The Magazine

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

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October 2019

Content from the October 2019 Issue....

  • MAGAZINE  > BITS & PIECES > Nostalgia in Normandy

    The first edition of the Normandy Beach Race took place on Saturday, 21 September on the beach of Ouistreham Riva-Bella (France, Normandy, Calvados).

    Photos Grégoire Thorel

    After participating in the Race of Gentlemen on the beach in California, friends Thomas Hervé, Jean-Marc Lazzari and Marc Félix were inspired to create the first such event in France. Everyone was encouraged to dress in 1940s style and the French, who love their period dress, responded with enthusiasm. This event was a real success with nearly 15,000 spectators coming to see the 80 or so European and American participants with their 2, 3 and 4-wheel vehicles from before 1947. 

  • MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  >  ZANDVOORT HISTORIC GRAND PRIX

    Middlehurst and Bradshaw mirror history with victories in the dunes

    Zndvoort’s eighth Historic Grand Prix event, held on September 6-8, rolled the years back beautifully to what are now considered to be golden eras of motor racing.  Hazardous years in which heroic drivers in charismatic and distinctive cars, mainly unencumbered by wings, hurtled through the dunes of the seaside town, entertaining legions of appreciative fans. 

    There was symmetry in the results too.  Andy Middlehurst’s hard-won HGPCA double in a Coventry-Climax V8-engined Lotus 25 evoked memories of his idol Jim Clark’s Dutch GP wins in 1963 and ‘64, albeit outrunning Will Nuthall in a 2.5-litre Cooper T53 of the type in which Jack Brabham had won the 1960 World Championship round.

    Lancastrian Tom Bradshaw’s dominant maiden FIA Masters Sportscar triumph in a Chevron-FVC B19, meanwhile, took seasoned onlookers back to September ‘71 when Red Rose Racing’s John Hine, local ace Ed Swart and his Canon Cameras team-mate John Burton drove Derek Bennett’s slippery Bolton-built creations to a resounding Trophy of the Dunes 1-2-3.  

  • Brands Hatch

    The venerable Vintage Sports-Car Club’s first ever race meeting at Brands Hatch was to form the centrepiece of its 85th anniversary celebrations but thanks partly to the proximity of the M25, which was supposed to make travel so much easier in the south-east of England but is fast becoming a tourniquet round London, and an unfortunate Bank Holiday timing on 24 August, the celebrations were largely cancelled.  Several events did take place in the area organised by local members and happily what was left, a sprint and race meeting over the Brands Hatch Indy circuit was blessed with glorious hot weather, a large crowd and a good entry.

    Tony Lees’ AC/GN Cognac was fastest in the sprint Photos Eric Sawyer

    John Whiteman Reports

    To make maximum use of the Club’s visit a sprint was held over 1½ laps of the 1.2-mile undulating circuit in the morning and because it was not a round of the club’s Speed Championship, a class structure by marques was adopted for the 60-plus entry.  After a practice run followed by two competitive runs the fastest time overall came from the Frazer Nash class with Tony Lees’ AC/GN Cognac beating Patrick Blakeney-Edwards’ Super Sports by 1.04 secs.  Third fastest overall came from the invited ‘modern’ class and the 1 litre Yamaha powered 2016 Fury Spyder of Chris Patten.  

    After the lunch break and practice sessions racing commenced mid-afternoon with the first of four 15 minute scratch races with Charles Gillett’s Frazer Nash Super Sports driven by Edward Williams on pole showing how effective it could be round the twisty circuit, pulling away from Chris Mann’s Alfa Romeo Monza.

    Race 2 saw Frederick Harper in the Kurtis Indy Roadster, a veteran not only of Indianapolis but also of ‘The Race of Two Worlds’ at Monza, on pole by 0.61secs from Patrick Blakeney-Edwards in his Frazer Nash Super Sports.  Third behind the disappearing leading duo was Oliver Llewellyn in the family Bentley 3/8 litre after he saw off a challenge by Julian Grimwade in the Frazer Nash Single Seater.  

    Frederick Harper in the Kur s Indy Roadster, a veteran not only of Indianapolis but also of ‘The Race of Two Worlds’

    Next up was 15 minutes for the invited Triple M Register with one interloper among the MGs.  Rodney Seber had the cheek to claim second on the grid in his Wolseley Hornet Special, 0.8secs slower than 

    Oliver Sharp’s MG N Special led all the way in the race for the invited Triple M Register until the penultimate lap when it pulled off on Cooper straight to hand victory to Charles Goddard upholding MG honour in his PA-PB.

    The final scratch race saw a comfortable win from pole for Patrick Blakeney-Edwards’ the Frazer Nash Super Sports ahead of Julian Grimwade’s ‘Nash Supersports and Julian Wilton in ERA R7B. 

    The meeting closed with two 6 lap handicap races, the handicaps for which are always difficult, this time compounded by the fact that the cars and drivers had never raced at the circuit before.  The first race resulted in a win for James Edwards’ Morgan Super Aero, from William Twelvetrees driving the oldest car present, a 1910/11 Wolseley 16/20.  The second six-lapper, which closed the meeting, favoured those starting from the 20-second mark, these providing the first four in the order John Moss (Austin Seven Sports) Mark Hayward (Alvis Front Wheel Drive) and David Furnell (Austin 7 ‘The Toy’).  Twenty seconds covered second to twelfth at the finish.

