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 Contents September  issue:  Latest News - Bits & Pieces - Rally News - Classic Marathon - Rally Weiz - Lahti Historic Rally - Heroes of Historic Motor Sport - Insider’s Market Report - Zandvoort Classics - Seven Questions for Erik Comas -  Nogaro Classic - VSCC Prescott - NKHTGT - Classic Silverstone - Historic Tour Dijon - Alfa Revival Cup

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Features and Reports

From Pre-War Sport Cars to the extraordinary guided missiles of the modern prototype era, squabbling Minis to Supertourers of the 1990s and Grand Prix cars of the 1930s to the Cosworth DFV age, the renamed Classic Silverstone had it all. Fickle weather, which was miserably wet for much of a three-day programme, marked the Classic’s 30th Anniversary a year late due to COVID that caused the event to be cancelled in 2020. Marcus Pye reports the action.

Spectators were back, together with a skeleton entry of overseas competitors obliged to abide by travel restrictions to participate in Britain’s longest-established historic festival. For those unable to be at the venue, the racing and peripheral activities were live-streamed into their homes. While nothing trumps being there, doubtless comprehensive coverage will be available on social media channels indefinitely.

Photo Peter Collins

Formula Junior subscribed to the early morning race slots as usual, but the 54-strong 1958-‘63 pack was not blessed with a totally dry session on the 3.63-mile Historic GP circuit, the sweeping approach to Club corner having been reinstated in place of the tight left-handed exit from Vale. Sports prototype star Richard Bradley narrowly beat fellow Brabham BT2 driver Cameron Jackson first time out. Lap times fell by more than 20 seconds on Sunday, when poleman Jackson reasserted himself over Bradley.

The demise of Gareth Burnett’s Alta after two laps gave intrepid Frazer Nash duo Frederic Wakeman/Patrick Blakeney-Edwards - on pole by almost 10 seconds - a clear run as the Pre-War ‘BRDC 500’ retrospective kicked-off Motor Racing Legends’ quintet of grids.

Cracked It:  Out of fuel in 2015, Penalised for an early pit stop in 2019, both times while in the lead, Lukas Halusa finally took the prestigious Tourist Trophy with his 250 Ferrari ‘Breadvan’

Historic F2 opened track organiser HSCC’s contribution. March men Matt Wrigley (ex-Rad Dougall Toleman Group 782-Hart) and Andy Smith (ex-Gabriele Serblin 742, with Cosworth BDG instead of BMW power), plus Miles Griffiths (Ralt RT1-BDG) topped the qualifying order and were head-and-shoulders above 40 rivals in the races.

Oil pressure problems prevented Pre-‘63 GT leader Gary Pearson from relaying Jaguar’s 1988 World Sportscar champion and 1990 Le Mans winner Martin Brundle in his Jaguar E-type for what was shaping up to be a Royal Automobile Club Historic Tourist Trophy victory. After a safety car period late in the race, a two-lap final dash saw Austrian Lukas Halusa scream the unique Ferrari Breadvan past the Jags of David Gooding and Paul Pochciol to take victory.

Andrew Smith (March 742) won Sunday’s wet F2 race Above and Right: Patrick Blakeney-Edwards celebrates from Saturday’s winner, Matthew Wrigley (March 782)  Photo Jakob Ebrey Courtesy Silverstone

Michael Lyons won both Murray Walker Memorial Trophy Masters Historic F1 contests in imperious fashion, having had a late call-up to sub for three-time Grand Prix and ‘91 Le Mans winner Johnny Herbert in an Ensign N180B prepared and run by the University of Bolton’s National Centre for Motorsport Engineering students.

Preparer Sam Wilson piloted Scot John Chisholm’s ex-Jim Clark/Innes Ireland Lotus 18 to victory in a wonderfully eclectic HGPCA field, pursued by Will Nuthall and Rudi Friedrichs (Cooper T53s) and Andrew Haddon - trying out for Goodwood in Julian Bronson’s Scarab - in a repeat of practice order. These bare facts don’t tell the story, for Haddon started from the pits after a water hose burst as the Offenhauser engine was warmed-up in the assembly area.

