The Magazine

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

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.

 

The Magazine

MAGAZINE  >  LATEST NEWS  > Peter Auto Confirms 2020 Calendar

The ever-industrious Patrick Peter has announced some changes to the Peter Auto programme for 2020, starting with the Dix Mille Tours event at Paul Ricard, which next year switches from its end-of-season October date, to a season opening 4-5 April.  Dates for Spa Classic and GP de l’Age d’Or remain stable in May and June respectively, and in early July the Peter Auto team will be concentrating all its efforts on the biennial Le Mans Classic. This year the race grids ran at Monza in September, and will do so again next year, while, to cap off the season, Peter’s team is to take over the running of the Estoril Classic event, next year on 9-11 October. See peterauto.peter.fr.

Photo Agence Austral

MAGAZINE  >  LATEST NEWS  > Peter Auto Confirms 2020 Calendar

MAGAZINE  >  LATEST NEWS  > Deux Tours d’Horloge Back on Track in 2020

Six years after the last edition organised on the Paul Ricard circuit, the only 24-hour race exclusively for historic cars, will be back next year.  The new chapter in the event’s history will begin on 6-8 November, 2020. As in the past, V de V Sports will be the prime promoter, but this time the event will also benefit from the support of HVM Racing, official organisers of the historic events for the FFSA. Laure Van de Vyver will be in charge of the general coordination.

 

MAGAZINE  >  LATEST NEWS  > NZ F5000 Series

After excursions to Australia and the US this year, New Zealand’s world-leading SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series, will stay closer to home in the coming 2019-2020 season.  “One of the main reasons is cost,” said NZ F5000 Association committee member and spokesperson Glenn Richards, owner/driver of the ex-Eppie Wietzes Lola T400. “The majority of the series regulars pay all their own car, maintenance and travel bills and it all adds up, particularly if you are away from your home base and business for more than a week at a time,” he explained.  “As the demand from race meeting organisers here is stronger than ever, we have five rounds between November this year and March already sorted - and a sixth – in April next year – a distinct possibility.”

Photo Fast Company/Geo Ridder

MAGAZINE  >  LATEST NEWS  > Dunlop Saloon Car Cup - 2020

The Historic Sports Car Club has confirmed plans to build on the success of the inaugural Dunlop Saloon Car Cup season in 2020. The series covers three distinct groups of saloon and touring cars: Group 1, Group A and Super Touring/S2000, and provides eight races at four high-profile historic race meetings for cars from 1970 right through to 2006. All three groups have a dedicated podium after each race. Next year’s calendar will again focus on four double-header events at prime UK tracks, giving eight races at very competitive entry fees. There will be some detail changes to the class structure but the headline features of the series will remain unchanged.

Photo Courtesy HSCC

A total of 40 drivers took part across the four events this season in a fabulous array of cars, ranging from Super Tourers to a Group 1 specification Mini 1275 GT and six examples of the stunning Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth. See hscc.org for entries and details.

MAGAZINE  >  LATEST NEWS  > Dunlop Saloon Car Cup - 202

MAGAZINE  >  LATEST NEWS  > 50 Years of Formula Ford in the US

Formula Ford’s 50th anniversary in the United States was celebrated on 11-15 September at Road America. Hosted by the Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association and sponsored by Ford, over 200 drivers competed from 33 states, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and the UK. The FF50th was a busy weekend both on and off the track with three Formula Ford race grids, a birthday party on Thursday evening, a group photo on Friday, and a concours d’elegance and banquet on Saturday. 

Photo Jay Bonvouloir

MAGAZINE  >  LATEST NEWS  > 50 Years of Formula Ford in the US

MAGAZINE  >  LATEST NEWS  > A Few 2020 Dates

As usual we will be publishing a full calendar of races, rallies and special events in our January/February issue, which you will receive at the beginning of the year. However, we can share a few dates now for those of you who are planning to get married or have babies next year and want to avoid clashes, and for those just keen on planning ahead.

MAGAZINE  >  LATEST NEWS  > Norwegian Finals

Divided into three groups - Pre 1965, 1966-1971 and 1972-1990 - the Norwegian finals for historic racing were run at the 2.5km race track at Vålerbanen on 8 September. 

