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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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Rally News

Two Corsican rally greats, Jean-Pierre Manzagol and Ange-Marie Venturini are working on their plans for the recently-announced, Aléria Historic Rally, which will take place in on 9-12 June on the eastern coast and in the centre of the island (see our March issue). Venturini will be driving his ex- Andruet, Darniche, Thérier and Nicolas Alpine Berlinetta that he has owned since 1975 under the number 0, while Manzagol is preparing a Renault R5 Group 2 (also from the ‘70s), with which he intends to compete for the Terre-Asphalte trophy. “The idea of a historic rally here in Corsica combining the two playing fields is excellent.” said Manzagol of the mixed surface rally organised by Yves Loubet and Dume Savignoni. “A very good rally like this was lacking. Especially since on gravel, in Corsica, we didn’t have much until now. You had to dare to invent it,” he added. “Corsica is made for rallying,” commented Venturini. “On top of that, looking at the route, it’s clear that the Aléria Historic was mapped out by true rallymen.” Competitors can tackle either the Asphalt or gravel rally, or both. There is also a regularity class for the Asphalt rally. See aleriahistoricrally.fr for entries.

While the Ypres Rally Belgium has moved to August to become a round of the World Rally Championship, the Ypres Historic Rally plans to run on the event’s traditional date of June 27. The 28th edition of the Historic Rally, which is a round of the Historic Belgian Championship, will have a route covering three different special stages, organised separately from the WRC event. “We have chosen to organise the Historic Rally on our traditional date,” said Jan Huyghe of Club Superstage. “We are creating an additional event to support the local hospitality industry, and it will be an ideal warm-up for the WRC round.”

Sadly the end of COVID is not yet upon us, and this has led Peter Auto to take the decision, in accordance with all the towns along the way, to postpone the Tour Auto again this year. To have run on 19-24 April, the new date for the 30th running of the event will be 30 August-4 September. The itinerary remains unchanged with the start from the Grand Palais Ephémère in Paris and the finish in the beautiful town of Nice, as it did 30 years ago.

“We’ll be back on the road for the Tour Auto Optic 2ooo in September, a date which met with great success last year,” commented Patrick Peter.

This postponement has opened an opportunity for the Dix Mille Tours du Castellet, which had to be postponed from March, to re-schedule to 30 April-2 May.

Leading classic rally promoter HERO-ERA was forced to substantially re-work its calendar for the spring and early summer in response to on-going COVID restrictions. The Flying Scotsman event for Pre-War cars, planned for April, has been cancelled for this year but will return in 2022. Meanwhile, the ever-popular Scottish Malts has been re-scheduled to September 13-17. Other events, including the HERO Challenge One and the Novice Trial are also moving to dates later in the year in line with the UK government’s road map for coming out of the pandemic.

The Sahara Challenge, HERO Challenge Three, Lima to Cape Horn, The RAC Rally of the Tests and Le Jog currently remain unchanged on the 2021 calendar. The Per Ardua Ad Infinitum, postponed from March, has been moved to January 7-8 next year for a route in Somerset and North Devon. Competition Director Guy Woodcock said, “We are aiming to confirm a May date for the first rally of 2021, the HERO Challenge in the Peak District.”

This has had the knock-on effect of causing organisers of the Stella Alpina rally, which was to take place on the new Mille Miglia dates, to move their date to 11-13 June. This year’s event, which is the 36th running, will be based in Madonna di Campiglio and take in many of the greatest Dolomite passes, as competitors drive through the World Heritage site and the National Parks of the region. There is also a Ferrari rally that runs concurrently with the historic Stella Alpina. See canossa.com for details.

For reasons that appear obvious, the Swiss have maintained a lively schedule of hillclimb events nearly from the beginning of the motor car itself, the first was in 1901. These include such giants as the Klausenrennen, first run in 1922 and considered to be the Nordschleife of the hillclimb world, with its 21.5 kilometres and 136 bends at over 1,237 metres in altitude.

Revival events of some of the most famous, including the Klausenrennen, the Ollon-Villars and others, have been popular in Switzerland for the last couple of decades, though sadly the Klausenrennen has since been abandoned as a revival event for safety reasons. It will be 100 years old next year, and there has been much speculation about holding some kind of event to mark the centenary.

