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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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Contents December Issue Issue:  Latest News - Bits & Pieces - Rally News - Carrera Panamericana - Rallye du Valais - Daytona Classic 24 - Deux Tours d’Horloge - Alfa Revival Cup - Jerez Historic Festival - Historic Tour Lédenon - MRL Silverstone GP - Goodwood Members Meeting - Algarve Classic Festival

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The Magazine

Joel Wykeham joined the Sleep Shelby Racing Team for an attempt on the first Historic 24 Hours race in nearly 10 years.

L’Automne en Provence

Competitors were greeted with all the beautiful autumn colours in the vineyards around Le Castellet as the Circuit Paul Ricard was bathed in low November sunlight and vivid clear blue skies on 5-7 November.  Eric and Laure Van de Vyver and their very warm and welcoming V de V team deserve a lot of credit for bringing back the first 24-hour race for historic cars since 2012 despite suffering another year’s postponement due to COVID.  They were rewarded with an eclectic entry of diverse sports prototypes, GT and Touring cars from 1964 through to 1991 that would fight a long and determined battle for the outright win.  While the majority of entries were understandably French there was still a pan-European element, with teams from Britain, Belgium, Luxembourg and even a well-used Porsche 906 from Italy.

Photos Gilles Chaulet

As drivers lined up for the pre-event Le Mans start, the Pascalou Porsche 930 Turbo of star driver Sebastien Crubilé - having maybe turned up the boost for qualifying – was on pole, closely followed by the Chateaux Sport Grac prototype of Belgian rally star Freddy Loix, Alex De Ferran and Bernard Zimmer.  Third place was the first of the numerous but fragile Sports 2000 prototypes.  Come the rolling start proper, in true 24-hour race tradition, on the very first lap an LD Racing 911 and the Capri of ‘John Doe’ collided, ultimately eliminating both cars.

No March for a Tiga

As the race settled down, the higher powered Grac was leading until numerous pit stops dropped it back and a race-long duel started between the S2000s of  Laurent Vallery-Masson’s  team Tiga  and  the March 81S of ‘Nelson’.  This was proper endurance racing as hares struggled against tortoises in a night of attrition in eleven hours of darkness.

Overall it was a wonderful event combining elements of the glamour and relative comfort of the Paul Ricard circuit with an entry suitably reminiscent of an obscure endurance race from the late 1970s.  V de V did a brilliant job and it was an electric experience to drive at night under floodlights.  As co-driver Alex Montgomery commented afterwards “Was that all just a sunny dream?”  With perfect timing, when the chequered flag dropped, the first drops of winter rain began to fall.

For Joel's full report see our December 2021 issue...

Cottingham/Girardo win at Snakes and Listers

The second Royal Automobile Club Pall Mall Cup race for Pre-‘61 sports racers and Pre-‘66 GT and Touring cars, over three hours on Silverstone’s Historic Grand Prix circuit, ended Motor Racing Legends’ season in style on October 31.  After a spin at Luffield on lap one, James Cottingham, starting Max Girardo’s late-built Lister-Jaguar Costin, regained the lead, which Girardo defended despite a gyration of his own at Stowe.  With Cottingham at the helm again, and the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe evocations of Roy Alderslade, Olly Bryant and Sam Tordoff on the same lap, fighting for position, this was a battle to the end.  The Lister pair won by 46 seconds, from George Pochciol/Matthew Wrigley/Bryant and Michael Cullen/Paddy Shovlin/Tordoff.  As the action unfolded on live-streaming, courtesy of DK Engineering and ADP Classic Racing, it can be enjoyed for posterity via YouTube and other platforms.      

Max Girardo and James Cottingham defeated all the Cobras in Max’s late-built Lister-Jaguar Costin.  Photo John Retter

The Pall Mall Cup is awarded to multi-car teams, not individuals.  The Hot Shots - Alderslade/Andrew Jordan, Chris Fox/Nick Pink (Lotus Elan) and Karsten Le Blanc/Christiaen van Lanschot (Austin-Healey 3000 ‘DD300’) - outpointed 10 rivals to land it.

