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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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July 2020

  • Goodwood Cancelled

    As we went to press with our July issue, news came from Goodwood that both the Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival meetings have been cancelled for this year.  Lord March and his team held out for as long as possible in the hopes of staging both events later in the year, but it is just not possible for these events, which rely on the presence of large numbers of spectators and sponsors, to go ahead under current restrictions.

    Behind Closed Doors

    Dependant as it is on the public to come in large numbers, the mega Silverstone Classic was cancelled for this year and, with the strange quarantine rules in place in the UK, club racing will no doubt be the beneficiary, as the clubs can run without spectators for the benefit of their members.  For the moment, sporting events, including motor sports, must be run ‘behind closed doors’, which is to say without spectators and with a limited number of people in each team.

    HSCC off to a Strong Start

    Despite the restrictions, the Historic Sports Car Club is reporting a 300-strong entry when UK historic racing resumes at its Legends of Brands Hatch Super Prix meeting on the Grand Prix circuit on 11-12 July.  With the Club’s F2 series particularly badly hit by race cancellations in the early part of the season, two F2 races have been added to the timetable.

    The Club has confirmed its race meeting schedule for the balance of 2020, taking in Brands Hatch GP (11- July), Oulton Park International (29-31 August), Cadwell Park (19-20 September) and Silverstone National (17-18 October) circuits.

    Each of the four race meetings will include a wide range of the Club’s categories and series and the Oulton Park Gold Cup will feature a special one-hour, two-driver race for pre-‘66 Jaguars for which any intending competitors are asked to enter as quickly as possible.

    HSCC CEO Andy Dee-Crowne said, “Our 2020 calendar is, of course, entirely dependent upon instructions from both the government and Motorsport UK. However, the signs are increasingly positive and we are very encouraged by the response to our Brands Hatch meeting. I’d now like to ask competitors to enter for the remaining race meetings this season as this really helps us in planning for these events.”

    Entries for all events are now open via the HSCC website (www. hscc.org.uk) and entry fees will only be taken at the closing date for entries. For the balance of 2020, full refunds will be given for any entries withdrawn up to the date of the event.

    As is customary for the HSCC additional dates for certain HSCC categories are scheduled, including Historic Formula Ford 2000 at Zandvoort (4-6 September) and Spa (10-11 October); Historic Formula 2, Dijon (3-4 October); Classic F3 and Thundersports at Spa (24-26 September).

    BDC Silverstone

    The Bentley Drivers Club has confirmed that its Silverstone meeting will go ahead on the revised date of Saturday 22 August – a move from its original slot of 8 August due to the Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix now scheduled over that weekend.

    The ‘behind closed doors’ policy will mean that neither Club members nor general spectators will be allowed to attend the meeting, removing its typical garden party-style atmosphere that makes it one of the highlights of the BDC’s annual social calendar.

    But racing members are so keen to get back on track and the Club is expecting a surge in entries, which will be very welcome. This will be the Club’s 72nd consecutive annual Silverstone race day!

    Donington Festival

    The Donington Historic Festival was postponed from its early May date, and while Duncan Wiltshire of Motor Racing Legends was optimistic about getting an August date for the event, this has proved impossible and the event will now be postponed until next year.

    GT & Sports Car Cup

    After the loss of its Donington round, the GT&SCC will continue on its originally scheduled dates of 3-4 October at Castle Combe for the Castle Combe Autumn Classic and the Algarve Classic Festival, which promises to be a bumper year for the event, on 23-25 October.

    FIA Championships to Kick off on Revised Donington Date

    Reduced to just three races this season, long before the coronavirus struck, the FIA Masters Championships are set to kick off on a revised Donington date of 18-19 July, after the cancellation of the Silverstone Classic.  Quarantine rules in the UK currently prevent non-UK based competitors from racing there, but the FIA is confident that these will be lifted before 18 July.  All other Masters grids will also be racing.

    The  Formula 3 European Cup will go ahead with its scheduled races at the Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix on 4-6 September, with a revised closing date for entries of 10 August.  There is already a strong Italian contingent registered.

    The Masters will continue its season with the postponed Brands Hatch meeting, which will now take place on 22-23 August, but not as an FIA Championship counter.

    After that, the Masters’ calendar is set to run as scheduled, with the Zandvoort Grand Prix in early September, and the Spa Six Hours meeting on 25-27 September, both also rounds of the FIA Championships, running on their original dates.

    MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > News from the UK.......

