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

The 30th Anniversary of the huge summer festival at Silverstone - postponed from last year – has added a pair of pre-1966 Mini races to its one-make line-up, not only to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the diminutive Alex Issigonis’ designed car, but as part of its 30th Anniversary Greatest Hits’ celebration.  Minis were last offered a dedicated race, which met with huge success, at Silverstone in 2019.  Organisers of the Classic, set to take place at the end of July, have already announced a one-make celebration race for the 60th anniversary of the E-type Jaguar (see our January/February issue) on its busy schedule.

After nine enthusiastic seasons, Alfa Revival Cup organisers have announced the calendar for 2021.  “We have tried really hard to put together a calendar and have managed to finalise what until few weeks ago seemed impossible,” said series organiser, Tommaso Gelmini.   Traditionally run in close collaboration with Gruppo Peroni Race, which has hosted many of the Alfa Revival races from the beginning, early season events in Italy are already being postponed, and the decision has been taken to start as late as possible, with the first race at Monza on 29-30 May.  This will be followed by race at Misano on 19-20 June and Vallelunga in mid-July.   After the summer break, the Alfa Romeo drivers will gather again on September 11-12 in the newly renovated and extended circuit of Adria, while the fifth and final round of the series will again be at Monza on October 2-3.  For Alfa Romeos up to 1981, the regulations will remain unchanged.   There will be a test day in April at the newly-extended Varano de’ Melegari circuit where all confirmed Monza entrants will be invited. 

See www.alfarevivalcup.it for more details.

See the Historic Motor Racing News website for a full calendar of this and other European racing series.

With all the optimism in the air surrounding the prospects for the 2021 racing season, for some the nightmare is  already beginning.  The Peter Auto Dix Mille Tours meeting, which was to take place at Paul Ricard on 26-28 March has now had to be postponed until later in the year.  This has been a big blow, not just to Peter Auto, but to other organisers who have races scheduled in the early part of the year and who are also considering their options.  This affects mostly the organisers of big events that rely on the paying public for their revenue, and to those, like Peter Auto, who attract international teams, many of whom are living under travel restrictions.  It also affects the whole ambiance  for organiswrs like Peter,  who make hospitality and conviviality an integral part of the offer to competitors.

Thundersports

Revived by the UK’s Historic Sports Car Club  in 2019, the HSCC Thundersports series’ highlights in 2021 will be two events on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit; for the HSCC’s own International Trophy meeting; and for Classic Silverstone, as well as races on the Brands Hatch GP track, at Donington Park and the Spa Six Hours meeting.

The series is open to cars of the type that raced in the World Championship, FIA GT Championship and FIA 2 Litre Sports Car Championship up to 1981, along with Can-Am cars from the 1970s.  Just as in period, Sports 2000s are an important part of the series with a dedicated class covering all Ford Pinto-engined cars up to 1990, while there is an invitation class for other appropriate cars.

A particular emphasis for 2021 is being placed on attracting more GT cars to join the sports-prototypes and the Club is putting out an invitation for American cars from the Trans-Am and IMSA GT classes of the period to join the grid along with a wide range of Group 4 and Group 5 GT cars. 

The series has very strong links to HSCC heritage as it draws close parallels to the Atlantic Computers Historic GT Championship run by the Club from 1982 to 1990. 

Andy Dee-Crowne, CEO of the HSCC, said: “As well as our regular competitors we’re keen to welcome UK teams and drivers who usually race in Europe.  With the twin challenges of international travel during the on-going pandemic and the issue of carnets for those taking race cars out of the UK, we can offer drivers some great UK races at leading events.  We’re looking at the race format to see if we can add one or two longer pit-stop races to the mix alongside our usual format of two 30-minute races.” 

 

Photo Jason Ingold

Appendix K Cars for Road Sports

With more people racing closer to home last year due to travel and other restrictions, the trend looks set to continue for the coming season.  The HSCC’s Historic Road Sports series for production sports and GT cars up to 1969 is a case in point, with entries up by 25% in 2020.  Keen to attract even more competitors, the Club has extended an invitation to Appendix K under two-litre cars to join the championship.  These will include MGBs, Triumph TR4s, Morgans, TVR Granturas and 2-litre Porsche 911s.  Cars that conform to Appendix K but do not have current papers will also be welcome.  Over 3-litre cars running to existing Historic Road Sports regulations will remain an integral part of the championship.

To recognise the FIA specification cars, the championship’s annual David Barraclough Trophy for the ‘spirit of the series’ will be presented for the best performance in an Appendix K car in 2021.  The prestigious Porsche Challenge Trophy will again go to the best performer in a Porsche.