Forty-three cars started the enduro, in which British Touring Car Championship star Rory Butcher (in William Paul’s Jaguar E-type) took over the lead when Cottingham rotated, only for driveshaft failure to strand him after four laps.  Recent Estoril winner Harvey Stanley took up the cudgels in DK Engineering’s Pre-‘63 Huffaker E-type but was quickly demoted by Cottingham and Gareth Burnett in Michael Birch’s ex-works/Graham Hill Lotus 15.  Miles Griffiths was harassing Burnett when his Lotus Elan burrowed deep into the gravel at Club, where it remained.

Popular winner Paul Mensley leads the HTCC pack in his Ford Sierra Cosworth.  Photos Eric Sawyer and Jeff Bloxham

Having served its second mandatory five-minute stop after a short stint by Birch, Richard Bradley took over the Lotus 15 with a cunning plan to go to the end.  As the pitstop stagger unwound this tactic looked promising until its rear suspension broke after a trip over the kerbs at Becketts.

Out front, Jordan eroded the gap to Girardo from a minute plus to 30 seconds before putting car owner Alderslade back in.  While nobody could now catch Cottingham, the Cobras re-ordered.  Alderslade - in his second full season of historics - was gobbled up by the younger hotshoes.  Gregoire Audi/Rob Hall and Nick Sleep/Alex Montgomery/Joel Wykeham (Cobras) completed the top six, ahead of class winners Stanley/Jeremy Cottingham and Will and Michael Schryver/Marcus Weller (Elan Shapecraft coupe).  Malcolm Paul/Patrick Watts (TVR Grantura) saw off the best of the Porsche 911s to ace their division by 18 seconds.  First tin top was Alan Greenhalgh/Simon Lane’s Ford Falcon.

Jeremy Cottingham drove with Harvey Stanley to 7th place in the DK Jaguar

Thirty-three cars started the 1950s’ sportscar race, the younger Stirling Moss Trophy division to the fore.  The contrasting Lister-Jaguars of Gary Pearson (Costin) and Rob Smith (in Steve Osborne’s Knobbly) and Richard Bradley - fresh from a fine European Le Mans Series run at the Algarve Circuit in an ORECA prototype - in Birch’s Lotus 15.  When diff failure ended Pearson’s aspirations, Bradley went clear, but Chris Ward hounded him down. A lap and a half from home the Lotus’ two-litre Climax FPF engine spluttered to a halt and Ward snatched victory.

Rob Smith and Chris Ward (Lister Knobbly) took victory in the Stirling Moss Trophy race after Gary Pearson (Lister no. 58) and the Lotus 15 (No 21) driven by Richard Bradley failed to finish

Saturday’s Jaguar Classic Challenge which rounded out the E-type’s 60th anniversary year was a two-cat scrap between Gary Pearson (roadster) and Richard Kent/Chris Ward in the former’s ex-Dick Protheroe Fixed Head Coupe CUT 7. 

There could not have been a more popular Historic Touring Car Challenge winner than Paul Mensley.  Driving the only Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 in the field, Mensley outlasted Simon Garrad’s Nissan Skyline, then had to contend with rampant poleman Freddie Hunt - 1976 F1 World Champion James’ son - in Ric Wood’s Skyline while conserving frazzled wet tyres on a drying track. 

Julius Thurgood’s Historic Racing Drivers’ Club members entertained each day

The packed autumn calendar reduced the second Amon Cup Ford GT40 race’s grid to seven.  Nonetheless, the battle for supremacy between Miles Griffiths and Gordon Shedden in Philip Walker’s machine and Spa Six Hours victors James Cottingham/Olly Bryant (in the former’s car) made compelling viewing, and listening, as their V8 roars melded in the air - until the mandatory pitstops. 

Julius Thurgood’s Historic Racing Drivers’ Club members entertained each day. 

To read Marcus Pye's full report on all the races, see our December 2021 issue....

For decades, it was usual that the international historic motor racing circus would annually retreat to the Iberian Peninsula for a sunny holiday bookended by a couple of race meetings.  COVID-19 put an end to that relaxing tradition, but in 2021 it made a glorious comeback.  With some having already done the Estoril Classics, the Jerez Historic Festival was the second leg in a triplet of events that would finish right on the cusp of November with the Algarve Classic Festival.  

Biggest grid was fielded by the HGPCA

Mattijs Diepraam Reports…..

