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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

Bengt-Åce Gustavsson Reports

Racing in Norway was affected just like everywhere else when COVID-19 arrived this spring, with the first race meeting, at Rudskogen, postponed until late June.  With restrictions in place, including a rule that said anyone who had been outside Norway’s borders in the two weeks before the competition was not allowed to enter the area, all foreigners were effectively excluded!  This applied to drivers as well as officials and the press…

The biggest event of the season is usually run in August each year at Rudskogen.  The Norwegians were expecting the rules to ease by then, so they invited foreign drivers to compete and they had almost 200 cars registered when stricter requirements were imposed instead, and they were not allowed to run the competition at all!  They partly solved the problem by moving the event to Vålerbanen, which is not so close to Oslo where the big summer spike in infections was, but of course, there were far fewer participants.  At least they had a competition.  The two final meetings in September were also run at Vålerbanen.

Atle Ramberg won seven out of eight races with his distinctive Ford Escort 1300 GT ahead of a determined John A Johansen in his Mini 1275 GT Atle Ramberg won seven out of eight races with his distinctive Ford Escort 1300 GT ahead of a determined John A Johansen in his Mini 1275 GT.  Photos Jörn Petersen

 
 Norwegian historic racing is divided into three different groups that run along FIA cut-off dates: Cars before 1965; cars between 1966-1971 and cars after 1972.  Eleven cars participated in the oldest class this year, of which eight were Ford Lotus Cortinas.  Ola Svendsen missed the premiere at Rudskogen, but then he won five of the remaining six races with his Cortina.  Frode Alhaug was the smoothie himself this year with his Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.  He did not win any races but took lots of podium places and finished second in the points.  Arne Teig started the year best with three victories in the first five races, but then he missed the final and finished third.

Mathias Havdal took over his dad’s well proven Porsche 911 RSR and won all eight races for post ’71 cars

In the contest for cars from 1966-1971, as usual, Atle Ramberg was at the top.  He won seven out of eight races with his distinctive Ford Escort 1300 GT.  John A Johansen tried to hang on and he took one victory and five second places with his Mini 1275 GT and came second overall in the final rankings.  Odd-Andreas Ingebrigtsen came third with his Austin Cooper S.

The class for the newest cars was the largest this year with 22 starters.  They had also invited cars newer than 1990, but these did not get any points.  Mathias Havdal took over his dad’s well-proven Porsche 911 RSR and won all eight races!  Tor Magne Tjemsland started in a “new” BMW M3 E30 and came second.  Terje Nordmark came third with his Opel Kadett GT/E.

Hard tryer Thorkild Solberg

It was a short and intense season for the Norwegians this year.  They can hopefully look forward to a better 2021.

70th Anniversary

Only 28 cars took the green flag at the start of the Carrera Panamericana on October 15 this year, among them were French, American and Canadian crews, who had managed to get to Mexico despite all the restrictions.  Starting this year in Oaxaca, Studebakers, as usual, were favoured, and top teams included past winners Ricardo Cordero and Marco Hernández, Gabriel Pérez and Angélica Fuentes, Hilaire and Laura Damiron, Douglas Mockett and Manuel Iguiniz, in Doug’s trusty Oldsmobile, as well as Carlos Pulido and Francisco Ortiz, who compete in a Ford.

“I am convinced that all the great rallyists in the world must live La Carrera Panamericana before they die,” said event Grand Marshall, Ari Vatanen  Photos Courtesy La Carerra Panamericana

The first day was run in rain and heavy mist for almost the whole day and proved to be a fight between “El Malditillo” being the Studebaker Champion of Cordero and Hernández, and “El Commander” of Franco/Brazilian couple Hilaire and Laura Damiron, the former ending the day in Veracruz with an advantage of over a minute, with Pérez and Fuentes in third.  The two leading Studebakers continued to slug it out, as Ricardo Cordero slowly increased his lead as the days passed, while Pérez and Fuentes were to suffer mechanical issues on two of the days, eventually giving third place overall and first in the Historic B Plus class to Alexis and Oscar Uribe in their Porsche 911. 

