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 Contents September  issue:  Latest News - Bits & Pieces - Rally News - Classic Marathon - Rally Weiz - Lahti Historic Rally - Heroes of Historic Motor Sport - Insider’s Market Report - Zandvoort Classics - Seven Questions for Erik Comas -  Nogaro Classic - VSCC Prescott - NKHTGT - Classic Silverstone - Historic Tour Dijon - Alfa Revival Cup

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Latest News in Brief

The Historic Sports Car Club has unveiled its provisional race calendar for 2021 covering nine race meetings on nine different circuits.  New for next year is a two-day mid-summer meeting at Donington Park, and a change in the Brands Hatch Indy date, which now moves to the Friday preceding the Grand Prix circuit weekend, making a three-day event using both versions of the track.

As before, the HSCC will also be the organising club for the Silverstone Classic, which will run on 30 July-1 August next year.

Andy Dee-Crowne, CEO of the HSCC, said, “No one can currently predict where the UK will be with the COVID pandemic by the start of next season, but we are very hopeful that we will be able to run a full programme of racing in 2021.”  (see our calendar page for these and other 2021 dates).

Though still provisional the Motor Racing Legends calendar has been released with five major race meetings on the schedule (see our calendar page for these and other 2021 dates).  “We are optimistic for next year, but you’ll see that we have taken the precaution of planning a more UK-focussed calendar in 2021 to minimise the potential for disruption.” announced MRL boss, Duncan Wiltshire.

But there are other changes too.  After the successful 3-hour race, put together at the last minute to fill the end-of-season void, MRL has decided not only to repeat the experiment next October 30-31, but also to add a 3-hour pre-‘66 race to its Donington Historic Festival line-up in May as well.  “Everyone really enjoyed themselves this year and drivers are keen to do it again,” said Wiltshire.

In another announcement, it was confirmed that after an approach by the new team at Jaguar Classic, MRL will run the Jaguar Classic Challenge in 2021, part of which will next year include a big celebration race at the Silverstone Classic for the Jaguar E-type’s 60th anniversary.  Further details of the Jaguar Classic calendar will be announced soon. 

Besides their own series for ’50s sports-racing cars (Stirling Moss Trophy), ‘50s GT cars (Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy), and Touring Cars spanning nearly three decades, MRL also administers the prestigious Pre-‘63 GT series, which this year will have two rounds, at Thruxton and at the  Silverstone Classic at the end of July, where the Royal Automobile Club Historic Tourist Trophy will be awarded to the winner.  A perpetual trophy, housed at the RAC in Pall Mall, the Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars was inaugurated in 2010 and has been won by, amongst others, Carlo Vögele/Willie Green (Ferrari 330 GTO in 2010) Stuart Graham and Richard Attwood (Aston Martin DB4 GT in 2011), Wolfgang Friedrichs/David Clark (Aston Martin DP212 in 2012), Jackie Oliver/Gary Pearson (Ferrari SWB in 2014) and more recently by Martin Hunt and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards in an AC Cobra in 2019.

One Make Races for GT40

In a further announcement, Motor Racing Legends and DK Engineering have revealed that they will also run two, 80-minute races exclusively for pre-1966 spec Ford GT40s including FIA compliant continuation models.  “One of the most prolific drivers of all time, Chris Amon, will forever be associated with the GT40, and we are deeply honoured that the Amon family will present the awards at each round,” said Wiltshire.

The first race will be held at Donington Historic Festival on 1-2 May, with the second round at Motor Racing Legends’ newly-announced end-of-year meeting on 30-31 October on the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit.  Prospective competitors are asked to register their interest with Motor Racing Legends at www.motorracinglegends.com.

One of the largest American historic racing organisations, Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) has announced an ambitious 17-event schedule for 2021, the most events in the organisation’s 42-year history.  With many new events and circuits in the mix, SVRA will also be visiting the west coast more often, including race weekends at Sonoma and Laguna Seca.

Notably missing from the schedule is the flagship Brickyard Invitational at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  SVRA CEO Tony Parella explained that he built the meeting around the Vintage Race of Champions (VROC), now on hold due to uncertainty about whether spectators will be allowed to attend.  “We built the Brickyard Invitational around the Pro-Am racing,” he said.  “Our first-ever Pro-Am was in 2014, and we need that element for the weekend to make sense.  I will be regrouping with the IMS team in January to explore options for 2022.”

Meanwhile, Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) have also announced their calendar for next season, featuring its traditional events on traditional dates.  The season will again begin and end at Sebring International Raceway, in March and December, with the season’s highlight, the big HSR Mitty at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta meeting, the event’s 43rd running, on April 21-25.  As reported in our October issue, as of next year HSR will also take over the running of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and Monterey Pre-Reunion, which take place on back-to-back August weekends at Laguna Seca.