The Jerez Historic Festival was held in the perfect weather conditions of an ‘Andalusian summer’.  That meant a cloudless sky, a cool breeze coming in from the sea and a temperature of 26 degrees, and as could be witnessed by the many dry lakes and streams in the region, not even the moist 26 degrees that make you sweat – unless, of course, you happened to be a racing driver.  Some entry lists included an encouraging number of cars, such as the Masters Historic Formula One and the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association grids, while others disappointed, Masters Endurance Legends, Masters Historic Sports Cars and Formula Junior among those.  Still, the Spanish crowd loved it all, their patience having been tested for too long already.

Single-Seaters

Some twenty cars had been transported down south to compete in the two Masters Historic Formula One races, but the spectators were disappointed to find out that the ultimate car on the entry list – Jonathan Holtzman’s Tyrrell P34 – had had its engine fail on the test day preceding the event.  Nevertheless, the turnout was pretty good compared to entry numbers earlier in the year, and the quality was high as well, both in cars and in drivers. One of the category’s long-time campaigners made short work of qualifying and race 1, Mike Cantillon powering his Williams FW07C to pole and a consecutive lights-to-flag win on Saturday.  The Irishman ran into trouble early on in race 2, though, leaving the initiative to Saturday’s third-placed driver, Jamie Constable. 

 Mike Cantillion leads out the first F1 race from pole position

Nick Padmore had been a dominant pre-78 class winner on Saturday, taking fourth overall after occupying third until lap 9, but on Sunday the class win went to Miles Griffiths in the Fittipaldi F5A, the Masters Historic Formula One rookie going one better compared to the previous day.

Max Smith-Hilliard was rather more pleased with his form in the two Historic Grand Prix Cars Association races for pre-‘66 Grand Prix cars, as his Lotus 16 streaked to a pair of front-engined class wins.

A 15-car Formula Junior entry completed a pair of races on Saturday and Sunday, Alex Ames in the Brabham BT6 racing six seconds clear of Patrick d’Aubreby’s Lotus 22 in race 1.  The Frenchman hit back the next day by passing Ames on lap 5 to win by 3.7 seconds.

Sportscars

Christophe d’Ansembourg was the man of the weekend in Masters Endurance Legends, his Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2 bagging a double victory, while the Masters Historic Sports Car race proved to be a Steve Brooks/Martin O’Connell benefit, with Brooks stretching out a handy lead that O’Connell simply needed to bring home.

GT and Touring Cars

john Spiers and his new partner Greensall came out on top in a tense Masters Gentlemen Drivers race that saw Michael Gans lead away in Mark Martin’s Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, the American chased and then passed by Andrew Haddon’s Lotus Elan. 

Michael Gans (Cobra) and Andrew Haddon (Lotus Elan) in the Gentlemen Drivers’ race.  Photos AM Paquete

Adding a modern flavour to the event, the Portuguese Porsche GT3 Cup reeled off two races. 

For Mattjs Diepraam's full report, see our December 2021 issue.... 

 

Members and Maestros make Magic at Goodwood

Marcus Pye Reports

Not in the history of the second-tier events at Goodwood - under the British Automobile Racing Club’s banner from August 1949 to July 1966, and GRRC-badged from the spring of 2014 - had a Members’ Meeting been staged as late in the year.  Nonetheless, the 78th edition on October 16-17 marked its return to the calendar, 2020’s date having fallen victim to COVID. 

Photo Drew Gibson Courtesy Goodwood

It’s now a mini-Revival, condensed into two days, with professionals populating feature grids, rather than the period opportunity for enthusiastic amateurs to strut their stuff behind closed doors. Nonetheless, tremendous racing across the board entertained spectators as Saturday morning’s torrential rain gave way to unseasonably warm autumnal weather.

Superstars did emerge from Goodwood’s contemporary MMs.  Future F1 world champions Mike Hawthorn, Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart, and Le Mans winners Roy Salvadori, Richard Attwood and Derek Bell were among those who won races on the challenging track back in the days.  And motorcycle ace John Surtees made a superb four-wheeled debut in 1960.