Ricardo Cordero and Marco Hernández scored their third Carrera Panamericana victory

And so it was that Ricardo Cordero and Marco Hernández scored their third Carrera Panamericana victory, as they rolled into Torreón after seven days and 3900kms, with nearly 700kms of special stages.  After winning two stages out of seven on the last day, 2017 champions Hilaire and Laura Damiron, came home in second place in “The Commander”, an extraordinary car that always remains in the fight.  Carrera veterans Gabriel Pérez and Angélica Fuentes refused to give up, landing in fifth place overall and third in the Turismo Mayor category.

Pascual Piccolo and Rafael Alvarez tackled the stages in a Datsun 260Z

As enthusiastic as ever, the live stream of the event recorded more than a million viewers, and though distanced from competitors and each other, many fans still turned out to see the cars along the route and as they arrived in the town squares across Mexico.

“We thank each and every one of the fans, competitors, authorities, sponsors and the media for being part of the legend in its 70th Anniversary in this very complicated year.  We were able to deliver free of charge, over 3,908.98 kilometres, one face mask for each kilometre travelled.  In addition we bring to all Mexicans, in the most remote areas of our country, a message of peace and unity, where we are all moving forward, despite the circumstances.”, commented an emotional Eduardo León, Honorary President of La Carrera Panamericana.

xis and Oscar Uribe’s reward for their conistency was a third place overall and first in the Historic B class

For a more detailed report see our December 2020 issue…

 

Entries are now open for the annual Winter Marathon regularity rally based in the resort of Madonna di Campiglio in the Italian Dolomites.  It is due to run next year on 14-17 January.  One of the unique features of this event is the race on the frozen lake on the last day for the first 30 cars to qualify.  For cars up to 1976, this event nonetheless usually attracts quite a large pre-war entry.  Entries can be made online at www.wintermarathon.it

The 10th edition of the Gran Premio Terre di Canossa exploring the roads of Emilia and Tuscany came to a close on October 4 with a win for Alberto Aliverti and Stefano Valente driving an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS Zagato in less than ideal weather conditions for such an open car.

Even in these unusual and unsettling times, the team at Canossa Events and Scuderia Tricolore got the postponed Terre di Canossa regularity rally on the road, albeit with fewer cars, and revised itinerary better adapted to the necessary sanitary precautions.  Many regular competitors reluctantly had to forego competing because of the new restrictions, but crews welcomed the chance to run their cars, proven by the fact that many overcame logistical obstacles and travelled from various European countries, as well as the United States and Russia. 

 

 

Alberto Aliver and Stefano Valente won, driving an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS Zagato through rain and shine.   Photos Courtesy Canossa Events

 

Giorgio Lambruschi and Alessandro Mancini came second in a 1964 Porsche 356 C and also won the special classification for the average speed trials.  Third place went to Stefano Ginesi and Susanna Rohr, in a 1959 Porsche 356 A 1600 Super.  A small class of modern Ferraris was won by Enrico Zobele and Ivana Trentinaglia in a Ferrari GTC 4 Lusso.

 

Starting at Salsomaggiore Terme and finishing at Scandiano in the province of Reggio Emilia, as always, highlights of the three-day event were visits to historic sites, meals in medieval castles and beautiful scenery along the roads.  Accompanied by sun, then rain, then sun, on day two the afternoon excursion into Liguria had to be cancelled because of a flood alert and drivers were diverted directly to the night destination of Forte dei Marmi.  The event ended on a sunny terrace overlooking Reggio Emilia. 

 

One of the few significant UK classic rallies to go ahead since the COVID lockdown was the HERO Summer Trial, which moved to the late summer date of 25-27 September on a heavily revised route.

After two and a half days of competition, largely in Shropshire, over special tests and regularity sections, father and son David and Edward Liddell (Triumph TR4) finished nearly two minutes clear of the earlier TR3A of Piers Barclay and Nicholas Harries at the head of a 41-car field.

The event retained its planned base in Telford but when the problems of running in Wales became obvious, it was re-routed to stay in England, though sections on  Saturday took the crews very close to the Welsh border as the route wound around the border towns on Leintwardine and Clun.

