The Magazine

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

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The Magazine

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Coupe Suisse des Rallyes Historique

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.

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Coupe Suisse des Rallyes Historique

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Le Jog 2020

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

MAGAZINE  > RALLY NEWS > Coppa Delle Alpi 2020

Peter Collins went along to test the first winter rally from the organisers of the Mille Miglia

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

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Flying Scotsman

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

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Flying Scotsman

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Cento Ore Anniversary Edition

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.

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Cento Ore Anniversary Edition

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Marathon de la Route

Photo Courtesy Marathon de la Route

The 2020 edition of the Marathon de la Route will run from June 13 to 16 across the Bourgogne-Franche Comté, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Occitani regions of France. The route will cover 1800km including 50 regularity sections. “The course will be completely new, with two short loops on Saturday and Monday, 99.9% of paved roads and less than 100 kilometres of highway to bypass the centre of major cities on the course,” said organiser Joseph Lambert. “When imagining this route, we wanted to focus on some of the highlights of the history of motor sport in France.”

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Marathon de la Route

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > 2020 British Rally Championship

The 2020 calendar for the Motorsport UK British Historic Rally Championship has been unveiled.  The schedule grows from seven to eight events and takes in five gravel events and three asphalt events, including two closed-road rallies.  The Jim Clark Rally returns to the calendar after a break with closed-road stages in the Scottish borders.  The Kielder Forest Rally, which replaces the former Pirelli Rally, will run in late April in the North Tyne Valley.

Dates are: March 28, Rally North Wales; April 25, Kielder Forest Rally; May 29-30, Jim Clark Rally; June 14, Red Kite Stages; July 26, Harry Flatters Rally; August 22, Ulster Rally; September 25-26, Trackrod Rally; and October 24, Carlisle Stages.

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > 2020 British Rally Championship

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > Tour de Corse Historique

Frédéric Lombarde Reports 
from the Ile de Beauté

Over the last 19 years, the Tour de Corse Historique has become a major event on the French and international historic rally calendar, and many drivers, including many with great past rally successes to their names, continue to return to the legendary Corsican stages.  After a first day of technical inspections and a short shakedown stage in the wet, the sun came out on 8 October for competitors, who, for five days were to rally over some 900kms and 16 special stages totalling 350kms on a route that is altered each year.  Eighty-eight cars in competition and 61 in regularity delighted the enthusiastic Corsican public, who never seem to tire of lining the road to admire and listen to the melodious song of cars from the glory years of rallying in Corsica.

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Rally Of The Tests

Paul Lawrence Reports on the event 
that recalls the RAC Rally of the ‘50s

Heavy rain, snow, ice and bright sunshine ensured that the 2019 Rally of the Tests was a big challenge for around 80 crews during three full days of classic rallying from Torquay to Chester on 7-10 November.

Steve Entwistle and Mark Appleton led from start to  nish in thier Mini Cooper S.  Photos Paul Lawrence

Through it all, the Mini Cooper S of Steve Entwistle and Mark Appleton dominated the action with neither crew member faltering as the Mini led from the short prologue section on Thursday evening.  As the overall awards are restricted to pre-1968 cars, the overall runners-up were GT racer and Porsche expert Phil Hindley and his co-driver Martyn Taylor (Porsche 911). 

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > FIA rally action in Italy

Rally Alpi Orientali and Rally Elba Storico

The late summer heralded two Italian asphalt rounds of the FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship, the Rally Alpi Orientali Historic, on 28-30 August in the north east of the country and the 31st Rally Elba Storico on 19-21 September on the spectacular island of Elba. On both events, the competition over special stages on closed public roads was fierce across the four age-based categories.

Paul Lawrence Reports

In Category 1 for pre 1970 cars, it was local crew Antonio Parisi and Giuseppe D’Angelo (Porsche 911S) who claimed maximum points on both events to take top spot of the category.  The big challenge to the Porsche regularly comes from Ernie and Karen Graham in their 1600cc Ford Escort Mk1 twin-cam. The UK husband and wife crew suffered from brake issues on day one of the Alpi Orientali but fought back on day two to finish third in class.

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Preview: Mille Miglia 2020

Organisers of this oversubscribed event are inviting anyone who wishes to participate in next year’s re-enactment of the race from Brescia to Rome and back again, to register at www.registro1000miglia.it. Dates next year are 13-16 May.