Atle Ramberg on his way to victory the last race of the year in his Ford Escort 1300 GT.  
Photo Bengt-Åce Gustavsson - www.racefoto.se

MAGAZINE  >  FEATURES & REPORTS  > Mustang Milestone

Ford Mustangs of all model series since the sports car’s launch in 1964 met on September 7 at the Lommel Ford Proving Ground in Belgium to set a new world record for the largest number of Mustangs ever gathered in one place.  With a total of 1,326 Ford Mustangs, the previous record was broken, which was set on December 3, 2017 with 960 vehicles in Toluca, Mexico.  More mustangs are sold per capita in Belgium than in any other European country.

Wonder how long it took them to get so neatly lined up Photo Courtesy Ford Belgium

 

MAGAZINE  >  Latest News in Brief > Alfa Revival Cup - Misano

Round four of the Alfa Revival Cup, the last race before the long summer break, took place at the Misano World Circuit on July 13-14.  Dodging a morning thunderstorm, the young driver from Milano, Davide Bertinelli took his first ever pole position at the head of the 23-car grid in his GTam, as Austrian Gerald Grohmann lined up alongside with Roberto Arnaldi just behind.

Race winner young Davide Bertinelli.  Photos courtesy GPS Classic

The biggest race meeting for historic cars in Norway is the “Asfalt Classic” at Rudskogen.  Nestling in the forest south of Oslo, the circuit was built in 1990, and rebuilt in 2011 when it was doubled in length to 3.217kms, offering an extremely challenging ride, the elevation changes offering some big slopes.  A few years ago the Norwegians put a major effort into historic racing at Vålerbanen, about two hours north of Oslo, that also included a competition for the Swedish RHK series for a few years.  Unfortunately, the meeting was stopped, but for a couple of years now the Norwegians have been interested in reviving this pan-Scandinavian concept at Rudskogen.  It is not an exact copy of the previous event, but the main focus is on the historic classes.  Drivers from all the Nordic countries were invited on the weekend of August 17-18, as was the sports car series from Sweden.  200 drivers took part in the races.   On Saturday rain poured down all day, but on Sunday the sun was shining.

Mads Gjerdrum splashes through Friday’s rain.  Photos Bengt-Åce Gustavsson – www.racefoto.se

Grouwels and Newall at Assen

The Dutch NK HTGT pre-‘66 championship made its yearly trip to the Assen TT track for the Gamma Racing Day event on August 16 in very changeable weather conditions.  A dry Saturday afternoon quickly became a very wet one just seconds before the start of race 1 much to the delight of the drivers of the nimble Lotus Elans, Alexander Schlüchter’s making a super start when the lights turned green.  But it was Roger Grouwels who powered past in the beefy Iso Rivolta 300, despite a misted-up windscreen.  Fending off the attacks of Martin Bijleveld in his powerful Ford Falcon, Grouwels went on to take a well-deserved win.  Third overall fell to guest driver Simon Gras, who took like a duck to water in the downpour in a Morris Cooper S.

Drivers are heading south to cheat the onset of winter for a number of attractive events

You are probably reading this at the end of September/early October and there are still a number of race meetings on the calendar before the season ends.  First of these is the Dijon Motors Cup on 5-6 October where, amongst others, the Dutch NKHTGT and the HSCC Historic Formula 2 series will finish their season and choose their champions.  Youngtimers, Triumph Competition and British HTGT and some more modern races will complete the programme. www.hvmracing.fr

After a successful inaugural event in 2019, the Sonoma Speed Festival will run for the second time on May 28-31, 2020 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  Billed as the place for the most authentic racing cars from the brass era to the modern age, along with the track racing, organisers also offer high quality hospitality to competitors, fine food and wine options, motorsport exhibitions, car shows and more, all in the lovely Sonoma setting.

 

The Circuit des Remparts will this year celebrate 50 years since the first ‘Circuit Automobile des Remparts’ at Angoulême with a re-evocation of that original grid.  Run in 1939 as two qualifying heats of 40-laps each, followed by a final of 70 laps, it was hardly surprising there were a number of DNFs behind eventual winner Raymond Sommer in an Alfa Romeo 308, the only truly modern GP car to have competed. 

This year’s event will feature many favourites, such as the Bugatti races, this year split into two categories, for four and eight and cylinder cars.  Other pre-war grids will include pre-war GP racers and there will also be a grid for Edwardian cars.  Post-war cars will run in two grids, for cars up to 1965 and for cars up to 1976.  In addition, numerous demos and themed runs are planned.

