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

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The Magazine

Historic Sportscar Racing is making some alterations to the groupings at this year’s Daytona Classic with the division of Group E into two distinct classes, each featuring modern but retired prototypes and GT cars from this century.  Group E remains the place for Audi R8, Pescarolo Judd, Peugeot 908 and Lola B07 LMP race cars that compete in the group with Daytona Prototype International (DPi), LMP2 race cars and others just past their prime, but the split paves the way for Oreca FLM09 Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) “PC” cars and Gen 2 and Gen 3 Daytona Prototypes to compete for overall honours in a move to completely restructure Group F.  Still current in their appeal but no longer eligible in contemporary racing series, the “DP” and “PC” cars will compete in Group F against retired LMP2 cars of the same era.

 

Daytona Prototypes and LMPC cars have become quite popular with HSR competitors in recent years

MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > Tour Auto 2020

Dates for next year’s Tour Auto have been announced as 20-25 April.  Each year a marque or type of car is favoured and next year will be the turn of the roadgoing Porsche Prototypes to take priority for entries.  Expect to see 550 sypders, 904 GTS, Carrera Abarth and more.  The itinerary for next year’s event has not yet been announced, but entries for this oversubscribed event can be made on the Peter Auto website:  peterauto.peter.fr.

MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > Tour Auto 2020

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.”

Prescott is the great early August annual social occasion for VSCC members with the Orchard car park as full of desirable motor cars as is the competitors’ paddock.    Rileys are always well represented and with the grandson of founder William, and son of Victor Riley, Victor Jnr in attendance, this year even more so.   The hill also finds favour with Lady drivers, often sharing with their ‘other half’ which, of course, is more difficult to do when circuit racing, and there were many among the large entry. 

This year the Alvis marque was celebrated with a special display of
road cars as well as compe  on cars such as this, the 1923 Alvis
Racing Car No.1 and the Speed 20 on the hill. Photo John Retter

Undoubtedly the major attractions at the Grand Prix Historique du Pas De Calais on 6-7 July were the two rounds of the 500 Owners Association Circuit Championship.  Many of the 500 racers are also Formula Junior drivers, and they were well represented at Croix, led by likely winner Mike Fowler (Cooper Mk 5).  Martin Sheppard (Effyh “Brynfan Tydfyn“), Xavier Kingsland (Staride Mk3), Duncan Rabagliati (Comet Mk1) and Andy Rayner (Cooper) were also amongst the tourists from the other side of the Manche, while Elva 200 Lurani racer Gilbert Lenoir brought along three of his cars to race, the French built Terigi for Simon Frost, and two invitation cars, the front-engined, Monopole FJ for Jean-Luc Renard and the ex-Harry Schell 1950 Monaco F1 GP Cooper-JAP v-twin for journalist Dominique Pascal, while Goodwood French commentator, Olivier Barjon was also there in his near barn find Cooper Mk II, although not yet ready to race.

Photo Kitty Chisholm 

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  >  ZANDVOORT HISTORIC GRAND PRIX

Middlehurst and Bradshaw mirror history with victories in the dunes

Zndvoort’s eighth Historic Grand Prix event, held on September 6-8, rolled the years back beautifully to what are now considered to be golden eras of motor racing.  Hazardous years in which heroic drivers in charismatic and distinctive cars, mainly unencumbered by wings, hurtled through the dunes of the seaside town, entertaining legions of appreciative fans. 

There was symmetry in the results too.  Andy Middlehurst’s hard-won HGPCA double in a Coventry-Climax V8-engined Lotus 25 evoked memories of his idol Jim Clark’s Dutch GP wins in 1963 and ‘64, albeit outrunning Will Nuthall in a 2.5-litre Cooper T53 of the type in which Jack Brabham had won the 1960 World Championship round.

