The Magazine

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

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The Magazine

Jean-Marc Laffont, President of  the Association du Circuit des Remparts d’Angoulême issued a statement on 16 august announcing the cancellation of the 2020 event. “Despite all our determination, the sudden spike of COVID-19 cases in the last few days has brought with it an ever-increasing number of measures and restrictions that has brought us to the ineluctable conclusion that, due to the very nature of the event, the Circuit des Remparts cannot go ahead this year.

“It is with extreme sadness that we make this announcement, but in view of the large number of people that the event attracts, it is clear it would represent a public health risk, even if all the precautions were followed. 

The whole team wants to thank all the volunteers, the partners, the suppliers, and the competitors, who have done so much in the planning of the event.  We start working now on a 2021 event that will be even more successful than the last three that we have had the privilege to organise since 2017.”

The Circuit des Remparts attracts huge crowds from the whole Charente region, and a large number of British competitors, who, at the time the announcement was made, are still under restrictions if they travel to France.

One of the biggest international race meetings of the year is still on track to take place on 24-27 September, but as we go to press – still some six weeks before the meeting is set to kick off -  the requirement for those visiting Belgium to go into quarantine when returning to other European countries is still in place, which could seriously jeopardise the numbers on the girds.  However, word coming from Brussels is that the pandemic is coming under control and they are hoping to be off the list within the next couple of weeks.  With a large number of teams coming from the UK, the good news is that they will have a special dispensation, for attending a sporting event, whether or not the quarantine is lifted.

As things stand, there will be no extracurricular activities in the paddock – no clubs, no vendors village, no FBVA meeting, no parking for ‘Oldtimers’.

This will certainly change the atmosphere in the paddock, but will not detract from the racing, which, unlike some other big festivals, is always the main focus of this meeting.  “We still don’t know whether we will be able to welcome spectators,” said  organiser Vincent Collard, “so we are concentrating 100% on the racing.  We have to wait until the regional government gives us the go-ahead for that, and for other questions, such as press accreditation, catering, etc., and at the moment, even the authorities don’t know what will and will not be possible when the time comes.”    Collard’s ever-resourceful Roadbook organisation has set up a reservation system, so that if spectator numbers need to be limited, the tickets will be allocated to those who booked in advance.

Photo Jeff  Bloxham

The entry lists are not yet published, but the Six Hours entry list is full, with reserves, and organisers are still fielding two or three new requests a week.  “And people are really looking forward to it.  There is so much enthusiasm from the people who are contacting us, you can feel their excitement to get back on the track!  He added, “All the teams on the list are European.  For obvious reasons we have lost the usual American, Hong Kong, and South American teams, but apart from that the percentages for the various European countries have remained pretty much the same, with at least 60% coming from the UK.”

Roadbook has an excellent web site that is kept scrupulously up to date.  Keep your eye on it for developments:  www.spasixhours.com.  You will also find the full list of support grids there and contact details for entries into each one.  These include the Masters FIA F1 and Sports Car Championship grids, as well as all the Motor Racing Legends grids, the HGPCA, Formula Junior and an HSCC closed-wheel race.  Bonus: there will be more room in the paddock for the teams!

MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > Spa Six Hours - Known Unknowns

Fulfilling a long-held ambition, Paulo Pinheiro, founder and CEO of the Autodromo Algarve has succeeded in bringing Formula One to his circuit.  This is good news for all of us, as at times in its history the circuit has been barely viable and this will give it the fillip it so richly deserves and help secure a healthy future for the venue.  However, it comes at a momentary cost for the Algarve Historic Festival, which has had to be postponed from its original 24-25 October date to 6-8 November, in order to accommodate the F1 cars.

This will put a full month between Patrick Peter’s Estoril meeting (9-11 October) and the Festival.  Grids are set to remain much the same as last year, with Motor Racing Legends bringing Pre-war cars, touring cars of all ages, and of course their flagship Woodcote and Stirling Moss Trophy grids that race into the night, which will come even earlier in November.  In addition the GT and Sports Car Cup and the Pre-’75 sports cars are on the timetable.

Weather in the Algarve is pretty reliable and is expected to still be fine in November for those very last rays of sun before it’s time for winter sports. 

Amongst the races at Algarve, the GT & Sports Car Cup is on the bill

MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > Algarve Classic Festival

From the first Spa Six Hours meeting, the late Barry Sidery-Smith organised a race there for British and “interesting” GT, Sports and Touring cars and when the Spa Summer Classic from  the same organisers started, Barry was in on the ground floor there too.  Sadly Barry is no longer with us, but the fans of the race are, and the “Sideways Club” founded in his honour, is inviting entries for the “The Barry Sideways Spa One Hour “ race at the new Spa Hat Trick Meeting on 10-11 October 2020.   Cars from the ‘50s to the ‘80s are eligible, with only treaded E marked tyres or treaded DOT approved tyres allowed.  No slicks.  The entry fee is a modest €350 per car.  Email Cheng Lim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information and entries.

 

Always an eclectic mix of cars for the Barry Sideways race at Spa

MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > Sideways at Spa Hat Trick Meeting

Peter Auto has announced its 2021 calendar, which includes five race meetings for its regular series, very similar to what it should have been this year, plus the postponed  Le Mans Classic, the date for which has been set at 1-4 July.  A new feature will be two test days for its series competitors at the Paul Ricard circuit in early March.  The schedule will be marked by anniversary celebrations of the 10th running of Le Mans Classic and Spa-Classic and the 30th anniversary of the Tour Auto Optic 2000.

MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > Peter Auto 2021

In the wake of the dreaded COVID pandemic, the Valletta Grand Prix Foundation announced that the Malta Classic, which was to take place on 8-11 October, has been cancelled.  2020 will be the first year since 2008, that the annual street racing event, along with all its peripheral activities, will not be taking place.  Attracting thousands of enthusiasts to the picturesque island each year, the Malta Classic committee has promised, “the most thrilling edition yet for its drivers, patrons and spectators alike for Malta Classic 2021.”   The four-day national event is scheduled to be back on the road on 7-10 October next year.

Racing in the streets of Malta will be back next year

MAGAZINE  > LATEST NEWS > Malta Classic

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

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