As usual there will be the Concours d’Élégance and the Concours d’État and the International rally, all culminating on Sunday when the streets are closed and the racing takes place in front of packed grandstands.  Dates this year are 13-15 September.  For once it doesn’t clash with Spa Six Hours, which has moved to 27-29 September this year, but it does clash with the Goodwood Revival.

This meeting has now become so big that it commences on Wednesday 25 September with track sessions for pre-war cars (this in collaboration with the Belgium Classic Cars Federation) and the activities of Aston Martin Heritage, who is sponsoring the track time for their customers with recent racing cars.  This is in addition to the two Masters Endurance Legends races, also sponsored by Aston Martin that were already shoe-horned into the event last year. 

The schedule for this year’s Spa Six Hour meeting is more packed than ever

As in previous years, Thursday is given over to free practice and testing for all competitors before the full race programme begins on Friday with qualifying for all grids and racing for a few.  All of the usual grids will be there, including HGPCA,  all the Masters grids, all the Motor Racing Legends grids, including pre-war sports cars, and the HSCC has its usual two-30-minute race slots, this year for closed wheel cars from any of their championships, from Touring cars, to Thundersports.  The HSCC also brings back its Jaguar Challenge.

After a successful run this year for historic IMSA cars at the Long Beach Grand Prix, next April Historic Formula Atlantic cars will run two 20-minute support races at the annual  IndyCar street racing event.

Races will run Saturday, April 18 along with the IMSA WeatherTech Championship race and Sunday, April 19 - the same day as the NTT IndyCar Series race -- with practice and qualifying on Friday.

The Formula Atlantic series ran at Long Beach from 1978-‘82 and 1989-2008 as one of the premier “feeder” series to top-level open-wheel racing.  “Hosting the historic Formula Atlantic cars are a natural at Long Beach,” said Cris Vandagriff, president of the HMSA, the body that will be organising the race.  “It will be so exciting to see these cars on the Streets of Long Beach again and have many of the former drivers attend the Formula Atlantic autograph session.  All the cars will be authentic in every detail including the livery they ran in-period.”

Contact HMSA at www.hmsausa.com for details and entries.

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

From our Editor..

We have a pretty active Facebook group, the members of which are historic motor sport enthusiasts from all the corners of the world, and I always look forward to reading their posts.  I saw a post by Ian McAlpine that I loved and decided to share it here.  However I then started looking into the personality of its subject and had to add some of what I found in my researches to what Ian originally posted.

The driver Alfonso Antonio Vicente Eduardo Angel Blas Francisco de Borja Cabeza de Vaca Y Leighton, better known as the Marquis de Portago, would have made James Hunt’s exploits seem run of the mill.  He was born in London and, aged 17 flew a light aircraft under Tower Bridge to win a $500 bet, losing his pilot’s licence in the process.  He played a ferocious game of Jai-Alai (Pelota), swam competitively, won a tennis title and took up top-level polo, yachting and shooting.  He was a fearless horseman, winning three successive French amateur titles, rode in the Grand National twice and, in 1956, represented Spain at the winter Olympics in their bobsleigh team coming a creditable fourth.  He also won bronze medals in the two-man event at Cortina d’Ampezzo  and the 1957 FIBT World Championships in St. Moritz.  He competed in many other sports, including the Cresta run, but unlike Hunt, de Portago wasn’t a drinker.  Wealthy, young, tall, dark and handsome, he was an international celebrity, plastered as much across the social columns and tabloid front pages as he was in the sports sections.  He was fluent in four languages.  His Godfather was King Alfonso XIII of Spain.

He won six major races, including the Tour de France, giving the 250 Ferrari its “Tour de France” nickname, the Grand Prix of Oporto, and the Nassau Governor’s Cup (twice).  He participated in five World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 1 July 1956.  Enzo Ferrari offered him a works F1 drive  in a Lancia-Ferrari D50A for the French GP at Reims.  His best result was a second place at the 1956 British Grand Prix (in a shared drive with Peter Collins).  In the British GP he was called in to hand over to Peter Collins. In Germany he was again called in, but didn’t object.  “One day someone will be asked to hand over to me”.  Ferrari valued the gentlemanly side of ‘Fon’, “that always managed to emerge from the crude appearance he cultivated”.

Founder of Autosport magazine, Gregor Grant, said of him, “The fellow does everything fabulously well.  Never mind the driving, the steeplechasing, the bobsledding, the athletic side of things, he could be the best bridge player in the world if he cared to try, he could certainly be a great soldier, and I suspect he could be a fine writer.”