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Preview: Mille Miglia 2020

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Preview: Maroc Historic 2020

Entries are now open for this extraordinary competitive Moroccan adventure, which next year will take place much earlier than its usual end of April date. The 11th edition of the Maroc Historic will run from 2-7 March and organiser, Yves Loubet says this is to take advantage of better weather.

The road book will be officially released in mid-January once the route permits have been validated by the authorities. The three main regions crossed by the rally will be Marrakech, Essaouira and Sidi Ifni. See www.yl-historicrallyevents.com for entry forms.

Photo Courtesy Maroc Historic

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Preview: Maroc Historic 2020

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Jimmy McRae Tops Historics in Wales

Former five-time British Rally Champion Jimmy McRae used all his experience and pace as his Porsche 911RS finished leading historic car on the national section of Wales Rally GB in early October.

Three weeks before his 76th birthday McRae drove the car, owned by Brian Bell and prepared by Richard Lepley’s Prepfab operation, over the first two full days of Wales Rally GB, Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship. In the historic specification Porsche McRae tackled challenging conditions over classic Welsh forest stages like Hafren and Penmachno as heavy rain soaked the gravel tracks.

Tough going for 76 year-old McRae. Photo Paul Lawrence 

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Launch of the Historic Regularity Challenge

The Spanish rally organisation RACC and Belgian organiser Ypres Historic Rally have reached an agreement to create the “Historic Regularity Challenge” for 2020. The aim is to promote two of the most interesting regularity events with a history in Europe: The Catalunya Rally and the Ypres Rally.

The winner of the Rally Catalunya Històric 2020, which takes place next year on 28-29 February, will get a free entry for the Ypres Historic Regularity Rally 2020, to be staged on 28-29 November, and the winning crew of the Belgian race will get a free Premium (all included) entry for the Rally Catalunya Històric 2021.

The winner of the Rally Catalunya Històric 2020 will get a free entry for the Ypres Historic Regularity Rally.  Photo Courtesy Rally Classics

All crews participating in both rallies will score towards the Historic Regularity Challenge and the number of points will be those of the position in the final classification of each rally. The overall winner of the Historic Regularity Challenge will get a free entry for the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique 2021.  See http://rallyclassics.club for more information.

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Launch of the Historic Regularity Challenge

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Mecsek Rallye Hungary

2019 FIA Historic Rally Championship Ultimate Round

Lucky and Pons top FIA standings as 2019 Champions are Decided

Paul Lawrence Reports

Italian veteran ‘Lucky’ and his hugely experienced co-driver Fabrizia Pons were top scorers on the 53rd Mecsek Rallye in Hungary to finish the season as Category 4 champions in the FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship.

In a dramatic final round for the pan-European FIA-sanctioned special stage rally championship, their Lancia Delta Integrale moved back to the head of Category 4 (pre ’92) as former leaders Will Graham and Michael Johnston retired their BMW M3 mid-rally with alternator problems. ‘Lucky’ emerged as the only category champion not using a Porsche 911.

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Winter Driving Fun

Neige et Glace - 26-29 JANUARY

 

A rich and sportive history

Created in 1953 the Rallye Neige et Glace quickly became an unmissable event for the factory teams, keen on settling the score after the Monte-Carlo Rally.  Gérard Larousse,

Bob Neyret, Jean-Claude Andruet and Jean Vinatier, in particular, are associated with the rally,  considered by some to be even more challenging than the Monte.  

The 2020 edition, will go back to its previous format, which commences with a meet at Sochaux at the Peugeot Adventure Museum for technical and administrative checks, before a  first night stage to Malbuisson, rally headquarters for the next three days.  Route masterminds Patrick Zaniroli and Alain Lopes have devised three loops using the winding roads along the Swiss border between the Doubs and the Jura and have increased the number of regularity zones to eight per day and minimized the untimed miles on the open road.  With a return each night to the comfort of the Hotel du Lac in Malbuisson, organisers also offer a ‘Randonnée’ category, for those who want to join the party without the stress of being timed.  Classes go from 1946 to 4 x 4s up to 1993, but most participants take cars of the ‘60s and early ’70s.  Entry forms can be downloaded at www.zaniroli.com and there are discounts for early entries.