Lukas Halusa (Bugatti Type 35B) won the Earl Howe Trophy race.  Photos Eric Sawyer

Peter Arundell won here twice in ‘62 - narrowly on Easter Monday - and dominant on August’s Tourist Trophy programme when he beat Attwood’s MRP Cooper by 33 seconds after 20 laps.  He is regarded as the king of Formula Junior, having won British championships in 1962 and ‘63 with Colin Chapman’s Team Lotus.  He didn’t win on his only Goodwood MM start in one - crashing out with Ian Raby at the start at the 49th in March 1962 - but he triumphed in a Lotus 11 sportscar at the 37th in ‘59, before single-seaters were admitted.  This year, Arundell’s Lotus 22 was back, indeed it played a starring role in the race bearing his name, following a post-practice driver change that sat uneasily with some competitors.

Simon Diffey manhandles the Penske Zerex Special through the chicane in the Gurney Cup race

Former FJHRA UK champion Michael Hibberd qualified the car - repatriated from Italy and restored by the Rolls-Royce engineer’s team - well down the order.  But a back problem saw permission granted for son Andrew (a previous Goodwood FJ and 1000cc F3 winner) to race it.

Celebrating triple British F3 champion Don Parker’s Kieft and Cooper successes of the 1950s, the 500cc race attracted a wonderful miscellany of marques, including the bizarre Douglas flat-twin powered Buzzie built by Jim Bosisto, which didn’t get far.  A stop-start pre-race rigmarole - with Alex Wilson’s Mackson pushed from the grid and one last delay when Sir John Chisholm’s Arnott-JAP’s drivetrain broke - exacerbated the charismatic little cars’ temperamental nature.

Photo Jayson Fong Courtesy Goodwood

The earliest cars hailed from the Pre-1923 Edwardian era, a heady mix of thoroughbreds from hallowed marques Derrick, Mercedes-Benz and Sunbeam, and hairy concoctions, some with aero engines mounted in girder chassis, which appeared less rigid than their ballsy drivers.  These intrepid heroes practiced in, yet made light of, torrential rain, but mercifully were rewarded with perfect conditions in which to get their elbows out and fight for glory in two short sprint races honouring pioneer motorist SF Edge. 

Experiencing an Alfa Romeo 8C 2600 Monza for the first time on track in a gruesomely wet Earl Howe Trophy practice session, Gary Pearson put German Christian Glaesel’s ex-works example on pole but was beaten into second by the increasingly impressive Lukas Halusa (Bugatti T35B) in the Pre-‘32 GP and Voiturette showcase.  

Runaway poleman Tom Waterfield (in Tim Ross’ Cooper- Norton Mk9) was outgunned by George Shackleton (Cooper Mk11)

Morgan’s Le Mans legend Christopher Lawrence won two MM races in his works SLR coupe, but Billy Bellinger was not likely to emulate the feat driving that car in the Ronnie Hoare Trophy GT race once Olly Bryant received a late invitation to race Kevin Morfett’s Historika-restored Porsche 904/6. 

The earlier Pre-‘63 GT set, for the Moss Trophy, was a Nigel Greensall masterclass, the poleman having driven David Gooding’s hooded Jaguar E-type roadster away from fellow front row qualifiers Mike Whitaker (ex-Bruce Larson AC Cobra Dragonsnake) and Olly Bryant (E-type FHC), whose order was reversed late, in a photo finish.  The fleet Jags of Jack Minshaw and Gregor Fisken outdistanced Gaye’s ex-Ecurie Francorchamps Ferrari 250 GT SWB in the minor placings.  

 James Cottingham/ Andrew Smith Ford GT40 scored victory in the Gurney Cup

With Ford GT40s numerically dominant in the double-driver Gurney Cup sportscar field the winner could logically not come from elsewhere.  As a topsy-turvy grid sorted itself out Chris Goodwin (Lotus 23B) - from P13 - spun in the path of Westie Mitchell (Chevron B8) and smote the bank backwards at St Mary’s on the opening lap, whereupon former F3000 racer Mark Shaw (McLaren M1A) gyrated to avoid the Chevron, which continued.  Following a safety car interlude to cover the clear-up, Rob Hall surged ahead in Andrew Wareing’s Nickey Chevrolet M1A.

Having won the Revival’s Sussex Trophy race for 1950s’ sports racers in the Ecurie Ecosse Tojeiro-Jaguar, Cottingham’s hopes of an action replay in the Salvadori Cup contest were hindered when he was banished to the back of the grid for a technical infringement. 