    It was a very enjoyable first visit by the VSCC to Brands Hatch and seemed to go down well with the drivers and spectators as well as visiting car clubs, it remains to be seen if it is repeated.

  • Neige et Glace - 26-29 JANUARY

    A rich and sportive history

    Created in 1953 the Rallye Neige et Glace quickly became an unmissable event for the factory teams, keen on settling the score after the Monte-Carlo Rally.  Gérard Larousse,

    Bob Neyret, Jean-Claude Andruet and Jean Vinatier, in particular, are associated with the rally,  considered by some to be even more challenging than the Monte.  

    The 2020 edition, will go back to its previous format, which commences with a meet at Sochaux at the Peugeot Adventure Museum for technical and administrative checks, before a  first night stage to Malbuisson, rally headquarters for the next three days.  Route masterminds Patrick Zaniroli and Alain Lopes have devised three loops using the winding roads along the Swiss border between the Doubs and the Jura and have increased the number of regularity zones to eight per day and minimized the untimed miles on the open road.  With a return each night to the comfort of the Hotel du Lac in Malbuisson, organisers also offer a ‘Randonnée’ category, for those who want to join the party without the stress of being timed.  Classes go from 1946 to 4 x 4s up to 1993, but most participants take cars of the ‘60s and early ’70s.  Entry forms can be downloaded at www.zaniroli.com and there are discounts for early entries.

    The Winter Trial – 26-31 JANUARY

    Starting in Prague and ending in Sankt Wolfgang in Austria next year, the length of the route of this Classique BV-organised event is about 2400kms through Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, and Slovenia and includes some 35 regularity sections and six tests on closed roads.  Two evening loops are on the itinerary, but competitors can decide whether to enter the Trial category, which includes night driving, or the Challenge category, which does not.  This event counts towards the Dutch Historic Regularity Championship.  Cars up to 1986 are eligible, but cars built after 1980 will compete for class only and not the overall award.   See www.thewintertrial.nl for entries.

    Winter Marathon - 23-26 JANUARY

    2020 will mark the 32nd edition of the two-day Madonna di Campiglio Winter Marathon that runs in the Italian Dolomites.  The 450km route, run in two legs, includes night driving and a race on the frozen lake in the town centre.  Thought the cut-off date is 1968, with a separate category for individual cars that made important rally history up to 1976, many pre-war cars take part.  See www.wintermarathon.it  

    Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique – 29 JANUARY-5 FEBRUARY

    The Giant

     

    This giant undertaking, which regularly attracts a 300 plus field of cars from the furthest flung corners of Europe and the world, is the historic winter rally equivalent of Mount Everest.  Any winter rallyist worth his salt has to do it at least once, but many more find it addictive and come back every year.  With concentration legs starting in Athens, Glasgow, Bad Homburg, Milano, Barcelona, Reims and Monte-Carlo, this is really the most international of all the winter events.  All starters will meet at Buis-les-Baronnies, in the heart of the Drôme Provençale on Saturday February 1 from 10:30am onwards, and from there cars will travel together over the famous stages of the Drôme, the Ardèche, and the Alpes de Haute Provence and Maritimes to reach Monte Carlo.  One of the rewards for finishing this gruelling  event, besides the sheer euphoria of having reached the finish, is the splendid prize giving banquet at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club.  Entries are now open at www.acm.mc.

  • Dates for next year’s Tour Auto have been announced as 20-25 April.  Each year a marque or type of car is favoured and next year will be the turn of the roadgoing Porsche Prototypes to take priority for entries.  Expect to see 550 sypders, 904 GTS, Carrera Abarth and more.  The itinerary for next year’s event has not yet been announced, but entries for this oversubscribed event can be made on the Peter Auto website:  peterauto.peter.fr.

  • Coming soon (November 27-December 6) is the big one – The Safari Rally.  First run in 2003, the legendary East African Safari Classic Rally now run biennially, is a nine-day event covering some 5,000 kilometres through Kenya and Tanzania, rekindling the spirit of the original Safari Rally, which put East Africa on the motorsport map and earned an unassailable reputation as the world’s toughest rally.

    Photo McKlein Images

    Open to two-wheel drive, normally aspirated, FIA rally cars built before 1986, Safari Classic is a true adventure and replicates the challenge of the original Safari, travelling through the East African landscape, passing through famous game parks and overnighting at many of the finest lodges in the cradle of Africa.

    Raju Chaggar, Clerk of the Course, has written to competitors to say, “This year the team has put together quite an adventurous route, and found two exceptional marathon stages over 100kms.  A promise to keep to the competitors, we ventured into new areas and managed to piece together stages that have every element of rallying - fast, long straights and technically twisty tracks - stages with a bit of everything.  The ‘African classic adventure’ is definitely getting there with four new stages and still whole lots more in plan.”

    Competitors will be running three stages each day, and the average distance per day will be 450kms.  The event will spend four days in Kenya and four days in Tanzania, with more night stops at each venue making it easier for drivers and crews.   Passing through Mombasa, Tanga, Arusha and Voi, the rest day will be in Tanzania.  

