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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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March 2020

  • After an 19th edition marked by five intense days of racing that saw no fewer than six different leaders with a single second separating the first two crews, all eyes are on the 20th anniversary of the Tour de Corse Historique.  From Monday 5 to Saturday 10 October aficionados of the Corsican rally stages will travel 900kms from Porto Vecchio to Bastia, Calvi, Ajaccio and back to Porto Vecchio including 20 special stages - to mark  20 years of the event - totalling nearly 350 stage kilometres.  See www.tourdecorse-historique.fr for all the details.

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  • The promoters of the Silver Fern Rally in New Zealand have confirmed more details of the November 2020 marathon rally.  The rally will be based in Rotorua and will start on Sunday November 22 before finishing back there on Saturday 28.  Overnight halts will be in Gisborne, Napier, Palmerston North and Ohakune.  Peter Martin of the Ultimate Rally Group confirmed that the seven-day gravel rally, will cover 650 stage miles amongst the breathtaking scenery of the North Island.  “We’re aiming at a field of 70 cars and we need to get at least half of them from overseas,” said Martin.  “This year we will be supplying stage route notes and a DVD eight weeks before the rally.”  The move to notes is aimed at encouraging European crews to enter.   See https://silverfernrally.co.nz for entries.

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  • The Royal Automobile Club and rally organisers, HERO took a break from running the 1000 Mile Trial last year, in order to better plan an event worthy of the 120th anniversary of the original Trial this year. 

     

    Starting from Preston and promising to be something special, there will be more emphasis on the social side of things, as the pre-war cars travel some 800 miles up to Edinburgh over flowing roads, amusing regularity sections, rousing tests, quirky stopovers and luxury overnight hotels for the final gala on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

    Said Ben Cussons, Chairman of the RAC,  “The social element will be a factor.  After all, we will be celebrating 120 years of the Trial, a truly historic moment in the popularisation of the motor car.  Last car into the overnight stops by 18:00 (any later and there’ll be appropriate penalties for the clerk of the course!) allowing for proper welcome drinks after a day at the wheel and time to enjoy the fine company and hospitality.  There will be less tough terrain and fewer hair-raising map sections and long days.”  Eligible cars are pre-1940 split into classes according to age.  Dates are 23-26 June.  See https://heroevents.eu for all the details.

    Photo Francesco & Roberta Rastrelli / Blue Passion Courtesy HERO

     

     

  • MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > New Sponsor for U2TC Offering R&D Tax Relief for Preparers and Other Small Businesses

     Offering R&D Tax Relief for Preparers and Other Small Businesses

    U2TC has found a new sponsor in the form of Prospect Brigstock Services, a firm specialising in corporate tax relief.  While this may sound esoteric, it is, on the contrary, very pertinent to many of the small businesses and workshops that supply the technology to run the cars.  Ria Goff of Prospect Brigstock explains, “Most of our clients will say they are NOT eligible for tax credits and cash and absorb R&D costs because they see the expenditure as day to day running costs.  Because of this only a small number of companies are making the most of the R&D tax reliefs available to them.  We’ve listed three questions to ask yourself below, if you answer yes to any of them you could be eligible:

    Did you encounter problems that required unique solutions?

    Have you worked on a project that was a challenge to resolve, and could you explain the challenges you faced and how you attempted to overcome them?

    Have your designs involved innovative or creative ideas, perhaps around more sustainable, more efficient or durable products?”

    This includes the scientific or technological uncertainty of turning something that has already been established into a cost-effective, reliable and reproducible process, material, device, product or service, or an advance in science or technology.  Simply put there must be an improvement.  Whether that’s in the form of a service or manufacturing of a product.

    Sounds like a lot of preparers we know.  Contact Ria Goff at ria@prospect.uk.com to see if you qualify.

    MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > New Sponsor for U2TC Offering R&D Tax Relief for Preparers and Other Small Businesses

  • MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > Motor Racing Legends Prizegiving

    The Motor Racing Legends’ season was celebrated at London’s Royal Automobile Club in front of many significant personalities from the world of motor sport such as Chief Executive of Motor Sport UK David Richards and Chief Executive Hugh Chambers, RAC Chairman Ben Cussons, Silverstone Classic promoter Nick Wigley and, guest of honour, Touring Car and Le Mans racer, Tony Dron.  Awards were presented for all seven Motor Racing Legends’ series during the evening. 

