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Contents December Issue Issue:  Latest News - Bits & Pieces - Rally News - Carrera Panamericana - Rallye du Valais - Daytona Classic 24 - Deux Tours d’Horloge - Alfa Revival Cup - Jerez Historic Festival - Historic Tour Lédenon - MRL Silverstone GP - Goodwood Members Meeting - Algarve Classic Festival

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December 2021

 

Content from the December 2021 Issue....

  • While the HSCC’s championships were decided either at Mallory Park in September or at the Silverstone Finals meeting in October (see our November issue), the International Formula 2 Series was only able to name its 2021 Champions after the Dijon Motors Cup meeting in October.   

    From 10 races at five events, top overall scorer was Nick Pancisi (March 712) who claimed the Jochen Rindt Trophy for 1600cc F2 cars.  Pancisi had a tremendous season to finish clear of rivals Julian Stokes (Tecno) and Paul Bason (March 712).

    Marc Mercer (March 73B) clinched the Vern Schuppan Trophy for the earlier Formula Atlantics from Mark Goodyear, who switched from his Lotus 59 to a March 75B in the middle of the season.  Callum Grant’s blistering pace in his March 79B, which included a famous overall win at Donington Park, ensured that he won the Gilles Villeneuve Trophy for the later Formula Atlantics.

     

    Highest F2 Scorer was Nick Pancisi, who claimed the Jochen Rindt Trophy with his 1600 March 712 Photo Carlo Senten

    The 2-litre F2 cars in the Giacomelli Trophy usually set the overall pace and it was Matt Wrigley (March 782) who took the Trophy by a single point in the final race of the season at Dijon.  Andrew Smith (March 742) and Miles Griffiths (Ralt RT1) ensured that it was never easy for the young driver.

    Travel restrictions due to COVID and a general reluctance to race outside the UK, meant that the only international element of the series this year was Dijon.  Nonetheless, more than 60 drivers took part during the season with UK competitors joined by drivers from Denmark, France, Italy, Germany, Austria and the USA.

     

    The Club says that plans for a return to a full pan-European schedule for 2022 are well advanced and the calendar will be announced shortly.  Andy Dee-Crowne, CEO of the HSCC, said, “Our UK-based drivers have missed competing with our European friends this year and restoring an international schedule is our prime aim for 2022.”

  • When the Wellington-based MG Car Club was forced to cancel this year’s popular MG Classic motor racing meeting, due to be held at Manfield Circuit Chris Amon over the weekend of 13-14 November, it eliminated the first round of 2021-22 MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series, which has run a close-to-home calendar over the last two years, and was continuing the strategy for the 2021-2022 season.  Though a race meeting was possible under current rules, the New Zealand quarantine and travel restriction provisions have effectively split the country in two until the second week of December at the earliest…. 

    Fortunately, the second round of the series is not scheduled to run until the second-to-last weekend  in January next year, “though at the moment,” says NZ F5000 Association committee member and spokesperson Glenn Richards, “there are still no guarantees – even that far out!”  COVID willing, the rest of the season looks like this:  21-23 Jan 2022 – Taupo Historic Grand Prix - Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park Taupo NZ; 4-6 Feb - Skope Classic - Mike Pero Motorsport Park Ruapuna Christchurch NZ; 26-27 Mar 2022– HRC Legends of Speed meeting Hampton Downs Waikato NZ.  Organisers are talking about adding another round if the evolving situation permits.

  • A mixed season for most series, including for Peter Auto, has meant that not all the usual participants were able to compete in all the races.  This has brought some interesting season winners to the fore.  

    Peter Auto quite rightly gives as much importance to a class win as an overall win and has published its 28 class winners, starting with Xavier Datraut, who won the 2.0L Cup for 2021, the only series that has an overall winner and no classes.  In CER 1, though there were winners in each class, Emmanuel Brigand came away with the most points this season, driving a Chevron B19.  Frank Morel did likewise in CER 2, taking 104 points with his TOJ SC206 in the under 2-litre prototype class to Beat Eggimann’s 101 points in the same class.    In the highly contested Heritage Touring Cup, Maxime Guenat (FORD Capri RS 3100) scored more points than any other competitor, winning the TC2 Class, while Guy Fabrice Mestrot took the Index of Performance in his 1600 Ford Escort RS.  Yvan Mahé won the Sixties’ Endurance in a Shelby Cobra Daytona, narrowly beating Christophe Van Riet’s Cobra, and in the same series Simon Nobili took the index of Performance in his MGA.  

    A mixed season for most series, including for Peter Auto, has meant that not all the usual participants were able to compete in all the races.  This has brought some interesting season winners to the fore.  

    Peter Auto quite rightly gives as much importance to a class win as an overall win and has published its 28 class winners, starting with Xavier Datraut, who won the 2.0L Cup for 2021, the only series that has an overall winner and no classes.  In CER 1, though there were winners in each class, Emmanuel Brigand came away with the most points this season, driving a Chevron B19.  Frank Morel did likewise in CER 2, taking 104 points with his TOJ SC206 in the under 2-litre prototype class to Beat Eggimann’s 101 points in the same class.    In the highly contested Heritage Touring Cup, Maxime Guenat (FORD Capri RS 3100) scored more points than any other competitor, winning the TC2 Class, while Guy Fabrice Mestrot took the Index of Performance in his 1600 Ford Escort RS.  Yvan Mahé won the Sixties’ Endurance in a Shelby Cobra Daytona, narrowly beating Christophe Van Riet’s Cobra, and in the same series Simon Nobili took the index of Performance in his MGA.  

  • Sébastien Mathieu (GT/Tourism) and Lionel Robert (Monoplaces/Protos) are the 2021 French historic racing champions.  

    Aged 37, Mathieu has been a staunch supporter of the GT Classic Trophy from the start, first in a Porsche 964 RSR, and then at the helm of a BMW M3 GTR developed by himself and his GBF Racing team.  Engine problems in the BMW forced him to return to the Porsche for the end of this season.  Of the ten GT Classic races this year, Mathieu won eight, finishing the other two in second place.  He succeeds one of his teammates, Laurent Sabatier, and Franck Quagliozzi, who tied for the title in 2020, as French GT/Tourism champion.

    Returning to compete for a full season in Formula Renault Classic, Lionel Robert saw only one victory escape him this year, following a mechanical breakdown.  At 59 years of age, the Manceau with nine participations in the 24 hours of Le Mans finally became a champion of France, the title having escaped him by little on five different occasions, the first times in 1980 and 1985, in the then modern Formula Renault championship.  Robert came second in the first Historic Tour in 2015, and in 2016, after nine victories in the first nine races, he ceded to his son and student Antoine Robert, who has gone on to forge a career as a racing driver.  Aboard a Martini similar to the one he was driving in 1985 Robert, who is active in many forms of motor sport, as well as a race coach and team manager, succeeds the triple crowned Frédéric Rouvier, but also his own son!

