These stories are all from the pages of Historic Motor Racing News. Some have been abbreviated for this web site. If you'd like to receive the full version, go to Subscribe where you will find postal subscriptions available. A full subscription also entitles you to access the current issue online (available soon), so you can take it with you and read it anywhere, and we are working on providing full access to our archives of back issues exclusively for our subscribers. Those who subscribe online are automatically given access to our bulletin board area.
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.”
The Historic Sports Car Club has opened up its Historic Touring Car Championship for 2020 to 1300cc Austin A30s, A35s, A40s and Morris Minors. Previously, these cars were only admitted into the championship for Pre-‘66 Touring Cars with the 1150cc or smaller engines they had in period. Andy Dee-Crowne, CEO of the HSCC said: “This is a logical step to offer a group of cars the chance to race with the HSCC.”
1300cc Austin A30s, A35s and A40s can now run in the HSCC Touring Car Championship
Motor Racing Legends has announced a new grid for the 2020 season - the Sixties Touring Car Challenge. To be run for Group 1 and Group 2 cars that were eligible for the European Touring Car Championship from 1966 to the end of 1969, the series will also encompass the current U2TC grid for pre-’66 cars, but importantly, will stick to the U2TC under 2 litre formula. The new series gives a home to Mk2 Lotus Cortinas, BMW 2002s, Alfa Romeo GTA variants, early Mk 1 Ford Escorts, Mk 2 Minis, Lancia Fulvias and a host of other small-engined cars that have hitherto been poorly served.
Photo Oliver Flower Courtesy MRL
FIVA has backed an initiative by German Firm Parts4you GmbH to provide what seems to be a comparison-type web site for parts for classic cars. In exchange for your personal information (you can’t use the site without registering), you can search “the independent and global service platform for the classic car community” as it is described on the home page, for suppliers of “spare parts, repair workshops, restoration or overhaul of assemblies as well as specialised experts.” According to their press release, the FIVA Parts Catalogue provides a very complete cross reference between (original) part numbers and suppliers so that car owners can select the vendor to work with, based on proximity, price or other conditions. See https://classicparts4you.com and, if you use the service please let us know how useful you find it.
24‐26 April Rechberg (AUT)
29‐31 May Ustecka 21 (CZE)
05‐07 June Ecce Homo Sternberk (CZE)
12‐14 June GHD Gorjanci (SVN)
03‐05 July Trento Bondone (IT)
10‐12 July Cesana Sestriere (IT)
28-30 August GHD Petrol Ilirska Bistrica (SVN)
18‐20 September Buzetski Dani (HRV)
25-27 September Coppa Chianti Classico (IT)
The 2019 GT & Sports Car Cup season was celebrated at The Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall, London, where the year’s winners were announced. Chris Clarkson and David Smithies were overall GT & Sports Car Cup winners, as well as class GT3 winners, for their performance in their Austin Healey 3000. Amongst other class winners were Malcolm Paul and Rick Bourne, who took the GT2 Class in their TVR Grantura MkIII, GT1 Class victors Marc Gordon and Nick Finburgh in a Lotus Elite and in Class GT4 John Watson and Dan Cox (Lotus Elan 26R). The Ladies Cup went to Barbara Lambert.
In the ongoing saga over WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, home to the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, the five-person Monterey County board of supervisors voted unanimously to enter into contract negotiations with A & D Narigi, LLC (A&D). Provided both sides can agree terms, the company led by former Monterey Plaza Hotel general manager John Narigi will replace the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) and SCRAMP’s 62-year tenure as Laguna Seca’s manager will come to an end ahead of the new racing season.
According to commentators, the non-profit SCRAMP organisation’s volunteer base is its greatest asset. Assembled over decades, i t is unclear whether the hundreds of volunteers who’ve provided their support, and allowed many events to operate without the vast expense of a paid staff, would shift their allegiance to A&D.
Amongst other things SCRAMP has been organising the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion since it took the Monterey Historics from Steve Earl in 2010.
Paul Lawrence Reports on one of the toughest rallies in historic motorsport
McCormack the third
Marty McCormack and Barney Mitchell won the 2019 Roger Albert Clark Rally in late November after a fabulous battle with Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke on the 13th edition of this unique event.
Marty McCormack on the way to a record third RAC win. Photos Paul Lawrence
For four and a half days, over 31 special stages, McCormack drove faultlessly to take a 52-second victory after more than five hours of flat out rallying. However, the result was in doubt until the very end as Pritchard never stopped chasing despite a puncture in Scotland on Sunday morning that proved a turning point in his rally.
