The Magazine

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

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.

 

Rally News

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

Bumper entries mark the resumption of the French rally season

Rallye de la Châtaigne

After the long break between the Touquet Pas-de-Calais rally in March, and the second round of the French Historic Rally Championship, the Rallye de la Châtaigne finally got under way on 19-21 August.  The 2020 edition offered a concentrated route with more than 160 special stage kilometres with the city of Autun, in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, as its hub.  A record attendance of 171 competitors in modern cars, 57 in VHC and 22 in historic regularity, with waiting lists, welcomed the return of the French Rally Championship.  Competitors praised the organisers for their forethought in ensuring the safety of all the participants and spectators in the light of the COVID restrictions and remarked how well-run every aspect of the rally was.

Impressive entry in Parc Fermé in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

In the historic speed competition, past WRC driver, Alain Oreille, with wife Sylvie as usual on the notes, was the star of the show, untouchable in his 911 Porsche, finishing over two minutes ahead of reigning French Historic Champion Alain Foulon’s Ford Escort RS and winning 11 of the 12 special stages outright, and fastest in all 12 in his category.  Foulon’s challenge was hampered by a fuel pump failure on the first stage, but he and co-driver, Sébastien Mettai, finished third overall and second to Oreille in the crucial group 1/2/3/4 category.  Benoit Chavet and Pascal Boyer in their BMW M3 drove the only group N/A/B car to outclass them for second overall and victory in their category. 

Christophe and Anne Baillet won a three-Porsche race in the regularity section.

Rally Mont Blanc Morzine

Leader for half the Mont Blanc rally, Alain Rulland in his BMW M3 fell back to third but suddenly went on the attack in the very last stage to pulverise last year’s winner, Pascal Perroud, taking over 18 seconds off him in the stage and nally winning the rally by 6.8 seconds

Next on the French Calendar was the Rallye Mont Blanc, on 3-5 September.  Once again there was a full house, with 315 entries of all categories including 58 in historic competition.  Alain Rulland, accompanied by Xavier Machet, proved himself to be king of the Alpes in his BMW M3, fastest overall and winner of his category.

Three Cheers for Favaro

Jean-Marie Biadatti reports

 The 29th edition of the Tour Auto Optic 2000 had to be postponed to September because of the pandemic and the continuing health situation led some competitors to withdraw at the last minute.  There were nevertheless 195 competitors still at the start, with 102 in regularity and 93 in the competition category, the latter including four previous winners.  Shaun Lynn and Ludovic Caron brought Shelby Cobras, Jean-Pierre Lajournade was in his winning Jaguar E-type, and the winner of the last two editions, Raphaël Favaro, who drove a Lotus Elan 26R in 2018 and 2019, was this year at the wheel of a Jaguar E-Type belonging to his co-driver, Lucien-Charles Nicolet, prepared by Equipe Europe.  Damien Kohler also abandoned his Lotus Elan for a 289 Shelby Cobra maintained by Gipimotor.  Porsche prototypes were in the spotlight for 2020 and there were three 906s in the VHC field, as well as a Porsche 904.

This year there was no start from a chateau but on the legendary Linas-Montlhéry circuit where the first special stage started on the road and ended on the speed ring, making an atypical special that saw Favaro dominate the debate.  We then witnessed a sumptuous battle on the Magny-Cours circuit in grid 4, which saw the victory of Mr John of B’s ​​Porsche 906.  Meanwhile Caron dropped right down in the results following contact with the Cobra of Frédéric Jousset, who was forced to retire.  There was also a beautiful battle in grid 3 between Sébastien Berchon (Austin Healey 100/4) and Stanislas Gurdjian (Morgan +4 Super Sport) that would continue at all circuits.

  

Chased variously by the Cobras of Shaun Lynn, Ludovic Caron and Damien Kohler, and the Porsche 906 of Mr John of B, Raphaël Favaro resisted them all to take his third Tour Auto victory, this time in an E-type Jaguar shared with Lucien-Charles Nicolet

The second leg started from Clermont-Ferrand and allowed competitors to have an early morning race on the grandiose circuit of Charade.   On the evening of this second leg, Mr John of B’s ​​Porsche 906 led the general classification ahead of Lynn by six short seconds, with Kohler and Lajournade further back.

