Adrian Willmott, which finished first and second in that order after a stout early scrap.  Best sports racer was the ex-Bruce McLaren/Syd Jensen Lotus 15 - a veteran of the 1959 TT at Goodwood - of Roger Wills/David Clark in seventh.  Having put so much into the event James Cottingham suffered cruel luck in the early stages, when a conrod ventilated his Tojeiro’s Jaguar engine while it was flying in fourth.

“It’s like riding a wild tiger on wet lino - and that’s in the dry,” was Milner’s description of driving the ex-Mike Anthony Chevrolet V8-powered car

When TSL’s timekeepers had ruminated over their figures the team results honoured Ecurie Triple C - Wills/Clark, Karsten Le Blanc/Chris Milner (Austin-Healey 3000) and Georg Kjallgren/Jeremy Cooke (Ford Mustang) - as the RAC Historic Tourist Trophy winners. 

The morning’s three qualifying sessions on a wet but drying track were followed by 60-minute RAC Woodcote/Stirling Moss Trophy and Historic Touring Car Challenge/Tony Dron Trophy/U2TC mini-enduros.  Both were close-fought and contested with an end-of-term spirit.

Nothing could catch the Cobras, and Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie took overall honours in their Daytona Coupe

For a full report see our December 2020 issue

 

Gamma Racing Day - TT Circuit Assen

Eager to Get Started

A somewhat chaotic start for the NK HTGT race at the Gamma Racing Day meeting on 26-27 September got the red flags flying.  The second attempt was slightly less messy, with only Martin Bijleveld and Egbert Kolvoort getting penalties for jumping the start. 

Allard Kalff in his Corvette Grand Sport. Photos Carlo Senten Courtesy NKHT GT

This was the 10th Edition of the eclectic Gamma Racing Days Meeting, with various one-make Cup races, motorbikes, and historic cars on the programme.  Because of virus restrictions BOSS GP did not take its usual slot on the programme this year, but regulars NKHT GT, fielded a full grid of pre-1966 cars despite losing many of its international competitors to the travel restrictions. 

Battle of the Elans: Bob Stevens leading Jos Stevens

Once the race was under way, the Corvette Grand Sport of Allard Kalff and Kaj Dahlbacka took off at the front, followed by Roeland Voerman (Corvette Stingray) who was soon put under pressure by Bob Stevens in his Lotus Elan.  When Stevens dropped way back after a spin, Tom Kuiper, also in a Corvette Stingray, took up the chase.  Voerman then retired, after which there was a short safety car interlude.  This was to be Dahlbacka’s downfall.  He overtook a backmarker and was given a five second penalty, promoting Kuiper to second place. 

Andy Newall won race 2 in Rhea Sautter’s E-type

A grey morning with a very slight drizzle made the going treacherous for the Sunday race.  Michiel Campagne powered away at the start in his Corvette Grand Sport, but Andy Newall (Jaguar E-type) used every last bit of grip he could find to pass him, the pair swapping positions several times.  After a short safety car interruption to tow Kenneth Persson’s stranded GT40 away, the pair resumed battle and Newall managed to eke out a small gap.  In third Dahlbacka held station, while fourth was disputed by Kuiper and Bob Stevens in the Lotus Elan.  Stevens needed several attempts before finally making a successful pass. 

Read more in our November 2020 Issue

At the heart of the temple of speed

Jean-Marie Biadatti reports

Though there were fears for the worst, in the lead-up to the event due to the pandemic, Monza Historic went ahead as planned on the weekend of 18-20 September.  Even though many regulars from the Peter Auto grids were absent, there were still over 200 cars spread over eight grids.  If the Friday practice took place under a beautiful clear sky, the weather was more mixed for the races on Saturday and Sunday, with even a little rain taking some competitors of the Greatest’s Trophy and the Endurance Racing Legends by surprise.

