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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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Since 1999 Viviane Zaniroli has been encouraging women to get behind the wheel of old sports and GT cars and compete in their own right.  The resulting Rallye des Princesses regularity rally, inspired on the old Paris – Saint-Raphaël  Féminin, has been a great success over the ensuing 20 years, bringing many women into competition as drivers that might not have had the chance in mixed rallies when there is only one eligible car in the house.  A number have since bought their own rally cars.  Zaniroli has created an event tailored to women’s interests, in the route, in the places visited and in the evening stops.  For some years now, she has been supported by the high end watchmaker, Richard Mille.  Mille is well-known in racing circles for his sponsorship of the Peter Auto run Le Mans Classic, Rallye des Legendes and Chantilly Art et Elegance, and also for his large collection of racing cars, which he exhibits at Retromobile each year.

Now Zaniroli would like to step back and she will be handing the baton over to Patrick Peter’s organisation, which will observe and handle media and some other aspects in 2021 and take over the running of the event in 2022.  Next year’s event is scheduled for 29 May- 3 June 2021.  Zaniroli Classic Events, which Viviane runs with her Husband Patrick, will continue to run all its other annual events as usual, including Neige et Glace, Trans Maroc and Trophée des Alpes.

Though some things have changed much will be the same on next year’s Historic Monte, which takes place on 30 January – 3 February.  Though organisers have foregone the multi-national starting points in 2021 after the trauma of this year’s COVID epidemic, the challenge will be as tough as ever for four days and one night loop, returning cars to the unique starting point of Monte-Carlo after three nights in Valence and many historic regularity stages.  The final night run in the arrière pays that will include stages such as Col de Braus – La-Bollène-Vésubie and Lantosque – Lucéram will sort out the final order.

The organisers have also widened the eligibility criteria, now allowing any car that took part in the Monte between 1911 and 1983, making cars such as the Audi Quattro, Renault 5 Turbo, Lancia 037 and Fiat Panda eligible, at one end of the spectrum, and pre-war cars such as Bugatti, Delahaye, Talbot and Invicta at the other.  Another change to the regulations is that cars will run to only two average speeds.

Though this is likely to result in some newer cars entering the event for the first time, it seems unlikely that many pre-war cars will be attracted, as all cars built before 1966 are to be lumped into a single category, with further category cut off dates falling at the end of 1971, 1976 and 1982.  Entries must be in by 9 November and can be made on the ACM web site.

Lucy O’Reilly-Schell nished the Monte ve mes between 1929 and 1936, her best result being second place in 1936. In 1930 she drove a Talbot 2600, which has now become eligible for the historic Monte. She later became a Grand Prix team owner and was the mother of Grand Prix driver Harry Schell

Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR), organisers of Daytona 24 Classic and Sebring Classic 12 Hour, amongst many others, has been named the new sanctioning body of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (WRLS).  The previous sanctioning body was the Historic Motor Sports Association.

In the new multi-year partnership, HSR will provide expertise in vetting entries for authenticity, competitor and participant registration and full technical scrutineering for both the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and Monterey Pre-Reunion.

Previously owned by SCRAMP, who also held the franchise for the track, and now owned by the County of Monterey, new track managers A&D Narigi will take care of the event in its entirety, retaining the marshals, rescue and medical, timing and scoring and all ancillary activities associated with the event. 

HSR will play a critical role in the selection process and ensure the cars are appropriately grouped.  It will take responsibility for technical inspection, competitor relations and conduct driver meetings, etc.  When it comes to on-track racing, HSR will be the primary point of contact.

Established in the mid-1970s, HSR is currently operated by David Hinton, who acquired majority ownership of the organisation in 2012 in partnership with the late George Tuma.  A racer himself, who often participates at Monterey, Hinton has served as HSR President ever since.  When asked about his plans for the event, Hinton said, “I think what they’ve got going on has been phenomenal with the best cars in the world racing out there and I don’t think we need to change that.  It’s simply the best vintage race in the country.  Some of the people on the East Coast have never been comfortable going out there, so I think they might be a little more inclined to send an entry in now.”