  • Amongst the various championship announcements that come at this time of year, the Masters have declared their winners.  These include Mike Cantillon, who took the FIA Historic Formula One title for post-‘78 cars with his Williams FW07C, and Lukas Halusa, who scored six wins from 12 starts to take pre-‘78 honours.  Steve Brooks (Lola T70 Mk3B), shares the 2021 FIA Sportscar title with Tom Bradshaw, who drove his Chevron B19 to equal points overall, while Chevron B8 pair and Bonnier class winners Charles Allison and Peter Thompson were joint runners-up.  John Spiers took the pre-‘66 category in his McLaren M1B.

    Shaun Lynn (Peugeot 908 HDi FAP) became the undisputed Masters Endurance Legends prototype champion and Michael McInerney took the GT division with his Mosler MT900R by a single point.  Andrew Haddon won the 2021 Gentlemen Drivers title in his Lotus Elan with a slim points advantage over the rapid C2 class winners Mark Holme and Jeremy Welch (Austin Healey 3000).  The under two-litre cars fended off the Mustangs and Galaxies to win the Pre-‘66 Touring Car championship, with the pairing of Marcus Jewell and Ben Clucas sharing top honours with Richard Dutton, both on 24 points driving Lotus Cortinas.

  • The 2022 Tour Auto will start with its traditional exhibition day in Paris on Monday, April 25, after which the 230 crews will set off on a route to discover the hidden charms and culture of the French countryside.  Next Year’s programme will include some 2,000kms over five legs with sessions on four circuits and a dozen of special stages on closed roads.  Unusually, the event will finish in the Principality of Andorra, a state visited once only in its history, in 2002, with the final parc fermé in Andorra la Vella, the highest capital of Europe at 1023ms.

    Concerned to renew and refresh the variety of cars each year, the organisers highlight a type of car that contributed to the history of the Tour de France Automobile between 1951 and 1973.  In 2022, the event will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ferrari 365 GTB4’s 1972 double and Jean-Claude Andruet’s victory, in the car already nicknamed “Daytona”.

    A tribute will also be paid to the “pioneers”, the cars of the major marques that took part in the very first post-war editions, between 1951 and 1954, such as Delahaye 235, Ferrari, Fiat 8V, Gordini barchettas, Jaguar C-type, Osca, etc.

  • With Retromobile back on the calendar for 2022 (2-6 February), the much-missed exhibition is pulling out all the stops to make this a memorable edition.   Amongst other special features, “The fabulous GORDINI saga,” in partnership with the National Automobile Museum, Schlumpf Collection and the historian Christian Huet, will present a unique retrospective of the entire production of the engineer Amédée Gordini, from 1947 to 1971, at the 2022 show.   With his nickname of “the Sorcerer,” Amédée Gordini was often dogged by a lack of the cash that many of his rivals enjoyed.  He nonetheless produced an astounding record of success on the race track with his Gordini cars and in collaboration with other manufacturers.

  • British Racing Motors has confirmed that one of its run of three BRM P15 V16 cars, which are being manufactured by Hall and Hall using original blueprints and drawings from the BRM archive, is to be purchased by Richard Mille.   Historic racing fan, sponsor, and collector, Richard Mille, has the world’s most extensive collection of BRM racing cars including a recently restored original MK1 BRM V16 and a superb original P30 V16 MK2.  The all-new P15 V16, which is being built to celebrate the company’s 70th anniversary, will be added to his collection, when complete.

    “I have been a huge BRM fan for many years,” said Mille, “ever since I started collecting historic cars more than 15 years ago.  I knew I was becoming serious about BRM when I invested in the wonderful P115 H16 - but there is something I find particularly fascinating about the V16.  Not only is it, to my eye, the most beautiful Formula 1 car of its time, but it is also the most technically complex, particularly if you think about the technology of the day.  Anybody who knows my watches, will know that I admire technical complexity.”

  • NET-HERO is an innovative platform to help motorists around the world to offset their carbon footprint.  A simple to use web-based app available in five languages, it allows drivers to accurately calculate the greenhouse gas emissions for new and classic cars.  First, motorists enter their vehicle’s details to calculate its carbon footprint.  Secondly, they can contribute to high quality carbon projects by purchasing from a custom AAA+ BeZero-rated offset basket, developed with decarbonisation specialists BeZero Carbon.  Every basket removes the greenhouse gas emissions generated by vehicle engines.  Finally, motorists will receive an email certificate and a custom vignette to show their status as an environmentally friendly driver.   NET-HERO is a stand-alone company (supported by HERO-ERA) called BeZero, who are experts in the field.  As a company HERO-ERA is already carbon neutral, and eventually all the entrants’ vehicles on its rallies will be carbon neutral on the events, as HERO will simply add the relatively low charges to the entry fee. 

    …..And the HSCC

    The Historic Sports Car Club has joined with other similar organisations in offsetting the carbon produced during its 2021 racing season. At a time when the climate is at the forefront of the news, the HSCC has off-set carbon produced via a UK tree-planting project under the guidance of Carbon Footprint Ltd.  The offset has been calculated to cover the Club’s entire racing season as well as the travel undertaken by Club officials during the season.  The calculation was based on the number of cars and laps completed during the HSCC racing season at realistic fuel consumption figures and working to the UK DEFRA emission statistics.  The carbon off-set will now be completed each season and it is hoped to develop the programme to take account of marshals’ travel and competitor pre-event testing. 

    The carbon off-set builds on the Club’s initiatives to move to on-line documentation and reduce paper consumption, greater use of online meetings and other changes to procedures.

  • After two years of cancellations, the tenth anniversary of the Eifel Rallye Festival will finally be celebrated in 2022.  Some 160 rally cars, spanning 50 years of rally history will come next year for a special  celebration of 50 years of the World Rally Championship.  “During the forced break, we worked hard, and fans can look forward to a number of  surprises”, promised Reinhard Klein, who is responsible for the composition of the starting field.  International interest in the Festival has increased once again with Slowly Sideways Teams from the Iberian Peninsula aiming to bring at least one car transporter-full of original or true-to-original replicas of classic rally cars.

    Starting with a new Shakedown near Bodenbach and a completely new stage on Friday, with an additional highlight on Saturday, the anniversary Festival will offer many new perspectives to fans and participants.  The cornerstones of the event will remain.  “We like to hold on to the tried and tested, but add additional attractions for participants and fans”, says head of the organising team, Otmar Anschütz.”