Formula Juniors were not blessed by the weather as they started their early morning race

The Transatlantic Trophy Pre-‘66 Touring Cars was a corker that boiled down to a Dearborn versus Dagenham Blue Oval gunfight. Burly 4.7-litre Ford Mustangs, in the hands of top qualifier Dave Coyne and Craig Davies, and earlier Falcons (lighter, but with narrower wheels) with Julian Thomas and Sam Tordoff were initially in the American V8 corner, with Richard Dutton’s Fortec-built Lotus Cortina their principal irritant in the opening salvos. The Banks brothers’ Alfaholics GTA was at the sharp end too before the real drama unfolded after the mandatory stops.

As with Thundersports, a storm nobbled the Masters Historic Sportscar showpiece. No tyres could cope with the standing water on the Stowe to Abbey sector of the track, thus the race was stopped and restarted with second drivers installed.

 

Patrick Blakeney-Edwards celebrates from Saturday’s winner, Matthew Wrigley (March 782) winning the Pre-War ‘BRDC 500’ with Fred Wakeman<

With dusk morphing into darkness, making the worst of the rainfall’s residue increasingly difficult to pick out, let alone avoid, Saturday evening’s MRL Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy and Stirling Moss Trophy was a scintillating contest. The Woodcote race within the 58-car field was sensational. Martin Stretton established an early lead in Gregor Fisken’s ‘56 Mille Miglia HWM-Jaguar - before jumping ship to Richard Wilson’s Maserati 250S - as Fred Wakeman gyrated his Cooper-Jaguar T38, shared with Pat Blakeney-Edwards. Fisken was hounded down and passed by Mike Grant-Peterkin in Martin Hunt’s HWM-Jaguar on lap nine. Team boss PB-E, now in the Cooper, went into the lead two laps later, with Grant-Peterkin and Fisken on his tail. Starting the final lap Fisken split the two Blakeney Motorsport cars and, with a superhuman lunge, seized victory as overall poleman Sam Hancock (Lister-Jaguar) roared between them at Club. Wilson/Stretton finished fourth.

Photos Eric Sawyer

Mark Wright and Dave Coyne conquered the strongest opposition in HTCC history and heavy rain on Sunday morning to deservedly strike Adrian Flux Trophy gold in the former’s Motorcraft promotional Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500, originally built by four-time British Touring Car champion Andy Rouse. The pair finished 51 seconds clear of Steve Dance, who outdistanced another Cossie and the quickest four-wheel-drive Nissan Skyline GT R32 at the sharp end of the 52-car field.

For a full report of all the races on the programme, see out September 2021 issue.

The boys and girls of the Dutch Championship series NKHTGT have been busy, with races at Zolder on 17-18 July and at Assen, on 6-8 August.  Sadly, the Zolder meeting was cut short by an incident involving Jaguar driver Roland Zoomers, who hit the tyre wall hard and had to be taken to hospital.  It later became known that the accident was the result of heart failure at the wheel.  Zoomers is OK and recovering at home, grateful that it happened at the circuit, where quick intervention by trained medical staff, “undoubtedly saved my life.”  

Starting from 16th place Michiel Campagne won both Assen races

The drivers, who were 20 minutes into the first of two races and did not know what state their fellow competitor was in, decided to cut the weekend short and go home after the incident.  

Onward to Assen

By the time they got to Assen on 6-8 August, supporting the Jack’s Racing Day event, they had heard from their friend and knew that he was making a full recovery, and it was business as usual for the Dutch racers, whose on-track battles were as spirited as ever.

Belgian Lotus driver Luc de Cock bagged pole in a ridiculous qualifying session that lasted only three minutes due to a torrential rain shower that rendered the circuit undrivable.  Regular front-runner, Michiel Campagne had to start in 16th place and used the abundant horsepower of his Corvette Grand Sport to take the lead within a few laps.  Martin Bijleveld steered his Ford Falcon to a strong second place after a rocket start.  Rhea Sautter held off two Triumphs and took the final podium spot with her Jaguar E-type.   De Cock held on to fourth.  In GTS11, Erwin van Lieshout (Porsche 911) was well ahead initially but didn’t make it to the finish.  Niek van Gils (MGA), who had outsmarted Theo van Gammeren (Porsche 911) halfway through the race took the class.  René De Vries was on course to win CT07, until he made contact with the E-type of Ed van Dijk.  Bert Mets (Cooper S) took advantage and won the class. 