    Though Porsche never won the Safari in period, the Porsche 911 is the weapon of choice for this rally nowadays, with entries from Kabras Sugar Racing and the Tuthill Porsche team on the initial list, along with two Escorts from Freestone Rally Services.  Also on the entry list is the unique Group B Mazda RX-7 of Frenchman, Philippe Gache, and the optimistic Renee Brinkerhoff, who has entered her Porsche 356 in the care of the Tuthill stable.

  • Round 6 of the 2019 FIA Championship was held in Finland on August 9-10.  The Lahti Historic Rally is the only gravel rally on the calendar and invokes memories of the legendary Thousand Lakes.  Won on the road by Finns Antero Laine and Topi Luhtinen in an Audi Quattro, with Esa Peltonen and Jyrki Saarto in second place in their the Toyota Starlet 1300 and the first EHSRC entrant across the finish line, the Toyota was 1m03.5secs behind the Audi and 9.9 seconds ahead of the Audi Quattro of ‘Zippo’ and Nicola Arena, the Italians finishing third overall and second in the EHSRC contest.   However, in post event scrutineering the Finnish Audi was disqualified for technical reasons, leaving the two Championship contenders first and second overall, as well as first and second in Category 3 of the Championship. 

    Overall winners Esa Peltonen and Jyrki Saarto in their Toyota Starlet1300 were also the  first European Championship contenders across the line.  Photos Jarmo K Mäki / @JamoPic.Photography

  • The 2019 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca, the scenic circuit that winds around a mountain top in the highlands just east of Monterey in California, was both a continuation of a great tradition and also a new beginning for the event.  Organisers, SCRAMP were under the direction of new CEO Tim McGrane and, while he certainly qualifies as an experienced hand, it was nevertheless the first time out of the gate for him and many new team members.  The general consensus in the paddock was that the event is in safe hands.  None of this was hurt by the fact that the Rolex feature races were favoured with great weather, sunny but cool, and that the paddock was packed with wonderful, historic cars, with some 550 racers driving cars from 1910 to 2014.

    Group 2A for 1955 - 1961 Sports racers produced a great dice between the Sadler Mk IV of Greg Meyer and Fantasy Junc on’s Spencer Trenery in a Cooper Monaco. A short pace car interrup on did nothing to cool the pair’s ardour, un l Trenery’s Cooper began to fade from the lead and  nally pull o , promo ng Al Aciero (Lister Knobbly) and Rob Walton (Birdcage Masera ), who’d been having their own entertaining dice, to second and third respec vely.  Photos Eric Sawyer

    This year’s featured marque was IMSA, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the International Motor Sports Association with their racing history gorgeously displayed in a bespoke pavilion featuring many of the marques and models that raced in IMSA.

    After practice on Thursday and Friday, the 14 classes, or as the Americans say, “Run Groups”, began with morning races, with Rolex Feature races running in the afternoon. 

    Charles Nearburg’s AAR/Toyota Eagle Mk III GTP set faster lap times than the Formula 1 cars

    Paddins Dowling (ERA R2A), Charles McCabe (ERA B) and Chris McAllister made it an ERA rout in the pre-1940n class, while the Sadler Mk IV of Greg Meyer was top pre-’61 car after Spencer Trenery had to park his Cooper Monaco.  In the Formula 1 contest globe-trotting Brit Greg Thornton held on to the lead in his Lotus 91/5 in an eventful race that included a pace car period and stoppage for two blown engines, and ructions on the track when Ethan Shippert lost the rear wing of his Tyrrell 10 and yellows flags flew.

    Mikel Miller was the titan of the race in his 1970 Titan Mk6

    The grid for FIA, IMSA, GT, GTX, AAGT up to 1981 brought out BMW 3.0CSLs, Datsun 280Z, Triumph TR7 and 8 and Corvettes, but was dominated, numerically at least, by Porsche.  Standouts included a fleet of Porsche 935s including Bruce Canepa’s, which assumed its familiar position at the front of a chasing pack, with another 935 and two Corvettes giving chase just behind.

    Saturday’s proceedings culminated in the Rolex race for IMSA Prototypes – GTP, WSC, LMP, DP, celebrating the 50th anniversary of IMSA.  The 1991 AAR/Toyota Eagle Mk III GTP of Charles Nearburg held pole as they picked up the pace car for the warm-up lap with the 1992 Mazda RX7-92P of Joel Miller slotted in behind.  These two would race nose to tail for the 14 laps of the race, the chasing Mazda singing the Rotary’s trademark otherworldly song.  Bruce Canepa’s Canon liveried 962C had lost its windscreen in the morning qualifier and, while it was repaired in time to make the grid, the mishap placed it down the order at the start.  A standout drive saw it climb through ranks to finish third.  The top three all set faster lap times than the winner of the Masters Formula 1 race.

    Joel Miller won both IMSA GTO/GTU races accompanied by the song of the 4-rotor powerplant in his Mazda IMSA RX-7

    Sunday’s racing began with the Sports Racers and GT car of the pre-1955 era, which meant the lion of Britain roared at the front of the pack as it often did back in the day.  Winner John Bowe kept his 1952 Allard J2X just ahead of John Buddenbaum’s 1949 Jaguar Parkinson Special, with Gary Cox rounding out the podium in his Austin Healey Chevy Special. 