 Photo Courtesy Bernina Gran Turismo

Ollon-Villars International Motor Race

The 8.3 km Ollon-Villars hillclimb first ran in 1953 and was once a round of the European Hillclimb Championship, with a who’s who of elite racing drivers of the time participating. It now runs for historic cars every three years, attracting more than 300 entries, including Formula One cars. But these cars are not racing, these are demonstration runs. Due to run in 2020, it was cancelled because of COVID, so it will run for the eighth time this year instead, on 21-22 August. Always attracting large crowds of spectators, this is a social event with a charming, festival atmosphere, where one can enjoy the cars, the Alpine summer and the good company. See www.ollon-villars.com.

Bernina Gran Turismo

The Bernina Gran Turismo loosely revives a pre-war speed event held in the area around St Moritz, and now consists of a 5.6km hillclimb for both speed and regularity competitors, as well as for motorbikes, to the top of the Bernina pass from La Rösa. The three-day event also offers an opportunity to enjoy all the tourist attractions of St Moritz and the surrounding villages, as well as the fine dining and hotels of the region. Revived in 2014, it traditionally runs in mid-September, and this year will take place on the 16th to the 19th of the month. See www.bernina-granturismo.com.

 

Arosa ClassicCar

Not a revival, but a well-established event for historic cars, Arosa ClassicCar will run for the 17th time, also in September, along the 7.3 km hillclimb route from Langwiese to the ski resort of Arosa, situated not far from Davos. With an altitude difference of 422 metres, it is the only Swiss hillclimb that incorporates a downhill section. It also has a regularity category, and an exhibition category with no timing. Amongst the speed categories, is one for Formula cars, and entry lists are regularly filled with up to 200 cars of all shapes and sizes. Competitors get practice runs on Friday and four timed runs over Saturday and Sunday. This year the dates are 3-5 September. See www.arosaclassiccar.ch for details.

Plans are well underway for the 30th edition of what organisers style as ‘the Ultimate Tarmac Rally’, which will take place in 2022, starting from the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Launceston, Tasmania, the same location from which the very first Targa cars departed back in 1992.   Started by a group of local enthusiasts, the Targa Tasmania, and its sister Targa events, including Targa Great Barrier Reef, which now form a national championship, were taken over by the big Australian Automotive Group and long-time Targa sponsor, Dutton Group in 2019.

 

Dutton intends to continue to develop the event and the championship, and, in a year that has seen all event organisers take huge financial hits, Dutton is taking on new staff to better develop the Targa brand. 

Amongst the highlights that have been announced for next year’s anniversary event are new competitions, categories and classes added to the existing structure, major shows and associated events before, during and after the main event, new street stages in the longest Targa course yet, with more than 500 entries in two categories, Competition and Touring. 

Organisers have put out a call to all those who were there for the first event, and already some 70 have responded to say they will be coming.

Usually run in May, the 2022 Targa Tasmania will run in early March when the weather in Tasmania will still be sunny and warm.

After all the setbacks of 2020, the Belgian ASBL Spa Historic Racing Team has announced the creation of the Francorchamps Rallye Festival.  An event similar to the Eifel Rallye Festival, Alsace Rallye Festival and Rallyspirit in Portugal, it will consist of a vast demonstration of historic rally cars in their original livery, often driven by rally stars of the period.  With rally festivals proliferating around Europe, this one will be based at the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit, with a show stage in the town of Stavelot on the programme, on 23-26 September.  Alpine will be the celebrated marque for this first edition of what is planned to become an annual event. 

See francorchamps-rallye-festival.be for details.

The new Scuderia Oriente, with the collaboration of Corsica superstars Dominique Savignoni, Yves Loubet and Sabrina de Castelli, has announced a new challenge, the first half asphalt and half gravel rally exclusively for Historic Competition (VHC) and Regularity (VHRS) competitors.  The 1st Aleria Historic Rally will take place on 8-12 June and offer four days of special stages on the Island of Corsica, the first two on asphalt and the second two days on loose surface.  Competitors can choose to run on hard surface or loose – or both, and there will be three winners declared.  For the moment there is only a Facebook page, (Aleria Historic Rally) but a website is under construction or you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

The FIA Trophy for Historic Regularity Rallies has undergone a change in format in recent years and, instead of a list of point-scoring events, there are 17 qualifying events all around Europe with one final to decide the winner.  This year the final will be held in Poland for the first time.  The leading competitors from each qualifying event will receive an invitation to compete in the Rally Poland Historic in its tenth anniversary year, on 11-14 November 2021, the winner taking the FIA Trophy for Historic Regularity Rallies 

Based in the town of Wieliczka, close to the historic city of Krakow, the route will consist of 953km of open roads, with 633km of those being part of the regularity tests.   See www.rallypolandhistoric.eu for details.

See  the Historic Motor Racing News website calendar pages for a list of qualifying rallies and contact details of their organisers.