Rosenberger Rules under the African Sky
Paul Lawrence Reports
Austrian driver Kris Rosenberger and co-driver Nicola Bleicher headed the Safari Classic Rally at the finish in Mombasa on Friday 6 December after nine tough days through Kenya and Tanzania.
Rosenberger, who last rallied in Kenya back in 1989, took his Tuthill Porsche 911 to a 93-second victory over the similar car of 2015 winner and rally legend Stig Blomqvist. Porsche 911s claimed the top eight places as Tuthill Porsche and Team Tido Race 4 Health dominated the leader board.
Kris Rosenberger and Nicola Bleicher head towards victory. Photos McKlein
The Tour European Rally (TER), created in 2016 by the Italian TV producer Luca Grilli, is aimed at “merging the assets of some outstanding rally events in Europe to create a series in order to have an enhanced global promotion. The chosen events must have outstanding characteristics: based in tourist-oriented areas, they must possess unique specific features different from the other championship events and they must display an excellent touristic and/or historical background.”
In 2019 the Tour European Rally Historic based on the same principles ran for the first time and comprised six events. Won by the German crew of Heinz-Walter Schewe and Frank Blondel in a Porsche 911 SC, the championship attracted a truly international entry, though modest in number in the first year.
For 2020 promoters have announced a new six-event calendar based in southern Europe and taking in one gravel rally and five asphalt events, beginning with Rally Città di Arezzo in Tuscany, on the gravel roads that are part of the history of rallying from when Rallye Sanremo was in the World Rally Championship.
Not content with winning the Peking to Paris rally for the third time last year at the age of 87, Gerry Crown is about to embark on his next adventure. The remarkable Australian octogenarian has now entered the ultimate circumnavigation challenge – Rally the Globe’s eponymous Round the World.
87 year-old Gerry Crown won the 2019 Peking to Paris. His next exploit will be to rally around the world
2020 will mark the 15th running of the KAK Midnight Sun Rally in historic form, which is just as many times as the KAK Midnight Sun Rally ran in its original form from 1950 to 1964. This anniversary will be celebrated during the event.
Based in the city of Örebro, about 200kms west of Stockholm and open to 2wd cars made before 1990, the rally will run in three legs with a total length of approximately 900kms with nearly 160kms of special stages. Due to less and less uptake, the regularity class will be discontinued. Dates are 8-11 July, when the sun is indeed high. See www.midnattssolsrallyt.com for details.
The 2140km route for this year’s Tour Auto has now been determined, with the now traditional days of presentation and scrutineering in Paris’ Grand Palais before the official start from Linas Montlhéry. Night stops will be in Clermont-Ferrand, Limoges, Toulouse and Pont de Gard before the finish in the ‘cité phocéenne’ of Marseille. Circuits visited will be Nevers Magny-Cours, Charade, Albi and Ledénon. Dates are 20-25 April. See peterauto.peter.fr.
Rallystory, organiser of the Coup des Alpes for over 30 years, has announced a route for 2020 that will differ considerably from those travelled in recent years. Participants will have about twenty passes to cross, a large majority of which have not been used in recently, including the Col de Saint Raphael in the Southern Alps.
Starting from Evian on the shores of Lake Geneva on 11 June, the rally, which is untimed and non-competitive, finishes on the Croisette in Cannes on the 13th, after night stops in Mègeve and Serre Chevalier. With the victories in the ‘60s of Bernard Consten with Giulietta, TZ and GTA, Roger De Lageneste in an SZ and Jean Rolland with an SZ and a GTA, the Alfa Romeo marque holds the record for the greatest number of successes in the event. It is therefore natural that in 2020 Alfa Romeo will be the featured marque.
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.
The 2 hours of Magione “20° Trofeo Anchise Bartoli” closed another season of the Italian Historic Championship, one of the most long-lived Italian series, sanctioned by ACI for over 30 years and promoted by Gruppo Peroni. Since the FIA introduced the classes for cars up to 1990 (4th grouping), the Italian championship has seen the arrival of the “youngtimers” including Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo, Ford Sierra Cosworth, BMW M3 and 325i, Alpine GTA, Porsche 944 Turbo, Maserati Biturbo and Peugeot 205 GTI.