    Group 6B for 1981-1991 IMSA GTO/GTU was Sunday’s feature race, with 33 loud machines shaking the asphalt and making earplugs mandatory.  The song of the 4-rotor powerplant in Joel Miller’s Mazda IMSA RX-7 in particular filled the Monterey grandstands.

    Photo: Rolex/Tom O’Neal

    For a full race-by-race report see our October issue

  • “Our visiting friends from Europe exclaimed, “We have nothing like it!”  Two racing weekends, four major concours and a dozen others, six auctions, several rallies, dozens of private parties and all set in one of the most spectacular seaside resorts in the world.  It attracts over 250,000 visitors and nearly 10,000 participants.”

    Dan Davis of Victory Lane Magazine gives us a rundown of an intense week of activities centred on burning oil, gas and rubber...

    Photo Rolex/Tom O’Neal

  • Bengt-Åce Gustavsson Reports

    The Mantorp Park racetrack in Sweden celebrated its 50th anniversary on 24-26 August together with the Racerhistoriska Klubben.  Event promoter MK Scandia managed to invite over 600 exhibition cars, and there was plenty to see throughout the weekend.  In addition to many fine display cars there were also some familiar faces, including ex-Formula 1 driver Reine Wisell who gladly shared his stories about what it was like in the good old days.

    Hans Hillebrink in his Lotus 20 was one of very few Formula Junior drivers  Photos Bengt-Åce Gustavsson - www.racefoto.se

  • \Ford Mustangs of all model series since the sports car’s launch in 1964 met on September 7 at the Lommel Ford Proving Ground in Belgium to set a new world record for the largest number of Mustangs ever gathered in one place.  With a total of 1,326 Ford Mustangs, the previous record was broken, which was set on December 3, 2017 with 960 vehicles in Toluca, Mexico.  More mustangs are sold per capita in Belgium than in any other European country.

    Wonder how long it took them to get so neatly lined up Photo Courtesy Ford Belgium

     

  • Round four of the Alfa Revival Cup, the last race before the long summer break, took place at the Misano World Circuit on July 13-14.  Dodging a morning thunderstorm, the young driver from Milano, Davide Bertinelli took his first ever pole position at the head of the 23-car grid in his GTam, as Austrian Gerald Grohmann lined up alongside with Roberto Arnaldi just behind.

    As the flag dropped, Arnaldi was already in trouble, his GTam stopping out on the track on the first lap and causing a full course yellow flag while it was recovered.  Once the racing resumed Bertinelli established his lead over Grohmann and fellow GTam driver Albert Weinzierl enjoying his first Alfa Revival race of the season.   There were a number of other retirements, including the GTV 2000 Group 5 of Fabio De Beaumont and Daniele Di Iorio and Marco Guerra, who had qualified sixth despite mechanical problems.  

    Race winner young Davide Bertinelli.  Photos courtesy GPS Classic

    After the mandatory pit stops, the Bruno Mazzuoli/Amerigo Bigliazzi Alfetta GT6 was in fourth place, but then did a double spin and dropped to tenth, gifting the place to Matthias Körber’s GTam.  Grohmann put in a series of fast laps, including fastest of the race, but it was not enough to catch Bertinelli who managed the gap and crossed the line with a six-second margin.  Weinzierl completed the podium ahead of Mathias Körber. 

    The beautiful and rare 1600 Giulietta SZ2 driven by Fabian Körber

    The contest for index of performance honours was getting very hot between Marco Milla/Paolo Chersevani, driving a Giulietta Ti and the similar car of the Morteo brothers, Emanuele and Alessandro, and the GTA of  Massimo Guerra and Franco Mischis.  Though the latter finished ahead on the road and have taken the lead of the championship from the Morteos, the brothers took the Index of Performance and are only two points behind in the overall standings.

    The next round will be at the Varano circuit in late September, where a new initiative, the Alfa Young Timers for cars built after 1982, will also feature on the programme of a meeting that will celebrate the Alfa Romeo marque.

  • The biggest race meeting for historic cars in Norway is the “Asfalt Classic” at Rudskogen.  Nestling in the forest south of Oslo, the circuit was built in 1990, and rebuilt in 2011 when it was doubled in length to 3.217kms, offering an extremely challenging ride, the elevation changes offering some big slopes.  A few years ago the Norwegians put a major effort into historic racing at Vålerbanen, about two hours north of Oslo, that also included a competition for the Swedish RHK series for a few years.  Unfortunately, the meeting was stopped, but for a couple of years now the Norwegians have been interested in reviving this pan-Scandinavian concept at Rudskogen.  It is not an exact copy of the previous event, but the main focus is on the historic classes.  Drivers from all the Nordic countries were invited on the weekend of August 17-18, as was the sports car series from Sweden.  200 drivers took part in the races.   On Saturday rain poured down all day, but on Sunday the sun was shining.

    Mads Gjerdrum splashes through Friday’s rain.  Photos Bengt-Åce Gustavsson – www.racefoto.se

    The historic cars were divided into three groups with each group getting a pair of  sprint races, though many raced in more than one group. The oldest group, for pre-‘66 cars saw Yngvar Ekorness come out on top of a Mini Cooper Podium, with Mads Gjerdrum and André Saethern.  In the second race Gudmund Gulbrandsen in his Ford Falcon and Jan-Hroar Björklund in his Lotus Elan, demoted the Minis.  The next group was for the period 1966-1971.  John A Johansen (Mini 1275 GT) and Atle Ramdal  (Ford Escort 1300 GT) took a win apiece.

