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.
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
2020 will mark the 15th running of the KAK Midnight Sun Rally in historic form, which is just as many times as the KAK Midnight Sun Rally ran in its original form from 1950 to 1964. This anniversary will be celebrated during the event.
Based in the city of Örebro, about 200kms west of Stockholm and open to 2wd cars made before 1990, the rally will run in three legs with a total length of approximately 900kms with nearly 160kms of special stages. Due to less and less uptake, the regularity class will be discontinued. Dates are 8-11 July, when the sun is indeed high. See www.midnattssolsrallyt.com for details.
The 2140km route for this year’s Tour Auto has now been determined, with the now traditional days of presentation and scrutineering in Paris’ Grand Palais before the official start from Linas Montlhéry. Night stops will be in Clermont-Ferrand, Limoges, Toulouse and Pont de Gard before the finish in the ‘cité phocéenne’ of Marseille. Circuits visited will be Nevers Magny-Cours, Charade, Albi and Ledénon. Dates are 20-25 April. See peterauto.peter.fr.
Rallystory, organiser of the Coup des Alpes for over 30 years, has announced a route for 2020 that will differ considerably from those travelled in recent years. Participants will have about twenty passes to cross, a large majority of which have not been used in recently, including the Col de Saint Raphael in the Southern Alps.
Starting from Evian on the shores of Lake Geneva on 11 June, the rally, which is untimed and non-competitive, finishes on the Croisette in Cannes on the 13th, after night stops in Mègeve and Serre Chevalier. With the victories in the ‘60s of Bernard Consten with Giulietta, TZ and GTA, Roger De Lageneste in an SZ and Jean Rolland with an SZ and a GTA, the Alfa Romeo marque holds the record for the greatest number of successes in the event. It is therefore natural that in 2020 Alfa Romeo will be the featured marque.
Swiss with Corsican origins Marc Valliccioni, and his navigator Marie Josee Cardi were crowned 2019 Swiss Historic Rally Champions at a gala evening in Berne in December. After six rounds in the various regions of Switzerland they took their BMW M3 to victory ahead of runners-up, Alain Röthlisberger and Sarah Junod (Ford Escort), with Eddy Bérard and Frédéric Rausis coming third in their BMW M3.
Paul Lawrence Reports on one of the toughest rallies in historic motorsport
McCormack the third
Marty McCormack and Barney Mitchell won the 2019 Roger Albert Clark Rally in late November after a fabulous battle with Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke on the 13th edition of this unique event.
Marty McCormack on the way to a record third RAC win. Photos Paul Lawrence
For four and a half days, over 31 special stages, McCormack drove faultlessly to take a 52-second victory after more than five hours of flat out rallying. However, the result was in doubt until the very end as Pritchard never stopped chasing despite a puncture in Scotland on Sunday morning that proved a turning point in his rally.
Rosenberger Rules under the African Sky
Paul Lawrence Reports
Austrian driver Kris Rosenberger and co-driver Nicola Bleicher headed the Safari Classic Rally at the finish in Mombasa on Friday 6 December after nine tough days through Kenya and Tanzania.
Rosenberger, who last rallied in Kenya back in 1989, took his Tuthill Porsche 911 to a 93-second victory over the similar car of 2015 winner and rally legend Stig Blomqvist. Porsche 911s claimed the top eight places as Tuthill Porsche and Team Tido Race 4 Health dominated the leader board.
Kris Rosenberger and Nicola Bleicher head towards victory. Photos McKlein
The Silver Jubilee edition of Le Jog, the Land’s End to John O’Groats Classic Reliability Trial, was the UK’s final major classic rally of 2019, as 83 cars tackled the challenging and relentless 800-mile trek up the length of Great Britain.
The Porsche 356 of German crew Thomas Lundt and Dirk Adam makes a splash. Photos Will Broadhead Courtesy HERO
Perhaps perceiving a gap in the litany of quality historic car events in Italy, MM Srl, the organisers of the Mille Miglia since 2013, decided to turn their hand to running a winter rally in early December, travelling through no fewer than four countries during its four days.
This ambitious schedule involved a long counter-clockwise route starting in Brescia and heading towards the Trentino with the first night-stop at Bressanone or Brixen, depending upon your allegiances. After a brief doubling back the route headed east over the Passo Del Brennero, into Austria to finish the second day at Seefeld in the Tirol.
Winners Antonino Margiotta and Guido Urbino (Volvo PV444). Photos Couertesy 1000Miglia
Nearly 90 cars are already entered for the 12th Flying Scotsman from the Endurance Rally Association. The three day rally for pre-war cars runs from 3-5 April and takes crews from Chester to the Gleneagles Hotel near Perth in southern Scotland. Among the entries are Will Onions and vintage radiator expert Rob Smith, best known for rallying Ford Escort Mk2s. They will compete in a 1934 MG Magnette K3 that Onions recently added to his stable. It will be their first experience of such an event.
Photo Gerard Brown Courtesy ERA
The Modena Cento Ore is 20-years-old, and to celebrate, a special 20th anniversary edition is planned for 2-7 June, featuring a long-awaited departure from the Eternal City. Competitors will spend two nights in Rome and two nights in Florence with, as always, the prize-giving and final night in Modena. Circuits next year will be Vallelunga, Magione, Mugello and Imola and Luigi Orlandini and his team at Canossa Events have promised “some new, great special stages.” With both competition and regularity categories for cars up to the ‘80s (Period I), a ‘50s drum-braked sports car class with its own classification and special prizes was introduced last year to try to encourage more early cars. Previous entrants took priority until 31 October, and entries are now open to all online at www.modenacentooreclassic.it.