  • Portugal is one of the least hard hit countries by COVID 19. Authorities there closed borders and locked down early, and now Portugal is enjoying the fruits of such prudent management with a pretty full schedule of racing for the rest of the season. They also have the advantage of good weather in the south late into the year. New on the calendar is a meeting organised at the last minute at the Algarve circuit, where the Portuguese Championships, Iberian Endurance, Group 1 Portugal and remaining championships plus Caterhams and Kia Trophy will run. Calendars for the two main historic championships are as follows:

     

    Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade Clássicos (CPVC)

    18-19 July – Autódromo Algarve – new meeting

    12-13 September - Braga Circuit

    23-24 October - Autódromo Algarve

    5-6 December - Estoril Circuit

     

    Race Ready Iberian Historic Endurance

    18-19 July - Autódromo Algarve – new meeting

    9-11 October - Estoril Classic

    17-18 October – Jerez

    7-8 November – Jarama

    21-22 November - Estoril 250kms

    MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > The Portuguese Season

  • After two months of only being able to report  postponements and cancellations, we are very pleased to have received news from the V de V organisation that the Deux Tours d’Horloge, scheduled for 6-8 November at Paul Ricard is very much on!  The Deux Tours is the only 24-hour race reserved solely for historic cars.  Unlike some of its predecessors that ran in two 12-hour heats, this year the race will run continuously for 24 hours.  So, those who missed out early in the season can indulge themselves in many hours of racing, all in a single 24-hour day.

    “Today there is no particular worry about the holding of the event, nor from my side nor from the circuit management’s side, said organiser Eric Van de Vyver.  “In truth, the biggest risk for us today is to receive more entry requests than places available on the track.”  In mid-May, there were around 40 confirmed entries and some 20 others on the way.  “We received a lot of calls during the confinement period,” confirmed event coordinator, Laure Van de Vyver.  “It’s clear drivers are missing their track time and are looking forward to our event.”

    Cars from the early ‘60s to 1990 are eligible, but no slicks are allowed - only historic tread pattern, or road tyres - and cars like Porsche 964 and Sports 2000s have special restrictions in order to limit their performance.   See https://vdev.fr for entry forms and information.

    MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > Making up for Lost (Track) Time

  • The French “deconfinement” of the population will allow the 2020 season of the Historic Tour (the French Historic Circuits Championship) to start on 17-19 July on the circuit of Albi, at a race meeting originally scheduled to take place in April.  In accordance with other postponed dates already announced, the Championship will then continue at Dijon on 14-16 August and then Charade on 28-30 August. As in most countries, the autumn will prove crowded with race meetings at Nogaro and Val de Vienne on 11-13 and 25-27 September respectively, as well as HVM Racing non-championship meetings at Dijon (2-4 October) and the Bugatti Le Mans Circuit on 16-17 October.

    “Obviously, the Albi meeting will take place in compliance with the specific health system in force on this date so that the event can be carried out in the safest conditions”, specified the promoter of the championship Laurent Vallery-Masson of HVM Racing. “To date, this could involve wearing masks, distancing measures in the paddock, banning gatherings of more than 10 people and a maximum of 5000 people on site, including spectators. I also hope that the situation will continue to develop favourably at European level, so that we can have the pleasure of welcoming teams from abroad.”

    There is due to be another announcement by French authorities on 22 June, just as we go to press. After that date, the specific FFSA measures will be updated on the HVM and FFSA web sites.

    The undulating hills surrounding the Algarve circuit will once again be reverberating to the sound of well-tuned racing engines

    MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > Green Light for French Championships

  • Regrettably WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca’s new management team has cancelled the 2020 Monterey Motorsports Reunion, yet another event to  fall victim to COVID-19.

    In a July 12 statement that included all the usual remarks about public and staff safety, President and General Manager of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca’s John Narigi said, “As was our plan, we waited until June before making a final decision.  No matter how much we hoped, no one can fully anticipate what state mandates will be in place that will affect public events and social gatherings.”

    The County of Monterey Health Department has approved a reopening plan for private track rentals that have strict health and safety protocols.  Following these protocols,  a “Driver Appreciation Weekend” has been created for 8-9 August to allow the significant number of entrants who have expressed interest in still running their cars on the challenging circuit the opportunity to do so.”

    This must come as a frustrating blow for the new management team, who have not yet had the opportunity to show what they can do with the event.

    Sebring and Daytona

    However, some events scheduled for later in the year, such as HSR’s, 4-8 November Classic Daytona and Classic Sebring (3-6 December) race meetings, are still expected to go ahead.

    MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > Major US Events Cancelled

  • Having announced the cancellation of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique for 2020, it was initially envisaged to wait until it’s natural date in 2022 for it to run again.  This was largely due to the E-Grand Prix, run in alternate years in the May slot occupied in even numbered years by the Historique.  However, by popular demand, the ACM has decided to run three Grands Prix next year, the Historique, which will take place on the earlier date of 23-25 April, the E-Prix on 8 May, and the F1 Grand Prix on 20-23 May, making a month of motor sport in the Principality, representing the past, future and present.   It is envisaged that the Historique will then go back to its formula of alternate years, which means a special treat for historic racers, as it will also run on 13-15 May 2022.

    “To organise three races in the space of one month will be a premiere for us all at the ACM,” commented Christian Tornatore, the General Commissioner of the Automobile Club de Monaco.  “The logistical side promises to be complex, but not impossible to manage! Because of the new constraints, we shall need to start setting up the track earlier than usual, at the end of February, instead of mid-March.”

     

  • Bengt-Åce Gustavsson fills us in on how the Scandinavian season is shaping up…

    Historic Racing in Sweden:

    All racing in Sweden was banned during April, May and June.  Now we are hoping that we can start racing in July, but we don´t know for sure.  I´ll give you the calendar as it looks today:  The opening round at Kinnekulle should have been raced in the middle of May, but is now moved to 5-6 September.  The biggest race, Velodromloppet GP in Karlskoga, is moved to 9-11 October.  Svenskt Sportvagnsmeeting at Ring Knutstorp is now postponed to next year.  Our best hope is that the race meeting at Mantorp on 21-23 August will take place as scheduled, along with Falkenberg on 18-20 September.

    Norway:

    The first round at Våler was cancelled and they are still looking for another date.  After the season-opener at Rudskogen on 26-28 June, we also think that they will run Rudskogen Asfalt Classic on 14-15 August and Våler on 4-6 September.

    Denmark:

    The opening round at Jyllandsringen was on 20-21 June.  It was meant that the Danish drivers should compete at Rudskogen in Norway in August, but that depends whether the borders are open or not… Next up is Ring Djursland on 5-6 September.  The final is planned at Ring Knutstorp in Sweden on 26-27 September, but that will also depend on the border opening.  The Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix is now scheduled to run on 9-11 October.

    Finland:

    The opening round in Kemora is moved to 25-26 July and for the moment the first races will be at Botnia on 4-5 July.  Hopefully, the Finn’s biggest race meeting, at Ahvenisto on 14-16 August, will take place as planned, along with the final at KymiRing on 5-6 September.

    MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > The Scandinavian Calendar

  • Dear Carol, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Take care.

    Best, Louis Quiniou

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

    Faster Now Than Then?

    Not Faster Than an Arrows

    Dear Carol,

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

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

  • MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > The FIA Historic Sporting Rally Championship

    The schedule for the FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship has been heavily impacted, but the FIA has come up with a plan to salvage the season, starting with the Rally Weiz, which has been confirmed for 5- 6 September.  This will be followed by the Elba Storico (17-19 September) and the Rallye International du Valais (15-17 October) on their original dates, while new dates have been found for the Historic Vltava Rally  (6-7 November) and the Rally Asturias Historico (27-28 November), making a five-round championship.  Specific updates have been made to the Sporting Regulations of the Championship, first being the move from 1st July to 1st September for entry closing date to allow crews to register, and second, the number of results to count have been updated in accordance with the updated calendar.

    The only round of the FIA Regularity Trophy, the Alpine Challenge, will take place on its original date of 2-4 October.

    MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > The FIA Historic Sporting Rally Championship

  • The FIA European Hillclimb Championship has also been reworked to give competitors five events and the points rules revised accordingly:

    11-12 July Trento Bondone

    1-2 August   Ecce Homo Sternberk

    28-30 August GHD Petrol Ilirska Bistrica 18-20 September Buzetski Dani

    25-27 September Coppa Chianti Classico

    More generally speaking, the FIA, its Historic Motor Sport Commission, ASNs but also organisers have been working very hard to ensure the safety protocols necessary for motor sport to resume would be as clear as possible but also enforced at all levels.  It looks like there is a strong will from the industry but also Competitors to come back on track.

    MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > International Historic Hill Climbing

  • MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Rally Monte-Carlo Historique 2021

    Dates for the 2021 edition of the popular historic Monte have been set for 27 January-3 February with only one starting point.  In the post-pandemic world, organisers of this major endurance regularity rally have decided that all competitors will start and end in Monte Carlo.  They have written to authorities in Bad Homburg, Barcelona, Oslo, Reims and Milano, to inform them of their decision. 