Martin Bijlevled - Ford Falcon Sprint

On Sunday, Campagne made it two out of two after a challenge from Andy Newall in the Sautter E-type ended in a big cloud of smoke in the Jag’s engine bay.  Jaap van der Ende was thus promoted to second but was struggling to remain within the track limits in his big Ford Falcon, letting both Thijs van Gammeren (Ford Falcon) and Luc de Cock past. 

On the last lap the Belgian Lotus driver managed to find a way past the wide blue Falcon to take second overall.  Frans van Maarschalkerwaart in the Shelby GT350 was first in GTS12 and fifth overall, chased across the line by Roel Korsten (Ford Mustang) and Jac Meeuwissen (Austin-Healey 3000).  In GTS11 Niek van Gils took another win, and Rob Rappange won the small touring car class in his Mini Cooper S.  Bert Du Toy van Hees took his Ford Lotus Cortina to CT08 honours.   

Only three short weeks after their visit to Le Mans, Peter Auto competitors met at the Nogaro circuit in southwest France on 23-25 July for a meeting arranged to make up for the cancellation of Spa Classic in May. Organising an event like this in the height of summer in the distant countryside was not easy and unfortunately only one hundred cars were present for this third Peter Auto race meeting of the season. However, no one blames the organiser. Health restrictions, the holiday period, this circuit, although attractive for historic cars, being a little far from everything, and the proximity to the previous meeting all taken together helps to explain the low number of entrants. Jean-Marie Biadatti tells the story…

Christian Dumolin, driving his beautiful Ferrari 250 GT SWB, quite simply had forgotten to make the obligatory pitstop!.  Photos PhotoClassicRacing.com

Due to a lack of combatants, the Group C Racing field was not present, the two Classic Endurance Racing grids were grouped together and a few regular 2.0L Cup participants were integrated into the Sixties’ Endurance field. As usual, it was this grid that welcomed the most competitors, however with 25 cars, there were fewer than half the usual number. If a few top names in this championship were missing, there were nonetheless a certain number of regular front-runners, all in Shelby Cobras, like Urs Beck, this time with Patrick Simon, Damien Kohler/Christophe Van Riet and Yves Scemama/Yvan Mahé. But the surprise came in qualifying for Armand Mille sharing a Jaguar E-type with Thomas Jamin, who was third fastest, the first six cars qualifying within 8/10ths of a second!

In the Fifties’ Legends, the Mini Coopers were very comfortable on the Gers circuit

For the race, the battle was intense between the three Cobras, the Jaguar E-type sitting in ambush, and another Cobra in the hands of Vincent Kolb, who unfortunately left the scene early because of braking problems. The sudden exit of Vincent Neurisse half an hour from the end brought out the safety car. This had the effect of regrouping the cars for the restart, after which the battle became even more heated. Always very strong in this kind of situation, Christophe Van Riet used his racecraft to steal second place from Mahé, but he didn’t have enough time to catch up with Patrick Simon, who finished 12 seconds ahead.

Serge Kriknoff took his Lola T212 to CER1 victory on a combined grid

A few drops of rain at the start of the Heritage Touring Cup race made the track tricky and there were many surprises when cars started braking for the school hairpin at the end of the long downhill straight. This was the case for Emile Breittmeyer (Ford Capri RS3100), whose lurid spin plunged him down the order in the second lap, leaving Christophe Van Riet and Yvan Mahé to slug it out once again, this time in Capris. It was, however, a short-lived battle, with Mahé out with engine problems on the fifth lap.

With 17 cars, the Classic Endurance Racing field was very slim compared to what we usually see. Here it is difficult to talk about a fight on the track, as the difference in performance between CER1 and CER2 is so great.

The Cobra battle at the front of the Sixties’ Endurance field was intense, with the Jaguar E-type of Armand Mille and Thomas Jamin sitting in ambush

In the Fifties’ Legends, the field most recently created by Peter Auto, the Mini Coopers were very comfortable on the Gers circuit, and though Christophe Beaudon's TVR Griffith was quickest in the compulsory pitstops and came out in the lead, a subsequent penalty put him back to third.

For its part, Endurance Racing Legends also suffered from a particularly low number of entries. One of the reasons for the low number of participants was also undoubtedly the fact that these cars were due to be present at the 24 Hours of Le Mans just a few weeks later, where no fewer than 56 cars were entered!