    Photo Oliver Flower

  • MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > 110 Years of Alfa Romeo

    On 24 June, 2020, Alfa Romeo will hit a new milestone - 110 years of the well-loved marque.   A number of events will take place to celebrate Alfa’s founding on 24 June 1910 in Milan, Italy and its subsequent achievements, both sporting and non-sporting. 

    Alfa’s official team, the Scuderia del Portello, is inviting all Alfa drivers to Monza on April 4 for a mega Alfa festival, for historic and modern road cars, racing cars, touring cars, grand touring cars, prototypes and single-seaters.  All are welcome and many will get a chance to drive on the circuit.  There will also be a parade on the old Monza banking, as well as displays, demonstrations and more.  See http://www.scuderiadelportello.org for entries, but be quick if you want to drive on the circuit, as driving places are necessarily limited.

    MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > 110 Years of Alfa Romeo

  • MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > No More Impney Hillclimb

    Having heard last month on the day we went to press the surprise announcement that the Chateau Impney Hillclimb event was to be discontinued, we have now had a conversation with Rod Spollon, Chairman of the Chateau Impney Hill Climb Club and Director of the Chateau Impney Hotel who said, contrary to what has been circulating on social media, that funding the event was “certainly not an issue, nor was there an environmental concern.”  Reluctant to say much more, he repeated the words in the official press release, saying, “We set out to create a successful hillclimb event and we think we accomplished that, and we are moving on to other things.”  The event will be missed.

    MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > No More Impney Hillclimb

  • MAGAZINE  >  LATEST NEWS > FIA Historic Formula 3 European Cup

    2020 is a special year for Zandvoort as FIA Formula One returns to The Netherlands for the first time since 1985 and the circuit is being upgraded to welcome its return.   The upgrades to the circuit include two new banked corners, improved run off areas and expansion of the paddock (check out Google or Youtube for some videos of the ongoing work).

    Zandvoort has long been associated with Formula 3

  • MAGAZINE  >  LATEST NEWS > HSCC Single Seaters at Pau

    Single-seater racers from the Historic Sports Car Club will have the chance to race on the famous Pau street circuit, first used for the French Grand Prix in 1930 and virtually unchanged since.  In partnership with event promoters HVM Racing, up to 2-litre cars from the HSCC single-seater ranks will tackle a double-header over the weekend of 30-31 May.  Originally billed as a round of the HSCC’s Historic Formula 2 series, it became clear that the timing was awkward as the date falls immediately after the Masters Festival F2 round at Brands Hatch and is itself followed the next weekend by a round at Dijon.  “Consequently entries will surely suffer,” said Roger Bevan, HSCC F2 Championship Chairman.  Therefore the grid has been opened up to cars from the new Geoff Lees Trophy.  Launched this year, the Geoff Lees Trophy series is open to up to 2-litre Formula 2, Formula Atlantic, Formula 3, Formula Ford 2000, Formula Vauxhall Lotus, Formula Renault and Formula Super Vee cars built and raced during the 1980s.

     

  • MAGAZINE  >  LATEST NEWS > Le Mans Classic – a Century of Automotive History on Track

    A Century of Automotive History on Track

    Le Mans Classic, the biennial event with its six grids for cars from 1923 to 1981, will include even more cars racing on the legendary track this year, with single marque support races for both Porsche and Jaguar and, as has become the tradition, two Group C races.  This year the latter will run in partnership with Mazda, who will take the opportunity to celebrate its centenary during the July 2-5 event.  The Japanese manufacturer will be bringing its iconic 787B.  Even later cars will also be running, with the Peter Auto series Endurance Racing Legends no longer on display, but engaged in real racing.  A 75-car grid of these GT and prototypes from the 1990s and 2000s is expected.

