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

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Features and Reports

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

Historic Tour - Nogaro - Val de Vienne

The whole of the French historic racing season has been condensed into three exciting months with round four taking place at Nogaro on 11-12 September and the fifth and final round running at Val de Vienne only two weeks later.  With the French championship titles at stake - one for drivers racing in single-seaters or prototypes, the other for competitors in GT or Touring cars - there are 14 distinct series in which to score points, a number of which are on shared grids, giving 9 grids with races run twice over the weekend to make an 18-race programme over three days.

A season-long F3 Classic battle has been raging between Frédéric Rouvier (March 783), seen here leading and father and son Valerio (March 783) and Davide Leone in the blue Alba.  Photos Guy Pawlak

Single seat championship leader, Christian Vaglio-Giors, had bad luck (or was it planned?) in his bid for the title when ex-champion wunderkind Lionel Robert decided he’d like to come back to Formula Renault for a couple of races.  Taking pole and winning both races ahead of the Swiss by a margin numbering in the tens of seconds in a demonstration of effortless driving, the interloper put paid to Vaglio-Giors’ ambition.

On the same grid, but in a different race, a season-long F3 Classic battle has been raging between Frédéric Rouvier (March 783) and father and son Valerio (March 783) and Davide (Alba AR1) Leone.  The battle continued at Nogaro, but with the Leones not present at Val de Vienne Rouvier was able to score his third title of Champion of France.

Back in his own Porsche at Val de Vienne, a relaxed Laurent Sabatier completed the 14 laps and ran home joint winner of the French Championship GT title.

In the GT stakes, Franck Quagliozzi was invincible, and surprised no one by taking four wins out of four races at Nogaro and Val de Vienne, though the last one was a little bit tricky when the Honda Civic pilot was given a drive-through for jumping the start in the wet race.  Having already distanced the Citroën AX Coupe of Samuel Vivas on the first three laps, the Mâconnais had the luxury of taking his penalty without even losing his first place!  He flew to a new title by over 42 seconds to complete and a perfect score of ten out of ten.

 

Matthieu Châteaux was a double winner at Nogaro in his Debora SP91 BMW in SportProtosCup. He won the rst race at Val de Vienne too, but sadly retired from the last race

The only other contender for the GT title was betrayed by the double turbo of his Porsche 993 GT2 in free practice at Nogaro, but fortunately Laurent Sabatier found an emergency solution.  In a true act of sportsmanship, his comrade from GBF Racing, Sébastien Mathieu, gave him the wheel of his own BMW M3 GTR to run in the GT Classic races.   Back in his own Porsche at Val de Vienne, Sabatier took both races to run home joint winner of the French Championship GT title. 

Formula Ford Historic 

One of the most successful of the French series, the front battle for Formula Ford honours has been between two Swiss drivers.  The first race at Nogaro got off to a bad start when Didier Mantz took a severe off-track excursion at the first corner and crashed into the concrete wall.   The unfortunate ‘Didou’ was freed from the carcass of his Jomo and evacuated to Mont-de-Marsan hospital, then to Bayonne, where he was operated on for a fractured vertebra the next day.  We wish him a speedy recovery.

ASAVÉ 

In four poorly supported 45-minute ASAVÉ races with both groups ASAVÉ 65 and 75 running together on the same grid, the absence of a few regulars at Nogaro was partly offset by the arrival of the WG British Racing Ford Escort, now equipped with a formidable 300hp Ford BDG engine, in in the hands of Franck Julien, and the return of Gérard Besson’s Alpine A310 V6, seen on the Tour Auto a few days earlier.  Though not competing for the same trophy José Beltramelli was able to bring his TVR Griffith home in first place overall and dominate the 65 category ahead of Julien’s Escort in the first race. 

Absent from Nogaro, Jean-François Besson (Alpine A110) was back at Val de Vienne, and took the lead away from Sébastien Calas’ Cooper S

At Val de Vienne, the grids were not much better and with prototypes also allowed to race, François Derossi brought his magnificent Elva MK7S and German Roland Fischer unexpectedly brought out his AMS 2000, a car of Italian origin seen in its time at the Targa Florio, then at the 1000kms of Buenos Aires in the hands of Carlos Pace. 

Maxi 1300

The Maxi 1300 drivers had a busy Saturday at Nogaro, with two races on the timetable.   Philippe Gandini took pole with his Jem GT, but was penalised with a drive-through for jumping the start.   This left Laurent Majou at ease up front.  Halfway through the race, the Mini Cooper driver had a lead of over six seconds to Belgian 

In the afternoon race, Gandini was immediately relieved of Laurent Majou, who lost oil pressure.  After letting Falière lead for the first two laps, the Jem GT driver took command  and drove to victory, with Falière and Jean-Pierre Destombes (Simca CG) completing the podium.  Philippe Quirière won class 3 in his Mini Cooper in both races.