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > East African Safari

Coming soon (November 27-December 6) is the big one – The Safari Rally.  First run in 2003, the legendary East African Safari Classic Rally now run biennially, is a nine-day event covering some 5,000 kilometres through Kenya and Tanzania, rekindling the spirit of the original Safari Rally, which put East Africa on the motorsport map and earned an unassailable reputation as the world’s toughest rally.

Photo McKlein Images

Open to two-wheel drive, normally aspirated, FIA rally cars built before 1986, Safari Classic is a true adventure and replicates the challenge of the original Safari, travelling through the East African landscape, passing through famous game parks and overnighting at many of the finest lodges in the cradle of Africa.

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  Lahti  Historic Rally

Round 6 of the 2019 FIA Championship was held in Finland on August 9-10.  The Lahti Historic Rally is the only gravel rally on the calendar and invokes memories of the legendary Thousand Lakes.  Won on the road by Finns Antero Laine and Topi Luhtinen in an Audi Quattro, with Esa Peltonen and Jyrki Saarto in second place in their the Toyota Starlet 1300 and the first EHSRC entrant across the finish line, the Toyota was 1m03.5secs behind the Audi and 9.9 seconds ahead of the Audi Quattro of ‘Zippo’ and Nicola Arena, the Italians finishing third overall and second in the EHSRC contest.   However, in post event scrutineering the Finnish Audi was disqualified for technical reasons, leaving the two Championship contenders first and second overall, as well as first and second in Category 3 of the Championship. 

Overall winners Esa Peltonen and Jyrki Saarto in their Toyota Starlet1300 were also the  first European Championship contenders across the line.  Photos Jarmo K Mäki / @JamoPic.Photography

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Tour De Corse Historique

Entry demand is strong for the 2019 Tour de Corse, which will kick off on October 7 with a shakedown stage in Porto-Vecchio before setting off on a new five-day route that will take in some 840kms and 17 special closed road timed stages, with night stops this year in Porto-Vecchio, Saint-Florent, Calvi and Ajaccio before returning to Porto-Vecchio.  Regularly attracting a who’s who of historic rallying, providing fierce competition at the top of the leaderboard, the event also attracts a multitude of drivers with more modest ambitions and abilities in a wide variety of cars, old and not so old, who just want to drive on the classic Corsican stages in what is some of the most stunning scenery in Europe.  With competition and regularity classes, the entry is limited to 250 cars and is usually over-subscribed.  For cars up to 1990 with HTPs or technical passports divided into age categories, there is a discounted entry fee for cars under 1300cc (Mini drivers take note).  There is also a legend class for early post-war cars from 1947.  Entries can be made through www.tourdecorse-historique.com or an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. will get you an entry form.

 

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Tour De Corse Historique

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  Midnattssolsrallyt

Rådström Reigns on the Road....

Fastest from the off,  Arne Rådström dominated Sweden’s most important historic rally, the KAK Midnight Sun Rally, in his Volvo 262 at the head of a highly competitive 130-car field, finishing each of the three days, from July 10 to 13, in the lead.  But, after 900kms and over 150 stage kilometres, the Volvo driver was disqualified for a technical infringement, which was upheld after appeal.

This gave second on the road Patrik Dybeck and Jonny Norling the victory in their Opel Kadett GSI over the Volvo 242 of class-winning Harry Joki and Tony Sundkvist by a margin of 23 seconds.   An expected podium place for Ola Axelsson evaporated on the final day when he was sidelined with clutch problems in his Volvo 244, gifting the place to Mikael Wisti’s Volvo 240.  A worthy fifth were reigning European rally champions Mats Myrsell and Esko Juntilla in their Porsche 911 RS, who also won their class.  

Fastest from the start, Arne and Dennis Rådström were disqualified for a technical infringement in their
Volvo 262 SE

MAGAZINE  >  RALLY NEWS  > Liège-Brescia-Liège 2019

Organised by Malcolm McKay’s ClassicRallyPress organisation, this year’s Liège-Brescia-Liège Rally for Triumph TRs in July saw 26 TRs from 1953 to 1976 take part.  The rally closely followed its original 1958 route but was split over 10 days instead of the original continuous 60hrs with just one 8hr break.  Still formulated as a navigational endurance challenge, with three circuit tests, drivers were offered the possibility to drive the rally as a tour, but none of the TR owners were interested in that option, all battling to find the route controls and win at least a class award, if not win overall. 