  • Bravo (Belgian Racing Automobile Vintage Organisation) the promoter behind the ever-popular Belgian historic championship, has announced five rounds for the 2020 season.  Starting early in the year, they go to Zolder to support the 1000km of Zolder 2CV Cup on 21-22 March.  At the end of June they go to Spa-Francorchamps for the Spa Summer Classic, before returning to Zolder in mid-August for the Historic Grand Prix Zolder.  With a return to Circuit Zolder for the American NASCAR Festival at the beginning of October (3-4), they will end the season at the Nürburgring on 16-17 October for the Westfalen Trophy meeting.

    This year will see a new class, “Nineties”, for cars after 1990 but with a maximum engine capacity of 2500cc. The category is therefore open to small cars (Peugeot 106, Toyota Yaris, etc.) and serves as an entry class for drivers who want to discover circuit racing at an affordable price.  See www.bravoracing.be for entries and details.

  • As reported in our last issue, VdeV racing in collaboration with HVM, are reviving the Deux Tours d’Horloge at the Paul Ricard circuit on the weekend of 6-8 November.  Cars up to 1990 are eligible and there are classes for early cars from Period E upwards.  All GT, sports, sports prototypes, Sports 2000 (up to 1986 without aerodynamic aids) and touring cars are welcome.  No slick tyres will be allowed.  Entries are now open at https://vdev.fr.

  • John Whiteman went to the top exhibition of the classic car world

     

     

    The event that kicks off the European season each year, Salon Retromobile, took place over 5 days, from 5-9 February, in the 75,000 square metres of Paris Expo at Porte de Versailles 44 years after it was started by Marc Nicolosi whose passing was recorded in the January/February issue of Historic Motor Racing News.  Sadly, apart from a brief mention in the official guide, no further tribute was paid at the show, which until last year has been run for events company Comexposium by Nicolosi’s right hand man at the very beginning, François Melcion.

     

     

    There are always a few feature displays and this year Bertone, with designs from Automotoclub Storico Italiano featured with an eclectic selection of mainly 1970s and newer design studies.   In another of the three main halls there was a varied selection of Tractors, which featured a surprising number of manufacturers normally associated with top end cars such as Porsche, Lamborghini, David Brown of Aston Martin fame and Alfa Romeo, plus, of course, a large selection from Renault.  The Czech marque Tatra provided a large display between two of the halls, with cars mainly from their museum in Koprivnice, but also from the French collection ‘Manior de l’Automobile.   On display were examples from 1897, a Benz engined Präsident, through their advanced rear engined designs of the ‘30s by Hans Ledwinka to the last cars produced in 1998.

       

     

     

    Photos Eric Sawyer

    For John’s full report, see our March issue

     

  • New Zealand Clean Sweep and Lap Record for Michael Lyons

    Visiting UK driver Michael Lyons (Lola T400) roared to an SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series clean sweep at the annual Taupo Historic GP on the weekend of 18-19 January, the series’ second meeting of the 2019-2020 season.

    After claiming pole in qualifying on Saturday morning, then smashing category stalwart Ken Smith’s F5000 class lap record on the way to a dominant win in the first race on Saturday afternoon, Lyons went on to win the two Sunday races, all from fellow young gun and series leader, Michael Collins (McRae GM1) from Christchurch.

    Photos Fast Company/Graham Hughes

    “Not a bad weekend,” was how Lyons, whose father Frank and mother Judy, were also competing, summed up his perfect start to what for him and his parents is the start of a three-round ‘holiday’ for the keen historic F1 and F5000 racing family from Essex.

    David Banks (Talon MR1) placed third in the first race on Saturday ahead of former series title holder Brett Willis in his debut drive in his new Lola T332 and local F5000 category stalwart Shayne Windelburn (Lola T400).

    Michael Lyons leads Michael Collins, the visiting Brit’s only real challenger

    Michael Dwyer (Lola T400) was out of the race early after contact with another car, as were Kevin Ingram (Lola T332) with a broken half shaft, Aaron Burson (McRae GM1) when his left rear wheel worked loose, and Frank Lyons (Lola T330) when an air cleaner element caught fire.  Expat Warren Briggs was quick in Stu Lush’s Lola T332 in practise but was forced to sit out the race after a universal joint broke late in the morning’s qualifying session.