Unsurprisingly, he was precocious when it came to women as well.  At just 20 he married Carroll McDaniel, a former model he barely knew who was several years older than him.  Though they had two children together, he soon divorced her so he could legitimise a Mexican marriage certificate to Dorian Leigh, a fashion model eleven years his senior, with whom he fathered a son. There was also a third lover, the last woman he’d ever kiss. The story goes that Mexican actress Linda Christian, ex-wife of actor Tyrone Power, was waiting for him at the Rome checkpoint of the ill-fated 1957 Mille Miglia.  De Portago stood on the brakes, ran to her, kissed her and carried on.

He was killed when a tyre burst on his Ferrari 335S and the car crashed into the crowd killing 10 spectators, himself, his co-driver and the Mille Miglia.  That was the last time the race was run.  He was 28 years of age.

As one contemporary said of him, “He packed more into his 28 years than most people pack into a much longer lifetime.” 

I was always aware of his fame as an international playboy, much of his story as a racing driver and his reputation for bravado, but when I started reading about all his other accomplishments I must admit I became fascinated by his character.  I’ve now discovered that Ed McDonough published a book about him in 2006, now out of print, about which one reviewer said, “It reveals many of the “exaggerated” claims that have been spread since Portago’s death, without doing damage to the reality of his life.”  So do take all of the above with a grain of salt.

Now that’s what I call Sprezzatura.  Steve McQueen eat your heart out.  Thank you, Ian, for your post.  CS

MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > King of Cool

It’s a race meeting.  Who is it and where is she?

Bonus question:  What Year?

Hint:  If you stood in the same spot today you’d find that not much has changed since this photo was

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > Competition

In order to support the organisations and the involvement of men and women volunteers in the field, the FFSA Steering Committee on July 29, 2020 decided on the following measure:

“Volunteers holding a license in 2020 will be offered the same license in 2021, subject to meeting the delivery conditions defined in the FFSA regulations.”

The Committee also sent out a reminder of the previous decisions designed to aid clubs and organisers with the challenges of the COVID situation.

- Reimbursement of calendar fees for organisers for events cancelled during the COVID-19 crisis.

- Freezing of technical regulations until the end of the 2021 season (apart from those related to security).

- Amount of the contribution for all Auto Sport Associations and Karting reduced to a symbolic €1

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > FFSA Announcement on Measures to Help French Motorsport

After the resignation of Frank Lyons, following his conviction by the UK’s governing body for cyberbullying, the Historic Sports Car Club members have elected Roger Bevan as their new Chairman.  Bevan, who is finally stepping down from racing his ex-Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus 69 F2 car, is already the man behind the runaway success of the Club’s Historic Formula 2 International Series.  Though Lyons reconsidered, “due to the tremendous support I have received from members and friends,” and put himself up for re-election, the membership decided a new face in the position was required.  Bevan’s commitment to Historic F2 has made it one of the best historic single-seater categories in Europe and his passion for the class goes back half a century to watching Fittipaldi race the Lotus at Crystal Palace. “It was a surprise result considering the strengths of my fellow contestants,” said Bevan, “Now the hard work starts!  So many unknowns, so many questions in this strange new world.”

Roger Bevan is stepping down from racing his ex-Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus 69 F2 car and stepping up to the role of HSCC Chairman

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > New Chairman for the HSCC

Since he joined the NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series in 2017, dynamic young Christchurch driver Michael Collins (Leda LT27) has been tipped as a likely overall series’ title winner.  And that is exactly what the 24-year-old now is, as the New Zealand Formula 5000 Association decided to call the result of the COVID-19-interrupted series after the fourth round and officially cancel the series’ final, which was to have been run at Hampton Downs in March.  Collins, with the most points to his credit in the season so far, has therefore been named champion.

“At the time we were quite bullish about getting in our final round, “ says committee member Glenn Richards. “But as the days turned into months I think we all started to realise that a better idea would be to put a line under the 2019-20 season and start planning for ‘20-21.”