     

     

    Gudmund Gulbrandsen took the second pre-‘66 race in his Ford Falcon

    Well known Norwegian racing driver Tommy Rustad - amongst other titles in a long career that included rallycross, touring cars and formula cars, he was Italian F3 champion in 1996, and independent champion in the BTCC in 1998  - was invited to drive a Ford Escort RS 1800 as a gift for his 50th birthday in the races for cars from 1972-1990.  He gladly accepted the challenge and was the quickest in the qualifying, though in the races he struggled against the top series regulars.  He placed third both times behind the Ford Escort RS 1600s of Tor Magne Tjemsland and Mathias Havdal.

  • Grouwels and Newall at Assen

    The Dutch NK HTGT pre-‘66 championship made its yearly trip to the Assen TT track for the Gamma Racing Day event on August 16 in very changeable weather conditions.  A dry Saturday afternoon quickly became a very wet one just seconds before the start of race 1 much to the delight of the drivers of the nimble Lotus Elans, Alexander Schlüchter’s making a super start when the lights turned green.  But it was Roger Grouwels who powered past in the beefy Iso Rivolta 300, despite a misted-up windscreen.  Fending off the attacks of Martin Bijleveld in his powerful Ford Falcon, Grouwels went on to take a well-deserved win.  Third overall fell to guest driver Simon Gras, who took like a duck to water in the downpour in a Morris Cooper S.

    In race 2, Grouwels led from pole, only to run wide towards the end of the first lap.  By this time Andy Newall, up from a row eight start, had already come through the field and took the lead in Rhea Sautter’s  Jaguar E-type.  Bob Stevens, potentially the fastest man on the track, had started even further back and had moved up to fifth before his Lotus Elan lost power and caused his retirement.  Schlüchter meanwhile held second from Grouwels and Jos Stevens in another Elan. These three closed right up at the end of the race, with Grouwels tempting the seemingly impossible and trying to outbrake Schlüchter’s light little Elan, then spinning off in the complex and handing the final podium spot to Jos Stevens.  Erwin van Lieshout took two class wins in his Porsche 911 and held a six-point lead in the championship standings over Roger Grouwels ahead of the Zandvoort rounds, with third shared by Ford Falcon drivers Norbert Gross and Martin Bijleveld/Jaap van der Ende.  

  • Drivers are heading south to cheat the onset of winter for a number of attractive events

    You are probably reading this at the end of September/early October and there are still a number of race meetings on the calendar before the season ends.  First of these is the Dijon Motors Cup on 5-6 October where, amongst others, the Dutch NKHTGT and the HSCC Historic Formula 2 series will finish their season and choose their champions.  Youngtimers, Triumph Competition and British HTGT and some more modern races will complete the programme. www.hvmracing.f

    One week later the Estoril Classic will run for the second time, giving the Iberian Endurance cars and local historic championships a chance to enjoy the hospitality of Cascais and Estoril.  Also on the programme are Spirit of Speed motorbikes, the HGPCA Grand Prix cars, Historic Formula 1 – for cars up to 1985 in a one-off race organised by the HSCC – a pair of 40-minute 1000km sports car races for prototypes and GTS cars up to 1975 and the last 2019 round of the FIA Lurani Trophy for Formula Juniors.  All this in a context of a ‘Speed Week’ that includes concours, exhibitions, rallies, tours and parties, with large numbers of enthusiastic spectators.  estorilclassics.com

    Moving on from there racing trucks will be driving to southern France and the Paul Ricard circuit where the annual Dix Mille Tours will be underway on the weekend of 18-20 October with all the Peter Auto grids in attendance for their end of season finale. peterauto.peter.fr

    The action then moves west to Val de Vienne on the following weekend of 25-27 October for the final Historic Tour showdown for the all the French championships, amongst which are ASAVÉ Racing, F3 Classic, Challenge Formula Ford Historic, SportsProtosCup, Maxi 1300, Youngtimers, etc.  From these grids the two French National Historic Champions will emerge.  www.hvmracing.fr

    But there is still more.  On the weekend of 1-3 November comes the long-standing Algarve Classic Festival, running slightly later than usual this year.  Here will be held the last rounds of the GT & Sports Car Cup, the Legends HTCC, U2TC, Pre-‘63 GT, Iberian Endurance, as well as local championships, and non-championship races for Legends 50s Sportscars, Algarve Pre-‘75 Sports Cars, Formula Junior and Historic Grand Prix Cars Association.  algarveclassicfestival.com

  •  

    After a successful inaugural event in 2019, the Sonoma Speed Festival will run for the second time on May 28-31, 2020 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  Billed as the place for the most authentic racing cars from the brass era to the modern age, along with the track racing, organisers also offer high quality hospitality to competitors, fine food and wine options, motorsport exhibitions, car shows and more, all in the lovely Sonoma setting.