'80s Production Cars 

The HSCC has also confirmed a four-race schedule for its new 1980s Production Car Challenge, a perfect entry-level race series for production touring, sports and GT cars from the 1980s.  The highlight of the programme will be a chance to race on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.

The series is open to cars with standard bodyshells and only minor modifications to engines and suspension.  It is not open to Caterhams or homologation specials for competition.  Cars will be split into classes based on engine size, with a separate class for turbocharged cars, and all will race on treaded tyres.

Although 2020 plans were impacted by the pandemic, a pilot 1980s Production Car race was held at Cadwell Park last September, with cars ranging from an Audi Quattro to a Vauxhall Nova. 

See hscc.org.uk for details.

In what has now become a solid tradition, French classic car owners turn up in their country’s capital twice a year, winter and summer, for the Traversée de Paris.  This is a huge and joyful manifestation, made an even happier occasion this time, because it seemed right up to the last minute that it wouldn’t take place at all.  Organised by Vincennes en Anciennes, as the French lockdown was being eased owners of 580 classic cars, 89 motorcycles, 1 tractor, 41 bicycles and 3 buses finally got permission to gather in Vincennes for le Grand Départ to take them on a parade through the streets of Paris on the frosty morning of 31 January.  Though they were confined to their vehicles, instead of making the customary stop at the café, the mood was happy just to be out and about

Photo VEA

Photo Francis Guilbot

Replacing the long-standing Vie en Bleu event that ran from 2011 until being cancelled last year due to COVID, and celebrated France and French motoring, Prescott Speed Hill Climb is launching a new all-Italian event as part of its 2021 season, ‘Prescott Italia’.

Owned and operated by The Bugatti Owners Club, Prescott is one of the oldest motoring venues in the world and annually welcomes car enthusiasts from around the globe to their historic hill set in 69 acres of Cotswold countryside.  Visitors will see hundreds of classic and modern cars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and, of course Alfa.  ‘Prescott Italia’ will celebrate everything Italian on Sunday, May 30.

Full details of the event will be on the Club’s website in due course.

Only run for one year in 2019, the concours d’elegance, staged on the frozen lake in St Moritz was one of the first COVID casualties last year when it was cancelled at the last minute in early February.  Alas, the 2021 event, scheduled for the end of February, once again had to be cancelled.  Due to its setting on the frozen lake, postponement to later in the year is not an option and the event has been re-scheduled for February 26, 2022.

Plans are well underway for the 30th edition of what organisers style as ‘the Ultimate Tarmac Rally’, which will take place in 2022, starting from the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Launceston, Tasmania, the same location from which the very first Targa cars departed back in 1992.   Started by a group of local enthusiasts, the Targa Tasmania, and its sister Targa events, including Targa Great Barrier Reef, which now form a national championship, were taken over by the big Australian Automotive Group and long-time Targa sponsor, Dutton Group in 2019.

 

Dutton intends to continue to develop the event and the championship, and, in a year that has seen all event organisers take huge financial hits, Dutton is taking on new staff to better develop the Targa brand. 

Amongst the highlights that have been announced for next year’s anniversary event are new competitions, categories and classes added to the existing structure, major shows and associated events before, during and after the main event, new street stages in the longest Targa course yet, with more than 500 entries in two categories, Competition and Touring. 

Organisers have put out a call to all those who were there for the first event, and already some 70 have responded to say they will be coming.

Usually run in May, the 2022 Targa Tasmania will run in early March when the weather in Tasmania will still be sunny and warm.

After all the setbacks of 2020, the Belgian ASBL Spa Historic Racing Team has announced the creation of the Francorchamps Rallye Festival.  An event similar to the Eifel Rallye Festival, Alsace Rallye Festival and Rallyspirit in Portugal, it will consist of a vast demonstration of historic rally cars in their original livery, often driven by rally stars of the period.  With rally festivals proliferating around Europe, this one will be based at the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit, with a show stage in the town of Stavelot on the programme, on 23-26 September.  Alpine will be the celebrated marque for this first edition of what is planned to become an annual event. 

See francorchamps-rallye-festival.be for details.

The new Scuderia Oriente, with the collaboration of Corsica superstars Dominique Savignoni, Yves Loubet and Sabrina de Castelli, has announced a new challenge, the first half asphalt and half gravel rally exclusively for Historic Competition (VHC) and Regularity (VHRS) competitors.  The 1st Aleria Historic Rally will take place on 8-12 June and offer four days of special stages on the Island of Corsica, the first two on asphalt and the second two days on loose surface.  Competitors can choose to run on hard surface or loose – or both, and there will be three winners declared.  For the moment there is only a Facebook page, (Aleria Historic Rally) but a website is under construction or you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.