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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
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
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.
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.
Photo Courtesy Canosssa Events
Brought to you by the team that runs the Cento Ore, the Terre di Canossa rally gives Luigi Orlandini and his organisation the chance to really show what they can do to give participants a unique Italian cultural experience. In the more relaxed atmosphere of a regularity competition covering only 600kms, the rally is a pilgrimage to many medieval sites dating back to the XII century, when Matilde di Canossa ruled over central Italy.
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
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
Andrea Belome and Massimo Be nsoli took a slender 8-point win
Andrea Belometti and Massimo Bettinsoli won the Winter Marathon 2020 driving a 1937 Fiat 508 C. The crew from team Brescia Corse remained amongst the top positions over the many Dolomite passes on 23-24 January, beating the young crew of Edoardo Bellini and Roberto Tiberti in a similar Fiat, by eight penalty points. Third place went to Guido Barcella and Roberto Ghidotti in a Porsche 356 C Coupe, some 90 points down on the two leaders.
Peter Collins Reports on one of the most popular events in endurance rallying, with over 300 entries.
Consistency was the key to success for Henrik Bjerregaard and Jaromir Svec Photo http://promopub.org
The first cars to set off on the annual pilgrimage to Monte-Carlo were those from Athens at 12:40 on Wednesday January 29th. Five crews had chosen to do this and they were faced with a 1,715km drive before they would finish on the harbour of the Principality. A further two cars had chosen Glasgow from where they started, along with the Rallye Classique participants, at 19:00 the same day, faced with covering 2142kms to Monte.
The Tour European Rally (TER), created in 2016 by the Italian TV producer Luca Grilli, is aimed at “merging the assets of some outstanding rally events in Europe to create a series in order to have an enhanced global promotion. The chosen events must have outstanding characteristics: based in tourist-oriented areas, they must possess unique specific features different from the other championship events and they must display an excellent touristic and/or historical background.”
In 2019 the Tour European Rally Historic based on the same principles ran for the first time and comprised six events. Won by the German crew of Heinz-Walter Schewe and Frank Blondel in a Porsche 911 SC, the championship attracted a truly international entry, though modest in number in the first year.
For 2020 promoters have announced a new six-event calendar based in southern Europe and taking in one gravel rally and five asphalt events, beginning with Rally Città di Arezzo in Tuscany, on the gravel roads that are part of the history of rallying from when Rallye Sanremo was in the World Rally Championship.
Not content with winning the Peking to Paris rally for the third time last year at the age of 87, Gerry Crown is about to embark on his next adventure. The remarkable Australian octogenarian has now entered the ultimate circumnavigation challenge – Rally the Globe’s eponymous Round the World.
87 year-old Gerry Crown won the 2019 Peking to Paris. His next exploit will be to rally around the world