     

  • Alan Cox Reports

    The 18th running of the HSCC Oulton Park Gold Cup took place at the Cheshire circuit with 21 races spread over the sweltering Bank Holiday weekend of 24-26 August.  Since a Historic Gold Cup was introduced in 2016, it has been awarded to the winner of the headline single-seater race, which this year was the two-part XL Aurora series and it was fitting to see a couple of 3-litre F1 cars in the entry, along with representation from F5000 (in the 50th anniversary year of the formula’s debut race at Oulton), Formula 2 and Formula Atlantic.   

    Marty Bullock’s was a popular win, the Australian taking a pukka F1 car to its rightful place on top of the Gold Cup podium.  Photos Charlie Wooding

    Jamie Brashaw was a welcome late entry in his March 73A and, in Sunday’s first race, proceeded to lead from pole although he was shadowed closely in the early laps by his sometime teammate, Mark Dwyer, whose March 742 dropped away towards the close.

    In theory, the afternoon’s second race should have produced much the same result but Brashaw and Dwyer tangled as they entered Old Hall, bringing out one of the many red flags of the weekend.

    Sunday’s racing opened with the first of a Formula Junior double-header for front and rear-engined cars. Pole-winning Peter de la Roche took the initial lead in his front-engined Lola Mk2 from Andrew Hayden’s newly-acquired ex-Mike Spence Lotus 22, until his driveshaft failed, leaving Hayden to take his first FJ victory.  Michael Hibberd took the front-engined class in second with his Lola Mk2, a whisker ahead of Alex Morton’s Condor. 

    Once again, Flying Scotsman Stewart Whyte was uncatchable in both Dunlop Saloon Car Cup races in his ex-Kristensen Honda Accord Supertourer

    With driveshaft restored, de la Roche joined the battle with Robin Longdon (Lola Mk5A) and Hayden in the second race, and after Longdon held the early lead, de la Roche was past by mid-race, only to be demoted three laps later, the lead trio scrapping to the line with only 0.9 s covering them.

    From pole position, Andrew Hibberd was surprised and swamped by the second row at the start of the first Historic Formula 3 race with occasional Oulton visitor, Enrico Spaggiari, leading the first lap in his unique GLTL Lotus 41X from Swiss Christoph Widmer’s BT18A. Normal service was resumed by lap 2 with Hibberd taking the ex-Irwin Chequered Flag Brabham BT18 into the lead that he continued to extend over Spaggiari, lapping two seconds quicker than the nearest opposition.  Andy Jarvis’ March 703 and Peter Thompson (Brabham BT21) fought hard over third place after Widmer dropped back to fifth.  Hibberd was unchallenged in part two, but the battle for second enlivened proceedings, between Widmer, Jarvis and Thompson, and joined by Simon Armer (March 703) before he departed the scene at Hislops with a flat battery on lap 6.  The remaining trio crossed the finish line abreast, 0.1s separating them, with Widmer just getting the verdict in his 100th race outing.

    There was some close racing in the pre-‘66 Touring Car division

    Both Kevin Kivlochan, in his Morgan Plus 8, and Will Leverett’s Martini-liveried Lotus Europa led the 70s Road Sports encounter only to retire one after the other.  This left Jim Dean’s green Europa with a lead that he held to the finish, in spite of an early challenge from series veteran Charles Barter (Datsun 240Z).  Jason Minshaw, running in the invitation class with Nigel Parry’s Ford Escort RS2000, displaced the Datsun in the closing laps but was forced back to third after a moment.

    After his disappointment with the Morgan, Kivlochan took his fabulous AC Cobra to another Historic Road Sports victory, although he was pressed hard and kept on his toes all the way by Will Plant’s Morgan Plus 8, while the grid for Classic Formula 3 was bolstered by a non-championship class for URS Formula Ford 2000 and, from pole in both races, Andy Smith took a brace of straightforward wins with his March 783.  

    Flying Scotsman Stewart Whyte was uncatchable in both Dunlop Saloon Car Cup races, his ex-Kristensen Honda Accord Supertourer (a winner at Oulton in 2000 with the Dane) pacing away from the chasers in race one, the pursuit headed first by Mark Wright’s RS500 Sierra and then, after starting from the pit-lane, Ric Wood’s Walkinshaw-built Holden Commodore.

     

    No Comment

    The Guards Trophy saw Dan Eagling cheekily snatch an early lead in his Ginetta G4 from Charlie Allison (Chevron B8), closely followed by the dicing Lotus 23s of Croft victor Benn Tilley and Peter de la Roche.  Tilley was first of the leaders to pit and found himself in the lead once the round of stops was completed, resisting all of Allison’s challenges, until a late safety car deployment caused the field to regroup.   Once released, with only one lap remaining, Allison sneaked through to pip the young Lotus driver to the line by 0.166secs.

    Callum Grant returned to his Bolton base after his FF2000 Delta failed on Sunday and returned with his familiar Merlyn Mk20 to contest Monday’s Historic Formula Ford races.  The trip proved worthwhile as he took a double win.

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    Peter Hallford marked his return to racing after a brief lay-off by taking the opening race for Historic Touring Cars with his Ford Mustang after early challenges from the Lotus Cortinas of Richard Belcher and Roger Stanford.  Hallford became bogged down at the start of the second heat but then the race was red-flagged.  From the restart he latched onto the tail of Stanford’s Cortina before passing and heading for a relatively comfortable victory.

    Classic Clubmans proved to be yet another Mark Charteris-fest, the Mallock Mk20/21 driver taking a double win from Alan Cook (Mallock Mk20/21B) on both occasions.

