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Paul Lawrence Reports
On his first competitive rally since his World Rally Championship career came to an end, Irishman Kris Meeke joined the illustrious list of winners of the Legend Boucles à Bastogne. Equipped with a full-spec Ford Escort Mk2 from the stable of Belgian competitor Christophe Jacob, Meeke and co-driver Seb Marshall dominated the huge Belgian event and pressed home their advantage when the rally moved to gravel stages for the second day.
“Meeke was simply on another planet” Photos Letihon.be
Jurriaan Tas Reports
Formerly a famous speed event, the ‘Neige et Glace’ fell foul of the 1974 oil crisis and was revived as a historic regularity rally in 2000, run by Dakar winner Patrick Zaniroli. He moved the event from Grenoble to the Jura, dubbed by locals as ‘Little Siberia’, because of the near certainty of finding snow and ice there in January. A switch back to the area around Grenoble for the past two years proved unpopular with competitors and the event is now firmly back in Malbuisson.
Winners Romuald Sanseigne and Florin Fornassier in their Autobianchi A112 Abarth. “In the end, it was a small mistake that decided the place. We are so proud to achieve the double, Joël and Corinne taught us everything,” said Romauld of his uncle and aunt, who came second. Photos Richard Bord Courtesy Zaniroli Classic Events
Andrea Belome and Massimo Be nsoli took a slender 8-point win
Andrea Belometti and Massimo Bettinsoli won the Winter Marathon 2020 driving a 1937 Fiat 508 C. The crew from team Brescia Corse remained amongst the top positions over the many Dolomite passes on 23-24 January, beating the young crew of Edoardo Bellini and Roberto Tiberti in a similar Fiat, by eight penalty points. Third place went to Guido Barcella and Roberto Ghidotti in a Porsche 356 C Coupe, some 90 points down on the two leaders.
Peter Collins Reports on one of the most popular events in endurance rallying, with over 300 entries.
Consistency was the key to success for Henrik Bjerregaard and Jaromir Svec Photo http://promopub.org
The first cars to set off on the annual pilgrimage to Monte-Carlo were those from Athens at 12:40 on Wednesday January 29th. Five crews had chosen to do this and they were faced with a 1,715km drive before they would finish on the harbour of the Principality. A further two cars had chosen Glasgow from where they started, along with the Rallye Classique participants, at 19:00 the same day, faced with covering 2142kms to Monte.
This year’s 28-29 March Goodwood Members’ Meeting will feature three 20-minute races for the Gerry Marshall Trophy for saloons that raced between 1970 and 1982, but unlike in past years, it will be for owner-drivers. In contrast, the last race on Saturday, the new Pierpoint Cup, will be a two-driver event for V8 saloon cars of a type that raced up until 1966. That means Plymouth Barracudas and Ford Falcons will face up against Mustangs and Galaxies, in a 45-minute race.
The Edwardian cars, the Earl Howe Trophy for pre-war cars, the rear-engined Formula Juniors, the pre-‘63 GT cars, a two driver, 45-minute race for pre-‘66 prototypes, a 20-minute race for ‘50s prototypes, a pre-’66 GT race, a race for the 500cc Formula 3 cars and the Hailwood motorbike race are also on the programme, along with demonstrations including F1 cars dating from 1970 to 1975 in which the innovative Lotus 72 will be a key feature.
In a departure to what has gone before, the Masters will only be running the two FIA Championships at three venues this year. The Historic Formula 1 and Masters Sports Cars will run as championship counters at the Silverstone Classic, the Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort and the Spa Six Hours meeting. Masters boss, Ron Maydon, was surprised to be informed by the FIA that the Formula One Historic cars would only be allowed to run Championship points rounds at Grade 1 circuits. This limited his ability to form a calendar the historic racers would like. The regs for the Sportscar Championship remain unchanged and they are allowed on Grade 2 circuits, however the two championships will continue to run together, which means only three venues this year. “We have been running the Championships for seven years now,” said Maydon, “and we were trying to think of ways to freshen them up, so this came as an opportunity to do something different.”
The Masters will continue to run non-championship races for both series at the four other venues they are scheduled to attend this year (see our calendar pages). Two circuits that they have not visited for some years appear on the calendar, with races scheduled at the Autodromo do Algarve in April and, in August, instead of their usual visit to the Oldtimer Grand-Prix, they will go to Zolder on August 22-23. They will also run the one-make Mini races, as last year, at Donington in June and at the Silverstone Classic.
The title of FIA Champion is no doubt attractive and brings great prestige with it,” said Maydon, “and if it wasn’t for the fact that Zandvoort is being upgraded for this year’s Grand Prix, we wouldn’t have been able to run a championship round there either. But the drivers also enjoy running at some other great circuits and events, like Brands Hatch GP and Algarve, and we want to make sure they have the opportunity to do so.”