The TR3A of Piers Barclay.  Photos Will Broadhead Courtesy HERO 

The first and third days were effectively half days, running in North Shropshire and taking in several special tests on private ground.  In trouble at the Rednal kart track was the rare Renault 8 Gordini of Malcolm Dunderdale, which suffered some cosmetic damage when it slid off into the tyres.  Dunderdale and co-driver Anita Wickins recovered to finish inside the top 20.

 

David and Edward Liddell (Triumph TR4)

“The first day was very stressful for us, we hit a lot of traffic so we were very happy to be third,” said David Liddell. “The second day was brilliant, losing just 60 seconds stuck behind four rally cars and a slow non-competing car, but we took the lead.  We were both pretty nervous going into the final test.  It was good to win with my son.” 

The rare Renault 8 Gordini of Malcolm Dunderdale

“It is more than we expected so we are both very happy with the podium,” said Harries in second place in the event aimed at beginners and intermediate level competitors.  Further down the field was classic motorcycle racer Mike Farrall in his 1936 Jaguar SS.  Fellow Goodwood-winning motorcycle rider Charlie Williams made a welcome return to take on the co-driving role.

Alberto Salvini and Davide Tagliaferri took their Group 4 Porsche Carrera RS to victory in the XXXII Rallye Elba Storico-Trofeo Locman, run on its originally scheduled date of 17-19 September with a full entry list of over 130 cars.  The second round of the Italian Championship was this year, for the first time in many years, not to count towards the FIA Historic Sporting Rally Championship, but when the FIA finally cancelled the EHSRC in August, Elba benefitted with some last minute entries from the FIA competitors. 

Reigning FIA Group 4 Champions ‘Lucky’ and Fabrizia Pons fought hard, but came second

There were also categories for Sport Regularity and the Elba Graffiti regularity rally, the latter counting towards the Italian regularity championship.  The event incorporated  twelve A112 Abarth Trophy cars, racing amongst themselves for separate honours.  Despite all the COVID madness, there were 16 nationalities represented in the entry lists.

Alberto Salvini and Davide Tagliaferri took their Group 4 Porsche Carrera RS to victory  Photos Courtesy Rally Elba

After their victory in the first round of the Championship in Tuscany in July, reigning FIA Group 4 Champions ‘Lucky’ and Fabrizia Pons in their Lancia Delta Integrale were looking for another win, but although they led after the first stage of the last day, they were overhauled by Salvini three stages from the end and relegated to a  Group 4 winning second place.

Lucio da Zanche won the night prologue stage, and led the next day, but dropped out with a broken gearbox

The Elba Graffiti regularity event was won by father and son team Marco and Riccardo Leva, in their Alfa Romeo Giulia GT Veloce.

Read all about it in our November 2020 issue

 

 

In these difficult times the Tour de Corse Historique was a kind of beacon of normalcy, when a full complement of 210 cars, over 130 in competition (VHC) and the others split into regularity categories (VHRS) of high, medium and low average speed, took the start in Porto-Vecchio on 6 October for the 20th Tour de Corse Historique.  True, special health measures were in place, but the ambiance was as friendly as always and the Corsican roads were, well, the Corsican roads, and just as awe inspiring as ever. 

 

The entry list included many Tour de Corse heavy hitters, including past masters Alain Oreille (Porsche 911 RS 3.0), Marc Valliccioni (BMW M3 E30), François Delecour (Porsche 911 SC RS) and newcomer to the event, but certainly not to rallying, Robert Consani (Porsche 911 SC), who proved to be a bit of a revelation, coming in on day 1 with a 2-second overall lead ahead of Valliccioni, who was top in J2.  Alain Oreille sat in third place, and last year’s winner, François Foulon, driving a Ford Escort RS 1800, was equal sixth with Christophe Casanova in a BMW M3 after an errant brake cable slowed his progress.

On day two things changed dramatically.  Valliccioni left the road into retirement on the, and the same fate befell Consani on the last stage of the day.  The rally had lost the two leading cars.  The drivers arrived in Bastia with Alain Oreille as the new king with a 48-second advance on Capanaccia and Casanova, while Delecour was lying in wait in fourth place.