  • In one of the coldest regions of Romania, guaranteeing snowy conditions, the sixth edition of the Winter Romania Historic Rally, will take place on 20-23 January on the forest paths of  Comandaü in Transylvania,  where Paul Lacombe, George Grigorescu and their team have designed a route to include three days of racing in loops around the city of Covasna.

    The total rally distance is around 450 kilometres, including 200 special stage kilometres.  Run under Romanian National regulations, sanctioned by the FRAS (Romanian Federation of Sports Automobiles) and the Romanian Automobile Club, the rally is open to historic, two and four-wheel drive vehicles, with or without HTP, registered before 12.31.1995.  The number of entries is limited to 60.  See www.romania-historic-rally.com for details.

  • Such was the demand for places for HERO-ERA’s rally starting in Spain and crossing to Morocco, it nearly took place this year, not once, but twice due to the number of entries.  Both got shelved at the last minute due to COVID, but now the event, that takes competitors into the remotest parts of the great Sahara Desert, is back on the calendar and is due to run on 19-30 September 2022. 

  • Thirty entries for the open-road race (stage rally) are listed on the official Chihuahua Express website, including the winner of this year’s Pan-Am, Carlos Cordero, plus another ten entries in the ChiX Tour.  These entries do not include a dozen competitors from the US who paid their entry fee for the 2020 event, which was cancelled, and who have yet to submit 2022 entry forms. Entries will remain open until 31 January for this compact special stage rally that packs in over 500kms of rally stage in its 1600kms over three days, returning to the same hotel each night, all set in one of the most picturesque regions of northern Mexico.

    Chihuahua has one of the lowest COVID infection rates in the country and most of the racing is in the mountains, away from populated areas.  The HQ hotel sits high on a hill overlooking the city, which provides a high level of security from the virus.  The event organiser, Chacho Medina, is convinced the event will occur as scheduled on April 28-May 1, 2022.

    At least three norteamericanos have signed up for the ChiX Tour because they want to experience a Mexican rally before they buy or build a full competition car.  The Tour cars follow the same route as the competing cars, go to the same drivers’ meetings, park their cars in the same paddock, and sit in the same bars each night.  See www.chihuahuaexpress.com.

  • Next year’s event will take place on 15-18 June.  Entries opened on 4 November and will close on 14 January.  There is an eligibility registration scheme (at a cost of €500), which must be completed before an entry application can be made.    See https://1000miglia.it.

  • The East African Safari Classic Rally that was to take place on 1-9 November 2021 has been rescheduled for early next year organisers have confirmed.  “Despite the regrettable news of the postponement of the 2021 event, the management can now confirm that it will take place on 10th – 18th February 2022.   We are working tirelessly to ensure that we give all stakeholders a spectacular event,” said East African Safari Classic Rally Board Chairman Joey Ghose.

    A full entry that includes some past and present rally stars is expected, including latest to enter, former Junior World Rally Champion and former Subaru Motorsports Factory driver,  Patrik Sandel, who will be driving one of eight Tuthill Porsche-entered cars, along with 2019 winners Austrians Kris Rosenberger and Nicola Bleicher.  Safari regulars Andrew Sidall, Geoff Bell and Ian Duncan are also on the entry list.  The organising team have guaranteed a thoroughly professional and competitive event that will cover almost 5,000kms across the region, incorporating Kenya’s finest rallying roads and, COVID-19 permitting, with stages in neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania over nine days, returning the event to its original East African status.  See www.eastafricansafarirally.com for details and entries.

  • The newest long-distance rally organisation, the not-for-profit Rally the Globe, got back to business on 2-12 October with its first long distance adventure since it had to cancel its ambitious plans to, literally, Rally the Globe.  Inspired by Italian rally history, Carrera Italia started and finished in Sanremo on the Italian Riviera – home to the country’s round of the World Rally Championship for many years.  A 2800km (1750 miles), ten-day route, starting from the balmy Ligurian coast and climbing up into the Alto Adige and the Dolomites, through rain, wind, sleet and hail, returned to Liguria via the Adriatic resort of Rimini, the Apennines and the vineyards of Tuscany.  

    Wiinners Mike and Lorna Harrison

    With regularities along the way, special tests on racing circuits, including the Autodromo di Modena, five-star hotels, fine food and wine, the final winners were Mike and Lorna Harrison, completing a double after winning the  Highland Thistle Rally a month earlier in their Triumph TR3A.  Top honours in the Vintage class went to the 1938 Frazer Nash-BMW shared by first time winners Bertie and Charlotte van Houtte.  The two overall victors were joined by class winners – Steve and Jenny Verrall (1965 Porsche 911), Roy and Rachel Stephenson (1973 Porsche 911) and Manuel and Irene Dubs (1965 Ford Mustang V8 Convertible).

    Climbing up into the Alto Adige through rain, wind, sleet and hail....  Photos Gerard Brown Courtesy Rally the Globe

    The prizes were presented to the winners by Ari Vatanen, the renowned ‘Flying Finn’.  “To have Ari with us was just an incredible finish to an incredible event,” concluded Rally Director Fred Gallagher, who co-drove for Vatanen back in the day.

    he Vintage class went to the 1938 Frazer Nash-BMW shared by Bertie and Charlotte van Houtte

     

     

  • This 34th edition of the revival Carrar Panamericana, which took place on 15-21 October, was won by Ricardo Cordero and Marco Hernández in their Studebaker Champion after a comeback that seemed all but impossible.  After a blown tyre set them back over four and a half minutes on the first day of competition on the route from Oaxaca to Veracruz, last year’s winning pair were left to chase the experienced Frenchman, Hilaire Damiron, with his Brazilian wife Laura, in a Studebaker Commander and 2015 and 2018 winner, Emilio Velázquez (Studebaker Champion), navigated by Jorge Bernal.

    After a 4,200km drive that included ove 600kms of timed stages, Ricardo Cordero and Marco Hernández won by 6.6 seconds.  Photos courtesy Carrera Panamericana

    Current national rally champion, Cordero played to his strengths, most notably on day 4 on the stages around Mexico City and Morelia and the famous Mil Cumbres stage.  Helped by the setback of Velázquez, whose driveshaft broke on day 5, effectively putting him out of contention, the Champion carried the day, but started the final day with a scant 18-second lead over the Franco-Brazilian couple, with five stages to run to Saltillo.  Damiron attacked, but Cordero never faltered and finished the final stage with a margin of – wait for it – 6.6 seconds after over 4,000kms and 600kms of stages, for a third consecutive out of four victories in the event.  Overall winners in 2016, Hilaire and Laura Damiron finished second, while Velázquez and Bernal held on to third place overall, some six minutes in arrears, after repairing their broken Studebaker.  Of the top 20 finishers there were six Studebakers, six Porsche 911s, four modern cars (BMWs), and four older cars, including a replica of a classic Ferrari 250.  Doug Mockett, another Pan-Am and Chihuahua Express champ, finished a disappointing 11th in his iconic red and yellow 1954 Oldsmobile.