The route headed over the Belgian Ardennes into Germany and the Dolomites, crossing Austria to Italy then headed east into Slovenia and over the challenging Vrsic pass before dropping down to Ljubljana, where a day’s break allowed competitors to service their cars and visit the city.

The weather was superb throughout – making the scenery all the more stunning and the roads more enjoyable. 

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > Rallye Weiz Historic 2019

FIA Historic Rally Championship

‘Lucky’ and Fabrizia Pons have continued their winning streak in the European Historic Rally Championship in their Lancia Delta Integrale 16V with a storming drive on the Rally Weiz Historic, winning all but two of the 14 special stages in the Austrian round of the Championship on the weekend of 18-20 July.  

Second overall and  rst in Category 3 ‘Zippo’ and Denis Piceno took maximum championship points

The first day already saw the Italian pair with a lead of 1m25.2s ahead of their nearest rivals and well ahead of the second placed Category 4 competitor after the Porsche 911 SC of championship leaders Mats Mysell and Esko Juntilla suffered a technical problem on the fourth stage of the day.

Historic Tour

Postponed for three months but fortunately saved, the Historic Tour d’Albi (also called “3ème Grand Prix Historique d’Albi” this year) kicked off the French Historic Circuit Championships on 17-19 July with hope and relief for over 200  drivers.

With the country still subject to “post-containment” health rules linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Albigensian meeting was a milestone in the resumption of automobile sport in France, as the first major competition of the year of any motor sport discipline.  “Our meeting is the first French Championship event to be organised this year and thanks to everyone’s efforts, we even have the chance to welcome spectators.  For months, it has been our role to find solutions to get back to work as soon as possible.  Without ever giving up, we all fought for this, our team, our volunteers, our partners.  The circuit of Albi has constantly responded to put in place all possible operating modes and our status as federal promoter has enabled us to benefit from close monitoring by the FFSA and its President,” remarked organiser Laurent Vallery-Masson of HVM Racing.

Reigning French champion Frédéric Rouvier was untouchable in the F3 races in his March 783 

But there is no doubt that grid numbers were down, with most races fielding fewer than 20 cars and some even less than 10.

2020 marks the sixth edition of the French Historic Circuits Championship (the Historic Tour), which set itself the mission in 2015 of reviving nearly half a century of motor racing for the most representative competition cars of the ‘50s to the ‘90s.  With all the French Championships series present, most with two races, and guest grid Legends Cars Cup, there were 23 separate races on the timetable over the weekend.

The Maxi 1300 duel between Laurent Majou and Philippe Gandini, back in his Jem GT, was unfortunately cut short

Double winners were Matthieu Châteaux (Debora SP91 BMW) in the SportsProtosCup races, Frédéric Rouvier aboard his new March 783 Toyota in F3 Classic, Swiss racer Christian Vaglio Giors in Formula Renault, Laurent Sabatier in the GT Classic race driving his Porsche 993, Florian Cabarrou, who performed flawlessly to take two wins in the GTI Cup and Jose Beltramelli, who won two thin ASAVÉ 65 heats.

Father and son Ghislain and Guillaume Gaubert took their family Porsche 911 2.8 RSR to victory in two races at the head of an even thinner grid for ASAVÉ 75, while Florian Cabarrou dominated the two Roadster Pro Cup races on a shared grid with the Youngtimers GTI Cup.  The Honda Civics of brothers Fabien Julia and Franck Quagliozzi put on a great display of spirited racing at the front of the GTI field, fighting wheel to wheel in both races, with both results decided in favour of Quagliozzi.

 

Ghislain and Guillaume Gaubert dominated two ASAVÉ Racing 75 races in their 911 RSR Porsche

Jérôme Policand, coming back to the Formula Ford of his beginnings (vice-champion of France in 1986 and boss of the prestigious Akka-ASP team), put the cat amongst the pigeons in Formula Ford Historic, winning the first race with championship leader François Belle on his heels.  He would have won the second race too, but a penalty dropped him down the order. 

To read all about it, see our September issue

Photos Guy Pawlak

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > French Championships – Season Opener!