Absent at Nogaro, Jean-François Besson (Alpine A110) was back at Val de Vienne, and took the lead away from Sébastien Calas’ Cooper S on lap three of the first race after a bad start from pole.

The second race was run in the rain, which seemed to suit Calas, who took an immediate lead, followed by Jean-François Besson and Adrien Harang, both soon forced to perform  drive-throughs for jumping the start.  Halfway through the race, Calas had the situation in hand 11 seconds ahead of Laurent Poirier’s CG and 15secs over Besson, who had already returned to the fray.

Geoffroy Horion and Gislain Genecand (Trophée Formule Ford Kent), Augustin Sanjuan (Trophée Formule Ford Zetec), Matthieu Châteaux (Debora SP91 BMW) (SportProtosCup) and Anthony Delhaye (Trophée Lotus) were also double winners in their series over the two race weekends.

One of the biggest grids is the Roadster Pro Cup for Mazda MX-5s that regularly fields 25-30 cars and runs concurrently with the Youngtimers.  Florian Cabarrou and Ludovic Bellinato shared the spoils in this, swapping first and second places in four races.

The newest cars of the Historic Tour compete on the Saloon Cars grid for Touring and GT cars up to 1999.  Julien Grenet took his Dodge Viper to four consecutive wins in various conditions at Nogaro and Val de Vienne, leaving Alain Derognat (BMW 323i) and Patrick Delannoy (Porsche 996) to slug it out for second.

For a full report of both meetings, see our November 2020 issue

The Falkenberg Classic, organised by Sweden’s Racerhistoriska Klubben together with the Sports Car Championship, welcomed 160 drivers at the Falkenberg circuit near Sweden’s south-east coast on 19-20 September for a further two rounds for each grid of the Swedish Championships.  Bengt-Åce Gustavsson reports.

Dead Heat in Falkenberg

Talk of the paddock was the photo finish between Richard ‘Tiny’ Persson and Johan Lund in the Formula Vee race.  After a first win by Persson, by just 0.2 of a second in race 1, the second race also saw a battle royal between these two drivers, which ended literally in a photo finish.  However, so close were the two cars, that officials examining the photos could not pronounce a winner, so both drivers stood on the top step of the virtual podium! 

 Magnus Neergaard in his Lotus Eleven complete with its Gentleman Drivers 2005 s ckers

Formula Vee has taken over the role of being RHK’s largest class and such was the demand that the organiser applied for permission to increase the number allowed to start on the 1826-metre track.  Formula Slicks has also shown good starting fields this year.  Above all, there are many new F3 cars in the field. 

Håkan Tagesson made his Formula Ford debut at Falkenberg.  Coming from the rally forests, he has quickly adapted to track racing and won both heats ahead of Nicklas Nilsson and Björn Otterberg in race 1 and Nilsson and Daniel Magnusson in race 2.

The older historic cars finally got an outing this year on a mixed grid for pre-war cars, F3 500cc and Formula Junior.  Hans Hillebrink in his Lotus 20 Formula Junior felt very new and modern in this field, and this was clearly reflected in the results, as he managed to lap the rest of the field twice before the finish. 

Hans Beckert started in the 1000cc Cup with the Morris Cooper 970 S that burned a couple of years ago, now completely restored and in a great condition.  There was no lack of speed either and with Beckert on good form it could only end one way. 

In the GT class, Kennet Persson put in an unexpected appearance with his lovely Ford GT40.  He was the fastest in the qualifiers, but had a hard time getting off to a good start in the race, allowing Lotus Elan driver Bengt-Åke Bengtsson and Anders Schildt, in his Austin Healey 3000, to get away.  Persson, however, recovered and overhauled them both as the race progressed, with Schildt holding on to second and Claes Andersson, also in a Healey 3000, getting past the Elan to take third by the slimmest of margins.

In the class for standard cars over 1000cc, it was once again Beckert and Skårner in the lead with Beckert as the winner in both races. 

There was also a maximum field in the class for the newest cars with Rolf ‘The Mosquito’ Nilsson on pole with his Ford Escort RS1600.  He initially led the first race but had to give way to Anders Berger in a similar car, who had trouble in qualifying and had started further back.  However, both Berger and Tomas Hall (also in an Escort) missed the yellow flag when they lapped a back marker and thus received a penalty.  This handed the win to ‘The Mosquito’, with Claes Andersson (Opel Kadett GT/E) and the Ford Capri of Robert Paulsson next up. 