“Our intent is to continue evolving the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion to new levels of excitement by continuing to attract and present the very finest historic and authentic race cars that owners want to drive and fans want to see,” explained John Narigi, president and general manager of WeatherTech Raceway. “In partnership with HSR, we will continue this journey.”

The Blower Continuation Series is a run of 12 newly-built recreations of one of the most famous Bentleys of all time – the supercharged 4½-Litre ‘Blower’ Bentley raced by Sir Tim Birkin in the late 1920s.  Forming the world’s first pre-war continuation series, Bentley Motors is creating 12 cars amid protests from owners of real Bentleys and the disapproval of many historians and lovers of the original cars.  All 12 new cars have been pre-sold.

 

Hancocks’ 40 minutes of Classic K glory

Father and son Anthony and Ollie Hancock’s fine Mintex Classic K race victory at Thruxton on July 26 was the super-fast Hampshire circuit’s season-opener and the historic element of the Classic Sports Car Club’s belated 2020 season start.

Lithe Lotus Elans are ideally suited to the sweeps of the aerodrome circuit, where Jon Fletcher and Richard Jenvey were among the stars of Modsports races in the 1970s, thus the Hancocks and 2019 winner Paul Tooms were the men to beat.

The Hancock car, in which they finished an astonishing fourth in last September’s Spa Six Hours had not been used in the interim.  Nonetheless Anthony had a shock in Friday testing when its left rear wheel departed at the flat-out Church corner, but not before Ollie had posted a low 1m29-second lap (an average of over 95mph), almost certainly the first FIA Appendix K 26R-spec Elan inside the 90-second barrier.  Tom Ebbs repaired the car for Sunday qualifying, replacing both stub-axles.

Allen Tice/Chris Conoley qualified their Marcos 1800GT on pole with 1:31.766, with the Hancocks and Tooms close behind. The 39-car field’s Touring Car split was led by Ollie and Mel Streek (Lotus Cortina) and Dan Williamson (Falcon Sprint).     

Tooms led initially from Hancock Sr, but long-distance specialist Tice outbraked Anthony a couple of times into the complex to give Paul breathing space as he acclimatised to his Elan, rebuilt since last August’s Oulton Park shunt.

First to make the mandatory stop was Tooms, after eight laps, freeing Hancock.  He went five more laps, scrabbling clear of Tice who put Conoley in after 15.  Stephen Bond then had a lap in front, before pitting his red 26R for Cliff Gray to finish.

 

By that stage Hancock Jr was flying, Ollie setting a new lap record of 1:29.618 (94.64mph) as he screamed to victory. Tooms had no answer, his brakes overheating, but kept second 32 seconds adrift as the Marcos challenge faded.

Fourth, a lap down from the back, having run the wrong tyres in qualifying, was the TVR Griffith of Peter and Nathan Dod.  Nigel Winchester was a grand fifth in his Ginetta G4, narrowly beating Roddie Fielden’s Shelby Mustang GT350.

Driver of the race, though – and lauded by the marshals for his commitment, consistency and inch-perfect lines – was Luke Wos who finished an excellent 10th in his immaculate Wosp Performance Turner Mk2, powered by a 1650cc Ford engine.

We have lost another friend this month with the passing of Patrick Quiniou, after a long spell of ill health at the age of only 65.   A  whole generation of French racers will have great memories of Patrick  and the race meetings he organised, most notably the Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or and the Grand Prix Historique de Pau.  Patrick began his involvement as a racer, with a Terrier, then a Lotus 23 and a Mustang, but preferred to focus his efforts on the organisational side of things.  He became President of ASAVÉ in 1997 and remained in the role until 2000.  He also created the autumn meeting that is now known as the Dijon Motors Cup, and took over the organisation of the very popular Easter Meeting at Paul Ricard.  He brought his son, Louis, into the business, giving him the foundation that has allowed him to go on to have an important role in the historic section of the FIA.

Patrick’s conception of historic racing was that it should be fun for all the participants, that things should be kept simple and friendly and that no one should take themselves too seriously.  He had a light touch, keeping officialdom to a minimum and his meetings were always relaxed and a pleasure to attend.  With the reputation for being irascible at times, overriding that Patrick had a wonderful sense of fun and humour, for which he will always be remembered. 