    Regular participant and past winner, Doug Mockett came a disappointing 11th

    There were just as many crashes and mishaps as ever, including one involving a police car policing the event

  • Rallye International du Valais - Stajf and Zelinka fly high in Switzerland

    Round eight of the 2021 FIA European Historic Rally Championship was run in a Switzerland wearing its finest autumnal colours.  The Rallye International du Valais on 21-23 October also counted towards the Swiss championship and the historic Swiss championship and consisted of three legs giving 190kms of special stages on the sinuous mountain passes.    With two stages on Thursday afternoon, and a further seven stages to follow on Friday, three of them run twice, the finish was on Saturday after a further seven stages.

    Stajf and Zelinka fly high in Switzerland.  Photo Etienne Bornet Courtesy Rallye du Valais

    With the disappointing withdrawal of the two Category 4 EHRC entries of Daniel Alonso/Jorge Henriques (Ford Sierra RS Cosworth) and the Audi quattro A2 of Ville Silvasti and Risto Pietlainen, there were only four cars entered in the EHRC section of the rally, all of them competing in Category 2, so maximum points were at stake.

    James Potter and Greg McCormack claimed first blood from the depleted field in their Ford Escort RS1600, 2.1secs ahead of the Opel Kadett of Vojtech Stajf and Vladimir Zelinka, with their Flexifly teammates, and current Category 2 championship leaders, Ernie and Karen Graham in third in their Ford Escort RS1800.  The Czech Opel struck back on the second stage to finish the leg just 0.6secs down.

    On Friday Stajf started the day with three stage wins, but Potter had an answer and won the next three stages.  Finally, it was the Opel that came back to parc fermé with a 4.7sec advantage.  The Grahams continued in third place further back.  The Ford Escort of Richard and Lucie Ronay became a casualty on the opening stage when a technical issue side-lined their Escort, leaving a guaranteed podium place for the remaining three cars, if they could stay on the road to the finish.

    James Potter and Greg McCormack fought hard but lost out on the final stage.  Photo Sven Walker

    A close battle on the final day saw McCormack posting the fastest time on four of the seven stages, with Stajf taking three.  On each of the first five stages the two cars were split by less than 10 seconds, with the two cars separated by just 0.5sec on SS13 with three more stages to go.

    The penultimate stage saw the gap increase, McCormack going 14.5secs faster than Stajf on SS15.  But the Czech threw everything he had at the final stage to finish 28.8 seconds ahead of the Escort and claim final victory by 8.4 seconds.  Ernie and Karen Graham finished a distant third in their Escort, over nine minutes in arrears.

    As we go to press competitors will be gathering in the historic Spanish city of Girona  for the 69th Rally Costa Brava, the ninth and final round of the FIA Championship.

  • As an unseasonably mild London was still shrouded in darkness, nearly 300 veteran cars, their drivers, passengers and hordes of enthusiastic well-wishers gathered in Hyde Park on Sunday 7 November for the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

    Celebrating 125 years since the original Emancipation Run, which was held in 1896, the world’s longest-running motoring event saw the first batch of the pre-1905 horseless carriages flagged away, with the earliest of the Victorian ‘light locomotive’ vehicles leading the cavalcade as they phutted and hissed their way through Wellington Arch, down Constitution Hill, past Buckingham Palace, Admiralty Arch and through Whitehall into Parliament Square.  Here the 60-mile route split into two thus alleviating traffic congestion in South London.  The two routes then merged just north of Croydon with the entire cavalcade reunited as it headed towards the South Downs and eventually the Madeira Drive seafront in Brighton.

    The Brighton Run provides a unique and wonderfully eccentric spectacle in Hyde Park Photos John Retter

    This year’s entry included cars from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland as well as 10 from the United States.  In total, 87 different marques, ranging from Albion and Alldays to Winton and Wolseley, were represented, the vast majority lost to history.

    First away from Hyde Park was a single-cylinder, 4bhp Lutzmann dating back to the dawn of motoring in 1896, followed by the world’s only Raynaud – an 8-horsepower twin-cylinder vis-à-vis from the same year. 

    Blessed with such eccentric charm and incredible history, the Run always attracts huge wayside crowds along the entire route and worldwide participation.   Enjoying the mild weather, the vast majority completed the journey to Brighton well before the 4.30pm deadline to claim a coveted finishers’ medal. 

     

    The first car to reach the Sussex seafront was the 1902 Mors driven by Clive Evison – the French four-cylinder machine completing the journey from capital to coast in just under three hours.

    As in recent years, the RM Sotheby’s Veteran Car Run provided the finale to the Royal Automobile Club’s busy London Motor Week – during which the Club hosted an array of functions and events.  The penultimate event in the week was the free-to-view Regent Street Motor Show, on Saturday 6 November, which turned London’s flagship shopping street into a motoring showcase that put the spotlight on veterans and moderns alike and attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors.

  • They came for a relaxed meeting in the sun but instead their season-closer proved challenging in many respects – and not just meteorologically.  The Algarve Classic Festival turned into a soggy affair that became a struggle with the timetable and a handful for the drivers, although many enjoyed the slippery conditions on the fantastically undulating track north of Portimão.  

    Photos Trevor Noble

    Masters Historic Racing, the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association and the Formula Junior Association had travelled to Portugal from their Jérez meeting the week before to be joined by the GT & Sports Car Cup and the return of its traditional two-hour endurance race under the Algarve’s autumn sun.  All looked set for a grand finale but then months of drought came to an end, precisely during the three days of the Festival.  It could have been worse, though, as initial forecasts predicted 72 hours of torrential rain, while in the end Friday was mostly sunny with some dry spells on Sunday as well.

    Lukas Halusa drove a miraculous race to finish third overall in his Bugatti Type 35B in the Pre-‘66 HGPCA race

    In addition came the fact that the usual laidback but proper organisation the guests had come to expect from this F1-grade track over the past years seemed to have gone missing this time.  In hindsight, it probably wasn’t very convenient that the event took place right between the ELMS round the week before and the MotoGP the week after.  Several ELMS teams stayed on for private testing until late in the week while MotoGP began invading the paddock as early as Sunday morning, leaving its present incumbents with the impression that they had outstayed their welcome.  Moreover, it seemed that at certain times the Portuguese hosts had their eyes off the ball because of all these conflicting commitments.  Timekeeping suffered from an array of issues, one of the local series was allowed on track ahead of its time, and the extremely tight time schedule didn’t allow for any delays – and those inevitably came on a circuit that has gravel traps acting as run-off areas.