Lancastrian Tom Bradshaw’s dominant maiden FIA Masters Sportscar triumph in a Chevron-FVC B19, meanwhile, took seasoned onlookers back to September ‘71 when Red Rose Racing’s John Hine, local ace Ed Swart and his Canon Cameras team-mate John Burton drove Derek Bennett’s slippery Bolton-built creations to a resounding Trophy of the Dunes 1-2-3.  

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  >  VSCC 85th Anniversary

Brands Hatch

The venerable Vintage Sports-Car Club’s first ever race meeting at Brands Hatch was to form the centrepiece of its 85th anniversary celebrations but thanks partly to the proximity of the M25, which was supposed to make travel so much easier in the south-east of England but is fast becoming a tourniquet round London, and an unfortunate Bank Holiday timing on 24 August, the celebrations were largely cancelled.  Several events did take place in the area organised by local members and happily what was left, a sprint and race meeting over the Brands Hatch Indy circuit was blessed with glorious hot weather, a large crowd and a good entry.

Tony Lees’ AC/GN Cognac was fastest in the sprint Photos Eric Sawyer

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  >  Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2019

The 2019 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca, the scenic circuit that winds around a mountain top in the highlands just east of Monterey in California, was both a continuation of a great tradition and also a new beginning for the event.  Organisers, SCRAMP were under the direction of new CEO Tim McGrane and, while he certainly qualifies as an experienced hand, it was nevertheless the first time out of the gate for him and many new team members.  The general consensus in the paddock was that the event is in safe hands.  None of this was hurt by the fact that the Rolex feature races were favoured with great weather, sunny but cool, and that the paddock was packed with wonderful, historic cars, with some 550 racers driving cars from 1910 to 2014.

Group 2A for 1955 - 1961 Sports racers produced a great dice between the Sadler Mk IV of Greg Meyer and Fantasy Junc on’s Spencer Trenery in a Cooper Monaco. A short pace car interrup on did nothing to cool the pair’s ardour, un l Trenery’s Cooper began to fade from the lead and  nally pull o , promo ng Al Aciero (Lister Knobbly) and Rob Walton (Birdcage Masera ), who’d been having their own entertaining dice, to second and third respec vely.  Photos Eric Sawyer

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > Monterey Car Week

“Our visiting friends from Europe exclaimed, “We have nothing like it!”  Two racing weekends, four major concours and a dozen others, six auctions, several rallies, dozens of private parties and all set in one of the most spectacular seaside resorts in the world.  It attracts over 250,000 visitors and nearly 10,000 participants.”

Dan Davis of Victory Lane Magazine gives us a rundown of an intense week of activities centred on burning oil, gas and rubber...

Photo Rolex/Tom O’Neal

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > Mantorp Park Celebrating 50 years

Bengt-Åce Gustavsson Reports

The Mantorp Park racetrack in Sweden celebrated its 50th anniversary on 24-26 August together with the Racerhistoriska Klubben.  Event promoter MK Scandia managed to invite over 600 exhibition cars, and there was plenty to see throughout the weekend.  In addition to many fine display cars there were also some familiar faces, including ex-Formula 1 driver Reine Wisell who gladly shared his stories about what it was like in the good old days.

Hans Hillebrink in his Lotus 20 was one of very few Formula Junior drivers  Photos Bengt-Åce Gustavsson - www.racefoto.se

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > HSCC Oulton Park Gold Cup

Alan Cox Reports

The 18th running of the HSCC Oulton Park Gold Cup took place at the Cheshire circuit with 21 races spread over the sweltering Bank Holiday weekend of 24-26 August.  Since a Historic Gold Cup was introduced in 2016, it has been awarded to the winner of the headline single-seater race, which this year was the two-part XL Aurora series and it was fitting to see a couple of 3-litre F1 cars in the entry, along with representation from F5000 (in the 50th anniversary year of the formula’s debut race at Oulton), Formula 2 and Formula Atlantic.   

Marty Bullock’s was a popular win, the Australian taking a pukka F1 car to its rightful place on top of the Gold Cup podium.  Photos Charlie Wooding

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.