To his family, Carol, Louis, Margaux and Lauren, we offer our sincerest condolences.

“A lot of investment of self goes into a winning car at this level.  It involves keeping going beyond reason when things do not go so well.”

It is with the upmost sadness that I write that Jon Dooley, a friend of 35 years and someone with whom I have enjoyed many adventures, left us on 2 September.  The historic motor racing world has lost a great supporter and the Alfa Romeo owners of this world will all be particularly hard hit by his absence.  He was a font of experience and knowledge and his generosity in sharing what he knew and his love for the cars was prodigious.

His racing career is well documented.  From his Giulietta racing days while still at university to his co-founding of the Squadra Alfa, which later became the Alfa Romeo Dealer Team, running the British Saloon Car Championship and the BTCC in the mid-seventies all the way up to the 1980s.  With a string of first and seconds in class, this happy band of privateers – every member of the team, including the engineers and mechanics had day jobs – caused a sensation, competing on a budget of less than 10% of the professional teams they were up against.  Napolina, which imports Italian foods into the UK, first lent its support to the team in 1976, and its colours of black relieved by red and green striping became synonymous with ARDT cars for many years.   In 1980, he took an eight-year-old Alfa Sud with 85,000 miles on it and turned into a racer that won the 1300cc class in the 1981 Saloon Car championship against the works Metros in the Tricentrol series.   

He was at various times the owner of Brookside Garage, which prepared Alfas for competition, the Chairman of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club, the editor of their magazine, the founder and Chairman of the Scuderia del Portello GB, financial controller of Alfa GB and the owner of many historic Alfas and other cars.  Most recently he has been writing articles for the Alfa Romeo magazines and he was working on a book recounting the history of the Alfa Romeo factory at Portello.  He was also the friend who, though wildly overqualified, took the financial side of Historic Motor Racing News in hand and made sure we paid our VAT and filed our taxes correctly. 

Amongst my many memories of him was his support when I decided to get a racing licence and he held my hand and team managed me in my first season of racing – in an Alfa of course.  My car was faster than his, so I outqualified him and lined up on the grid a couple of rows ahead.  When the lights changed for the standing start, I thought I was doing pretty well when he shot past me as if I was standing still, and of course went on to beat me soundly in the race.  When I asked him if he’d jumped the start, he replied,  “No, I was just in a hurry.”  Also, once the licence was obtained, we did a crazy trip down to Perugia in 1990 for the historic Giro dell’Umbria in my little Alfa SZ, during which we rarely ever stopped laughing.  That’s when I discovered he was an even worse passenger than me.  Or sharing the car at the Christies Festival at Silverstone when Jon was uncharacteristically late for drivers’ briefing.  Reason:  He rolled his Fiat Uno on the roundabout coming out of Towcester and it took him a while to get the car upright again!  I learned so much about driving from him.  During that Silverstone meeting, with quiet confidence building, he talked me into going five seconds a lap quicker.  One of the greatest compliments I was ever paid was when Gregor Fisken said to me, after we’d been dicing on the track that day, “Oh I thought it was Jon driving.”

In our October 2019 issue he talks about his time as an amateur competitor against the pros with clear pride in his accomplishments, but also with the down to earth realism that all who knew him appreciated so much.  Despite his many accomplishments he was incapable of being arrogant or snobby and instead maintained a simple, friendly attitude to everyone he met.  He shared his time and his knowledge with all who needed it, and he was a good friend to those who were lucky enough to count amongst his friends. 

To his wife Meg, to his brother James, and to all his many friends and family we offer our sincerest condolences.  We very much share in your sadness at his going.  Rest in Peace Dear Jon.  CS

 

The 2020 NK HTGT season finally got underway at Zandvoort on the weekend of  12-13 September with two 45-minute races in the Kronos organised Benelux Open weekend.  Despite COVID restrictions in the Netherlands, some 25 teams were raring to go, sharing the track with Triumph Competitions.  Qualifying was interrupted by a red flag, but the clock was stopped and the session generously restarted after everything had been cleared up.  Full marks to Kronos for this, other organisers please take note!  Rhea Sautter and Andy Newall took pole in their E-type, posting a 2:00.8 lap on the new circuit layout.