The third leg, which took the rally from Limoges to Toulouse should have included a race on the Albi circuit, but the change of date for the event meant the circuit was no longer available.  Instead, there were three road special stages.  This was Favaro’s day, the Swiss getting to grips with his new mount and winning all three stages! 

On day 4 competitors crisscrossed the roads of southern France, passing through the magnificent site of the Cirque de Navacelles.  Once again Favaro dominated special stages, while Mr John of B lost a little time in a minor exit from the road.  Kohler missed a turning which made him also lose precious seconds. 

 

Less comfortable on the roads, Mr John of B lost time to the GT cars on the special, stages.  Photos PhotoClassicRacing.com

The last leg was shortened, with the finish taking place at the Paul Ricard circuit.  It remained only for Favaro to manage his lead, and he left the scratch win of the last special stage to Lajournade and the victory on the Castellet circuit to Kohler, who won it after a final twist of fate when the Porsche 906 of Mr John of B stopped with a seized gearbox. 

The final victory therefore went to Raphaël Favaro and Lucien-Charles Nicolet ahead of Jean-Pierre Lajournade and Christophe Bouchet and the Cobra of a Damien and Sylvie Kohler for what was an edition filled with suspense and drama. 

We should also note the excellent performance of Sébastien Berchon in his Austin Healey 100/4, a car from grid 3 that punched above its weight to finish in a fine fourth place. 

"

For us it was above all an edition to familiarise ourselves with the Cobra, which is much more powerful than what we have driven in the past,” explained Damien Kohler. “... nishing on the podium is a real satisfaction. Our direct opponents have been warned: next year, we are back to play for the win!”

A very important part of the Tour Auto is the index of performance result.  Here three lovely cars topped the podium, with Gilles and Marielle Couraudon winning in a Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 ahead of Diego Meier and the romantically named Giacomo Amoroso in a Ferrari 225S Vignale Berlinetta and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce of Jean-Yves Beaupigny and Garard Dumesne.  In fifth place was arguably the most exotic car in the rally:  a Pichon Parat Dolomites in the hands of Hugo Baldy.  A good fight all week between the Ferrari 308 Gr4 Michelotto of the Jean brothers and the Porsche 911 3.0 RSR of Emmanuel Brigand in the G/H/I categories resulted in a win for the Italian car, which finally to a lead of 2m16secs over the Porsche.

The regularity section attracts more and more specialists and becomes more and more closely fought.  Regular Tour Auto competitors  Jean-François Nicoules with his son François won this year for the  fourth time at the wheel of a Ford Mustang, beating 2018 winner Jean Rigondet in Porsche 356 and Patrick Bonnardel, driving a Triumph TR4.

For a full report, see out October isse…….

Former British Truck Racing champion Richard Walker is starting preparations for his biggest motor sport challenge to date, as he embarks on a project to contest the Peking-Paris Rally in 2022.

Walker, a multiple truck racing champion, has most recently contested a few races in a Lotus Cortina with his nephew, Jack Walker-Tully, in Masters two-driver events, but now he has bigger plans and is starting build up a 1939 Chevrolet Coupe for the five-week marathon that pits crews against some of the remotest landscapes on the planet.

He plans to do an event in the Sahara next year as a lead-in to Peking-Paris and is keen to do as much of the build work on the car himself.  “I’ll need to know every nut and bolt so that I can hopefully deal with any problems we get on the rally,” said the Nottinghamshire driver.

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Truck Champion Aims for Peking-Paris

The organisers of the Motorsport UK British Historic Rally Championship have come up with a significantly altered calendar for 2021 after losing this year’s championship to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Championship manager Colin Heppenstall, from the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club, says he has deliberately opted for events that are less expensive and require less time away.  With the overall state of the economy and some business owners facing difficult times, he wants the 2021 programme to be as affordable and accessible as possible.  It will cover six gravel and two asphalt rallies.