Fr a full report of all the racing see our September 2021 issue

A twisted run of events saw the mid-July Historic Grand Prix at Zandvoort eventually take place as the Zandvoort Race Classics – with a hastily revamped programme, and without spectators. Full grids from Holland and Germany ensured a busy paddock that worked to deliver a full three-day schedule with no fewer than 23 races, but despite the busy schedule, the fans were still sorely missed. Mattijs Diepraam reports…

Photos Peter Heil

For many of the British regulars, Zandvoort’s Historic Grand Prix summer fixture has also meant a short holiday break with a bit of racing on the side, and this time the weather proved perfect for just that. The sun was out with blazing guns on all three days, while a cool breeze caressed the sloping dune landscape to add to the pleasant camping life on the circuit’s infield. But the British weren’t there – instead, with less than a month to go, Masters Historic Racing, the HGPCA and the HSCC were forced to pull out because of the latest restrictions imposed on anyone traveling from the UK. As a result, the organisers turned to the FHR and other German series to come to the rescue. This they duly did, the FHR coming out with no fewer than six grids, upon which the Historic Grand Prix was renamed the Zandvoort Race Classics, a more suitable moniker for the sportscar and touring car-heavy programme that was now presented to everyone with a ticket. But then, with Dutch COVID-19 infections mushrooming after the country’s government mimicked the British situation by opening up society a handful of weeks too soon, a new about-turn followed, as the event was now forced to run behind closed doors. The only alternative permitted was seated attendance, but the organisers considered that being stuck on a grandstand all day would constitute torture for the knowledgeable historic motorsport crowd.

The start of Sunday morning’s two-hour Dunlop Endurance race, dominated by Swiss driver Felix Haase in the white Lola T210

In fact, German competitors had to rush home before the end of Sunday, as Germany also imposed fresh quarantine measures against their out-of-control neighbours that would apply from the Monday…

The racing was pretty good, though. Despite the grand arrival of all those German grids, the local NK GTTC (for ’66-’81 cars) and NK HARC 82-90 championships provided the core of the programme.

Race 1 winner, Peter Mücke had already left for home when Harry Schmidt won race 2 in his thundering McLaren M8C

For a full report see the September 2021 issue of Historic Motor Racing News.

The London Classic Car Show has led a nomadic existence for a year or two since leaving its long term home at ExCel in Docklands.  Having moved to the more central location of Olympia in early 2020, this year the organisers made the wise decision to move outdoors to Syon Park, the London home of the Duke of Northumberland.  As well as avoiding indoor COVID restrictions, 14,000 visitors attended - this allowed the return of the running of cars, on the old entrance drive.  Luck brought them good weather over the 25-27 June weekend.  John Whiteman was there...

There were three main themes this year, 100 years of the Bugatti Brescia and the Lancia Lambda, and 60 years of the ubiquitous Jaguar E-type.  

One of the original Lightweight E-types, 49 FXN, the car modified for Peters, Lumsden and Sargent, for Le Mans in 1964 was on display, along with further E-types, headed by ‘ECD 400’, the Tommy Sopwith-owned car which Graham Hill took to the model’s first race victory.  

The Bugatti Type 13 acquired the name Brescia when Ernst Friderich led home his three teammates, de Vizcaya, Baccoli and Marco to a clean sweep in the 215 mile race held on the fast 10.7 mile triangular circuit near Brescia in Ettore Bugattis’ native Italy 100 years ago on 8 September, 1921.  Many Brescias were gathered to celebrate and, on Sunday morning a live interview was conducted by Tiff Needell on the stage with Angela Hucke, curator of the Bugatti Trust at Prescott and Charles Trevelyan, former chairman of the Bugatti Owners Club during which there was light hearted banter with the Lancia Motor Club who were ‘garaged’ next door over the relative merits of the cars.

Described by Lancia authority Wim Oude Weernink as ‘Vincenzo Lancias first technical masterpiece’ the prototype Lambda was tested by the boss himself in September 1921 and after many months of thorough road work the model was debuted at the 1922 Paris motor show.  The car’s unitary body construction attracted much comment and the model enjoyed immediate success with the brakes much praised and also the light and precise steering, although not everybody liked the square look and low waistline.  Many different examples were on show at Syon Park, including a 1933 Lancia Dilambda with an 8 cylinder engine as opposed to the 4 of the Lambda, this one a 232 Sports Racing car with period racing history in Eritrea.  The car ran on Sunday on the Lime Avenue demo together with a selection of its fellows.