The first race on Friday afternoon saw Newall build up a lead from Jos Stevens in his Lotus Elan, with Bob Stevens, who had had trouble in qualifying moving up quickly to fight for fourth with the Ford Falcon of father and son Jaap and Jacky van der Ende.  Sadly both these teams were to retire.

After the compulsory pitstop, Stevens overhauled Sautter, now in the E-type to take the win.  Roland Zoomers took third in his E-type, beating touring car winner Bart Deenik (Ford Falcon).

Saturday’s race again saw Newall build up a lead, only for Stevens to take over after the pitstop.  Kaj Dahlbacka drove a steady race and took third in the Corvette Grand Sport, while Frans van Maarschalkerwaart (Shelby Mustang) managed to reel in Zoomers E-type, only to receive a time penalty for a pitlane infringement.

Bart Deenik (Ford Falcon) and Bas Jansen (Ford Mustang) were touring car winners and Sjoerd Peereboom and Jasper Izaks won GTS11 in their MGB both times.

Bumper entries mark the resumption of the French rally season

Rallye de la Châtaigne

After the long break between the Touquet Pas-de-Calais rally in March, and the second round of the French Historic Rally Championship, the Rallye de la Châtaigne finally got under way on 19-21 August.  The 2020 edition offered a concentrated route with more than 160 special stage kilometres with the city of Autun, in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, as its hub.  A record attendance of 171 competitors in modern cars, 57 in VHC and 22 in historic regularity, with waiting lists, welcomed the return of the French Rally Championship.  Competitors praised the organisers for their forethought in ensuring the safety of all the participants and spectators in the light of the COVID restrictions and remarked how well-run every aspect of the rally was.

Impressive entry in Parc Fermé in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

In the historic speed competition, past WRC driver, Alain Oreille, with wife Sylvie as usual on the notes, was the star of the show, untouchable in his 911 Porsche, finishing over two minutes ahead of reigning French Historic Champion Alain Foulon’s Ford Escort RS and winning 11 of the 12 special stages outright, and fastest in all 12 in his category.  Foulon’s challenge was hampered by a fuel pump failure on the first stage, but he and co-driver, Sébastien Mettai, finished third overall and second to Oreille in the crucial group 1/2/3/4 category.  Benoit Chavet and Pascal Boyer in their BMW M3 drove the only group N/A/B car to outclass them for second overall and victory in their category. 

Christophe and Anne Baillet won a three-Porsche race in the regularity section.

Rally Mont Blanc Morzine

Leader for half the Mont Blanc rally, Alain Rulland in his BMW M3 fell back to third but suddenly went on the attack in the very last stage to pulverise last year’s winner, Pascal Perroud, taking over 18 seconds off him in the stage and nally winning the rally by 6.8 seconds

Next on the French Calendar was the Rallye Mont Blanc, on 3-5 September.  Once again there was a full house, with 315 entries of all categories including 58 in historic competition.  Alain Rulland, accompanied by Xavier Machet, proved himself to be king of the Alpes in his BMW M3, fastest overall and winner of his category.

Three Cheers for Favaro

Jean-Marie Biadatti reports

 The 29th edition of the Tour Auto Optic 2000 had to be postponed to September because of the pandemic and the continuing health situation led some competitors to withdraw at the last minute.  There were nevertheless 195 competitors still at the start, with 102 in regularity and 93 in the competition category, the latter including four previous winners.  Shaun Lynn and Ludovic Caron brought Shelby Cobras, Jean-Pierre Lajournade was in his winning Jaguar E-type, and the winner of the last two editions, Raphaël Favaro, who drove a Lotus Elan 26R in 2018 and 2019, was this year at the wheel of a Jaguar E-Type belonging to his co-driver, Lucien-Charles Nicolet, prepared by Equipe Europe.  Damien Kohler also abandoned his Lotus Elan for a 289 Shelby Cobra maintained by Gipimotor.  Porsche prototypes were in the spotlight for 2020 and there were three 906s in the VHC field, as well as a Porsche 904.