Three new events are on the provisional championship schedule: the Riponian Rally in Yorkshire, the Plains Rally in Wales and the closed-road Three Shires Stages in Worcestershire are all in the BHRC for the first time and will replace the Kielder Forest Rally, the Jim Clark Rally and the Ulster Rally in the eight-round programme.

The schedule of largely one-day rallies, all based on the mainland, means that there will be no ‘sail-away’ rounds next year, but Heppenstall confirmed that he is discussing the possibility of a return to the Isle of Man in 2022.  “We wanted to choose events that give value for money and enjoyment to the competitors,” he said.

The provisional 2021 programme is: Riponian Rally (7 February), Rally North Wales (27 March), Plains Rally (22 May), Red Kite Stages (13 June), Harry Flatters Rally (25 July), Three Shires Stages (5 September), Trackrod Rally (24-25 September) and the Carlisle Stages (22 October).

Six gravel and two asphalt rallies will be on the Biritsh rally Championship menu in 2021

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > BHRC schedule changes for 2021

We were surprised to find the following message in our inbox from Liz Wenman in mid-July. 

Rally Round is no longer running international car rallies or driving adventures, a decision has been prompted mainly by the situation of the global pandemic but also it is time to enjoy my fabulous family and home life with my husband David to the full.

Liz goes on at some length to thank all her colleagues on the Rally Round team, and her agents in the various countries around the world that Rally Round has visited.  Rally Round has had to cancel two major events due to COVID and an event planned for Mongolia next year was in doubt given that a recce wasn’t possible and TB, as well as Coronavirus, is rife in that country.

Photo:  Founded in 2011 by Simon Hope of H&H Auctions, John Brigden of World Wide Classic Car Rallies (who has since moved on to found Bespoke Rallies) and Liz and David Wenman, H&H Classic Rallies - later re-named Rally Round - went on to organise rallies around the world, including the Rally of Rajasthan, Road to Mandalay, Paris-Madrid and many more.

Founded in 2011 by Simon Hope of H&H Auc ons, John Brigden of World Wide Classic Car Rallies (who has since moved on to found Bespoke Rallies) and Liz and David Wenman, H&H Classic Rallies - later re-named Rally Round - specialised in exo c loca ons and went on to organise rallies around the world, including the Rally of Rajasthan, Road to Mandalay, Paris-Madrid and many more.

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Rally Round

Well known Italian events Company, Canossa, organisers of regularity rallies such as the Stella Alpina and Terre di Canossa, and competitive rallies, such as the Modena Cento Ore, have announced a series of North American, small-group road-trip excursions, starting with the Fall Rallye New England in October.  In 2019 US-based Motorsport Network, acquired Canossa Events via its ticketing division, Motorsport Live, and these tours will ensure that they will be able to serve their American customers, who for the moment, cannot travel to Italy.  While classic cars are always welcome, these touring events will be mainly for supercars.  Canossa already organises tours and rallies in the Middle East and around the world for Ferrari. 

Photo Rachel Soria

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Canossa Events North America

After all the work put in by everyone to salvage the FIA Championship, the Rally Weiz, originally postponed, has had to be cancelled for 2020 after all.  “The sports scene in Austria still has the annoying Corona virus in its power.  So much so that the organisers of the Rally Weiz now have to “cut their sails”.  Which is as painful as it is short:  The Rally Weiz 2020 has been cancelled!  A shift from the original July date to the weekend of September 3rd to 5th was ultimately of no use,” said Mario Klammer., leader of the organising team.  “We would have had a huge field of starters, “After the Styrian motorsport highlight had already received promises from the FIA and the Austrian Motorsport Federation, the level of confidence was at least as great as the current level of depression.”

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Rally Weiz Cancelled

The FFSA has done a great job of saving the 2020 French National Historic Rally Championship, which, despite the long interruption will still consist of seven rounds.  With the Touquet rally already run in March before lockdown, the rest of the season is scheduled to run as follows:

Championnat de France des Rallyes VHC

12-14 March, Touquet Pas-de-Calais

19-21 August, Autun Sud Morvan

3-5 September, Mont Blanc Morzine

18-20 September, Grasse Fleurs et Parfums

16-18 October, Antibes Côte d’Azur

lines, 29-31 October, Cévennes

26-29 November, Var

In another blow for beleaguered British rallying, this year’s Motorsport UK British Historic Rally Championship has been cancelled.  Championship promoter Colin Heppenstall had been hoping to run a shortened three-round championship in the later part of the year but the announcement that the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, scheduled for 25-16 September, has been cancelled has left the BHRC abandoned.

