These stories are all from the pages of Historic Motor Racing News. Some have been abbreviated for this web site. If you'd like to receive the full version, go to Subscribe where you will find postal subscriptions available. A full subscription also entitles you to access the current issue online (available soon), so you can take it with you and read it anywhere, and we are working on providing full access to our archives of back issues exclusively for our subscribers. Those who subscribe online are automatically given access to our bulletin board area.
Roadbook organisation, which each year brings you the Spa Summer Classic and the Spa Six Hours meeting, is making it a hat-trick with a new, third meeting at the Francorchamps circuit, on 10-11 October this year.
HMR Holland will bring a full grid of monopostos for two races
For many years now, the other two meetings have been full to capacity, with many grid organisers being turned away due to lack of sufficient slots on the timetable. The Spa Hat Trick meeting, much like the Spa Summer Classic in its early days - before it became a meeting in its own right with its own character - will initially welcome the overflow from the other two meetings, but will no doubt take on a shape and character of its own in future years.
NKHTGT grids are full and diverse
One of the most memorable eras of motor racing was the first five years of Group A. The European Championship was healthy and the national series were rising. In the big class Rover, Holden, Jaguar, BMW, Ford and the old Volvos battled it out, and there was close racing in the 1600 and 2500cc classes as well. Nowadays, these cars are racing with the much faster FIA J2 cars, like Cosworth Sierra and BMW M3 and sometimes even with the Super Tourers of the late ‘90s.
Since its inaugural race at Donington late in 2018, the HRDC has successfully built up its Classic Alfa Challenge series in 2019 and will continue it into 2020 with a flagship race at the Silverstone Classic for the marque in its 110th anniversary year. Alfa races always attract good grids, the Alfa Revival Cup series in Italy, and the Scuderia del Portello-run Tutto Alfa races at Monza, being cases in point. Not many single marques would be able to do that. It is therefore hoped that a full grid of 75 Alfas from all over Europe will put on a fitting show to celebrate the milestone in the history of a company that has produced more racing cars and more top results than any other.
Scheduled for 6-8 November on the F1 track at the Paul Ricard circuit, this 24-hour event, unique in the world of historic competition, is decidedly back in favour after some lean times. With a maximum of 60 grid spaces available, the list of confirmed entries has already exceeded 40 with nine months to go before the event, with another 40 having expressed interest.
Amongst the entries are Henri Leconte, who will be at the wheel of Eric Van de Vyver’s TVR Griffith 200, and Philippe Gache who will partner "John Doe" in his Chevron B36. There will be family teams from Patrice Lafargue, whose IDEC Sport team is the reigning champion of the European Le Mans Series, and who will be sharing another B16 with his son Paul, while two TVR Griffith 400s will be driven by José Beltramelli and his sons Brady and Viny, and by 2019 French Champion Didier Gruau, joining forces with his talented heirs Julien and Ghislain Gaubert. Brothers Matthieu and Jean-Baptiste Châteaux will drive a BMW 635 CSI entered by their parental team, while Jean-Jacques Mancel, the editor of the magazine Berlinette Mag will share his Alpine A310 V6 with his son Cyril.
Diary of a Virus
28 February: The historic motor sport world is increasingly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, as more and more drastic measures are taken by governments to curb its spread.
Gatherings of 1000 people or more are banned in Switzerland, and The Ice event in St Moritz, due to run on February 29, is one of the first casualties, soon followed by the cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show. It is a decision that clearly didn’t take into consideration the rule of unintended consequences. On the same weekend that the outdoor Ice concours was cancelled, those who would have been strolling on the frozen lake were instead packing themselves into crowded cable cabins and going up the mountain. A number of cars went out on the lake anyway.
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
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.
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.