An epic battle between Jake Hill (Ford Capri) and Craig Davies (Ford Mustang Boss 302) coloured the final of the Gerry Marshall Trophy

Pierpoint - who raced an 1100cc Fiat Special in the first Members’ Meeting and, 16 years on, won the ‘65 British saloon car championship in a Ford Mustang - was honoured by the V8 tin-top thrash.  Towards a third of it ran behind a safety car, Emanuele Pirro having come to rest upside down in Chris Clarkson’s Ford Falcon Sprint when it thumped the bank and was launched at ‘Moss Kink,’ the currently un-named entry to St Mary’s, while in fifth place on lap eight.

Three dramatic races decided the outcome of the Gerry Marshall Trophy ‘Group 1’ Saloon contest, in which the great showman’s son Gregor completed the final’s grid, only for his Vauxhall Firenza to expire.

For a full report of the racing and other track activities, see our December 2021 issue...

For Alfa Romeo cars built from 1947 to 1981, the final race of the Alfa Revival Cup season took place on the weekend of 15-17 October at the beautiful flowing circuit of Mugello with 29 cars on the grid.  It was a weekend in which not only were the overall victors of the tenth running of the championship decided,  but it was also an opportunity for organisers to clarify what the future of the series would be, now that GPS has formed a joint venture with Canossa Events to form Canossa Racing, the entity that will take over the running of the series from 2022.

Amongst the favourites Daniele and Ambrogio Perfetti were in the ‘giallo ocra’ GTAM run by the OKP Alfa Delta Racing Team.  New to the series, Sandro Hubar was making his debut in a beautiful Giulia GTA 1600 Sprint ex-Nanni Galli run by the Pastorelli Classics team. 

The qualifying on Saturday foretold a close race amongst the GTAMs at the front, with the Perfetti car head of the provisional classification until the ninth lap when Davide Bertinelli obtained and froze his second pole position of the season by only 2/10ths, the two front-runners were followed by brothers Giampaolo and Emanuele Benedini.  

 

Alfa Revival Cup winners Gianmarco Rossi and Vittorio Maria Mandelli and their Alfa Ti

At the start of the race Ambrogio Perfetti put a lot of pressure on Bertinelli who, impassive, managed to keep the lead for all 24 laps.  Behind these two, the battle for third was intense in the early laps between the GTAMs of the Benedinis and Mathias Körber, up from ninth place, and the GTA 1600 Group 4 of Massimo Guerra and Giovanni Serio, the latter taking the place and holding it until the closing laps, when first Gerald Grohmann, then the GTAM of Peter Bachofen/Roberto Restelli got past to finish third and fourth respectively.  The Benedini car  retired after 16 laps, and Francesco Pantaleo and Marco Guerra got the better of a fading Körber to take an excellent sixth place in their GTA 1600, while Matthias Ficht followed Körber home in eighth place. 

There were class victories for Luigi and Noccoló Mercatali in their GT VELOCE and for the Giulietta Ti of Gianmarco Rossi and Vittorio Maria Mandelli of the Scuderia Bologna Corse.  The Ti had a high co-efficient towards the final standings of the season, and thanks to their result in this round, the crew from Bologna jointly took the overall 2021 title with a 7.5-point lead over an impressively performing Davide Bertinelli, who finished his season in second place overall .  Series rookie and youngest participant, Giulio Sordi was third in the end-of-season standings with his Giulia Ti Super.

Mugello race winner Davide Bertinelli finished 2nd in the championship

Fourth for the second consecutive year was Fabio Gimignani, and in fifth, last year’s title holder, Marco Milla, handed over the GPS Classic Trophy to this year’s winners.  The winning team for 2021 was the AB Motorsport Scuderia with a lead of over 30 points to the OKP Alfa Delta Racing Team. 

In the future, the Alfa Revival Cup will be in the good hands of Canossa Racing, a new company created by GPS Classic and Canossa Events with the aim of not only organising and promoting the eleventh edition of the Alfa Revival Cup series, but also to develop new content dedicated to collectors and racing car enthusiasts eager to compete on track, or simply to find themselves on the circuit for free practice days where they can share their passion.

