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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.