    For a fuller report see out October issue

  • Wilson scoops Lotterer Jackpot at Glorious Goodwood!

    Marcus Pye Reports

    It’s subjective of course, but, if speaking to a cross-section of competitors is any guide, the 22nd Goodwood Revival Meeting, bathed throughout in glorious Indian Summer conditions on 13-15 September, was right up there among the best from their side of the fence.  Celebrations of the 60th anniversaries of Cooper’s first Formula 1 championship titles with Jack Brabham and Aston Martin snatching the world sportscar crown from under the noses of Ferrari and Porsche in the dramatic Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy here and Sir Stirling Moss’ imminent 90th birthday added to the occasion.

    Friday’s Kinrara Trophy race for Pre-‘63 GTs was a beautifully evocative snapshot of a stunning era set against the backdrop of a perfect sunset.  Photos Eric Sawyer

    Beyond the high drama on the former RAF Westhampnett airfield’s flowing perimeter track – the most sensational test of man and pre-1967 machinery on the planet – the Duke of Richmond & Gordon’s annual sensory feast entertained eventgoers royally.  Three of The Beatles’ Minis and a pair of four-wheel-drive ‘Twinis’ with an engine at each end were among 150 derivatives marking six decades since the launch of Alec Issigonis’ icon.  Fifty years on, the Italian Job film’s fabled coach continued the Mini theme indoors.  Perhaps most poignantly, an extraordinary assemblage of military vehicles also remembered the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings daily.  An influx of modern era Le Mans stars replaced the British Touring Car Championship combatants, otherwise engaged at Knockhill in Scotland, and brought a new dynamic to some of the big races.  Winners of the ACO’s 24 Hours spanned 2000-2014 inclusive, André Lotterer inspiring Marcel Fässler and Benoit Treluyer to reform their triple gold Audi partnership having loved his Revival debut last year.  Elder statesmen Richard Attwood, Henri Pescarolo, Derek Bell – whose racing career started with a win at Goodwood driving a Lotus 7 in 1963 – and Jochen Mass couldn’t miss the occasion either.

    Chris Wilson’s Cobra jostled for position at the start of the TT Celebration race.  Photo John Retter

    Lotterer was magnificent in the RAC Tourist Trophy Celebration, the Belgo-German taking Chris Wilson’s AC Cobra past Romain Dumas on the long adverse-cambered Fordwater kink on lap 25 and drawing gasps from the knowledgeable audience to cement victory.

    Friday’s Kinrara Trophy race for Pre-‘63 GTs was a beautifully evocative snapshot of a stunning era.  Run against the backdrop of a perfect sunset it set the scene for the weekend’s sport.  Gary Pearson and Andrew Smith outran the opposition in Carlos Monteverde’s gunmetal silver Ferrari 250 GTO.

    Members’ Meetings of the 1960s were recalled by the Fordwater Trophy, which embroiled cars from 13 marques, the first seven qualifiers different.  Relieved that Michael Gans’ Abarth Simca 2000 Corsa and Joe Colasacco’s Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ had fallen, Robert Barrie (Lotus Elite) and Nick Swift (Mini Marcos) enjoyed a heady duel, with Barrie winning by half a second.

    Sam Wilson drove John Chisholm’s 2.5-litre Lotus-Climax 18 superbly to win the Richmond & Gordon Trophies race

    The ninth Duke of Richmond – pre-war Brooklands Double Twelve race winner Freddie March (1904-1989), grandfather of our generous host – was enamoured with 500cc Formula 3 even before Stirling Moss won on his Goodwood racetrack’s opening day in September 1948.  Although the Earl of March Trophy race had not graced the Revival since 2015, Peter de la Roche won it again, stemming the Norton-engined challenge in a 1951 Cooper Mk5 powered by a humble JAP motor..

    Three races were won by cars raced in period by the peerless Jim Clark.  Previous 500cc F3 and Formula Junior victor Sam Wilson drove Sir John Chisholm’s 2.5-litre Lotus-Climax 18 superbly to annex the Richmond & Gordon Trophies Grand Prix car event.  Andy Middlehurst returned to the top of the Glover Trophy F1 results after a three-year hiatus, bagging his sixth win in John Bowers’ 1500cc Climax V8-powered Lotus 25, prepared by Clark’s mechanic Bob Dance at Classic Team Lotus.  And Gary Pearson earned Freddie March Memorial Trophy honours in the white Jaguar D-type that Scotland’s hero raced for the Border Reivers team in 1958.

    Photo John Retter

    Geoffrey Taylor’s Alta concern in Tolworth built some fast cars in the 1930s, but they tended to be fragile, thus played second fiddle to ERAs.  Gareth Burnett turned that formbook on its head by dominating the Goodwood Trophy race from pole, as the quickest ERA, the ex-works/Raymond Mays R3A with five-time race winner Mark Gillies in, retired in a spray of water.  Car of the race was Stephan Rettenmaier’s delectable ex-Franco Rol Maserati 4CLT, a sister to Reg Parnell’s 1948 and ‘49 Goodwood winner.