The long-running NZ-based series could hardly have a better champion either.  A former karter and 2016/17 South Island (of NZ) Formula Ford champion, Collins has been impressing everyone with the maturity and racecraft he first displayed behind the wheel of the Alastair Hey-owned, Collins family-run, Leda LT27 at the opening round of the 2017/18 series at Pukekohe Park Raceway.  Then just 21 years of age, the mild-mannered young man, who works as an electrician, won his first F5000 race at the second round that season.  He enjoyed similar success over the 2018/19 season but like the year before, prior commitments meant he had to miss the final and key points-scoring round.  Congratulations to the new Champion.

Michael Collins won the 2019/2020 SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series in the family-run Leda LT27 after the  nal round was cancelled

 

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > Final Call on 2019/2020 Tasman Series - Michael Collins is Champion

A second weekend of 2020 track action took place at Shelsley Walsh with two meetings over the weekend of 8-9 August.  The annual Vintage VSCC day was held on Saturday and was followed by the Reg Phillips Trophy meeting on Sunday, as drivers got back in the seat and sharpened their skills up the 115-year-old hillclimb.

Both events were held behind closed doors, with the Midland Automobile Club ensuring  safety for all, and the sun flooded the Teme Valley all weekend to make the freshly cleaned 1000-yard hill as good, quick and grippy as possible.

The ever-quick James Baxter won the VSSC meeting with superb consistency over his two runs – he twice recorded 34.80 seconds in the Riley TT Sprite.  A host of new drivers also attacked the hill, including Charlotte Bowyer, who shared the family Lea-Francis P Type with father Simon.

The stunning class of Shelsley Specials included the GN BHD, the Becke Powerplus and the simply incredible 97-year-old Spider, which first took the outright record at Shelsley with Basil Davenport in 1926.  David Leigh was again at the helm of the car that utterly epitomises the pioneering spirit of hill climbing to this day, fresh from a winter engine rebuild and quickly getting back into the groove after all drivers had a bonus practice run.

It was perfect weather and the course was grippy and fast

Several competitors from the vintage day stayed over as modern cars joined them for the Reg Phillips Trophy meeting on Sunday.   The stunning Type 51 Bugatti of Edmund Burgess whirred its way up with the supercharger noise echoing through the Worcestershire trees, and the Freikaiserwagen that ran at Shelsley pre-war also made a return.

David Leigh in Spider that held the record at Shelsley in 1926...94 years ago!

David Leigh in Spider that held the record at Shelsley in 1926...94 years ago!

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > Shelsley Re-opens

While Club racing is restarting all over Europe and the US, those events that rely on large club and spectator participation have virtually all been cancelled for 2020.  From Monterey to Goodwood, from Silverstone Classic to le Mans Classic, all have fallen victim to COVID. 

These are the very events that require the most capital investment and huge amounts of forward planning, contract negotiations with all sorts of suppliers, staff recruitment, etc. etc.  While the organisers have put in all the work to stage them, alas, they will see no return on their investments this year.

Two such organisations have asked for help.  The Duke of Richmond and Gordon, who of course relies on activities and events at the Goodwood Estate, including the horse racing, has written to the friends of Goodwood and other interested parties asking that they join the Goodwood Supporters’ Association (GSA), with the joining fees going towards keeping the estate running during these hard time.  “It is my hope that, with the renewal of the GSA, you may consider standing beside us as we weather this storm’”, he wrote.  It seems he was answered by his many friends, as two weeks later, he sent a message of thanks.  “I wanted to convey a heartfelt thank you from both me and the team at Goodwood.  Our loyal Goodwood visitors have been overwhelmingly supportive in getting behind our reinvigorated Goodwood Supporters’ Association (GSA) and while the challenge still prevails, the kindness and support shown by so many of our fans will go a long way to ensuring that the spirit of Goodwood and our unique interpretation of the sport we love will continue.”

In the meantime, he has announced a new initiative, Goodwood Speed Week, for which many of his sponsors, including his main sponsor, Mastercard, have signed up, for an online race meeting (see our news item in the August issue).

Another victim of, in a way, his own success (because his event is so big), is Nick Wigley of Goose Live Events, who had to cancel the Silverstone Classic.  He has set up a crowd funding site to help his small events company through the crisis.  “As a small independent events company passionate about what we do, Goose Live Events has been hugely challenged financially by the need to cancel the Silverstone Classic in 2020.  With 10 months’ work already done by the team in preparation for the Classic prior to its cancellation and costs incurred for an event that isn’t now happening, COVID-19 has set us back by at least 10 years.  We will survive it, but we’d really appreciate your help,” he wrote to friends and competitors.  “Any support you feel able to provide would be hugely appreciated... and in recognition of the fact that our charity partner, Alzheimer’s Research UK, is expecting a drop in support by as much as 45% as a result of COVID-19, we will donate 10% of any funds received in this way to their very important cause.,” he added.  The address for donations is https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/support-the-silverstone-classic.