    Andrew Haddon, David Smithies and John Watson do battle in the GTSCC race

    Nick Padmore won Saturday’s F1 race in the Chrome Cars Lotus 92, a last-minute substitute

    In the wet conditions the front-engined cars proved quickest in the HGPCA races

    To see Mattijs Diepraam's full report, see our December 2021 issue....

  • Joel Wykeham joined the Sleep Shelby Racing Team for an attempt on the first Historic 24 Hours race in nearly 10 years.

    L’Automne en Provence

    Competitors were greeted with all the beautiful autumn colours in the vineyards around Le Castellet as the Circuit Paul Ricard was bathed in low November sunlight and vivid clear blue skies on 5-7 November.  Eric and Laure Van de Vyver and their very warm and welcoming V de V team deserve a lot of credit for bringing back the first 24-hour race for historic cars since 2012 despite suffering another year’s postponement due to COVID.  They were rewarded with an eclectic entry of diverse sports prototypes, GT and Touring cars from 1964 through to 1991 that would fight a long and determined battle for the outright win.  While the majority of entries were understandably French there was still a pan-European element, with teams from Britain, Belgium, Luxembourg and even a well-used Porsche 906 from Italy.

    Photos Gilles Chaulet

    As drivers lined up for the pre-event Le Mans start, the Pascalou Porsche 930 Turbo of star driver Sebastien Crubilé - having maybe turned up the boost for qualifying – was on pole, closely followed by the Chateaux Sport Grac prototype of Belgian rally star Freddy Loix, Alex De Ferran and Bernard Zimmer.  Third place was the first of the numerous but fragile Sports 2000 prototypes.  Come the rolling start proper, in true 24-hour race tradition, on the very first lap an LD Racing 911 and the Capri of ‘John Doe’ collided, ultimately eliminating both cars.

    No March for a Tiga

    As the race settled down, the higher powered Grac was leading until numerous pit stops dropped it back and a race-long duel started between the S2000s of  Laurent Vallery-Masson’s  team Tiga  and  the March 81S of ‘Nelson’.  This was proper endurance racing as hares struggled against tortoises in a night of attrition in eleven hours of darkness.

    Overall it was a wonderful event combining elements of the glamour and relative comfort of the Paul Ricard circuit with an entry suitably reminiscent of an obscure endurance race from the late 1970s.  V de V did a brilliant job and it was an electric experience to drive at night under floodlights.  As co-driver Alex Montgomery commented afterwards “Was that all just a sunny dream?”  With perfect timing, when the chequered flag dropped, the first drops of winter rain began to fall.

    For Joel's full report see our December 2021 issue...

  • Cottingham/Girardo win at Snakes and Listers

    The second Royal Automobile Club Pall Mall Cup race for Pre-‘61 sports racers and Pre-‘66 GT and Touring cars, over three hours on Silverstone’s Historic Grand Prix circuit, ended Motor Racing Legends’ season in style on October 31.  After a spin at Luffield on lap one, James Cottingham, starting Max Girardo’s late-built Lister-Jaguar Costin, regained the lead, which Girardo defended despite a gyration of his own at Stowe.  With Cottingham at the helm again, and the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe evocations of Roy Alderslade, Olly Bryant and Sam Tordoff on the same lap, fighting for position, this was a battle to the end.  The Lister pair won by 46 seconds, from George Pochciol/Matthew Wrigley/Bryant and Michael Cullen/Paddy Shovlin/Tordoff.  As the action unfolded on live-streaming, courtesy of DK Engineering and ADP Classic Racing, it can be enjoyed for posterity via YouTube and other platforms.      

    Max Girardo and James Cottingham defeated all the Cobras in Max’s late-built Lister-Jaguar Costin.  Photo John Retter

    The Pall Mall Cup is awarded to multi-car teams, not individuals.  The Hot Shots - Alderslade/Andrew Jordan, Chris Fox/Nick Pink (Lotus Elan) and Karsten Le Blanc/Christiaen van Lanschot (Austin-Healey 3000 ‘DD300’) - outpointed 10 rivals to land it.

    Forty-three cars started the enduro, in which British Touring Car Championship star Rory Butcher (in William Paul’s Jaguar E-type) took over the lead when Cottingham rotated, only for driveshaft failure to strand him after four laps.  Recent Estoril winner Harvey Stanley took up the cudgels in DK Engineering’s Pre-‘63 Huffaker E-type but was quickly demoted by Cottingham and Gareth Burnett in Michael Birch’s ex-works/Graham Hill Lotus 15.  Miles Griffiths was harassing Burnett when his Lotus Elan burrowed deep into the gravel at Club, where it remained.

    Popular winner Paul Mensley leads the HTCC pack in his Ford Sierra Cosworth.  Photos Eric Sawyer and Jeff Bloxham

    Having served its second mandatory five-minute stop after a short stint by Birch, Richard Bradley took over the Lotus 15 with a cunning plan to go to the end.  As the pitstop stagger unwound this tactic looked promising until its rear suspension broke after a trip over the kerbs at Becketts.

    Out front, Jordan eroded the gap to Girardo from a minute plus to 30 seconds before putting car owner Alderslade back in.  While nobody could now catch Cottingham, the Cobras re-ordered.  Alderslade - in his second full season of historics - was gobbled up by the younger hotshoes.  Gregoire Audi/Rob Hall and Nick Sleep/Alex Montgomery/Joel Wykeham (Cobras) completed the top six, ahead of class winners Stanley/Jeremy Cottingham and Will and Michael Schryver/Marcus Weller (Elan Shapecraft coupe).  Malcolm Paul/Patrick Watts (TVR Grantura) saw off the best of the Porsche 911s to ace their division by 18 seconds.  First tin top was Alan Greenhalgh/Simon Lane’s Ford Falcon.

    Jeremy Cottingham drove with Harvey Stanley to 7th place in the DK Jaguar

    Thirty-three cars started the 1950s’ sportscar race, the younger Stirling Moss Trophy division to the fore.  The contrasting Lister-Jaguars of Gary Pearson (Costin) and Rob Smith (in Steve Osborne’s Knobbly) and Richard Bradley - fresh from a fine European Le Mans Series run at the Algarve Circuit in an ORECA prototype - in Birch’s Lotus 15.  When diff failure ended Pearson’s aspirations, Bradley went clear, but Chris Ward hounded him down. A lap and a half from home the Lotus’ two-litre Climax FPF engine spluttered to a halt and Ward snatched victory.