Trackrod organiser Rod Parkin said, “We have closely monitored the advice from Government and Motorsport UK and we are sure that all the implications are well understood without the need to detail them here.  Uppermost in our minds is the safety of all concerned in running a complex event involving many people and outside agencies.  Whilst we had several ‘Plan B’ scenarios, time has overtaken us and it is now the appropriate time to make a decision.”

Heppenstall from the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club said, “In the current climate of restrictions and with no timetable on the horizon for rallying to restart, we understand the Trackrod Motor Club’s decision to cancel their event in September.”  We had looked at adding one more event to the BHRC schedule along with the Trackrod and the Carlisle Stages (October 24), but this has left us with no option but to cancel the 2020 championship.”

HERO-ERA has launched the 2021 Winter Challenge to Monte Carlo, scheduled to run from 7 to 11 February from a start in Reims.  The organisers expect that COVID-19 restrictions will not impact the five-day event, which promises a top quality route and winter rallying at its best, as crews tackle French roads steeped in motor sport history.  These will include some high altitude, and therefore likely snow-bound, sections, like the Col-de-Turini.  The event will include night sections and the route will take in regions last used in 2005, before the finish in Monte Carlo.

This 30-year-old event was first conceived by the late Philip Young, a pioneer in historic rallying.  Entries are now open at heroevents.eu.

On July 29, 1937, in the latter years of the Great Depression, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Canada, and the United States signed the Convention on the Pan-American Highway, whereby they agreed to achieve speedy construction, by all adequate means, of a highway running from the southern reaches of South America to Alaska.

In the heady early post-war days Mexico became the first Latin American country to complete its portion of the highway, and in 1950 a great race was announced to celebrate the opening of the new road:  La Carrera Panamericana.  In its original form the race only ran for five years, but during those years it became a major prestige event on the same level as the Mille Miglia or Targa Florio, with all the great names and teams of the era competing.

The building of the road had been a no-expense-spared operation resulting in a beautiful highway running from the jungles of Chiapas on the Guatemalan border, up into the highlands above Mexico City and down into the northern desert flatlands.   With excellent camber on a series of constant radius bends, despite the best part of  three-quarters of a century of wear and tear, the road is still a sheer delight to race on.  There are no jerky switchbacks here, just flowing curves.  In 1988 the race was revived as a special stage rally using much of the same route.  Since then, it has started and ended at various points, and used some other roads, but always with the old Panamerican Highway at its heart.

The organisers have received the necessary authorisations to hold the 2020 Carrera Panamericana on its originally scheduled dates of 16-22 October, thouhg at time of writing, the border remains closed between the US and Mexico.  To help celebrate the 70th anniversary of the 1950 event, and the 33rd of the modern race, organisers are offering a 70 Years Sport and Classic Tour that will run from Oaxaca in the south, to Zacatecas in the north, running concurrently with the main rally for four of the days, from 16 to 19 October, and enjoying the two favourite stopping places of La Carrera, Oaxaca (where the main race will start this year) and Zacatecas, as well as a visit to Mexico City and Morelia along the way.  However, if the border situation remains unchanged, the event will no doubt be cancelled for this year.  See https://lacarrerapanamericana.com.mx for updates.

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > La Carrera

It may have taken a little bit longer compared to other disciplines, but 115 days since the COVID-enforced sabbatical, rallying was given the go-ahead in the UK starting on 11 July.  As it stands, single and multi-venue, closed road, navigational and road rallies will now begin to resume under the latest guidance, which will include the use of PPE and the appointment of a COVID Officer for each event.  Any local legislation will also be applicable to the approval of event permits, so while there will be changes to the way in which rallies are conducted, teams can at least look forward to getting back on track, permits allowing.