 

Paul Lawrence Reports

 Masters boldly took a date on the third weekend of the UK’s belated racing season and ran most of its key categories including F1, Historic Sports Cars and Endurance Legends.  For both F1 and Historic Sports Cars, these were the first qualifying rounds for the 2020 FIA Championships.  In truth, the competitor response was mixed, with some fair grids and others that were down in numbers.  Clearly, COVID-induced limitations on travel took its toll, with no American racers able to attend and, though UK quarantine rules were changed considerably on the run-up to the event, the news came too late for many mainland European racers to make plans.

Nevertheless, everyone was pleased to be back on track and there was some excellent racing across two mainly dry days.  There was even a better-than-expected spectator turn-out as racing-starved fans took the chance to see some glorious machinery.  The Masters team was understandably pleased with progress and was rightly expecting more competitors for its following date at Brands Hatch in mid-August. 

 

Will Nuthall trailed the entire  eld into Redgate but charged through the pack in the rain to take the lead from Sam Wilson

A dozen Historic F1 cars went out for qualifying, which featured three red flags in the first 15 minutes.  The sight of a driver walking down the pit lane carrying his car’s rear wing is never a good sign and this time it was Masters boss Ron Maydon who had damaged both the rear of his LEC CRP1 against the large Recticel barriers that now mark the clipping points at the chicane.  Efforts to get the car fixed for Sunday failed and so the grid was down to 11 cars.

 

Michael Lyons, in the non-ground-effect Hesketh, led Canttillon in the early stages of both F1 races, but ultimately had to give way to the newer car

But there was still a mighty spectacle in both races as Michael Lyons (Hesketh 308) turned in two fine performances in a bid to contain the ground-effect cars of Cantillon (ex-Carlos Reutemann/Keke Rosberg Williams FW07C) and Steve Hartley (McLaren MP4/1).

While Lyons was denied a second race win within a week, Jonathan Mitchell was not after adding to his Brands Hatch Thundersports win with victory in the Masters Historic Sports Cars race in his Chevron B19.  However, in the opening stages of a race of attrition, it seemed that third would be his lot.

 

The Historic Touring Car race featured three Ford Mustangs disputing the lead

Although his Lola T70 faltered in the sports car race when in the lead, Gary Pearson did not leave Donington empty-handed, as he went solo to win Saturday’s 90-minute Gentleman Drivers’ race in a Jaguar E-type.  The original plan was for him to share both cars with Alex Brundle but the re-scheduled European Le Mans Series race at Paul Ricard put paid to that idea.

The HGPCA Pre ’66 Grand Prix car contenders suffered the only rain of the weekend with a track that got quite wet before starting to dry again in the later stages.  That didn’t trouble Will Nuthall, who started his Cooper T53 from the pit lane and charged through the pack to take over the lead from Sam Wilson in the ex-Dave Charlton Lotus 20/22, newly converted back to F1 trim with a 1500cc twin-cam engine.

 

Tom Bradshaw (Chevron B19) and Gary Pearson (Lola T70) led until both were out with mechanical issues, handing Sports Car victory to Jonathan Mitchell (Chevron B19 No 71)

The Historic Touring Car race featured three Ford Mustangs disputing the lead, with Nigel Greensall charging into the front in David Gooding’s car.  But when Greensall handed the car over to the less experienced Gooding with a 27sec lead after the pitstop, the latter was mercilessly hunted down by Craig Davies.

Photos Eric Sawyer

 For a full report, see out September issue

 

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > Master Historic Festival Donington

Postponed from its original April date the Dix Mille Tours event finally took place on the weekend 24-26 July under a glorious Provençal sun, launching the start of the 2020 Peter Auto season.   The long wait meant that the resumption of racing was all the more appreciated by those who were able to take part – drivers, team members, services, the organisers and the public included – with everyone respecting the health measures in force.  Formula Junior Driver Carlo Maria del Conte said about the event, “Great race weekend!  It was exciting to be back on track after the lockdown in such a beautiful international event.  Stunning cars, good races and friendly people!”