    The 2021 Monte will start and end in Monte-Carlo for all competitors

  • MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Historic Portugal Rally Confirmed

    The last uncertainties have been resolved and the organisers of the 2020 Rally de Portugal Histórico confirm their event will take place on the originally scheduled dates of 5-10 October.  The 15th edition of this rally, considered by many to be “the most beautiful European regularity rally”, offers a route of some 2000kms with no fewer than 40 regularity tests.

    Departure and arrival are at Estoril, and the rally forms part of what locals are promoting as Estoril car week, which includes the Estoril Classics race meeting at Estoril Circuit on 9-11 October  (where rally drivers get to run a special stage), which has also been confirmed, and the concours d‘élégance in the town centre, rounded off by a gala dinner in Estoril Casino for all participants.  The rally includes high-quality hotels and meals, luggage service and breakdown assistance.  There are also options for car transport, reception of crews at the airport, and the possibility of joining a team for shared assistance.  See www.rallyportugalhistoric.eu.

    MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Historic Portugal Rally Confirmed

  • Despite it usually attracting large international crowds, Vito Piarulli and Paolo Valli, the creators of RallyLegend, have decided to go ahead with the event on 8-11 October.  “The support we’ve received both from the Government of the San Marino Republic and our sponsors has been crucial to us deciding to attempt such a feat.  The format of the event is now being reviewed and we would like, as much as possible, to adhere to the original formula.  The presence of the public from all over Europe and beyond, a true cornerstone of the event, will be managed according to the relevant San Marino government regulations,” said the organisers.

  • MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > British Championship Succumbs to COVID

    One of Britain’s most popular historic rally championships, the HRCR Clubmans Championship, is the latest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Although two rounds were run in February and March before the lockdown started, many rounds have now been cancelled and with only two possible events remaining on the calendar, the Historic Rally Car Register has pulled the plug on the 2020 championship for daylight historic rallies covering special tests and regularity sections.

    MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > British Championship Succumbs to COVID

  • The revised Balkan Classic rally is set to run in the last half of September, with final dates still to be announced.  Due to restrictions in its usual venue in Bulgaria, and in consideration of other pandemic-related difficulties, organiser Alexander Kovatchev has announced that the rally, for cars up to 1985 and Youngtimers up to 1990 running in a separate group, will be shortened to two days of rallying and one day of shakedown in Poland.  The rally runs on a series of flat gravel and dirt roads in a balanced mix of open wide roads and forest roads with no reconnaissance.  See https://balkanclassic.com for information and entries.

  • Italy having been the first country to go into lockdown when the coronavirus struck, it is now coming out the other side with an eagerness to get back to normal quickly, none more so than Canossa Events, who are planning a full schedule of rallies for the remainder of the year.

    As we go to press the Stella Alpina, will be running from 26-28 June, limited this time to 40 cars in order to ensure safe distancing at social moments.  With Americans either unable or unwilling to travel to Italy, Canossa is planning to bring Italy to them in the second half of August with a new Canossa Grand Tour in California, open to all Italian cars.

    A new driving tour in the Alps will be the Grand Tour Dolomiti on 4-6 September, which will be run on classic mountain passes interspersed with Michelin-starred restaurants.  The Terre di Canossa rally will go ahead on the revised date of 1-4 October with a modified programme utilising alternative locations that allow for better social distancing.  The gala 10th anniversary dinner originally planned for this year, will be postponed to next year.

    As previously reported, the Modena Cento Ore, Canossa’s only full speed competition event,  will now take place on 11-15 October, again with a modified itinerary and alternative social venues. 

    After a return to the US for an autumn rally in New England, the Canossa crew will set out in November for the United Arab Emirates Desert Tour, touring the deserts and mountains of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah.

    As all of these events are subject to last-minute changes depending on prevailing rules and restrictions, long-term planning will be substituted this year by a just-in-time organisation, and Canossa is offering flexible registration and cancellation policies so that no one will lose an entry fee.

  • MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Restarting Rallying

    The global pandemic has had a massive impact on motor sport across the globe and rallying, in all its forms, has been particularly badly hit.  Now, as the first shoots of recovery start to emerge, and racing will resume in Europe during July, rallying is set to be left behind in the early stages.  How does rallying re-start in the aftermath of the COVID 19 pandemic?  Rally Editor Paul Lawrence tries to make sense of a constantly evolving situation.

  • We don’t envy the plight of race promoters in various countries in Europe and around the world, with each country mandating different safety measures when racing resumes, and these changing nearly from day to day.  There is also the constant threat that the whole thing will go into reverse at the last minute and the resumption date further postponed.  While this latter threat seems to be rapidly receding, organisers have been unable to give concrete answers to questions about what measure will be in place at their meetings.  They can only reply that they will comply with government regulations in force at the time.

    MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > Racing Resuming

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