Hugh Chambers, Motorsport UK CEO, said, “We were delighted with how our first weekend of motorsport went following the suspension of all permits.  Upon visiting the various events it was clear members of our community were incredibly enthusiastic.  Rallying had to follow at a later date, as we worked upon the relevant information and followed the latest government guidelines.  Following the updates from the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), this has enabled us to work on similar procedures to accommodate both driver and co-driver in a vehicle.  We have also put together information for event organisers, giving them time to implement appropriate measures and Motorsport UK is here to help support or clubs restart this popular discipline.” 

Plans are pushing ahead for the 20th edition of the Tour de Corse Historique, which will run from 5-10 October on the Mediterranean island.   With an expected entry of 200 cars, the event will take in 20 closed-road special stages covering 350km of competitive rallying over five days.

The original Tour de Corse dates back to 1956 and the island has frequently hosted the World Rally Championship.  The historic event uses some of the famous WRC roads, renowned as some of the most challenging in historic rallying.  Entries close at the end of August and more details are at tourdecorse-historique.fr.

Postponed from its original date  of 15-20 June, Paul Lacombe  and his team have set the new date of 27-31 October for the 2nd Gravel Romania Rally.  For cars up to 1990, the event offers a five day route that includes 24 gravel stages in the forests of Transylvania, for a total of 391kms of timed special stage, all on loose surface.

A single stopover point each night in the town of Moeciu at the Cheile Gradisteï Moeciu Resort & Spa complex (located just 30kms from the city of Brasov), makes life easy for competitors and especially for support crews.  See www.romania-historic-rally.com for entries.

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > The FIA Historic Sporting Rally Championship

The schedule for the FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship has been heavily impacted, but the FIA has come up with a plan to salvage the season, starting with the Rally Weiz, which has been confirmed for 5- 6 September.  This will be followed by the Elba Storico (17-19 September) and the Rallye International du Valais (15-17 October) on their original dates, while new dates have been found for the Historic Vltava Rally  (6-7 November) and the Rally Asturias Historico (27-28 November), making a five-round championship.  Specific updates have been made to the Sporting Regulations of the Championship, first being the move from 1st July to 1st September for entry closing date to allow crews to register, and second, the number of results to count have been updated in accordance with the updated calendar.

The only round of the FIA Regularity Trophy, the Alpine Challenge, will take place on its original date of 2-4 October.

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > The FIA Historic Sporting Rally Championship

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Rally Monte-Carlo Historique 2021

Dates for the 2021 edition of the popular historic Monte have been set for 27 January-3 February with only one starting point.  In the post-pandemic world, organisers of this major endurance regularity rally have decided that all competitors will start and end in Monte Carlo.  They have written to authorities in Bad Homburg, Barcelona, Oslo, Reims and Milano, to inform them of their decision. 

The 2021 Monte will start and end in Monte-Carlo for all competitors

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Historic Portugal Rally Confirmed

The last uncertainties have been resolved and the organisers of the 2020 Rally de Portugal Histórico confirm their event will take place on the originally scheduled dates of 5-10 October.  The 15th edition of this rally, considered by many to be “the most beautiful European regularity rally”, offers a route of some 2000kms with no fewer than 40 regularity tests.

Departure and arrival are at Estoril, and the rally forms part of what locals are promoting as Estoril car week, which includes the Estoril Classics race meeting at Estoril Circuit on 9-11 October  (where rally drivers get to run a special stage), which has also been confirmed, and the concours d‘élégance in the town centre, rounded off by a gala dinner in Estoril Casino for all participants.  The rally includes high-quality hotels and meals, luggage service and breakdown assistance.  There are also options for car transport, reception of crews at the airport, and the possibility of joining a team for shared assistance.  See www.rallyportugalhistoric.eu.

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Historic Portugal Rally Confirmed

Despite it usually attracting large international crowds, Vito Piarulli and Paolo Valli, the creators of RallyLegend, have decided to go ahead with the event on 8-11 October.  “The support we’ve received both from the Government of the San Marino Republic and our sponsors has been crucial to us deciding to attempt such a feat.  The format of the event is now being reviewed and we would like, as much as possible, to adhere to the original formula.  The presence of the public from all over Europe and beyond, a true cornerstone of the event, will be managed according to the relevant San Marino government regulations,” said the organisers.