Read the full report in the November 2020 issue

The three-day Estoril Classics race meeting has been steadily gaining momentum over the past four years, with a winning formula involving 20-25 degree weather under a beautiful blue sky, an iconic circuit, built in 1972, that has seen all types of international racing, the beauty of the region, great food and the welcoming nature of the Portuguese people.  Despite travel restrictions and all the rest of the difficulties we are living through, 200 teams turned up to enjoy what was for many, the last outing of the season.

This is also the first year, in a three-year arrangement, that the Peter Auto grids were to make up the bulk of the programme, and though travel restrictions saw lower numbers than would have otherwise attended, it brought the cream of historic racing cars and drivers to Estoril. 

 

 Photos Carlo Senten Courtesy Race Ready

Usually attracting over 20,000 fans, this year no public was allowed, but enthusiasts could follow all the racing from home through a live stream of the whole weekend, and some 80,000 of them took up the offer.

It’s the Greatest

Many of the stalwart Peter Auto regulars were there with several cars, and these included David Hart, who, with Nicky Pastorelli won the first of two Greatest’s Trophy races in David’s Costin-bodied Lister Jaguar, having resisted the attentions of Dirk Ebeling’s Bizzarrini.  Sunday’s second race was unfortunately without the victorious Lister, leaving Ebeling’s Bizzarrini and Guillermo Fierro’s Maserati T61 Birdcage fighting for the top spot, with the Bizzarrini taking the advantage. 

Group C

Two 45-minute races for a thin grid of Group C cars saw the return of the Nissan R90 CK of Pierre-Alain and Erwin France.  The Nissan, that had been forced to withdraw from the race at Monza with mechanical issues, qualified second behind the Porsche 962C of Michel Lecourt and Raymond Narac, both cars reaching in excess of 300kph on the straight. 

Sixties

As usual for Peter Auto, a large and varied grid of pre-‘66 GT and pre-‘63 prototypes lined up for the two-hour Sixties’ Endurance race as the last race on Saturday, this time with the Porsche 911s of the 2L Cup in their midst.

Leading the pack were the well-known Sixties’ Endurance trio of Xavier and Olivier Galant, David Hart/Nicky Pastorelli and Damien Kohler, sharing his “new” Gipimotor-prepared car with Christophe Van Riet, all three teams in Shelby Cobras, with the Mahé father and son Cobra in their wake.  Young Xavier Galant took the initial lead from Hart, with Yvan Mahé and Kohler in their own battle for third.   

Leading the Sixties’ pack were Xavier and Olivier Galant, David Hart/Nicky Pastorelli, Damien Kohler/Christophe Van Riet and Mahé father and son, all in AC Cobras

After the pit stops Pastorelli in the Hart car was chipping away at Olivier Galant’s lead, but he was under attack by France, who got past on lap 46 and went after Galant.  By lap 50 of 56, as night began to fall, France was past Galant, and on the following lap Pastorelli was past too and on France’s tail.  In the final suspense-filled lap, with headlights ablaze, France crossed the chequered flag just 1.857 seconds ahead of the Hart/Pastorelli car. 

Heritage Touring Cup

A healthy grid (for these COVID times) of 20 cars lined up for the one-hour Heritage Touring Cup race with the Ford Cologne Capri 3100 RS of United Autosports’ Zak Brown, co-driven by Dario Franchitti, on pole with Gipimotor boss Christophe Van Riet’s Capri alongside hoping to make up for his retirement due to gearbox problems from the race at Monza. 

United Autosports’ Zak Brown, with Dario Franchitti, started the Heritage Cup on pole, but their race was short lived. The pair had bad luck too in their Jaguar XJR10, retiring from the Group C race

This time the bad luck hit his rivals when Franchitti had to make a pit stop with an engine problem at the end of the first lap.  The car did not return to the track until lap 17, with Brown at the wheel, who only did three laps before retiring to the pits again, this time for a problem with the accelerator cable.  Meanwhile Van Riet continued to circulate in the lead, followed closely by Yvan Mahé and Yves Scemama.  Unlike at Monza, in the absence of the Swiss-driven BMWs, it was an all Ford podium.   

CER 1

Hart and Pastorelli were once again in the limelight in the Classic Endurance 1 race, which they won in their Lola T70 MKIII B after a tough fight with the similar MK IIIB of Robert Beebee/Steve Brooks and Marc Devis/Martin O’Connell in a McLaren M8C.  A worthy contender in this David and Goliath battle was John Emberson in his Chevron B19, keeping pace with the McLaren, until the latter came to a stop on the side of the track, then restarted and limped to the pits. 