The Classic 24, which ran for the seventh time this year on 28-31 October, is the brainchild of Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) based in Clearwater Florida.  Such is the 59-year lore of the official 24 hours of Daytona (now The Rolex 24 at Daytona), it is easy to see the strong attraction for the historic racers to come and test themselves on the 31-degree banking.  Even seasoned pros who have turned many a wheel here for a paycheque return on their own dime because it is so much fun.  As the late Jim Pace said, “There is nothing more magical than being in a race car at sunrise at Daytona”.

2

The event is actually two race weekends in one.  The Classic 24 and the Daytona Historics.  The Classic  is open to cars that raced or were eligible to race at Daytona in period.  The Historics are a series of sprint races and enduros for the many HSR faithful that don’t qualify for the Classic.  This makes for a non-stop, never-a-cold track four-day weekend.  If drivers don’t get their fill of track time at this event, they aren’t trying!

For obvious reasons, European entries this year were thin on the ground.  In fact, no cars and just 3 non-US drivers joined the always strong domestic field.  Special cars of note this year were the 1991 Jaguar XJR-16 GTP car, an absolutely pristine 1977 Porsche 935 resplendent in Martini livery and another Jaguar, the Group 44 1982 XJR-5 complete with wailing V-12.  Competing with the Jag XJR-5 for best noise were the pair of GTLM spec Corvette C7Rs.  Once you’ve heard the sonic boom of the Corvette engine on song, you will never forget it.

For Peter Falkner's full Report see our December 2021 Issue...

Two New French Champions Crowned

The French Championships reached their conclusion after a full season, at the undulating Lédenon circuit near Nîmes in the Gard on the weekend of 22-24 October.  Running to its usual rhythm of 10 grids, each getting two heats, over 300 drivers were entered for 20 races that would decide who the 2021 French champions would be.

The Historic Formula Fords line up with François Bell on pole.  Photos Hugues Laroche

In the Monoplaces/Protos category, the winner would succeed François Belle, while the winner of the GT/Tourism category would take over from Claude Boissy.  Having dominated the season in Formula Renault Classic with a Martini MK48, Lionel Robert arrived in the Gard as the favourite, needing to win just one of two races to clinch the title ahead of Matthieu Châteaux (F3 Classic, Ralt RT3) current champion François Belle (Formula Ford Historic, Lola T540) and Gislain Genecand (Formula Ford Historic and Formula Kent, Crosslé 25F and Van Diemen RF92).

Sébastien Mathieu (GT Classic, BMW M3 GTR) led the GT/Touring category ahead of Damien Benjamin (Youngtimers GTI Cup, Honda Civic) and three men competing for the Lotus Trophy title: Dominique Vulliez, Anthony Delhaye and Xavier Jacquet.

Josserand De Murard’s lovely Lola T70 Spyder was penalised in the first ASAVÉ race, and black-flagged for exceeding noise limits in the second, both times while leading the race

Sébastien Mathieu takes GT/Tourisme Title

Best performer in qualifying aboard his Dodge Viper, Julien Grenet confirmed his supremacy in the Saloon Cars race, run concurrently with GT Classic, with Patrice Lefebvre’s Audi Quattro in his wake.   Rid of the Porsches of Patrick Delannoy and Laurent Sabatier, self-eliminated in a collision, Sébastien Mathieu held a solid GT Classic lead.  Lefebvre then received a drive-through penalty for exceeding track limits, which was enough to allow Michaël Desmaele’s Porsche to join the top three.  The race ended with the unsurprising victory of Grenet, 43 seconds ahead of Mathieu’s Porsche 964, with Fabrice Lefebvre and Michaël Desmaele completing the Saloon Cars podium alongside Grenet.

By winning the GT Classic race ahead of Belgian Patrick Hals’ De Tomaso Pantera and the BMW Z3 of Geoffroy Rosembly, Sébastien Mathieu has become the 2021 GT/Tourisme Champion de France.

Grenet repeated his untouchable performance on Sunday, ahead of Mathieu, Desmaele and BMW M3 driver Christian Danne, who took fourth place after Lefebvre was once again penalised.