    Rob Smith and Chris Ward (Lister Knobbly) took victory in the Stirling Moss Trophy race after Gary Pearson (Lister no. 58) and the Lotus 15 (No 21) driven by Richard Bradley failed to finish

    Saturday’s Jaguar Classic Challenge which rounded out the E-type’s 60th anniversary year was a two-cat scrap between Gary Pearson (roadster) and Richard Kent/Chris Ward in the former’s ex-Dick Protheroe Fixed Head Coupe CUT 7. 

    There could not have been a more popular Historic Touring Car Challenge winner than Paul Mensley.  Driving the only Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 in the field, Mensley outlasted Simon Garrad’s Nissan Skyline, then had to contend with rampant poleman Freddie Hunt - 1976 F1 World Champion James’ son - in Ric Wood’s Skyline while conserving frazzled wet tyres on a drying track. 

    Julius Thurgood’s Historic Racing Drivers’ Club members entertained each day

    The packed autumn calendar reduced the second Amon Cup Ford GT40 race’s grid to seven.  Nonetheless, the battle for supremacy between Miles Griffiths and Gordon Shedden in Philip Walker’s machine and Spa Six Hours victors James Cottingham/Olly Bryant (in the former’s car) made compelling viewing, and listening, as their V8 roars melded in the air - until the mandatory pitstops. 

    Julius Thurgood’s Historic Racing Drivers’ Club members entertained each day. 

    To read Marcus Pye's full report on all the races, see our December 2021 issue....

  • For decades, it was usual that the international historic motor racing circus would annually retreat to the Iberian Peninsula for a sunny holiday bookended by a couple of race meetings.  COVID-19 put an end to that relaxing tradition, but in 2021 it made a glorious comeback.  With some having already done the Estoril Classics, the Jerez Historic Festival was the second leg in a triplet of events that would finish right on the cusp of November with the Algarve Classic Festival.  

    Biggest grid was fielded by the HGPCA

    Mattijs Diepraam Reports…..

    The Jerez Historic Festival was held in the perfect weather conditions of an ‘Andalusian summer’.  That meant a cloudless sky, a cool breeze coming in from the sea and a temperature of 26 degrees, and as could be witnessed by the many dry lakes and streams in the region, not even the moist 26 degrees that make you sweat – unless, of course, you happened to be a racing driver.  Some entry lists included an encouraging number of cars, such as the Masters Historic Formula One and the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association grids, while others disappointed, Masters Endurance Legends, Masters Historic Sports Cars and Formula Junior among those.  Still, the Spanish crowd loved it all, their patience having been tested for too long already.

    Single-Seaters

    Some twenty cars had been transported down south to compete in the two Masters Historic Formula One races, but the spectators were disappointed to find out that the ultimate car on the entry list – Jonathan Holtzman’s Tyrrell P34 – had had its engine fail on the test day preceding the event.  Nevertheless, the turnout was pretty good compared to entry numbers earlier in the year, and the quality was high as well, both in cars and in drivers. One of the category’s long-time campaigners made short work of qualifying and race 1, Mike Cantillon powering his Williams FW07C to pole and a consecutive lights-to-flag win on Saturday.  The Irishman ran into trouble early on in race 2, though, leaving the initiative to Saturday’s third-placed driver, Jamie Constable. 

     Mike Cantillion leads out the first F1 race from pole position

    Nick Padmore had been a dominant pre-78 class winner on Saturday, taking fourth overall after occupying third until lap 9, but on Sunday the class win went to Miles Griffiths in the Fittipaldi F5A, the Masters Historic Formula One rookie going one better compared to the previous day.

    Max Smith-Hilliard was rather more pleased with his form in the two Historic Grand Prix Cars Association races for pre-‘66 Grand Prix cars, as his Lotus 16 streaked to a pair of front-engined class wins.

    A 15-car Formula Junior entry completed a pair of races on Saturday and Sunday, Alex Ames in the Brabham BT6 racing six seconds clear of Patrick d’Aubreby’s Lotus 22 in race 1.  The Frenchman hit back the next day by passing Ames on lap 5 to win by 3.7 seconds.

    Sportscars

    Christophe d’Ansembourg was the man of the weekend in Masters Endurance Legends, his Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2 bagging a double victory, while the Masters Historic Sports Car race proved to be a Steve Brooks/Martin O’Connell benefit, with Brooks stretching out a handy lead that O’Connell simply needed to bring home.

    GT and Touring Cars

    john Spiers and his new partner Greensall came out on top in a tense Masters Gentlemen Drivers race that saw Michael Gans lead away in Mark Martin’s Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, the American chased and then passed by Andrew Haddon’s Lotus Elan. 

    Michael Gans (Cobra) and Andrew Haddon (Lotus Elan) in the Gentlemen Drivers’ race.  Photos AM Paquete

    Adding a modern flavour to the event, the Portuguese Porsche GT3 Cup reeled off two races. 

    For Mattjs Diepraam's full report, see our December 2021 issue.... 

     

  • Members and Maestros make Magic at Goodwood

    Marcus Pye Reports

    Not in the history of the second-tier events at Goodwood - under the British Automobile Racing Club’s banner from August 1949 to July 1966, and GRRC-badged from the spring of 2014 - had a Members’ Meeting been staged as late in the year.  Nonetheless, the 78th edition on October 16-17 marked its return to the calendar, 2020’s date having fallen victim to COVID. 

    Photo Drew Gibson Courtesy Goodwood

    It’s now a mini-Revival, condensed into two days, with professionals populating feature grids, rather than the period opportunity for enthusiastic amateurs to strut their stuff behind closed doors. Nonetheless, tremendous racing across the board entertained spectators as Saturday morning’s torrential rain gave way to unseasonably warm autumnal weather.

    Superstars did emerge from Goodwood’s contemporary MMs.  Future F1 world champions Mike Hawthorn, Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart, and Le Mans winners Roy Salvadori, Richard Attwood and Derek Bell were among those who won races on the challenging track back in the days.  And motorcycle ace John Surtees made a superb four-wheeled debut in 1960.

    Lukas Halusa (Bugatti Type 35B) won the Earl Howe Trophy race.  Photos Eric Sawyer

    Peter Arundell won here twice in ‘62 - narrowly on Easter Monday - and dominant on August’s Tourist Trophy programme when he beat Attwood’s MRP Cooper by 33 seconds after 20 laps.  He is regarded as the king of Formula Junior, having won British championships in 1962 and ‘63 with Colin Chapman’s Team Lotus.  He didn’t win on his only Goodwood MM start in one - crashing out with Ian Raby at the start at the 49th in March 1962 - but he triumphed in a Lotus 11 sportscar at the 37th in ‘59, before single-seaters were admitted.  This year, Arundell’s Lotus 22 was back, indeed it played a starring role in the race bearing his name, following a post-practice driver change that sat uneasily with some competitors.