Maris (Ford Escort RS 1600) in the Heritage Touring Cup race

Nine Peter Auto grids told the history of motor sport:  Fifties’ Legends; Sixties’ Endurance; 2.0L Cup; Classic Endurance Racing I & II; Endurance Racing Legends; Group C Racing; Heritage Touring Cup; The Greatest’s Trophy and, as guest grid, the Eric Offenstadt Cup, a joint double-header for Formula Junior and F3 screamers.   In all, more than 350 cars took part in the races.  There was also a large club presence and over 380 historic cars turned up and were displayed on the infield and took part in track runs, making it more than 700 marvellous machines on site.  In all, the event can only be classified as a resounding success, given that normally this time of year would be off-limits for French organisers, who avoid the family holiday season, and the residual reluctance of some teams to travel outside of their own countries.

In CER 2 Maxime Guenat took his Lola T298 across the line pursued by a penalised Yves Scemmama. Photoclassicracing

The weekend’s winners included Dirk Ebeling and Christian Bouriez, both in Bizzarrinis, taking a heat each in the Greatests’ Trophy.  Star of the show, however, was Marco Werner driving the Tojeiro EE Ford, who only failed to win the first race because of mechanical problems that finally manifested themselves in the second race with a big bang on the Mistral Straight, sending the car off the track and into the wall!   

Ivan Vercoutere (Porsche 962) was king in the first Group C race, after the Jaguar XJR14 of main rival Christophe d’Ansembourg stopped with only a few minutes left to run.  In the second race he was pipped on the line by the similar 962 C of Michel Lecourt.

Jeremy Timms was the class of the Eric Offenstadt Cup races.  Photoclassicracing

The Sixties’ Endurance two-hour race turned out to be a race of contrition, with 63 cars qualifying and 38 crossing the finishing line.  At their head was the Shelby Cobra of Urs Beck and Patrick Simon, though Christophe Van Riet took fastest ap in the Cobra he shared with Damien Kohler, the pair placing second.

The one-hour Classic Endurance racing 1 race saw David Hart run clear into the lead after the demise of Marc Devis’ McLaren M8C, while in Classic Endurance 2 Yves Scemama took his TOJ SC 304 to a 17-second lead at the flag, but sadly was penalised 33 seconds for a yellow flag infringement, leaving Maxime Guenat victor in his Lola T298.

Maris (Ford Escort RS 1600) in the Heritage Touring Cup race.  Photo Reynaud Guillaume

The one-make two litre Porsche Cup 90-minute race saw Richard Cook and Harvey Stanley emerge victorious, ahead of a relentless Philippe de Craene. Christophe Van Riet took his Ford Capri 3100 RS to pole in qualifying for the Heritage Touring Cup and went on to be the class of the race, immediately opening up a gap of 1.5 seconds to nearest rival Michael Erlich in his BMW 3.0 CSL, who beat arch-rival Christian Traber to second.

New grid for Peter Auto, Fifties Legends saw a good turnout for its inaugural 45-minute race.  Led by Jean-Marc Avezou in an Austin Healey 3000, then by Eugène Deleplanque in his TVR Grantura when the Healey stuck trouble, the race was eventually won by the Lotus Elite of David Clark and Pascal Pandelaar, after the two top runners were penalised for pit stop infringements.

Photo Reynaud Guillaume Courtesy Peter Auto

With no Lurani Trophy Championship this year, the Formula Juniors teamed up with F3 1000cc cars for the “Eric Offenstadt Cup”, a race dedicated to the eclectic French F3 driver of the ‘60s.   Jeremy Timms dominated two 25-minute races with lights to flag victories in his Chevron B1, with fellow F3 driver Christoph Widmer second both times.  Third place and victory in the FJ class went to Tommaso Gelmini in the Branca.

Christophe d’Ansembourg led the  first Group C race in his Jaguar XJR14, but stopped just a couple of laps from the end, handing  first place to Ivan Vercoutere in his 962 Porsche.  Photo Morgan Mathurin Courtesy Circuit Paul Ricard

For a full report of the weekend’s racing, see out September issue…

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > Dix Mille Tours

The 2020 AvD-Oldtimer-Grand- Prix, which took place in low-key pandemic conditions, was nonetheless a  success for organisers and the drivers of some 300 cars.  It wasn’t easy for the organisers, without whose hard work the event wouldn’t have happened.  They were even given permission to accept 5000 spectators per day, though fans were not allowed into the paddock this time.  It was the first German sporting event of the year at which spectators were allowed.