Aero-engined monsters attracted much attention on the runs with capacities ranging from a mere 10 litres up to a 27 litre Hispano Suiza engined Delage, with some taking advantage of the mixture of grass and gravel on the avenue.  Other classes included ‘Where it all began’ for very early cars; ‘1930s Style and Elegance’ (think Rolls Royce Phantoms and Bugatti Type 55); ‘1950s and ‘60s Americana’ embracing Cadillac, Corvette and Hot Rods; and ‘1960s and ‘70s Endurance Legends’ which were a little thin on the ground but included a very original ex-George Eaton McLaren M12.

Code-switcher Heathcote beats Jordan

“Never heard of Nathan Heathcote?  You have now,” said Historic Racing Drivers’ Club founder Julius Thurgood after the 2017 British Rallycross champion beat fellow Mini Cooper S driver Andrew Jordan, the 2013 British Touring Car champion, in both Liqui Moly Jack Sears Trophy races at the third annual Historics On The Hill event at Lydden on July 4.

Nathan Heathcote ahead of British Touring Car Champion Andrew Jordan  Photos Eric Sawyer

Run by former national Mini 7 champion Bill Sollis, Heathcote broke 50 seconds to secure pole position, but come from behind on the first lap to counter JRT’s fast-starting ace in the 1958-‘66 opener.  Once ahead, Nathan coolly opened a lead and took the chequer 1.6s ahead after 18 frenetic laps of the one-mile speedbowl, to the amazement of around 1400 spectators.

The second finish was even closer, Jordan’s orange car shadowing Heathcote’s grey one over the line.  Dan Lewis made it a Cooper S 1-2-3 in both races.  Gerard Buggy (Ford Lotus Cortina) and Richard Colburn (Cooper S) bagged a fourth place each, chased by Richard Postins’ Austin A40.

The Colburn ‘junior team’ monopolised the other races.  Ben in his rapid locally-built Lenham Sprite GT aced both Dunlop Allstars races, leading Andy Jordan’s dad Mike, taking his turn in their Mini.  Third in the opener was Porsche specialist Andy Prill in the unique Pandora-BMC sportscar raced by Roger Phillips at Goodwood in period.  Tom Sharp (BMW 1800 TiSA) completed the second podium.

James Colburn had the legs on Classic Alfa Challenge rivals in a Giulia Sprint GT,

As at Thruxton, top qualifier James Colburn had the legs on Classic Alfa Challenge rivals in a Giulia Sprint GT, forging back ahead of Chris Snowdon (GTV) before the first race was stopped.  Snowdon led the restart too, but recovered to fourth, having stopped for a door to be secured.  Alex Jupe (Alfetta GTV) took second behind Colburn.  Brother Ben (1750 Berlina) chased James home in the second outing.

John Whiteman went to one of the first events in the UK to be completely open to the public.

Given the go-ahead as a pilot event by the UK Government’s Event Research Programme prior to opening all public events to normal capacity, the Goodwood Festival of Speed drew eager crowds keen to celebrate everything motoring and motorsport after a year’s hiatus, with a COVID secure event over the weekend of 8-11 July, entitled ‘The Maestros – Motorsports Great All-rounders’.  Mario Andretti was a welcome visitor again, driving several of the cars associated with his illustrious career including the Formula One World Championship winning Lotus 79 from 1978.  Mario may well be a popular returnee but another honoured guest, Roger Penske, had last appeared at Goodwood circuit in 1963 finishing eighth in a Ferrari 250 GTO with a unique 330LM Berlinetta-style body in the TT.  Much has happened to Penske in the intervening years following his driving career, including building a huge truck rental business in the US, many car dealerships, a highly successful Indy car team, a bewildering number of cars of which appeared at the Festival, and more lately, buying Indianapolis Motor Speedway and controlling the whole Indy Car series. 