Philippe Scemama’s CER2 victory in his Lola T600 was expected.  Photos PhotoClassicRacing.com

As usual, it was the Sixties’ Endurance field that brought together the greatest number of competitors with 50 cars on track.  And a very competitive field it was, with many candidates for victory.  David Hart/Nicky Pastorelli in a Bizzarrini 5300GT, Richard Cook/Andrew Smith, James Cottingham/Harvey Stanley, Urs Beck/Olivier Hart, soloist Christophe Van Riet, Charles Firmenich/Henri Moser, Michel Lecourt /Raymond Narac, Yvan and Guillaume Mahé, all in Cobras, qualified in that order, grouped within 3.3 seconds!

The pace was ferocious.  Last year Christophe Van Riet took pole in similar weather conditions in the same car with a time of 2’10’’608.  This year he qualified fifth with a time of 2’08’’939, while Nicky Pastorelli took pole with a lap of 2’07’’493!  The level of driving and preparation of the cars continues to improve, but this is not always profitable. 

Classic Endurance Racing presented its two variously supplied grids, each having a one-hour race.  In qualifying were six Lola T70s in the first seven places, with Claudio Roddaro’s Porsche 917 setting the fifth fastest time, but it was the T70 of Hart and Pastorelli on pole.  In the race, though the Porsche recovered to lead for some time, the Hart/Pastorelli Lola ended up 12 seconds ahead of the beautiful German car.  In the GT classes, Mr John of B performed the feat of the weekend.  Starting last after not having competed in qualifying following a gearbox problem in his Ford GT40, he won his category and finished 5th overall.

In CER2, the highlight was the exceptional presence of four Ferrari 512 BBLMs.  Given the forces involved, Philippe Scemama’s victory at the wheel of his Lola T600 was expected, which was achieved by winning the race with an 11-second lead - a safety car having intervened at the end of the race while he was leading by 45 seconds. 

Christian Traber - BMW 3.0 CSL

One of the most seductive grids of the Peter Auto programme is undoubtedly the Heritage Touring Cup, both in terms of the participating cars and the show they produce.   There was a big fight in qualifying between the BMW 3.0 CSLs of the two Swiss entrants, Christian Traber and Michael Erlich, and the Capri 3100 RS of Belgian Christophe Van Riet with only a second between them.  For the race, after a fanfare start where Traber took the lead, all attention was on the battle between Erlich and Van Riet that only came to an end when Van Riet retired with transmission failure. 

In two Greatest’s Trophy races, where, in addition to the usual Ferraris, Bizzarrini and Alfa Romeos, there was the opportunity to see rare cars like the Christopher Milner/Nigel Greensall Lister Costin Chevrolet, which took pole, or the Lister Knobbly of Anthony Schrauwen, the Lister Jaguar of James Thorpe or Katarina Kyvalova’s Cooper T33 TT (which sadly, practised but didn’t start), all cars rarely seen on French or Italian grids.   In the first race Milner retired the Lister after only four laps in the lead.  With rain coming in during the race, Remo Lips and David Franklin were winners in a Ferrari 250 GT SWB ahead of Christian Bouriez (Bizzarrini 5300GT) and the Thorpe/Phil Quaife Lister Jaguar.  The Ferrari pair had started last after they missed qualifying.  Thorpe and Quaife won the second race, with Bourriez again second and the Lips/Franklin Ferrari in third place for an inverted podium.

James Thorpe’s Lister Jaguar - a rare sight at Monza

There was no doubt that grid numbers suffered due to all the travel restrictions, and just 15 cars lined up for the 2L Cup.  Though qualifying was close, with so few cars a 90-minute race became a little boring.

Ivan Vercoutere/Ralf Kelleners (Porsche 962C) dominated the Group C qualifying as usual, by over a second to Raymond Narac/Michel Lecourt’s identical car, and these two each scored a first and a second place in the two races.

The Endurance Racing Legends, for cars of more recent vintage, saw 23 cars at the start.  The field presented some great cars with, in particular, the Ferrari 333 SP of Lecourt/Narac,  whose song of 12 cylinders on the long Monza straights was inspiring. 