    Simon Diffey manhandles the Penske Zerex Special through the chicane in the Gurney Cup race

    Former FJHRA UK champion Michael Hibberd qualified the car - repatriated from Italy and restored by the Rolls-Royce engineer’s team - well down the order.  But a back problem saw permission granted for son Andrew (a previous Goodwood FJ and 1000cc F3 winner) to race it.

    Celebrating triple British F3 champion Don Parker’s Kieft and Cooper successes of the 1950s, the 500cc race attracted a wonderful miscellany of marques, including the bizarre Douglas flat-twin powered Buzzie built by Jim Bosisto, which didn’t get far.  A stop-start pre-race rigmarole - with Alex Wilson’s Mackson pushed from the grid and one last delay when Sir John Chisholm’s Arnott-JAP’s drivetrain broke - exacerbated the charismatic little cars’ temperamental nature.

    Photo Jayson Fong Courtesy Goodwood

    The earliest cars hailed from the Pre-1923 Edwardian era, a heady mix of thoroughbreds from hallowed marques Derrick, Mercedes-Benz and Sunbeam, and hairy concoctions, some with aero engines mounted in girder chassis, which appeared less rigid than their ballsy drivers.  These intrepid heroes practiced in, yet made light of, torrential rain, but mercifully were rewarded with perfect conditions in which to get their elbows out and fight for glory in two short sprint races honouring pioneer motorist SF Edge. 

    Experiencing an Alfa Romeo 8C 2600 Monza for the first time on track in a gruesomely wet Earl Howe Trophy practice session, Gary Pearson put German Christian Glaesel’s ex-works example on pole but was beaten into second by the increasingly impressive Lukas Halusa (Bugatti T35B) in the Pre-‘32 GP and Voiturette showcase.  

    Runaway poleman Tom Waterfield (in Tim Ross’ Cooper- Norton Mk9) was outgunned by George Shackleton (Cooper Mk11)

    Morgan’s Le Mans legend Christopher Lawrence won two MM races in his works SLR coupe, but Billy Bellinger was not likely to emulate the feat driving that car in the Ronnie Hoare Trophy GT race once Olly Bryant received a late invitation to race Kevin Morfett’s Historika-restored Porsche 904/6. 

    The earlier Pre-‘63 GT set, for the Moss Trophy, was a Nigel Greensall masterclass, the poleman having driven David Gooding’s hooded Jaguar E-type roadster away from fellow front row qualifiers Mike Whitaker (ex-Bruce Larson AC Cobra Dragonsnake) and Olly Bryant (E-type FHC), whose order was reversed late, in a photo finish.  The fleet Jags of Jack Minshaw and Gregor Fisken outdistanced Gaye’s ex-Ecurie Francorchamps Ferrari 250 GT SWB in the minor placings.  

     James Cottingham/ Andrew Smith Ford GT40 scored victory in the Gurney Cup

    With Ford GT40s numerically dominant in the double-driver Gurney Cup sportscar field the winner could logically not come from elsewhere.  As a topsy-turvy grid sorted itself out Chris Goodwin (Lotus 23B) - from P13 - spun in the path of Westie Mitchell (Chevron B8) and smote the bank backwards at St Mary’s on the opening lap, whereupon former F3000 racer Mark Shaw (McLaren M1A) gyrated to avoid the Chevron, which continued.  Following a safety car interlude to cover the clear-up, Rob Hall surged ahead in Andrew Wareing’s Nickey Chevrolet M1A.

    Having won the Revival’s Sussex Trophy race for 1950s’ sports racers in the Ecurie Ecosse Tojeiro-Jaguar, Cottingham’s hopes of an action replay in the Salvadori Cup contest were hindered when he was banished to the back of the grid for a technical infringement. 

    An epic battle between Jake Hill (Ford Capri) and Craig Davies (Ford Mustang Boss 302) coloured the final of the Gerry Marshall Trophy

    Pierpoint - who raced an 1100cc Fiat Special in the first Members’ Meeting and, 16 years on, won the ‘65 British saloon car championship in a Ford Mustang - was honoured by the V8 tin-top thrash.  Towards a third of it ran behind a safety car, Emanuele Pirro having come to rest upside down in Chris Clarkson’s Ford Falcon Sprint when it thumped the bank and was launched at ‘Moss Kink,’ the currently un-named entry to St Mary’s, while in fifth place on lap eight.

    Three dramatic races decided the outcome of the Gerry Marshall Trophy ‘Group 1’ Saloon contest, in which the great showman’s son Gregor completed the final’s grid, only for his Vauxhall Firenza to expire.

    For a full report of the racing and other track activities, see our December 2021 issue...

  • For Alfa Romeo cars built from 1947 to 1981, the final race of the Alfa Revival Cup season took place on the weekend of 15-17 October at the beautiful flowing circuit of Mugello with 29 cars on the grid.  It was a weekend in which not only were the overall victors of the tenth running of the championship decided,  but it was also an opportunity for organisers to clarify what the future of the series would be, now that GPS has formed a joint venture with Canossa Events to form Canossa Racing, the entity that will take over the running of the series from 2022.

    Amongst the favourites Daniele and Ambrogio Perfetti were in the ‘giallo ocra’ GTAM run by the OKP Alfa Delta Racing Team.  New to the series, Sandro Hubar was making his debut in a beautiful Giulia GTA 1600 Sprint ex-Nanni Galli run by the Pastorelli Classics team. 

    The qualifying on Saturday foretold a close race amongst the GTAMs at the front, with the Perfetti car head of the provisional classification until the ninth lap when Davide Bertinelli obtained and froze his second pole position of the season by only 2/10ths, the two front-runners were followed by brothers Giampaolo and Emanuele Benedini.  

     

    Alfa Revival Cup winners Gianmarco Rossi and Vittorio Maria Mandelli and their Alfa Ti

    At the start of the race Ambrogio Perfetti put a lot of pressure on Bertinelli who, impassive, managed to keep the lead for all 24 laps.  Behind these two, the battle for third was intense in the early laps between the GTAMs of the Benedinis and Mathias Körber, up from ninth place, and the GTA 1600 Group 4 of Massimo Guerra and Giovanni Serio, the latter taking the place and holding it until the closing laps, when first Gerald Grohmann, then the GTAM of Peter Bachofen/Roberto Restelli got past to finish third and fourth respectively.  The Benedini car  retired after 16 laps, and Francesco Pantaleo and Marco Guerra got the better of a fading Körber to take an excellent sixth place in their GTA 1600, while Matthias Ficht followed Körber home in eighth place. 