Photos Eric Sawyer

How the man finds time to sleep amazes!  He appears to have lost very little of his driving ability, conducting the 2008 Sebring 12 hours winning Porsche RS Spyder up the hill at a rapid pace.  Unfortunately the third ‘Maestro’, Jacky Ickx was unable to attend.  There were several special classes including ‘50 years of Tyrrell’ featuring Sir Jackie Stewart and ‘70 years of BRM, including the first appearance of Hall and Hall’s recreated V16.  Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris represented modern GP racing albeit aboard classic machinery.

 It was the first appearance of Hall and Hall’s recreated BRM V16

Elsewhere there was a Cartier Style et Luxe concours showcasing 100 years of Amilcar, Hispano-Suiza, 60 years of the Jaguar E-type among others.  The winner was the 1974 Lancia Stratos of Marc Newman.  A rally stage was held at the top of the hill and late on Sunday the traditional ‘Shoot-Out’ was won by Rob Bell driving a 2021 McLaren 720S GT3X in a time of 45.01 seconds.  Bonhams held a major auction behind Goodwood house, selling a 1928 Maserati 26B originally supplied to Juan Malcolm in Argentina and with an extensive history file culminating with Corrado Cupellini, for £967,000.  An identical amount secured the Ferrari Dino 246/60, also an ex-Cupellini car.  But the ex-works 1971 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT3 driven in period by Andrea de Adamich and Nino Vaccarella failed to find a new owner.  The c.1950 RA4 Vanguard with extensive New Zealand racing history changed hands for £41,975.  Together with extensive car manufacturer presence and many trade stands there was plenty to keep the large crowd amused.

Just a part of the display of Penske race cars

Peter Auto has been hard hit during the pandemic.  Their following is very international, and they have always produced meetings that include other activities surrounding the on-track action, such as Club displays, vendors’ areas, auctions, parades and VIP activities.  Events like Le Mans Classic just couldn’t happen under the kind of restrictions that have been in place for over a year.  So it was with a sense of relief and joy that the Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or took place on its scheduled date of 4-6 June under pretty normal conditions.  Sadly, though some did cross the Channel, the Brits still could not be present in any numbers, so the championship rules were changed to count only four of the five 2021 races, meaning everyone could exclude their worst result, which for the absent Brits automatically meant Dijon.  Fortunately the continentals could travel, and they produced somewhat reduced grids, but with the usual Peter Auto quality.  There were some 550 cars in the club areas and the atmosphere was relaxed and congenial.

 

 Dirk and Leon Ebeling took victory in the wet Greatest’s race in their Bizzarrini 5300 GT.  PhotoClassicRacing

Good for some, and not so good for others,  the rain also attended the meeting and racing kicked off on Saturday with The Greatest’s Trophy starting in a downpour.  Dirk and Leon Ebeling in a Bizzarrini 5300 GT led the race, initially challenged by Vincent Gaye in his 275 GTB Ferrari, and Carlo Vögele, up from sixth place in his nimble Alfa Romeo TZ.  Gaye spun away his chances, leaving Hans Hugenholtz to take third in his Ferrari SWB.  In a dry second race Christian Bouriez moved his Bizzarrini to the front, and another error by Gaye made the Frenchman’s win even easier.

An enthralling Sixties’ Endurance two-hour race, Cobras to the fore, in which mechanical difficulties, pit stop strategies, a pace car interval and rain halfway through affected the outcome, ended in victory for Maxime Guenat and Guillaume Mahé.  After a carefully choreographed pit stop, young Mahé also took second place, with his father Yvan, in a Cobra Daytona Coupe.  Third home was also from the Equipe Europe stable, driven by Pierre Alain and Erwin France.  Christian Van Riet and Damien Kohler put up the best resistance, but an uncharacteristic off by Van Riet lost them too much time and they finally finished fifth behind Urs Beck and Ralf Kelleners.  Sébastien Berchin drove his E-type Jaguar, the first non-Cobra to cross the line, into sixth.  In all there were 13 Cobras in the race.  The Index of Performance was taken by Sandy Watson and Martin O’Connell, who drove Watson’s 1500cc Lotus XI, the only car in the SP2 class and only one of a handful of prototypes in the race.