For those readers who have not followed the story so far,  Nick Wigley and Goose were originally engaged to run the Silverstone Classic on behalf of erstwhile organisers Racing at Silverstone Ltd. (RAS).  With nearly a year of work done, RAS was ready to pull the plug on the whole enterprise, which would have left Wigley facing a large unpaid bill for all the work his team had put in.  The alternative was to take over the event himself, debts and all.  They say necessity is the mother of invention, and Wigley saved the very existence of the Classic, which has gone on to thrive under his stewardship.

Looking on the positive side to 2021, provisional dates for next year’s Silverstone Classic are 30 July–1 August.  As usual, these will remain unconfirmed until the dates for the British Grand Prix are ratified by the FIA, usually at the start of December.

Those events that rely on large club and spectator participation have virtually all been cancelled for 2020 

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > Organisers Fall on Hard Times

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > From Our July 2020 Letters Section, From Louis Quiniou

Dear Carol, 

Thanks for the link of the May issue of HMRN, very funny article about the Reykjavik GP, a good read.

About Peter Collins’ article entitled The Time and Space Continuum, if of any interest to you, I started a lap time analysis back in the days I was working for Peter Auto that I continued up to 2016.  I feel the article is of interest but misses quite a few things.  Goodwood is probably the only place where one can compare lap times, given the circuit has not changed since its heyday, but of course it has been resurfaced.  Anyway, the interesting fact is if you look at those values:

2006, Pre-66 Whitsun Trophy and best time by Frank Sytner in a Lola T70 Spyder is 1:22:513 and which was also the last year I believe that the T70s were allowed to run the front high downforce spoiler, which is now only possible if you run a McLaren M1 like Chris Godwin.  Then comes the T70 times of 2012 (Pearson 1:19.703) and 2014 (Hart at 1:19.985), but what about 2016 and Padmore, who did a 1:17.079?  All competent drivers, just like Hadfield.  Both Pearson and Goodwin are even faster than the reference taken in HMRN but Padmore, another very competent driver, was really a break in terms of performance.  Ever since 2016 it seems that the previous level of drivers chosen for the race has changed back to a more capable but enthusiast type, maybe a way for Goodwood to hide the fact that it was getting out of control.  You may also remember the crash of Michiel Smits from the Netherlands and I guess things had to be calmed down.

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > From Our July 2020 Letters Section From Joel Wykeham

Faster Now Than Then?

Not Faster Than an Arrows

Dear Carol,

Peter Collins’ excellent piece in the April issue about the relative speed differential of some cars now and in period, reminded me of the well documented case of the Arrows A4 F1 car.

In 1982 this basically sound but heavier Grand Prix design would get smoked every time by the likes of Williams, McLaren and Brabham.  Despite having the same DFV engine and some highly competent drivers, it was, for example, over three seconds a lap slower than the leading FW08 at Brand Hatch that year, a huge gap by F1 standards.  Fast forward to Historic F1 in 2014-2017 and talented amateur driver Steve Hartley was using an A4 to beat many of the pros in their period-superior machines.  How was this possible?  Much credit must go to Nigel Rees at GSD race dynamics.  A very clever man who recently revealed he was once part of the support crew of the ‘good old boys’ Terry Sanger Camaro team at the Spa 24 Hours way back in 1973.  His company has since developed increasingly sophisticated engineering and computer analysis capabilities for all manner of race cars.  By recording detailed measurements and data, plus the use of potentiometers and software programming largely unavailable back then, they are able to make up for many of the advantages in dynamic road-holding, handling and aero efficiency that the bigger budget teams had at the time - and for much lower cost.  The need for the  ‘black art engineering’  role of a test driver is also thereby reduced to a minimum by science.

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > From our June 2020 Letters Section, From Simon Hadfield

Dear Carol,

Strange days these, I trust all is well with you.  Just to pick up on an article in the May HMRN about lap times, your correspondent interestingly takes my time from the last time I raced a T70 at Goodwood to make his comparison.  The point is that I was asked (effectively told) not to go faster than 1’20”.   I’m actually quite proud of my 1’19.955 done without a lap timer!  Your correspondent should really have compared Nick Padmore’s very much faster time, also set in a T70 that so “rang the bells” at the MSA. 