    There were class victories for Luigi and Noccoló Mercatali in their GT VELOCE and for the Giulietta Ti of Gianmarco Rossi and Vittorio Maria Mandelli of the Scuderia Bologna Corse.  The Ti had a high co-efficient towards the final standings of the season, and thanks to their result in this round, the crew from Bologna jointly took the overall 2021 title with a 7.5-point lead over an impressively performing Davide Bertinelli, who finished his season in second place overall .  Series rookie and youngest participant, Giulio Sordi was third in the end-of-season standings with his Giulia Ti Super.

    Mugello race winner Davide Bertinelli finished 2nd in the championship

    Fourth for the second consecutive year was Fabio Gimignani, and in fifth, last year’s title holder, Marco Milla, handed over the GPS Classic Trophy to this year’s winners.  The winning team for 2021 was the AB Motorsport Scuderia with a lead of over 30 points to the OKP Alfa Delta Racing Team. 

    In the future, the Alfa Revival Cup will be in the good hands of Canossa Racing, a new company created by GPS Classic and Canossa Events with the aim of not only organising and promoting the eleventh edition of the Alfa Revival Cup series, but also to develop new content dedicated to collectors and racing car enthusiasts eager to compete on track, or simply to find themselves on the circuit for free practice days where they can share their passion.

  • The Classic 24, which ran for the seventh time this year on 28-31 October, is the brainchild of Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) based in Clearwater Florida.  Such is the 59-year lore of the official 24 hours of Daytona (now The Rolex 24 at Daytona), it is easy to see the strong attraction for the historic racers to come and test themselves on the 31-degree banking.  Even seasoned pros who have turned many a wheel here for a paycheque return on their own dime because it is so much fun.  As the late Jim Pace said, “There is nothing more magical than being in a race car at sunrise at Daytona”.

    2

    The event is actually two race weekends in one.  The Classic 24 and the Daytona Historics.  The Classic  is open to cars that raced or were eligible to race at Daytona in period.  The Historics are a series of sprint races and enduros for the many HSR faithful that don’t qualify for the Classic.  This makes for a non-stop, never-a-cold track four-day weekend.  If drivers don’t get their fill of track time at this event, they aren’t trying!

    For obvious reasons, European entries this year were thin on the ground.  In fact, no cars and just 3 non-US drivers joined the always strong domestic field.  Special cars of note this year were the 1991 Jaguar XJR-16 GTP car, an absolutely pristine 1977 Porsche 935 resplendent in Martini livery and another Jaguar, the Group 44 1982 XJR-5 complete with wailing V-12.  Competing with the Jag XJR-5 for best noise were the pair of GTLM spec Corvette C7Rs.  Once you’ve heard the sonic boom of the Corvette engine on song, you will never forget it.

    For Peter Falkner's full Report see our December 2021 Issue...

  • Two New French Champions Crowned

    The French Championships reached their conclusion after a full season, at the undulating Lédenon circuit near Nîmes in the Gard on the weekend of 22-24 October.  Running to its usual rhythm of 10 grids, each getting two heats, over 300 drivers were entered for 20 races that would decide who the 2021 French champions would be.

    The Historic Formula Fords line up with François Bell on pole.  Photos Hugues Laroche

    In the Monoplaces/Protos category, the winner would succeed François Belle, while the winner of the GT/Tourism category would take over from Claude Boissy.  Having dominated the season in Formula Renault Classic with a Martini MK48, Lionel Robert arrived in the Gard as the favourite, needing to win just one of two races to clinch the title ahead of Matthieu Châteaux (F3 Classic, Ralt RT3) current champion François Belle (Formula Ford Historic, Lola T540) and Gislain Genecand (Formula Ford Historic and Formula Kent, Crosslé 25F and Van Diemen RF92).

    Sébastien Mathieu (GT Classic, BMW M3 GTR) led the GT/Touring category ahead of Damien Benjamin (Youngtimers GTI Cup, Honda Civic) and three men competing for the Lotus Trophy title: Dominique Vulliez, Anthony Delhaye and Xavier Jacquet.

    Josserand De Murard’s lovely Lola T70 Spyder was penalised in the first ASAVÉ race, and black-flagged for exceeding noise limits in the second, both times while leading the race

    Sébastien Mathieu takes GT/Tourisme Title

    Best performer in qualifying aboard his Dodge Viper, Julien Grenet confirmed his supremacy in the Saloon Cars race, run concurrently with GT Classic, with Patrice Lefebvre’s Audi Quattro in his wake.   Rid of the Porsches of Patrick Delannoy and Laurent Sabatier, self-eliminated in a collision, Sébastien Mathieu held a solid GT Classic lead.  Lefebvre then received a drive-through penalty for exceeding track limits, which was enough to allow Michaël Desmaele’s Porsche to join the top three.  The race ended with the unsurprising victory of Grenet, 43 seconds ahead of Mathieu’s Porsche 964, with Fabrice Lefebvre and Michaël Desmaele completing the Saloon Cars podium alongside Grenet.

    By winning the GT Classic race ahead of Belgian Patrick Hals’ De Tomaso Pantera and the BMW Z3 of Geoffroy Rosembly, Sébastien Mathieu has become the 2021 GT/Tourisme Champion de France.

    Grenet repeated his untouchable performance on Sunday, ahead of Mathieu, Desmaele and BMW M3 driver Christian Danne, who took fourth place after Lefebvre was once again penalised.

     

    Lionel Robert Monoplaces Champion

    From the start on Saturday, Davide Leone took his March 783 to the head of a healthy grid of F3 Classic and Formula Renault cars, keeping his direct rivals Matthieu Châteaux (Ralt RT3) and Frédéric Rouvier’s similar March in check.   But six laps later Châteaux was ahead, only for the Italian to re-take the place a few laps later, all under the watchful eyes of Rouvier, clearly on the lookout.  Eric Martin and Valerio Leone led the rest of the field more than ten seconds behind.  With the fight in full swing between the top three the safety car entered the scene six laps from the finish.  They were off again two laps later, but this time Rouvier got the jump on both Châteaux and Leone to finish 356/1000ths ahead of Leone under the flag, with Châteaux following a second later.  Seventh overall, Lionel Robert once again won the Formula Renault contest hands down, paving the way for the 2021 French Championship title.

    Rouvier completed the first lap of race 2 in the lead, but a fast reaction from Châteaux put him out in front from the second tour.  A good start propelled Eric Martin into third ahead of Valerio Leone, the only representative of the Italian family after his son Davide was betrayed by his gearbox on the warm-up lap.  These four held station to the end, but with Rouvier only a second behind, Châteaux  was penalised 30 seconds for having overtaken at the start of the race under the yellow flag.  This bumped him down to fourth behind Rouvier, Martin and Leone Senior.  Finishing fifth amongst the F3s Lionel Robert won the Formula Renault race to clinch the 2021 French Monoplaces/Protos Championship title.

    For full report of all the racing, see our December 2021 issue...