As the season in Europe comes to a close, it’s springtime in the southern hemisphere and the NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series season is just beginning.  With travel for competition outside New Zealand’s borders virtually impossible, the Formula 5000 Association are preparing for a wholly NZ-based 2020/21 series of races.   Contested over just four - rather than the more usual five, or even six - rounds, the season kicked off on 13-15 November at the Circuit Chris Amon in Manfeild Feilding NZ.

The rest of the season is scheduled from January to March:

22-24 January 2021 - Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park Taupo

05-07 February - Mike Pero Motorsport Park Ruapuna

20-21 March - Hampton Downs Waikato

 Heading the entry list is reigning champion young, Michael Collins from Christchurch, who will once again be behind the wheel of one of Alistair and Vicki Hey’s Leda/McRae GM1s.  This season though he will be driving the original Tasman and US L&M Series-winning 1972 Leda LT27/GM1 001, while older sister Anna Collins will take over the Leda LT27/McRae car Michael used to win the 2019/20 title. 

Like her older sister Katherine, and younger brother Michael, Anna, 28, enjoyed a successful career start in karts.  She then graduated to the South Island Formula Ford championship in 2015 and won the NZ Class 2 Formula Ford championship in only her second year in the category.  Last season she finished fifth overall in the South Island F1600 Series. 

Set to take the battle to the Collins siblings this year is 2019/20 series’ runner-up Glenn Richards from Auckland (ex-Eppie Weitz Lola T400) and the series’ other familial pair, father and son David and Codie Banks.

Originally scheduled to consist of five race meetings, with two races at each meeting for each championship series, the FFSA and HVM Racing pulled off the unique feat of providing all five French Championship events, albeit with the first three rescheduled.  Now they are looking forward to a more normal 2021.

“We are heading towards the seventh season of the French Historic Circuits Championship,” said Historic Tour promoter Laurent Vallery-Masson of HVM.  “For the 2021 calendar, we remain true to our habit of offering at least one different circuit each season and to vary the location of the final.  In the interest of the drivers and the teams, we have made sure to retain dates that do not overlap with those of other historic competitions.  Due to the crisis, major events such as the historic Monaco GP and Le Mans Classic have been postponed to 2021.  We had to take this into account.”  The dates are subject to FFSA approval (see our calendar page for these and other 2021 dates).

 

Added to the usual schedule of Historic Tour championships and trophies, a new initiative is under discussion in order to give competitors more track time.  The idea is to create a 90-minute race that will take place on Saturday at the end of the day.  It will be open to all competitors already registered in one of the other GT, Touring or Prototype fields (Lotus Trophy excepted), who will thus be able to taste the pleasures of racing in teams of two or three drivers.  Called the “200kms de l’Historic Tour”, it will be organised over at least three meetings.

“2021 will be for us a year embellished with the organisation of the Grand Prix de France Historique.  Scheduled for 10-13 June, it will again focus on the history of F1.   For the rest, the fields planned for the Dijon Motors Cup, which we were forced to cancel this year, are postponed to the 2021 edition.  We also have a period in May during which another meeting could take place,” Vallery-Masson added.

Though the season was shorter than usual, the HSCC provided enough racing to hold meaningful championships in some of its categories, and after their Finals Meeting on 17-18 October (see page 44) and last Formula Ford races at the Formula Ford Festival Brands Hatch on 24-25 October, all the championships have been decided

Young guns Benn Tilley (March 743) (above left) and Ben Stiles (Van Diemen RF82) won the Classic Formula 3 and Classic Formula Ford 2000 titles respectivley after two exemplary campaigns on very limited budgets.  Meanwhile, the Historic Formula 3 Championship had been won a week earlier at Mallory Park by Ian Bankhurst (Alexis Mk8).

 

Antony Ross took his Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider to the Historic Road Sports Championship 27 years a er he won the HSCC Improved Road Sports crown in the same car.  Photos Eric Sawyer

Both Road Sports Championships have enjoyed tremendous support, and it was the consistent pace of Jeremy Clark (Lotus Elan) that took him to a hat-trick of 70s Road Sports titles, while Antony Ross took the Historic Road Sports Championship.

Irishman Peter Drennan (Reynard SF79) was new to Formula Ford 2000 this year, but a double win at Brands Hatch set him up for the Historic FF2000 title at the first attempt.  Meanwhile, Steve Platts earned another Historic Touring Car title to add to the one he won in 2017 in his Singer Chamois.