    Grant Martin (Talon MR1A) got the better of series newcomer Kevin Ingram (Lola 332) in Sunday’s  final

    Series newcomer, and former New Zealand Formula Ford champion, Kevin Ingram (Lola T332) enjoyed one of his most competitive weekends since his return to the country’s race tracks, working his way through the field to claim a fighting third place in the second race on Sunday morning, then fourth – behind a determined Grant Martin in his Talon MR1A – in Sunday’s 10-lap feature race. 

    Class A winner Tony Roberts in the high winged McLaren M10A

     

  • For a report of the proceedings of the Historic Circuit Sub Commission see our March issue

      

    President

    P. Cantarella (ITA)

     

    Vice-President

    HRH Prince Joachim (DNK)

     

    President of the International Historic Commission

    F. Graf Zu Ortenburg (DEU)

     

    2 Manufacturers’ Representatives

    T. Witt (DEU)

    T. Hodgson (GbBR)

     

    Chairman Of The Historic Technical Working Group

    TBA March 2020

     

    Members

    Y. Bacquelaine (BEL)

    A. Berryman (AUS)

    W. E. Connor (HKG)

    F. Campos Ferreira (PRT)

    J. Folch-Rusinol (ESP)

    L. Franck (LUX)

    H. Hertz (AUT)

    E. Uppsäll (SWE)

    A. Houbri (MAR)

    I. Horacek (SVK)

    R. Khederlarian (LBN)

    J. Liukkonen (FIN)

    E. Meisel (POL)

    G. Mestre (MCO)

    J. Nejdl (CZE)

    J. Naylor (IRL)

    R. Parkin (GBR)

    P. Peter (FRA)

    M. Raffauf (USA)

    M. Rossi Di Montelera (ITA)

    S. Ushakov (RUS)

    D. Berberoglu (TUR)

    A. Timraz (NOR)

    M. Van Geel (NLD)

    V. Levec (SVN)

    J. Monteiro (BRA)

    Ms M. Bilic (HRV)

    J. Anagnostoupolos (BGR)

     

  • MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > 19th Passion For Speed - Zwartkops & Killarney, South Africa

    South Africa’s historic racing scene is vibrant, colourful, relaxed and proudly independent of institutional red tape.  The focus and cars are, in the main, very different from those in other theatres of warfare.  They, not to mention the promise of winter sunshine, attract British, European and American competitors year after year. Marcus Pye ‘Brexited’ from the UK early to experience February’s 19th Passion for Speed events.

     An inspired Andrew Beaumont (Lotus 18) staved off Will Nuthall (Cooper T53) to record a superb maiden HGPCA victory at Killarney.  Photo Colin Brown

  • MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Boucles à Bastogne

    Victory for Kris Meeke

    Paul Lawrence Reports

    On his first competitive rally since his World Rally Championship career came to an end, Irishman Kris Meeke joined the illustrious list of winners of the Legend Boucles à Bastogne.  Equipped with a full-spec Ford Escort Mk2 from the stable of Belgian competitor Christophe Jacob, Meeke and co-driver Seb Marshall dominated the huge Belgian event and pressed home their advantage when the rally moved to gravel stages for the second day.

    “Meeke was simply on another planet”  Photos Letihon.be

  • Jurriaan Tas Reports

    Formerly a famous speed event, the ‘Neige et Glace’ fell foul of the 1974 oil crisis and was revived as a historic regularity rally in 2000, run by Dakar winner Patrick Zaniroli.  He moved the event from Grenoble to the Jura, dubbed by locals as ‘Little Siberia’, because of the near certainty of finding snow and ice there in January.  A switch back to the area around Grenoble for the past two years proved unpopular with competitors and the event is now firmly back in Malbuisson.

     

    Counting on snow and ice for thrills, Zaniroli has opted for low target speeds, the fastest being 50kph.  “That means the event can run on open roads, which is much simpler for permits and less likely to cause problems with locals,” explained Zaniroli, who is also known for presenting co-drivers with unexpected navigational challenges and offering quirky intermediate checkpoints.  It is no surprise, therefore, that the 2020 rally attracted a lot of Belgians, considered by many to produce the most proficient regularity runners in the world.  A separate set of results was kept for the 4x4 class, but all other classes were amalgamated into a single, combined scoresheet.