More interesting still are the lap times set at the TT in 1959.  Stirling was on pole at 1’32 and change in the Aston, Brooks second on 1’33 and a bit in the Testa Rossa and third was Graham Hill in the works Lotus 15 in the 1’34s.  Last time I looked the fastest Lotus 15s are now doing 1’25s....... and are not being driven by Graham Hill!

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > From our June 2020 Letters Section, From Nick Atkins

Dear Carol

Thank you for producing a very enjoyable magazine at a time when there is nothing substantial to report.

John Hopwood’s article in the May issue on technical developments in historic motorsport is very well balanced and in my opinion the directions that he proposes and the questions that he asks are all the right ones.

At club level, the CSCC for instance, operates loosely Appendix K events, as well as a number of other nostalgias such as Modsports and Supersaloons that are very enjoyable, but for National and International competitions a set of clear regulations is essential.

As I perceive it the current position of the FIA is back to basics, back to the homologation papers and any other hard information from period, and I’m personally happy with that since it means that it should not be necessary to invest in lighter and shorter lifed parts not used in period.

As we all know there are always opportunities to improve performance that are invisible to the kind of cursory inspection that time allows for scrutineering at competitions.  Right now the easiest things to check are most rigorously inspected, the labels on seat belts and fire systems dates, seat homologation, gloves, boots, suits.

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > New-Look Zandvoort

Niek van Gils did a track day at the renewed Zandvoort Circuit and loved it!

 

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > Coyote and Peter Auto

Historic motor racing, even if it could be described as a leisure activity, is a branch of motor sport that has to comply with regulations ensuring the safety of all those involved.  In particular, the regs impose the deployment of a safety car in the case of an accident or breakdown to ensure that a low speed is maintained to make the circuit safe during activity by marshals or rescue vehicles.  On long circuits like Le Mans, the arrival of the safety car can signal the end of a race for the drivers.  This is why slow zones were introduced in 2016 at Peter Auto events enabling circuits to be divided up into several sectors thus isolating the zone at risk where an intervention is taking place.

The promoters of the Silver Fern Rally in New Zealand have confirmed more details of the November 2020 marathon rally.  The rally will be based in Rotorua and will start on Sunday November 22 before finishing back there on Saturday 28.  Overnight halts will be in Gisborne, Napier, Palmerston North and Ohakune.  Peter Martin of the Ultimate Rally Group confirmed that the seven-day gravel rally, will cover 650 stage miles amongst the breathtaking scenery of the North Island.  “We’re aiming at a field of 70 cars and we need to get at least half of them from overseas,” said Martin.  “This year we will be supplying stage route notes and a DVD eight weeks before the rally.”  The move to notes is aimed at encouraging European crews to enter.   See https://silverfernrally.co.nz for entries.

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MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > New Sponsor for U2TC Offering R&D Tax Relief for Preparers and Other Small Businesses

 Offering R&D Tax Relief for Preparers and Other Small Businesses

U2TC has found a new sponsor in the form of Prospect Brigstock Services, a firm specialising in corporate tax relief.  While this may sound esoteric, it is, on the contrary, very pertinent to many of the small businesses and workshops that supply the technology to run the cars.  Ria Goff of Prospect Brigstock explains, “Most of our clients will say they are NOT eligible for tax credits and cash and absorb R&D costs because they see the expenditure as day to day running costs.  Because of this only a small number of companies are making the most of the R&D tax reliefs available to them.  We’ve listed three questions to ask yourself below, if you answer yes to any of them you could be eligible:

Did you encounter problems that required unique solutions?

Have you worked on a project that was a challenge to resolve, and could you explain the challenges you faced and how you attempted to overcome them?

Have your designs involved innovative or creative ideas, perhaps around more sustainable, more efficient or durable products?”

This includes the scientific or technological uncertainty of turning something that has already been established into a cost-effective, reliable and reproducible process, material, device, product or service, or an advance in science or technology.  Simply put there must be an improvement.  Whether that’s in the form of a service or manufacturing of a product.

Sounds like a lot of preparers we know.  Contact Ria Goff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see if you qualify.

MAGAZINE  >  BITS & PIECES > New Sponsor for U2TC Offering R&D Tax Relief for Preparers and Other Small Businesses

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