   

In Classic Formula Ford, Cam Jackson (Van Diemen RF80) (right) took six wins from seven rounds to end the season 21 points to the good, also winning the Formula Junior overall crown in his Brabham BT2 (left) to become a double champion

In Historic Formula Junior, Cam Jackson (Brabham BT2) took the overall crown with an unbeaten run and Ray Mallock (U2 Mk2) won the Front-Engined Formula Junior title. 

Both the Historic and Classic Formula Ford Championships were hard fought throughout the short season.    In the Historics, Pierre Livingston (Merlyn Mk20) won four on the trot at Oulton Park and Cadwell Park through the late summer to build a 15-point championship lead heading into the final.  A second and third place at Brands was enough for him to claim victory.

Due to the shortened 2020 season, six HSCC categories did not run as championships.  Included amongst these were the Formula 2s, usually run as an international championship.

The Jaguar E-type will be 60 next year and no doubt the Jaguar Heritage PR team will be cranking up the volume to remind us what an extraordinary car it was, or should we say, is, because they are re-making them.  They have for the moment pulled the plug on the Jaguar Challenge series of races, but depending on how things go, these may yet be re-instated for next season.  One thing is sure, the HSCC will be marking the anniversary with a dedicated hour-long E-type race on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit next May at their Silverstone International Trophy meeting.  Their aim is to attract 60 E-types for 60 minutes on the 60th anniversary.

This will extend a Club tradition, as in 2011 the HSCC organised the E-type Challenge to mark the model’s 50th birthday.  In addition to this special celebration race, the HSCC is actively working towards running more races in 2021 to cater for all models of Pre-1966 Jaguar, including E-types.

Other festivities planned are a tour to Geneva, where the E-type was first unveiled to the world, again with a target of 60 cars, to include the first Geneva Motor Show E-type and the last E-type made.   Sadly the Geneva Motor Show has already been cancelled for 2021, but the Tour, organised by Jaguar Heritage (www.jaguarheritage.com), will go ahead.

 

As organisers need to sort their calendars early, many are setting their dates even now as they rush into the unknown territory of 2021.  The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is set to take place on 12-15 August and will feature historic Indy Cars for the very first time.  Other races scheduled include historic Formula One and historic Trans-Am up to 1972, along with many of the customary grids for sports, touring and IMSA cars.  Next year will also see a slot dedicated to pre-1920 cars in an exhibition race.

With the UK quarantine restrictions in place, it is clear that very few UK competitors are willing or able to travel to Portugal and Motor Racing Legends, which was  to have four grids there made up mainly of British teams, has decided not to go.  Duncan Wiltshire of Motor Racing Legends, informed competitors,  “With heavy heart.  This is tough on those of you who were still wanting to go, but with so few cars on each grid our attendance at the event has simply become untenable,” he said.  “We love the Algarve Classic Festival, having supported it every year since it began in 2009. To all of you who were still willing to go, I apologise.”

Likewise after putting it to a vote and receiving some positive responses from those willing to quarantine afterwards, Automobiles Historiques have also cancelled their GT & Sports Car Cup race at the undulating Algarve circuit.  “A real shame,” said Vanessa Marçais, “as initially we had a 30 car grid for this event.”  Formula Junior has also informed competitors that they have cancelled their  race at Algarve for the same reason.

Frédéric Rouvier has won the French Historic Circuits Championship in the Single-seater/Proto category for the third year in a row.  Aged 42, Rouvier, a native of Cannes, who is an educational manager at Oreca Events, won this new title at the wheel of a March 783 run by Italian team Blue is Blue after having won 9 of the 10 F3 Classic races this season. “It’s great to be champion of France again, especially since this third title was perhaps the most difficult to obtain,” he said.

 

 

With eight Coupe de France des Circuits titles in modern cars to his name, Franck Quagliozzi won the historic GT/Tourism category for the second time.  The 40-year-old Mâconnais, a Honda specialist, was competing in his third historic season in the Youngtimers GTI Cup.  He remained undefeated all season aboard a 1990 Honda Civic prepared by the family Honda Quagliozzi Racing team.  “We knew we had to win all the races to be champion.  I didn’t make it last year, and we worked hard to make sure we didn’t miss it twice in a row “

 

Laurent Sabatier took his rst French Championhsip.  Photo Guy Pawlak

Unlike the other two winners of the Historic Tour, 61 year-old Laurent Sabatier took his first championship title.  The long-time “Porschist”, also undefeated over ten races,  tied with Franck Quagliozzi in the GT/Tourism category to become joint champion.  Racing in the GT Classic series since 2015, his victory was achieved behind the wheel of a 1996 Porsche 993 GT2, exceptionally replaced by a BMW M3 GTR at Nogaro.  “Today’s races weren’t the easiest,” he said after the final round at Val de Vienne.  “I was under tremendous pressure to find myself in this situation where I had the title within reach.”