“We are proud that we were able to welcome spectators this weekend”, commented Ludwig Fürst zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg, President of the AvD.  “We are pleased about the approval from the authorities and thank everyone involved for the constructive cooperation.”  Accompanied by great media interest, the concept was disciplined and implemented consistently.  “We are aware that we were pioneers this weekend and were the focus of attention.  We succeeded in something that was previously not possible and I hope that we have been able to pave the way for other major events,” he added.  The whole event was live-streamed and organisers claim they had 350,000 viewings.

As no press was admitted, we have published a brief report in our September issue based on press releases and participant comments.

Start of the Rennsport Meisterschaft

Amongst the event highlights was a new feature, Formula 1 Legends, which included a display of F1 Ferraris of the 1970s to the 1990s.  Guest of honour Jacky Ickx climbed back into the cockpit for a demo of the Ferrari 312 B3 in which he won the 1972 German Grand Prix at the ‘Ring, while four-time Le Mans winner Marco Werner presented a Lotus 77 John Player Special in the same run, and René Arnoux also took to the track.

Many former DTM stars such as Harald Grohs, Leopold Prinz von Bayern and Marc Hessel competed in the colourful Tourenwagen Classics

Last run four years ago, the AvD Historic Marathon was scheduled to make its return this year, this time in collaboration with the FHR who would have guaranteed sufficient numbers on the grid.  Sadly this much-anticipated three-hour race on the Nordschleife had to be cancelled, but it was replaced by the two-hour AvD / Dunlop Historic Endurance Cup on Sunday morning on the GP circuit.

Pre-war cars were represented in demonstration runs, and a good many turned up to enjoy their time on the circuit.

Amongst them was Ulrich Sauer who has attended every Oldtimer Grand Prix since the beginning, this being the 48th time. He was there with his 23-year old granddaughter Anna Schneider, who shares the driving in the family 328 BMW.

All Photos Courtesy AvD

For our fuller report see our September issue

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > 48th AvD-Oldtimer Grand Prix

As in the UK, the weekend of 11-12 July saw the re-start for historic racing in Italy.  Imola was the venue and, along with the first round of the Gruppo Peroni Italian Historic Championships, the Alfa Revival Cup cars were on the programme.  Thirty cars for the Championship and 19 Alfas – fewer than usual as tentative competitors ventured out after a particularly traumatic time in Italy - were out on track at the Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit.  Three free practice sessions gave them ample opportunity to get back into the rhythm after a long winter and a cancelled spring.

Although the drivers were greeted with hot sunshine, an unfortunate incident marred everyone’s enjoyment.  At the end of the third practice session, Andrea Manzoni of the Scuderia Clemente Biondetti suffered a heart attack while slowly driving back to the paddock and, although promptly rescued and transported by helicopter to the Maggiore hospital of Bologna, the Florentine driver sadly could not be saved.  When the terrible news arrived in the paddock, it created much emotion, but the drivers took the decision to honour Andrea’s immense passion for motorsport by carrying on with the race weekend, though the mood was understandably less buoyant than it would have otherwise been at the re-start of racing after such a long hiatus.

 

A very tight qualifying session, especially at the sharp end, took place with a summer thunderstorm rapidly approaching the circuit.   Davide Bertinelli and Antonio Crescenti took pole in a GTAM, but only 4 thousandths of a second ahead of the GTA 1600 Group 4 of Giovanni Serio and Francesco Pantaleo.  Third was German Jürgen Ludwig in a beautiful GTA 1600 Group 2.  In the GT Veloce 2000cc Group 1 class Luigi Mercatali was the one to beat, followed by Andrea Guarino/Bruno Ferrari.  Amongst the oldest cars of the field, the Giulietta Spider Veloce of the Renzo and Raffaele Raimondi father and son team would start in front.

 

Davide Bertinelli and Antonio Crescenti took pole in their GTAM with some spirited driving, and easily won the race when their main opposition faded

As the green lights went on and the  60-minute race  began, the first one to fall was the GTAM of Umberto Bartolucci who retired with an engine problem and, on the second lap the same thing happened to the Alfetta GTV 6 of Amerigo Bigliazzi/Bruno Mazzuoli.  The retirement of the Serio/Pantaleo car on lap six robbed the race of the only serious rival to Bertinelli/Crescenti, who increased their margin to the end.   Another German driver, Michael Vos in a GTAM, had to start at the back of the grid due to technical problems in qualifying.  Had he started at the front, things may have been different.  As it was, he worked his way through the field to finish second.   Ludwig, having lost many positions at the start, came back to finish fifth.  An excellent performance by Roberto Restelli and Luigi Panini confirmed their third place achieved in qualifying, while Mercatali held on to the GTV Grp 1 class, followed by Gimignani.