 

Lionel Robert Monoplaces Champion

From the start on Saturday, Davide Leone took his March 783 to the head of a healthy grid of F3 Classic and Formula Renault cars, keeping his direct rivals Matthieu Châteaux (Ralt RT3) and Frédéric Rouvier’s similar March in check.   But six laps later Châteaux was ahead, only for the Italian to re-take the place a few laps later, all under the watchful eyes of Rouvier, clearly on the lookout.  Eric Martin and Valerio Leone led the rest of the field more than ten seconds behind.  With the fight in full swing between the top three the safety car entered the scene six laps from the finish.  They were off again two laps later, but this time Rouvier got the jump on both Châteaux and Leone to finish 356/1000ths ahead of Leone under the flag, with Châteaux following a second later.  Seventh overall, Lionel Robert once again won the Formula Renault contest hands down, paving the way for the 2021 French Championship title.

Rouvier completed the first lap of race 2 in the lead, but a fast reaction from Châteaux put him out in front from the second tour.  A good start propelled Eric Martin into third ahead of Valerio Leone, the only representative of the Italian family after his son Davide was betrayed by his gearbox on the warm-up lap.  These four held station to the end, but with Rouvier only a second behind, Châteaux  was penalised 30 seconds for having overtaken at the start of the race under the yellow flag.  This bumped him down to fourth behind Rouvier, Martin and Leone Senior.  Finishing fifth amongst the F3s Lionel Robert won the Formula Renault race to clinch the 2021 French Monoplaces/Protos Championship title.

For full report of all the racing, see our December 2021 issue... 

At least two Historic Sports Car Club racing champions for 2021 were crowned when the club returned to Mallory Park for the first time in a decade for a weekend of racing on 18-19 September.  Despite the clash with the Goodwood Revival meeting, meaning grids were somewhat down in numbers, the weekend delivered some great racing in generally warm and sunny weather except for a torrential downpour on Sunday morning that disrupted qualifying for a while. 

Historic Road Sports racer John Davison did enough in Saturday’s opening race to put the title beyond doubt.  However, it had been a fraught morning, when his Elan’s brakes seized in qualifying and the car had to be lifted back to the paddock.  Repaired in time, Davison duly raced to victory.  But there was more trouble to come in race 2, when a rear wheel departed and ended his day.  Still, it was a case of mission accomplished in championship terms. 

Another champion crowned was Jeremy Timms, who took two resounding victories in Historic Formula 3 to settle the title in the final races of the season with his Chevron B15.  After a soaking wet and shortened qualifying session the grid was very jumbled and Timms started only eighth.   However, he was quickly into his stride and swept up the order to move ahead of Ian Bankhurst and Steve Seaman in a thoroughly entertaining race.  Sam Wilson had been right with them in Paul Waine’s De Sanctis but spun at Gerard’s and a starter motor problem ensured that he was not able to continue.

 

Photos Charlie Wooding

At the end of the afternoon Timms had an easier time to romp clear in race 2, as Wilson, Bankhurst, Simon Armer and an inspired Mike Walker battled.  Bankhurst finally took the place from Walker who had his best performance so far in Historic F3.  Wilson went out when the De Sanctis lost drive and Armer had his March cut out at the Hairpin on the final lap.  He coasted down the hill to get to the finish line but dropped several places as a result.

Historic Formula Ford 2000 featured prominently with a busy double-header.  Murray Shepherd was the sole Classic FF2000 runner, so he joined the near-capacity grid and ended up taking a weekend double despite the very best efforts of Historic front- runners Benn Simms and Ian Pearson.

Another strong 70s Road Sports grid was headed by Will Plant although in the opener he had to deal with the fast-starting John Williams and then had Dave Karaskas (TVR 3000M) and his father Richard as constant shadows.  In the second race Plant was away clear until his Morgan +8 lost oil pressure and he quickly turned it off and parked up.  

Mike Gardiner moved ever closer to the Historic Touring Car title with victory in the opening race, but he had Neil Wood as a constant and determined rival in the flying Anglia and less than a third of a second split them at the flag.  Wood was looking forward to trying to turn the tables in the second race later on Sunday only to find Gardiner absent after the Lotus Cortina suffered alternator failure and was put away.