CER 2

Yves Scemama lined up his TOJ SC304 on pole for the one-hour CER 2 race.  In the last place was Monza winner Philippe Scemama in a Lola T600 after qualifying troubles.  OK it was a small grid, but by lap two Philippe was in second place and challenging brother Yves for first place, but with a mirror full of the Chevron B36 of Francisco Lara Resende.   A safety car, due to oil on the track, neutralised the race, which was re-started just as the pit window opened.  Everyone except Resende piled in for their mandatory stop, the Brazilian’s strategy to take advantage of a free track and make up the most time possible.  Unfortunately it wasn’t enough and didn’t allow him to come out of the pits ahead of the Scemama

Stormtroopers Haddon and Wolfe win GTSCC classic

Castle Combe’s ninth Autumn Classic should have been a special climax to the circuit’s 70th Anniversary celebrations on October 3-4.  Coronavirus dictated a late start to the season, with initial events run without spectators, but just when car club members and enthusiasts (in limited numbers) were invited back to South West England’s longest-serving venue, cruelly the rains came.  Thirty-six hours of unbroken precipitation failed to break competitors’ spirits on the Saturday – when a superb GT & Sports Car Cup enduro played out – but no overnight respite saw the new-for-2020 second day torpedoed.  Two feet of standing water in one run-off area made racing untenable.

Tom Water eld won the Freddie Giles Memorial Trophy race for Frazer Nashs in his Supersports.  Photos Eric Sawyer

Marcus Pye Reports

The GTSCC spectacle was world class.  An extraordinary battle raged throughout its 90 minutes as Andrew Haddon/Andy Wolfe (Lotus Elan) and Gregor Fisken/Marino Franchitti (in Gregor’s hooded early GT3 spec Jaguar E-type) slugged it out.  The cars were seldom more than a few seconds apart, their owners starting and finishing - but the mid-stint scrap between the vastly-experienced Wolfe and 2014 Sebring 12 Hours winner Franchitti was wonderful to behold as they scythed through seemingly endless traffic in the 33-car field.

The sweet aroma of methanol fuel pervaded the area as 18 500cc Formula 3 cars of the 1950s, representing 10 chassis marques and three engine manufacturers took to the wet track

Formula 3 500cc

The sweet aroma of methanol fuel pervaded the assembly area as 18 500cc Formula 3 cars of the 1950s, representing 10 chassis marques and three engine manufacturers, prepared to head out for the rolling start in the distant wheeltracks of period stars Stirling Moss, Peter Collins, Don Parker and Jim Russell.  Missing, alas, was 2016 victor Richard de la Roche who had qualified his Smith Buckler on pole, only for a big end bearing failure to silence its JAP engine during the warm-up ritual.

Mike Fowler (above) was uncatchable once George Shackleton (right) retired his Cooper Mk11

Assuaging his father’s F3 disappointment, Peter de la Roche drove Pat Barford’s Lola Mk3 brilliantly to beat Lotus-mounted spinner Clive Richards (22) and Sam Wilson (in Simon Diffey’s second-string 20) in Historic Formula Junior.  Regenmeister Stuart Roach flung his Alexis Mk2 to fourth, ahead of Diffey’s Veedol Lotus 20/22 – future Lotus F1 team manager Peter Warr’s ‘62 Nürburgring winner – and debutant Tim Child in the ex-Curt Lincoln/Chris Merrick Cooper T56.  Nick Taylor (Elva-BMC 100) and Alex Morton (Condor) pursued Roach in the front-engined set. 

 

 

A magnificent pre-war Frazer Nash and GN pack – plus Philip Champion’s gloriously swoopy FN Mille Miglia – set out for the Freddie Giles Memorial Trophy race.  Tom Waterfield drove Simon Blakeney-Edwards’ Super Sports with great brio to win by a country mile. 

Peter de la Roche drove Pat Barford’s Lola Mk3 brilliantly in the Formula Junior race to beat Lotus-mounted spinner Clive Richards

Piloting a historic car for the first time in five years, third generation Combe racer Alex Buncombe lapped allcomers in the Norman Dewis Memorial Trophy Pre-‘66 Jaguar contest, debuting Bob Neville’s newly-built E-type FHC.  Surprisingly, the 2014 HSCC Autosport Three Hours winner had not previously raced at his local circuit, where granddad John and father Jonathan were favourites. 

Two drivers with British Touring Car Championship experience won the Dunlop National Mini Challenge rounds.  Andrew Jordan staved off Kane Astin among the 1275cc Mini Miglias while Jeff Smith beat Spencer Wanstall home in the 1000cc Seven class, in its 50th year. 

For a full report see our November 2020 issue