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The annual Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix was organised on its traditional first weekend of August date by CEO Jens Peter Lange and his team with the sporting side of things run under the Automobil Sports Klubben Hedeland for the 19th time. Once run in the Tivoli Gardens in Denmark’s capital, this was the seventh event on the Bellahöj Park Circuit, which in a huge undertaking has to be built up over two days before the race and dismantled afterwards, requiring over 4000 concrete blocks, and the construction of several bridges. There was fine weather over the weekend and over 44,000 spectators turned up to the enjoy the event.
Jac Nelleman drove his Volpini in the first Formula Junior race and switched to his Alfa Dana in the second. Photos Daniel Slater
The Circuit des Remparts will this year celebrate 50 years since the first ‘Circuit Automobile des Remparts’ at Angoulême with a re-evocation of that original grid. Run in 1939 as two qualifying heats of 40-laps each, followed by a final of 70 laps, it was hardly surprising there were a number of DNFs behind eventual winner Raymond Sommer in an Alfa Romeo 308, the only truly modern GP car to have competed.
This year’s event will feature many favourites, such as the Bugatti races, this year split into two categories, for four and eight and cylinder cars. Other pre-war grids will include pre-war GP racers and there will also be a grid for Edwardian cars. Post-war cars will run in two grids, for cars up to 1965 and for cars up to 1976. In addition, numerous demos and themed runs are planned.
As usual there will be the Concours d’Élégance and the Concours d’État and the International rally, all culminating on Sunday when the streets are closed and the racing takes place in front of packed grandstands. Dates this year are 13-15 September. For once it doesn’t clash with Spa Six Hours, which has moved to 27-29 September this year, but it does clash with the Goodwood Revival.
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
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.
Lyn St James crashed James Heck’s Corvette out of a star-studded Charity Pro-Am race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the weekend of 3-4 August. The seven-time Indy 500 starter and prominent sports car racer sustained minor injuries during the crash and was kept overnight in hospital as a precaution. “St. James said. “I’m really thankful that all of the safety equipment that I wore and what was on the car functioned as it was designed to. I am walking away from a pretty big hit.”
Willy T. finally won the Pro-Am race at Indianapolis Photo Courtesy SVRA
The race was won by Willy T. Ribbs and Edward Savadjian in a Duntov-prepared 1969 Corvette A Production racer, Ribbs’ first Sportscar Vintage Racing Association pro-am win after seven tries. After a close battle Geoff Brabham had taken the lead of the 50-minute race until a belt broke in his similar Corvette, shutting off his power steering and rendering the car undrivable.
“We were having a great duel with Geoff, and I honestly feel for him,” Ribbs said from the podium. “We had the deal here all but closed the last two years and then something always happened. There’s no place like the Speedway. Anytime you win here, it’s a terrific day.”