This second meeting of the season has kept its promises.  It is still a sign of the remarkable success of Peter Auto, that though the grids were considerably smaller than usual in these difficult times, there was still great quality throughout the fields and they were still bigger than some others, without having to resort to mixing more than one series on the same grid.

Read the full report in our November 2020 issue

Formula Ford 2000 in the War of the Wolds

Marcus Pye Reports

HG Wells’ science fiction novel The War of the Worlds has gripped readers for more than 120 years.  Historic Formula Ford 2000 has only been around for 13, but back in Lincolnshire’s Wolds where the series’ first battle was enacted in 2007 (a dramatic race won by Iain Rowley) the Pinto-powered slicks-and-wings category for charismatic cars from 1975-‘81, headlined the HSCC’s annual visit to sylvan Cadwell Park on the weekend of 19-20 September. 

Thirty five competitors, the strongest entry in years, justified four races on MotorSport Vision’s picturesque playground, a qualifying heat for each championship counter giving less experienced drivers more seat time, as the quickest 10 (five from each session) progressed directly to the points races.  Late lunges by class newcomer Adrian Langridge (Crosslé 41F) and local man Lee Bankhurst (Royale RP30) snatched victory in the preliminaries, robbing Ben Glasswell and Greg Robertson (Reynards) respectively.

Twice Historic FF1600 champion Callum Grant goes airborne in his Delta T78 on the way to HFF2000 victory. Photos Charlie Wooding

Twice Historic FF1600 champion Callum Grant (Delta T78) and former Classic F3, HFF2000 and HFF1600 titlist Benn Simms (Reynard SF77) stood head and shoulders above the rest in the finals. 

Classic Formula 3 – making a rare appearance on the narrow sinuous track that hosted British F3 Championship counters until future F1 champ Ayrton Senna wrecked two Ralt RT3s there in quick succession in 1983 – and Classic FF2000 were combined, with young stars in each group.  Benn Tilley (ex-Rupert Keegan March-Toyota 743) shadowed debutant Matt Wrigley (Chevron B38) and darted past boldly into the Hall Bends on Saturday as Wrigley grappled with a clutch problem.  Tilley outran John Finch (Ralt RT1) on Sunday, the latter having worked hard to shake off FF2000 ace Ben Stiles (Van Diemen RF82).   

Benn Tilley (ex-Rupert Keegan March-Toyota 743) darted past Matt Wrigley into the Hall Bends on Saturday and outran John Finch on Sunday in Classi F3

Formula Ford, Historic and Classic, were on the timetable, with points leader Pierre Livingston (Merlyn Mk20A) continuing his Oulton Park winning ways in the former.  Linton Stutely (Royale RP3) and Cameron Jackson (March 708) disputed the other virtual podium places, netting a second and a third apiece. 

Switching to his Van Diemen RF80 local property developer Jackson won both Classic FF rounds as Mike Gardner caught the stewards’ attention by swiping the nose from his Crosslé 32F en route to fourth and second. 

Will Plant, guesting in Kevin Kivlochan’s Morgan, won the opening Historic Road Sports race

Both Road Sports categories drew big grids.  Outdragged by Kevin Kivlochan in the ‘70s opener, defending champion Jeremy Clark squeezed his Lotus Elan back past to win, then repeated. 

Will Plant, guesting in Kivlochan’s Morgan, won the opening Historic Road Sports race, as KeKi sat in the pits rueing a broken throttle spring in his AC Cobra.  Half a minute behind when Sunday’s scrappy rolling start was released, Kivlochan blasted back to fifth, this time watched by young Plant who switched the big Moggie’s Rover V8 engine off when its oil pressure light glowed ominously.

Pierre Livingston (Merlyn Mk20A) continued his Oulton Park winning ways in Classic Formula Ford

Peter Smith won both Historic Touring Car bouts in his Lotus Cortina, but had a tough time on Saturday until Roger Stanford retired his energetically-conducted version. 

For the full story see our November 2020 issue

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