Both Formula Ford categories delivered some fine racing and there was a double victory in the Historics for Tom McArthur who had Horatio Fitz-Simon as a constant shadow in the opening race, with a quarter of a second splitting them after 18 flat out laps.  Matt Wrigley pipped Samuel Harrison for third place as the impressive Mark Bates, racing the Alexis Mk15 of Robin Haslam, showed his pace by running fifth, right on their tail.

McArthur had things slightly easier in the second race as Fitz-Simon was more occupied dealing with the constant threat from Harrison.  That’s how they finished with Bates edging ahead of Wrigley for fourth. 

Jordan Harrison took a big step towards the Classic Formula Ford title with two impressive victories in his Lola T540E.  The main action in the race lay in the contest for a second as Rick Morris and Stuart Kestenbaum took on teenage upstart Samuel Harrison.  Over 50 years their junior, Samuel Harrison actually got through to second at one point, but was then edged back, having lost a little time with a moment on the brakes into the Esses.  He finally took fourth behind the two hugely experienced elder statesman of Classic Formula Ford racing.

 

2021 was a good year for Norwegian historic racers, with five race meetings instead of the usual four, thanks to the opening of a new circuit.  The season started at Vålerbanen in May, where there was great enthusiasm for getting started after a long boring winter.  Bengt-Åce Gustavsson reviews the season

In the class for older cars, it was clear that the duel would be, as usual, between Atle Ramberg (Ford Escort 1300 GT) and John A Johansen (Mini 1275 GT), and this proved to be the case throughout the season, the pair going head-to-head over ten races.  Ramberg, proved his, and his car’s, superiority by completing a near-perfect season, winning eight of the ten rounds to take the 2021 title for Period G (1966-1971).  Though able to largely keep pace, it was only at the new circuit of Sokndal that Johansen was able to win a race. 

André Saethern Photos Jörn Pettersen

In the newer classes, it looked as though Evald Holstad (Ford Escort RS1600), Mathias Havdal (Porsche 911 Carrera RSR) and André Saethern, who had made his debut with his Opel Kadett B last year, would be the season front-runners.  Havdal had sold his Ford to Holstad  so it must have been galling to be beaten by his old car first time out at the first meeting of the season at Vålerbanen, but the Porsche driver was able to turn the tables in the second race.

The second race of the year was at Rudskogen and the Asfalt Super cars meeting, but without any super cars either from Sweden or Denmark.  Tor Magne Tjemsland brought his beautifully presented  BMW M3 E30 to vanquish both Havdal and Holstad in two races first time out, and continued his winning streak at Sokndal as well.

Atle Ramberg and John A Johansen

For the fourth round, the circus returned to Rudskogen for the Asphalt Classic – the largest event for historic racing in Norway, but unfortunately with very limited international participation this year.  Here, Ramberg scored two of his wins, and Hans Peter Havdal managed to  beat Holstad, who only came third behind Rune Rödset (Opel Kadett GT/E).  In the second race, Tjemsland was back in charge.

The final was run in September back at Vålerbanen, where Tjemsland took two more wins ahead of Havdal and Rödset in race 1 and Rödset and Holstad in race 2.  However, it was the most consistent driver of the season, André Saethern that took the Category G,H,I title in his Opel Kadett, while runners up Evald Holstad and Mathias Havdal took turns winning or breaking, while Tjemland scored fewer class points and finished sixth in the championship.

In Norway, the championship has been divided into three different categories. The oldest class is for all pre-1966 cars, and there Ola Svendsen was crowned champion in his Ford Cortina Lotus, with Lars Kristian Ekorness (Morris Cooper S) and Jon Asakskogen (Ford Mustang) runners-up.

A total of 80 drivers participated during the season.

After a successful support race for the Le Mans 24 Hours this year, Peter Auto has announced that there will be an Endurance Racing Legends race at next year’s Total Energies 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps organised by SRO.  In collaboration with Stéphane Ratel, Patrick Peter’s ex-partner in the famous mid-‘90s BPR series for many of the same cars, the event will be celebrating 30 years of SRO’s involvement in the GT championship.  As at Le Mans, a grid of sixty GT1, GT2 and GT3 cars is expected.  “We are planning an exceptional race that brings together cars from all the different series we have organised over the years,” said Ratel.  “The participants and others who have marked this period will also be invited,” he continued.