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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.