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > HSCC Croft - Retro and Classic Weekend 2019

HSCC Club racers in action at Croft

The Historic Sports Car Club’s season continued at the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire over the weekend of 3-4 August as nine of the Club’s categories provided some entertaining racing during the annual Retro and Classic Weekend.

2019 champion Andrew Park (Reynard SF81) won the first Formula Ford 2000 race from a bumper grid, though the race was shortened due to a red flag when Graham Ridgway’s Reynard tangled with Andrew Smith’s Royale.  Benn Simms snatched the lead on the restart in his Reynard SF77 but was quickly reeled in by Park and second-placed Ian Pearson in his Royale RP30.

‘70s Roadsports Photos Charlie Wooding

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix - 2019

Size doesn’t matter

In our report from last year’s Oldtimer Grand Prix we touched on the fact that the event – downsized from its huge Marathon days – seems blossoming despite the fact that it attracts fewer cars every year.  The trend continued in 2019 on the weekend of 9-11 August, with entry numbers slightly down from the previous year, while spectator attendance was markedly on the up yet again.  Especially on Saturday and Sunday when the Nürburgring paddock was swarming with fans from all over Europe very much enjoying their day out.  So, the smaller the Oldtimer GP gets, the more people it attracts!  It’s the amazing shrinking event…

 The first Deutsche Rennsport-Meisterschaft race was won by Felix Haas’ Lola T294 and the second by Marco Werner in a McLaren M88  Photos Eric Sawyer

 

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > Youngtimer Festival Spa 2019

Ardennes Invasion

Germans have a passion for touring cars and, with the help of its automotive industry, have been dominating in them for decades.  No wonder, therefore, that the German-based Youngtimer Trophy has become so popular in the last 20 years and can boast bumper grids that run into three digits.  But the Youngtimer Festival at Spa-Francorchamps was about so much more than that.  Some 450 different cars passed under starter’s orders during the weekend of August 3-4.  The lure of Spa brought in quite a number of French, Belgian, Swiss and Dutch drivers as well.  The Festival wasn’t strictly a historic meeting either.  The ‘Cup und Tourenwagen Trophy’, which is run by the Youngtimer Trophy organisation, and the ‘Rundstrecken Challenge Nürburgring’ were mainly made up of recent one-make Cup Clios, Cupras, Minis and VLN cars.  More than just a historic race meeting, the weekend was a celebration of continental club racing. 

The 100-car Youngtimer  eld was split into two grids covering more than two dozen different classes.  Photos Gina-Maria/Stefan Eckhardt

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > VSCC Formula Vintage - Cadwell Park 2019

In spite of an unfortunate clash with the massive Silverstone Classic meeting on the weekend of July 27, entries for the VSCC’s annual foray into the Lincolnshire Wolds did not seem to suffer unduly, and most of the regular protagonists were present to relish the challenges of the Cadwell Park circuit, which is always a favourite with drivers of pre-war cars.

Richard de la Roche (Cooper MkV) and Mike Fowler (Cooper MkIV) battle in F3 500s  Photos Alan Cox

The perverse English summer continued to challenge the forecasters and the day began with a torrential downpour, but happily eased off as the morning progressed.  However intermittent showers continued with no sign of sunshine to allow the track to dry out. 

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > Hungaroring Classic 2019

Jon Bunston Reports from the fourth round of the 2019 Peter Auto Championships

Photos John Bunston

Just 20km from Budapest and in the sleepy countryside around Mogyoród, lies the 70,000 capacity Hungaroring, home to the first Formula One Grand Prix to take place behind the Iron Curtain.  Construction work on the circuit started on 1 October 1985 and was completed for the first race held on 24 March 1986, less time than any other Formula One track. 

Fast forward 33 years and the biennial Hungaroring Classic event was the precursor for the Hungarian F1 GP, as the Budapest circuit pulsated to the rhythm of historic cars on the weekend of 12-14 July when the Peter Auto Series arrived in town. 

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