    Winners Romuald Sanseigne and Florin Fornassier in their Autobianchi A112 Abarth. “In the end, it was a small mistake that decided the place. We are so proud to achieve the double, Joël and Corinne taught us everything,” said Romauld of his uncle and aunt, who came second.  Photos Richard Bord Courtesy Zaniroli Classic Events

     

    The 70 competitors convened at the Peugeot Museum in a wet and unseasonably warm Sochaux on Sunday, January 26 before running four stages at night on the way to rally HQ at Malbuisson.  The lack of snow made for a day of rather uninspiring trundling around on Monday and the gaps remained minimal until the longed-for snow started to fall on Tuesday morning.  Immediately, the Sanseigne family started to pull away from the rest.  Uncle Joël’s Autobianchi A 112 did most of the leading from nephew Romuald’s Fiat Cinquecento, but the two were rarely more than a few dozen points apart.  The two locals from Vesoul denied that their local knowledge explained their lead.  “There are so many trails around here that it is impossible to know them all, even for us,” said Joël.  “Our only advantage may be that we are used to driving in the snow.”

    “It was too easy the first two days ... until it became much more complicated in the last two.” quipped Arnauld Euvrard, who lost the 4x4 contest

    The rally climaxed with a couple of stages around Malbuisson itself on Wednesday afternoon, including the penultimate stage on the daunting, snow-covered forest tracks of Rochejean.  That, in fact, was where the event was decided.  First, four-time winner Yves Deflandre threw away a certain podium finish when he ran his Porsche Carrera off the road.  He profusely thanked the competitor who stopped on the stage to pull him out.  “That is an example of the great atmosphere at this event.  There were a whole lot of people out there helping others out.  Hats off to them and we will just have to do better next year,” he said.

    Joël Sanseigne looked to have the event in the bag until he made a big mistake on the very same Rochejean stage, allowing his nephew to slip ahead.  Romuald’s victory was secured when the ultimate stage (the second running of Rochejean) was cancelled due to the event running late.  “It didn’t matter,” Joël sportingly admitted, “because I would not have made up the deficit anyway.  It is hard to begrudge your nephew a victory.”  Romuald’s and co-driver Florin Fornassier’s youthful smiling faces told their own stories.  “We are convinced that the key was in running small, nimble cars.  You can stay much closer to the target speed, particularly out of tight corners, and at 50 km/h, the top speed difference to the bigger cars is irrelevant.  In the snow, our lightness and agility were even more beneficial.”

    Uncle Joël and Aunt Corinne celebrate the Sanseigne family’s double podium

    The 4x4 class, which consisted of seven BMW 325 IX’s, was won by Bernard Figuière and Isabelle Godin after their only real challenger, Arnauld Euvrard, took an excursion into the snow early on Wednesday.  His long face at the prize-giving ceremony betrayed his disappointment.  “He was so angry with himself that we won every single stage for the rest of the rally.” grinned co-driver and life partner and Adeline Paquiers.

  • MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Winter Marathon

    Andrea Belome and Massimo Be nsoli took a slender 8-point win

    Andrea Belometti and Massimo Bettinsoli won the Winter Marathon 2020 driving a 1937 Fiat 508 C.  The crew from team Brescia Corse remained amongst the top positions over the many Dolomite passes on 23-24 January, beating the young crew of Edoardo Bellini and Roberto Tiberti in a similar Fiat, by eight penalty points.  Third place went to Guido Barcella and Roberto Ghidotti in a Porsche 356 C Coupe, some 90 points down on the two leaders.

  • MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > 23rd Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique

    Peter Collins Reports on one of the most popular events in endurance rallying, with over 300 entries.

    Consistency was the key to success for Henrik Bjerregaard and Jaromir Svec Photo http://promopub.org

    The first cars to set off on the annual pilgrimage to Monte-Carlo were those from Athens at 12:40 on Wednesday January 29th.  Five crews had chosen to do this and they were faced with a 1,715km drive before they would finish on the harbour of the Principality.  A further two cars had chosen Glasgow from where they started, along with the Rallye Classique participants, at 19:00 the same day, faced with covering 2142kms to Monte.

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