The Ronconi Porsche 930 lines up at Magione next to the Ambroso-Jarach- Zardo BMW 323i, with the Rondinelli Porsche, whish was the eventual winner, laying in wait Photo Claudia Cavalleri
The 2019 championship, divided into six one-hour races plus two endurance races, has seen some fierce competition in the four groups amongst both solo pilots and two-driver crews. The range of cars chosen by new recruits has confirmed that there is interest in racing cars of all ages. Many of these drivers alternate in other championships with contemporary cars (such as Claudio Giudice in the Italian prototype Championship or Marco Guerra in rallies), and to aim for the title you don’t need the overall podium car. Thanks to the scoring system the Mini, the Ritmo, the Alfa 2000 GT Veloce or the small Peugeot 205 can win.
On Sunday 24 November two competitions were held, divided according to periods and displacement to decide the winners. In the first group (now extended to cars up to 1969) the result was still open between the powerful TVR Griffith of Vito Truglia and Gilles Giovannini and the nimble Ginetta G12 of Matteo Panini and Andrea Pergreffi, representing two British schools of thought in a David and Goliath contest that finally went to the little Ginetta.
The results of the second grouping were already almost final. Alessandro Morteo had only to pass his Alfa Romeo GTAm under the starting light to win the title to the detriment of Andrea Castronovo and Massimiliano Del Nibbio, always faster during the season but with a BMW 2002 Group 2 haunted by mechanical problems. The third group had already been decided due to a lack of opponents at Imola when Marco Zorzi, Massimo Ronconi and Giovanni Gulinelli crossed the finish line first in the two-hour race on board a Porsche 930 Group 5. In the fourth grouping, with the Sierra Cosworth of Gianni Giudici delayed by a bit of bad luck, it all looked set for Giovanni Ambroso and Bruno Jarach, who had the very fast professional Danny Zardo to help out with the BMW 323i IMSA and who were leading the championship by just one point over the Porsche 911 Carrera 2 of father and son Cesare and Enrico Rondinelli. But it all went wrong when the BMW broke its differential 12 minutes from the end, handing victory to the Porsche crew.
In 2020, to favour the return of the pre-‘66 cars, so popular in series in other parts of Europe, the Gruppo Peroni will organise a trophy divided into six sprint races reserved for the older cars, certainly not less fun to admire and to drive.
Italian Championship Dates for 2020
28-29 March Misano
25-26 April Vallelunga
9-10 May Adria
20-21 June Misano
11-12 July Imola
5-6 September Cervesina (to be confirmed)
24-25 October Imola
NK HTGT, the Dutch pre-‘66 championship for Touring, GT and GTP cars has been running for more than 20 years. Though registered as a National Championship, it runs many of its races at circuits in other European countries each year and attracts an international entry.
Erwin van Lieshout is Dutch Champion
While the car to beat in the GPS Classic-organised Alfa Revival Cup is the GTaM if it’s an overall race win you’re after, to win the championship you have only to beat other cars of the same age and cubic capacity as your own. In an effective Index of Performance ranking, this year’s Alfa Revival Cup champions are Alessandro and Emanuele Morteo, who drove their 1961 Giulietta Ti to victory in a season that comprised six one-hour mini endurance races at some of Italy’s greatest race tracks. Accompanying them on the championship podium are Massimo Guerra and Franco Mischis, driving a 1600 GTA and Luigi Mercatali, who took third in his GT Veloce 2000. The Alfa Revival Cup, for rear wheel drive Alfa Romeos built from 1947 to 1981, enjoyed its best season yet since Tommaso Gelmini and his team began organising it in 2012, with some 25% of drivers coming from outside of Italy.
The Morteos lead a three-Giulie a Ti train to win the Alfa Revival Cup Championship
The life of the late Jim Russell will be celebrated in a new two-day Historic Sports Car Club race meeting at Snetterton next spring. The Jim Russell Trophy Meeting on 4-5 April will feature 10 Formula Ford races to honour the early heritage of Formula Ford and the racing school pioneer. Before moving to Brands Hatch in 1976, the first four Formula Ford Festivals were run at Snetterton from 1972 to 1975.
Ten Formula Ford races will feature at HSCC Snetterton in April
Amongst other HSCC Club races, the race line-up will include double headers for the HSCC Historic Formula Ford Championship, the HSCC Classic Formula Ford Championship, Heritage Formula Ford, the HSCC Historic Formula Ford 2000 Championship and a double-header for modern Formula Fords running under the Champion of Snetterton title. In addition, two races for the Classic Formula 3/URS Classic Formula Ford 2000 Championship will also feature a contingent of Formula Ford 2000s. The spread of races will form a journey through Formula Ford history, from the earliest Pre-1972 cars in the Historic category via the cars of the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s to the latest Kent engined cars in the Champion of Snetterton races. The HSCC hopes to stage a display of cars relevant to Jim Russell’s life and is keen to hear from anyone with a suitable car. See hscc.org.uk.