    Early Bentleys built between 1923-‘30 provided a marvellous spectacle as their intrepid chauffeurs jockeyed for position in the Brooklands Trophy race, celebrating the marque’s centenary.  Starting with hoods up (where fitted), with seeded pitstops to fold them, slowest cars first to handicap the quicker examples, it resulted in victory for Martin Overington in his 1929 4½-litre Blower.  At the opposite end of the spectrum Karun Chandhok, India’s second F1 driver and a great student of the sport, fulfilled last year’s Whitsun Trophy promise by winning the big banger sportscar showcase.   His precision in John Bladon’s McLaren M1A either side of a long safety car intervention staved off Mike Whitaker, who set fastest lap in his ex-John Surtees Lola-T70 Spyder. 

    Gareth Burnett turned the formbook on its head by dominating the Goodwood Trophy in the Alta Single Seater

    Perhaps the race of the event, though, was the Sussex Trophy ‘50s World Championship Sportscar showdown in which ice cool Kiwi Roger Wills won in the Lotus 15 that compatriots Bruce McLaren and Syd Jensen retired from the ‘58 Tourist Trophy, Bruce having run fourth behind the factory Aston Martins.  Wills somehow held off previous winners Sam Hancock (Ferrari 246S Dino) and Jon Minshaw (Lister-Jaguar Knobbly) after a sensationally close and clean scrap that raged race-long.  Hancock’s awesome overtaking manoeuvres through the high-speed kink before the devilish off-camber St Mary’s bend earned him the Rolex Driver of the Event award.

    Early Bentleys provided a marvellous spectacle

    For a full report and results, see our October issue

  • The annual Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix was organised on its traditional first weekend of August date by CEO Jens Peter Lange and his team with the sporting side of things run under the Automobil Sports Klubben Hedeland for the 19th time.  Once run in the Tivoli Gardens in Denmark’s capital, this was the seventh event on the Bellahöj Park Circuit, which in a huge undertaking has to be built up over two days before the race and dismantled afterwards, requiring over 4000 concrete blocks, and the construction of several bridges.  There was fine weather over the weekend and over 44,000 spectators turned up to the enjoy the event.

    Jac Nelleman drove his Volpini in the  first Formula Junior race and switched to his Alfa Dana in the second.  Photos Daniel Slater

     

    Per Hägeman Reports

    There was a timed practice and then one heat on Saturday and another heat and final on Sunday for six grids.  First out were GT and Saloon cars 1966-71, won by Jacob Wunderow, who beat all the Escorts with his Datsun 240Z.  A nasty shunt following break failure, in which SixtyFivers’ organiser Nikolaj Mortensen rammed Henrik Hansen´s Mustang in the back causing the Mustang to spin 360 degrees more or less airborne, left both out of the running.  Mortenson was sent to hospital, but it was later announced that his injuries were confined to two broken ribs and concussion and, “a really sore body.”  

    There were so many pre-‘66 cars entered they were run in two separate races.  For the TC-cars Jan Lyloff (Ford Mustang) was followed home in both heats and the final by the Minis of  Hans Beckert’s and Mark Juelshöj.

    In the GT race from the same period there were no fewer than four Ford GT40s, but Rasmus Lokvig in a tiny Ginetta G4R took the lead on the tight street circuit with Nikolai Kjaergaard (Lotus Elan) in second.  Lokvig lost time in traffic as the pair began to lap the slower cars, allowing Kjaergaard to slip past to win the race.  The second heat was won by Swede Kaj Dahlbacka in a Corvette GS with motorbike endurance champion Peter Lindén on four wheels in Jan Kling’s Ford GT40 demoting Lokvig to third.

    Formula Junior is a popular class in Copenhagen, with many foreign entries.  They had just one heat before the final, which was won by poleman Marco Werner (Lotus 22) by a country mile, with Robert Hoemke (Lola MK5A) second and Martin Bullock in his Wren third after Mark Shaw’s Brabham BT6 faded away from second place halfway through the 13-lap race.

    21 year-old ADAC GT Masters driver Nicolai Sylvest passed Tom Kristensen on lap two and held sta on to the  flag

    The newest category was the ‘86-class’, with victor Jakob Teil Hansen in an Escort RS 1800 besting Mike Legarth’s De Tomaso Pantera in the first heat and Jesper Ternvalt beating them both in his Escort ES 1600 in heat two and the final.

    The main interest of the weekend at Copenhagen is always the Pro/Am races, where a car is shared by an amateur (usually the owner) and a “Pro”, though sometimes it’s difficult to know who is fastest.  And this year there were many prominent drivers, indeed.  Most cars were Lotus Cortinas or Porsche 911s, with each heat divided for first the amateurs and then the Pros with a slow driver change, giving six separate race results.  For the final Martin Berner had driven his Cortina to pole for Tom Kristensen with father-and-son team Jesper and Nicolai Sylvest’s similar car second.  Though Kristensen led the first laps, 21 year-old ADAC GT Masters driver Nicolai Sylvest passed him on lap two and held station to the flag.  Audi Le Mans driver, Frank Biela had advanced Oscar Davidsen Siesby´s Cortina to third by the end.  Mikkel Mac drove the first Porsche home, that of Jesper Blom, into fourth, while another Le Mans driver, and three-time 24-hour winner, Dindo Capello paired with event patron HRH Prince Joachim to finish sixth in the Prince’s Cortina. 

    For a fuller report see out October 2019 issue