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > British Championship Succumbs to COVID

One of Britain’s most popular historic rally championships, the HRCR Clubmans Championship, is the latest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Although two rounds were run in February and March before the lockdown started, many rounds have now been cancelled and with only two possible events remaining on the calendar, the Historic Rally Car Register has pulled the plug on the 2020 championship for daylight historic rallies covering special tests and regularity sections.

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > British Championship Succumbs to COVID

The revised Balkan Classic rally is set to run in the last half of September, with final dates still to be announced.  Due to restrictions in its usual venue in Bulgaria, and in consideration of other pandemic-related difficulties, organiser Alexander Kovatchev has announced that the rally, for cars up to 1985 and Youngtimers up to 1990 running in a separate group, will be shortened to two days of rallying and one day of shakedown in Poland.  The rally runs on a series of flat gravel and dirt roads in a balanced mix of open wide roads and forest roads with no reconnaissance.  See https://balkanclassic.com for information and entries.

Italy having been the first country to go into lockdown when the coronavirus struck, it is now coming out the other side with an eagerness to get back to normal quickly, none more so than Canossa Events, who are planning a full schedule of rallies for the remainder of the year.

As we go to press the Stella Alpina, will be running from 26-28 June, limited this time to 40 cars in order to ensure safe distancing at social moments.  With Americans either unable or unwilling to travel to Italy, Canossa is planning to bring Italy to them in the second half of August with a new Canossa Grand Tour in California, open to all Italian cars.

A new driving tour in the Alps will be the Grand Tour Dolomiti on 4-6 September, which will be run on classic mountain passes interspersed with Michelin-starred restaurants.  The Terre di Canossa rally will go ahead on the revised date of 1-4 October with a modified programme utilising alternative locations that allow for better social distancing.  The gala 10th anniversary dinner originally planned for this year, will be postponed to next year.

As previously reported, the Modena Cento Ore, Canossa’s only full speed competition event,  will now take place on 11-15 October, again with a modified itinerary and alternative social venues. 

After a return to the US for an autumn rally in New England, the Canossa crew will set out in November for the United Arab Emirates Desert Tour, touring the deserts and mountains of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah.

As all of these events are subject to last-minute changes depending on prevailing rules and restrictions, long-term planning will be substituted this year by a just-in-time organisation, and Canossa is offering flexible registration and cancellation policies so that no one will lose an entry fee.

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Restarting Rallying

The global pandemic has had a massive impact on motor sport across the globe and rallying, in all its forms, has been particularly badly hit.  Now, as the first shoots of recovery start to emerge, and racing will resume in Europe during July, rallying is set to be left behind in the early stages.  How does rallying re-start in the aftermath of the COVID 19 pandemic?  Rally Editor Paul Lawrence tries to make sense of a constantly evolving situation.

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS >Southern Cross Safari

Bentley on top in Africa

A 1927 Bentley emerged victorious after 19 days and 2000 miles of competition on the Southern Cross Safari from the Rally the Globe organisation. Paul Lawrence reports.

After nearly three weeks of challenging driving through the mountains, game reserves and private estates of Kenya and Tanzania, the 1927 Bentley 4½ Le Mans of British husband and wife team Keith and Norah Ashworth took overall victory after a dramatic final day.

 

The abnormal amount of rain that’s fallen in East Africa really tested the cars and drivers, including the winning Ashworth Bentley

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Romania Gravel Rally

First run in October last year with only 13 entries, this year Paul Lacombe and his equipe, organisers of the successful Romania Winter rally, will run the Romania Historic Gravel Rally on 15-20 June and are expecting a much bigger entry.   Run over five days, with a total of nearly 400kms of loose surface special stages, many in the forests, the rally has its headquarters in the village of Cheia, some 30kms outside of the town of Brasov in Transylvania, where the rally will return each night.  Dracula’s Castle is 7kms away.  This is a beautiful part of Romania and is particularly good for rallying, and the local economy means that the event can be organised for a modest sum compared to some other countries in Europe.  The event is for cars up to 1981, with a category for two-wheel drive cars up to 1985 (period J1) and two-wheel drive cars up to 1999 with manual gearbox.  The regulations stipulate that cars must be FIA compliant, but HTPs are not mandatory.  See www.romania-historic-rally.com for the details.