 

 

The all-important Index of Performance victory went to Roberto Lonardi and Romolo Raimondi in a Giulietta Spider Veloce after Renzo Raimondi was given a 25-second penalty for colliding with the Giulietta Ti of Marco Milla on the last lap. 

Denny Zardo and Giovanni Ambroso took overall honours and class 4 in the Italian Championship in their BMW 323i, while Riccardo Lodi took the ‘60s win with his 1300 Alfa GT.

 Photos Courtesy GPS Classic

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > Alfa Revival Cup – Imola

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > Celebrating Colin McRae - Chester Rally Revival

Paul Lawrence Reports

A new event to celebrate rallying heritage ran successfully but in a fairly low-key way at the end of February when the inaugural Chester Rally Revival marked the 25th anniversary of one of the biggest moments in the career of Colin McRae.

The idea was to send a gaggle of cars and crews on a tour of Cheshire and Shropshire, taking in venues with RAC Rally heritage.  It was not competitive, but some spirited driving kept the fans nicely entertained and it turned out to be a real hit with participants and spectators alike.

The field was headed by Colin’s father Jimmy

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motor Sport

Report by Neil Hammond

Phillip Island’s annual Motor Sport Festival on 5-8 March again provided the country’s best historic race meet with, as usual, nearly 500 entries.  While overseas entries were down compared to recent years, the gathering of cars from all parts of Australia was again the opportunity to see a vast number of cars that otherwise never run together on the same track.  In an arrangement between British Brian Souley Motorsport and local Ecurie Australie/Davisons Formula Ford team, four local cars were driven by overseas drivers, Richard “Bulldog” Tarling,  Adrian Reynard in a Reynard of course, Frenchman  Xavier Michel and Dutch KLM pilot Jaap Blijleven.  Brian Soule has hopes to extend Formula Ford swap deals to involve other countries in future.  Luke Ellery motorsport entered Chris Hodgen, while further British deal drivers were Martin Whitlock and Donald Boyack.

Guido Belgiorno-Nettis brought two Ferraris.  Photo Shaun Tanner

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > Retromobile Paris

John Whiteman went to the top exhibition of the classic car world

 

Photos Eric Sawyer

The event that kicks off the European season each year, Salon Retromobile, took place over 5 days, from 5-9 February, in the 75,000 square metres of Paris Expo at Porte de Versailles 44 years after it was started by Marc Nicolosi whose passing was recorded in the January/February issue of Historic Motor Racing News.  Sadly, apart from a brief mention in the official guide, no further tribute was paid at the show, which until last year has been run for events company Comexposium by Nicolosi’s right hand man at the very beginning, François Melcion.

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > Taupo Historic Grand Prix

New Zealand Clean Sweep and Lap Record for Michael Lyons

Visiting UK driver Michael Lyons (Lola T400) roared to an SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series clean sweep at the annual Taupo Historic GP on the weekend of 18-19 January, the series’ second meeting of the 2019-2020 season.

After claiming pole in qualifying on Saturday morning, then smashing category stalwart Ken Smith’s F5000 class lap record on the way to a dominant win in the first race on Saturday afternoon, Lyons went on to win the two Sunday races, all from fellow young gun and series leader, Michael Collins (McRae GM1) from Christchurch.

Photos Fast Company/Graham Hughes

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > 19th Passion For Speed - Zwartkops & Killarney, South Africa

South Africa’s historic racing scene is vibrant, colourful, relaxed and proudly independent of institutional red tape.  The focus and cars are, in the main, very different from those in other theatres of warfare.  They, not to mention the promise of winter sunshine, attract British, European and American competitors year after year. Marcus Pye ‘Brexited’ from the UK early to experience February’s 19th Passion for Speed events.

 An inspired Andrew Beaumont (Lotus 18) staved off Will Nuthall (Cooper T53) to record a superb maiden HGPCA victory at Killarney.  Photo Colin Brown

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