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
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
NZ Tasman Revival Cup - Round 1
Local fans of New Zealand’s SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series had two of their own to cheer on at the opening round of the 2019/20 series at Feilding’s Circuit Chris Amon Manfeild. One – Tim Rush – is a series regular who drives one of the rarest cars in the field, a 1972 McLaren M22. The other is a more recent arrival, Kevin Ingram, who made his series’ debut last season behind the wheel of the ex-Ian Clements’ Lola T332. The Rush McLaren (M22-3-72) enjoys the distinction of being both the last McLaren built by the company’s early production partner Trojan, and the last McLaren customer car to be built.
Fastest qualifer Michael Collins dominated three races in the rst round of the 2019/20 SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series at The Sound MG Classic meeting at Circuit Chris Amon Manfeild. His McRae GM1 led Grant Martin’s Talon MR1A on both days. Photos Fast Company/ Aaron Mai
The 2019 Classic 24 Hours at Daytona presented by IMSA was held on 13-17 November on the 3.56-mile road course at the famous Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Peter Falkner Reports from the North American ‘Temple of Speed’
Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) conceived the idea back in 2014 and after a successful inaugural running that year, the Classic 24 Hours has been a highlight of the US historic racing calendar and continues to draw an ever-increasing number of domestic and foreign competitors from as far afield as South America and Australia. No doubt many competitors are also looking forward to the warm Florida sun to wrap up their season, but much of this year’s free practice, qualification and racing took place under uncharacteristically cool, leaden skies.
Todd Napieralski entered a team of three Camaros in Group G and won the category with Lee Saunders
Photos John Retter
A lot has changed since 1990, when the first of what was then known as the Christies International Historic Festival was staged (see our March 2013 issue for the story of that first event) at Silverstone. It was a resounding success, and despite being preceded by events such as the Oldtimer-Grand-Prix in Germany and the Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or in France, it set a new benchmark for what a successful historic festival should be. It has now grown to a proportion that its founders probably never imagined, with 1000 entries and 100,000 visitors.
The First Historic Festival at Silverstone took place 30 years ago next year. PHOTO ALAN COX
Strong grids and an end-of-term atmosphere at the annual HSCC Silverstone Finals Meeting on the weekend of 19-20 October saw some close finishes across 21 races and 280 entries. A number of season-long contests were settled including in a bumper grid of Historic Formula Ford 2000s where Andrew Park sealed a fourth straight championship title. Chris Drake (front-engined) and Andrew Taylor (rear-engined) were the key winners in Formula Junior, while Simon Armer clinched the Historic F3 title in his March 703.
The Historic Touring Car crown was shared between Roger Stanford and Bob Bullen, while Mark Charteris and Barry Webb claimed their respective categories in Classic Clubmans, with Charteris taking his sixth title in a row. Ross Hyett (Guards Trophy) and Ben Stiles (Classic FF2000) and Rob Smith (Over 50s FF1600) were the other winners across the weekend on the Silverstone National circuit.
The 2019 FIA Masters Champions are Matteo Ferrer-Aza, Martin Stretton, Henry Fletcher, Jason Wright/Andy Wolfe and Chris Jolly/Steve Farthing. Ferrer-Aza is the new post-78 FIA Masters Historic Formula One champion, with Stretton and Fletcher lifting the post-83 and pre-78 titles respectively. Wright and Wolfe took top honours in the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship, while Jolly and Farthing prevailed in the FIA pre-66 section.
The Wright/Wolfe Lola T70 leads out the FIA Sportscar pack at Brands Hatch in July Wright
doubled up by also claiming the sportscar version of the Grand Master Trophy Photos Eric Sawyer
Don’t change a winning formula is the logic adopted by the FFSA and HVM Racing for the 2020 Historic Tour season. Thus the calendar will again see five race meetings, the main differences from this year being a return to the Nogaro circuit and date changes for the meetings at Albi and Charade. The season will start in Albi, next year in mid-April, before continuing with its traditional Dijon date of 8-10 May. Charade will next year take place in June (19-21), followed by trips to Nogaro on 11-13 September and Val de Vienne on 27-25 September.
While some tweaks within the series are inevitable, the list of eligible series to determine the French champions, for single seaters and for prototypes, will remain the same.
HVM will also be organising the GP de Pau Historique on 30-31 May, and the traditional Dijon Motors Cup on the first weekend of October. With no Paul Ricard event this year, Laurent Vallery-Masson and his team will move to the Le Mans Bugatti circuit for the Le Mans Motors Cup on 16-18 October.