 The first two of Pierre-Alain France’s three victories was in the Group C races, driving his Nissan R90 CK

Having aced both Group C races, Pierre Alain France added victory in his Lola T70 MKIII B in the 60-minute CER 1 race to his tally after main rival Tony Seiler retired his similar car.  Early on, Martin O’Connell had managed to tail the leading pair of Lolas in Sandy Watson’s Chevron B8.  The eagerly-awaited Ferrari 312P of Remo Lipps, co-driven by David Franklin, which had qualified fourth, and Mr John of B’s Matra MS650 were both late to the grid.  John of B worked his way back up to fifth and the Ferrari retired eight laps from the end.  

CER2, run on Sunday morning in mist and a lifting fog provided Guenat’s second victory of the weekend, with the winner at the last two meetings (Estoril Classics and Dix Mille Tours 2020), Yves Scemama (TOJ SC304), romping away at the start.  However Guenat, in a Lola T286, found his feet and was glued to the TOJ’s gearbox after only a few laps.  Brother Philippe Scemama was determined in his Lola T600 and looked threatening in third place.  Finally Guenat slipped past and continued to increase the gap. 

Though Cobras ruled the roost in the Sixties’ Endurance race, there was no lack of variety in the other classes

Philippe was classified second after Yves was penalised one minute for pit lane speeding.   

Guenat’s third victory came in his Ford Capri RS 3100 after one hour of eventful racing in the Heritage Touring Cup.  Christophe Van Riet led the race in his similar Capri, shadowed all the way by the Frenchman, only for the gearbox of the GipiMotor’s boss to fail.  A ferocious battle of the BMW 3.0 CSLs ended with Christian Traber’s taking second ahead of Guillaume Mahé’s Ford Capri.  Marc Devis and Martin O’Connell drove an AMC Javelin to fourth.

The newest Peter Auto grid gave the earlier cars a chance to shine, including the  TVR Grantura of  Eugène Deleplanque, which won the race by a good margin after challengers Romain Guerardelle (MGB) and David Barrere in his Mini Cooper S, both encountered problems, Barrere’s car stopping just metres before the finish line and gifting second place to Louis Zurstrassen in his Elva Mk V 

 It felt like the good old days, with the clubs and the enthusiastic spectators back in the infield.  Photo Julien Hergault

The one-make 2.0L Porsche race seems to have suffered most in terms of absent Brits to make up the numbers.  Xavier Dayraut and Damien Kohler battled for the lead, and finally finished in that order with a big gap to the rest of the 15-car field.  

Pierre Alain and Erwin France were on the top step of the podium again, this time driving a Nissan R90 CK and winning both Group C races after favourite, Christophe d’Ansembourg (Jaguar XJR14) dropped out both times with gearbox trouble.  Lars Erik Nielsen (Porsche 962), Bertand Rouchaud/Antoine Weil (Olmas GLT 200) and Tony Sinclair (Spice SE90) were other top finishers in the two races.

Guest Grid HGPCA 

A good size grid from the British-based HGPCA, saw a full turnout of the Association’s continental members, many of whom were double-heading off to Paul Ricard the following weekend for the Historic GP de France.  Will Nuthall dominated proceedings in a Cooper T53, with Rudi Friedrichs’ similar car finishing second in both races.  A full house of Rettenmaiers took part, with Josef Otto (Maserati 250F), Jakob (Alta F2), Stephan (Osca F2), Klara (Cooper Bristol) and Rebecca (Alfa Romeo Monza) all enjoying themselves in the family car collection.

It’s been a long while since we’ve seen historic racing at Spa and, while the Spa Summer Classic went ahead on schedule on the weekend of 26-27 June, it did so without an audience, and without the participation of the usual Brits. Absent was the Historic Sports Car Club, usually an integral part of the meeting and co-organisers of the feature 3-hour race. As a result the Belgian, German and Dutch grids got to make hay on the beautiful Francorchamps circuit.

The winning Gipimotor Cobra, driven by Gipimotor boss Christophe Van Riet and Fred Bouvy was way out front in the 3-hour race when fuelling issues set them back to 14th place  Photos Carlo Senten

Despite the missing cross-Channel entries, the other co-organisers of the 3-hour race, Diogo Ferrao of Iberian Endurance and, of course, meeting promoters Roadbook, provided a grid of nearly 40 cars, and it was a chance for the home-grown Gipimotor team of Christophe Van Riet and Fred Bouvy to shine in what turned out to be a tough contest. As in 2019, the last time the race was run, Van Riet made pole, his main rivals being the two Porsche 911 Carrera RS of the Danish Rolner family (Lars and Andreas in one, and Annette Rolner coupled with Michael Holden in the other), and the Lotus Elan of Christian, Lando and Alexis Graf Von Wedel, who would have to stop for driver changes, but would not have to take on fuel.