This year there was no start from a chateau but on the legendary Linas-Montlhéry circuit where the first special stage started on the road and ended on the speed ring, making an atypical special that saw Favaro dominate the debate.  We then witnessed a sumptuous battle on the Magny-Cours circuit in grid 4, which saw the victory of Mr John of B’s ​​Porsche 906.  Meanwhile Caron dropped right down in the results following contact with the Cobra of Frédéric Jousset, who was forced to retire.  There was also a beautiful battle in grid 3 between Sébastien Berchon (Austin Healey 100/4) and Stanislas Gurdjian (Morgan +4 Super Sport) that would continue at all circuits.

  

Chased variously by the Cobras of Shaun Lynn, Ludovic Caron and Damien Kohler, and the Porsche 906 of Mr John of B, Raphaël Favaro resisted them all to take his third Tour Auto victory, this time in an E-type Jaguar shared with Lucien-Charles Nicolet

The second leg started from Clermont-Ferrand and allowed competitors to have an early morning race on the grandiose circuit of Charade.   On the evening of this second leg, Mr John of B’s ​​Porsche 906 led the general classification ahead of Lynn by six short seconds, with Kohler and Lajournade further back.

The third leg, which took the rally from Limoges to Toulouse should have included a race on the Albi circuit, but the change of date for the event meant the circuit was no longer available.  Instead, there were three road special stages.  This was Favaro’s day, the Swiss getting to grips with his new mount and winning all three stages! 

On day 4 competitors crisscrossed the roads of southern France, passing through the magnificent site of the Cirque de Navacelles.  Once again Favaro dominated special stages, while Mr John of B lost a little time in a minor exit from the road.  Kohler missed a turning which made him also lose precious seconds. 

 

Less comfortable on the roads, Mr John of B lost time to the GT cars on the special, stages.  Photos PhotoClassicRacing.com

The last leg was shortened, with the finish taking place at the Paul Ricard circuit.  It remained only for Favaro to manage his lead, and he left the scratch win of the last special stage to Lajournade and the victory on the Castellet circuit to Kohler, who won it after a final twist of fate when the Porsche 906 of Mr John of B stopped with a seized gearbox. 

The final victory therefore went to Raphaël Favaro and Lucien-Charles Nicolet ahead of Jean-Pierre Lajournade and Christophe Bouchet and the Cobra of a Damien and Sylvie Kohler for what was an edition filled with suspense and drama. 

We should also note the excellent performance of Sébastien Berchon in his Austin Healey 100/4, a car from grid 3 that punched above its weight to finish in a fine fourth place. 

"

For us it was above all an edition to familiarise ourselves with the Cobra, which is much more powerful than what we have driven in the past,” explained Damien Kohler. “... nishing on the podium is a real satisfaction. Our direct opponents have been warned: next year, we are back to play for the win!”

A very important part of the Tour Auto is the index of performance result.  Here three lovely cars topped the podium, with Gilles and Marielle Couraudon winning in a Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 ahead of Diego Meier and the romantically named Giacomo Amoroso in a Ferrari 225S Vignale Berlinetta and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce of Jean-Yves Beaupigny and Garard Dumesne.  In fifth place was arguably the most exotic car in the rally:  a Pichon Parat Dolomites in the hands of Hugo Baldy.  A good fight all week between the Ferrari 308 Gr4 Michelotto of the Jean brothers and the Porsche 911 3.0 RSR of Emmanuel Brigand in the G/H/I categories resulted in a win for the Italian car, which finally to a lead of 2m16secs over the Porsche.

The regularity section attracts more and more specialists and becomes more and more closely fought.  Regular Tour Auto competitors  Jean-François Nicoules with his son François won this year for the  fourth time at the wheel of a Ford Mustang, beating 2018 winner Jean Rigondet in Porsche 356 and Patrick Bonnardel, driving a Triumph TR4.

For a full report, see out October isse…….

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