Alain and Sylvie Oreille drove to victory on their fourth attempt.  Photo Fred Chambert Courtesy TDCH 

The next twist of fate was to befall François Delecour, who had been caught speeding on the last liaison stage and had his licence withdrawn.  The officials had no choice but to exclude him from the start the following morning. 

The penultimate day of the rally went from Calvi to Ajaccio, this time with only three specials on the menu, but these included the daunting 30-kilometre Our Lady of the Serra and Liamone - Sant’Andria D’Orcino (29, 47 km).  Consani,, now running in super rally, was once again in the forefront, but Oreille was the fastest of those still in contention. 

David Perier drove his D-type evocation in the regularity section.  Photos François & Leo Haase

The fifth and final day took everyone back to Porto-Vecchio via four more stages, where Alain and Sylvie Oreille drove as winners for the first time, after four attempts.

 

In VHRS, Bernard Figuière/Isabelle Godin (BMW M3) won the high average speed category, Christophe and Anne Baillet (Porsche 911 SC) the medium intermediate, Serge Garosi/Jean Marc Piret (Mazda RX2) the medium moderate and Daniel Klumpp and Sylviane Dennu took their Mini to victory amongst the low average speed contenders.

Patrick Canavese starts his Lancia 037

Read More in the November 2020 issue…..

In another blow to historic rallying the planned Silver Fern Rally has been cancelled due to the on-going COVID-19 travel restrictions.  The marathon biennial event relies on entries from Europe to make it viable and with those now not possible the organisers had no option but to cancel the 2020 edition completely.  Plans to run a shorter two-day event for local crews have now also been shelved.

 

Since 1999 Viviane Zaniroli has been encouraging women to get behind the wheel of old sports and GT cars and compete in their own right.  The resulting Rallye des Princesses regularity rally, inspired on the old Paris – Saint-Raphaël  Féminin, has been a great success over the ensuing 20 years, bringing many women into competition as drivers that might not have had the chance in mixed rallies when there is only one eligible car in the house.  A number have since bought their own rally cars.  Zaniroli has created an event tailored to women’s interests, in the route, in the places visited and in the evening stops.  For some years now, she has been supported by the high end watchmaker, Richard Mille.  Mille is well-known in racing circles for his sponsorship of the Peter Auto run Le Mans Classic, Rallye des Legendes and Chantilly Art et Elegance, and also for his large collection of racing cars, which he exhibits at Retromobile each year.

Now Zaniroli would like to step back and she will be handing the baton over to Patrick Peter’s organisation, which will observe and handle media and some other aspects in 2021 and take over the running of the event in 2022.  Next year’s event is scheduled for 29 May- 3 June 2021.  Zaniroli Classic Events, which Viviane runs with her Husband Patrick, will continue to run all its other annual events as usual, including Neige et Glace, Trans Maroc and Trophée des Alpes.

Though some things have changed much will be the same on next year’s Historic Monte, which takes place on 30 January – 3 February.  Though organisers have foregone the multi-national starting points in 2021 after the trauma of this year’s COVID epidemic, the challenge will be as tough as ever for four days and one night loop, returning cars to the unique starting point of Monte-Carlo after three nights in Valence and many historic regularity stages.  The final night run in the arrière pays that will include stages such as Col de Braus – La-Bollène-Vésubie and Lantosque – Lucéram will sort out the final order.

The organisers have also widened the eligibility criteria, now allowing any car that took part in the Monte between 1911 and 1983, making cars such as the Audi Quattro, Renault 5 Turbo, Lancia 037 and Fiat Panda eligible, at one end of the spectrum, and pre-war cars such as Bugatti, Delahaye, Talbot and Invicta at the other.  Another change to the regulations is that cars will run to only two average speeds.

Though this is likely to result in some newer cars entering the event for the first time, it seems unlikely that many pre-war cars will be attracted, as all cars built before 1966 are to be lumped into a single category, with further category cut off dates falling at the end of 1971, 1976 and 1982.  Entries must be in by 9 November and can be made on the ACM web site.

Lucy O’Reilly-Schell nished the Monte ve mes between 1929 and 1936, her best result being second place in 1936. In 1930 she drove a Talbot 2600, which has now become eligible for the historic Monte. She later became a Grand Prix team owner and was the mother of Grand Prix driver Harry Schell

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