The Devis family Mustang was racing for a podium finish until it ran out of fuel and had to be towed back to the paddock

It looked good in qualifying for an Elan in the NKHTGT race, when Jos Stevens was faster than the massed ranks of Corvettes, Mustangs and E-types, and even Armand Adriaans’ GT40. However moments later he rolled his car at Raidillon, fortunately without damage to driver and with little damage to car. Long-standing NKHTGT competitor Michiel Campagne took his Corvette Grand Sport to a convincing win in the one-hour race after closest rival Kaj Dahlbacka retired his similar car when the wheel fell off! This left Adriaans’ GT40 in second place. Third on the podium was Roelant de Waard, who dominated the busy GTS12 class in his Shelby Mustang.

Kaj Dahlbacka retired his Corvette from the NKHTGT race when his wheel fell off!

Other grids were for Youngtimers of various descriptions including, amongst the Belgian grids, the Belcar Cup, for cars built up to the year 2000. Marc Duez, at the wheel of an IMSA Chevrolet Monza and Luc Moortgat’s Porsche 964 Cup put on the show for this, with Moortgaat taking the first of two races and Duez being black flagged for exceeding the sound limits in race two while in the lead. The German-based Colmore Youngtimers Touring Car Challenge (YTCC) produced a huge grid for three 30-minute races and offered two wins to Peter Mucke in his Ford Zakspeed Turbo Capri and one win to Roger Bolliger driving a Pontiac Trans AM after two DNFs in races one and two, and in the absence of Mucke in race three. Two Gentle Drivers Trophy races went to Swiss driver Marcus Jörg driving a Lotus XI and a Tourenwagen Classics race went the way of Dane Steffen Lykke Gregersen in his BMW M3 E30.

Donny Wagner and Joel Prim finished 7th overall and 4th in class

Read a more detailed report in our August issue

Fully Booked

Packed grids characterised the Preis der Stadt Stuttgart meeting at Hockenheim on 16-18 April, where Youngtimers, HTGT for Touring and GT cars of the early ‘70s, and the HEC endurance series for cars up to ‘76 met up for the first time this season.

Brothers Harald and Dennis Busch celebrated their FHR debut with pole position and overall victory from the 41 starters of the HTGT race. The professional stage manufacturers entered the historic racing stage without the backdrop of spectators due to Covid. Their Ford Escort BDA proved largely superior to the RS1600 of Heinz Schmersal and Mike Stursberg by a clear 49 seconds at the end of the one-hour race. Schmersal recognised defeat, “There is no match for this BDA, we had to be content with a class win.” Michael Wittge and Markus Diederich kept the Porsche 911 ST of the Sanchez brothers in check to take third place.

“There is no match for the BDA” Harald and Dennis Busch celebrated their FHR debut with pole position and overall victory from the 41 starters of the HTGT race.  Photos Peter Heil

 

The rapid Alexander and Vincent Kolb father-son combination secured overall victory in the final two-hour race for the FHR Dunlop Historic Endurance Cup in their beefy Ford Cobra 289. The road to victory was only cleared when the exhaust manifold of the leading Ford GT40 eliminated the Sanchez opposition halfway through the race. The Munich-based Alfa GTAm duo of Peter Praller/Clement Fromm skilfully kept the Porsche 914/6 GT of Wittke/Diederich within two seconds, which turned out to be seven after a time penalty was added for a pit stop infringement. There was bad luck for the reigning German champions (DHAM) Jochen Wilms and Christian Dannesberger, who were let down by their GTAm Alfa in both races.

The road to victory for the Kolb Cobra was only cleared when the leading Ford GT40 retired

 

Vice-Champion Kersten Jodexnis fared no better. His Porsche 911 S/R lost almost 14 laps due to a lengthy shift linkage repair, after which his teammate, Robin Chrzanowski, showed what could have been by taking fastest lap of the race on day that remained dry despite a thick cloud brew. Encouraged by the great popularity and the smooth running of the event under Corona conditions, the FHR is planning another event at the Motodrom to replace the cancelled Nürburgring Classic.