Organisers anticipate a much bigger turnout for the second running of the Romania Historic Gravel Rally

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Romania Gravel Rally

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > XVI Rally Clásico Isla Mallorca

Motorsport at the end of the World

The 16th edition of the Mallorca Classic Rally took place at its usual time, the second weekend of March.  As it did so, the tsunami of the Coronavirus swept across Spain and would overwhelm the event.  An absence of common sense or the pressure of a crowded calendar meant that once again the rally clashed with the opening round of the FIA Historic Rally Championship, scheduled on the same weekend across the Balearic sea at Gerona.  The privileged Mediterranean island has hosted a classic rally for the last nineteen years and this was the 16th to be organised by Toni Dezcallar. 

At this stage, the threat from Covid-19 was acknowledged by all but few could predict its effect on the event.  In spite of the clash with the FIA Historic Championship round the rally attracted a capacity entry.

The Coves de Campanet consists of a narrow road bordered by low stone walls with occasional slippy wet patches and blind jumps. The impression of speed is tremendous. It is one for the young and the brave. Rally winner Seb Perez literally  flew over it

After an 19th edition marked by five intense days of racing that saw no fewer than six different leaders with a single second separating the first two crews, all eyes are on the 20th anniversary of the Tour de Corse Historique.  From Monday 5 to Saturday 10 October aficionados of the Corsican rally stages will travel 900kms from Porto Vecchio to Bastia, Calvi, Ajaccio and back to Porto Vecchio including 20 special stages - to mark  20 years of the event - totalling nearly 350 stage kilometres.  See www.tourdecorse-historique.fr for all the details.

.

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > 1000 Mile Trial 120th Anniversary Edition

The Royal Automobile Club and rally organisers, HERO took a break from running the 1000 Mile Trial last year, in order to better plan an event worthy of the 120th anniversary of the original Trial this year. 

Photo Francesco & Roberta Rastrelli / Blue Passion Courtesy HERO

Starting from Preston and promising to be something special, there will be more emphasis on the social side of things, as the pre-war cars travel some 800 miles up to Edinburgh over flowing roads, amusing regularity sections, rousing tests, quirky stopovers and luxury overnight hotels for the final gala on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Boucles à Bastogne

Victory for Kris Meeke

Paul Lawrence Reports

On his first competitive rally since his World Rally Championship career came to an end, Irishman Kris Meeke joined the illustrious list of winners of the Legend Boucles à Bastogne.  Equipped with a full-spec Ford Escort Mk2 from the stable of Belgian competitor Christophe Jacob, Meeke and co-driver Seb Marshall dominated the huge Belgian event and pressed home their advantage when the rally moved to gravel stages for the second day.

“Meeke was simply on another planet”  Photos Letihon.be

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Rally Neige et Glace Historique

Jurriaan Tas Reports

Formerly a famous speed event, the ‘Neige et Glace’ fell foul of the 1974 oil crisis and was revived as a historic regularity rally in 2000, run by Dakar winner Patrick Zaniroli.  He moved the event from Grenoble to the Jura, dubbed by locals as ‘Little Siberia’, because of the near certainty of finding snow and ice there in January.  A switch back to the area around Grenoble for the past two years proved unpopular with competitors and the event is now firmly back in Malbuisson.

Winners Romuald Sanseigne and Florin Fornassier in their Autobianchi A112 Abarth. “In the end, it was a small mistake that decided the place. We are so proud to achieve the double, Joël and Corinne taught us everything,” said Romauld of his uncle and aunt, who came second.  Photos Richard Bord Courtesy Zaniroli Classic Events

Historic Motor Racing News © 2016
Designed by Software Major