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 Contents September  issue:  Latest News - Bits & Pieces - Rally News - Classic Marathon - Rally Weiz - Lahti Historic Rally - Heroes of Historic Motor Sport - Insider’s Market Report - Zandvoort Classics - Seven Questions for Erik Comas -  Nogaro Classic - VSCC Prescott - NKHTGT - Classic Silverstone - Historic Tour Dijon - Alfa Revival Cup

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December 2020

 

 Content from the December 2021 Issue.....

  • The Historic Sports Car Club has unveiled its provisional race calendar for 2021 covering nine race meetings on nine different circuits.  New for next year is a two-day mid-summer meeting at Donington Park, and a change in the Brands Hatch Indy date, which now moves to the Friday preceding the Grand Prix circuit weekend, making a three-day event using both versions of the track.

    As before, the HSCC will also be the organising club for the Silverstone Classic, which will run on 30 July-1 August next year.

    Andy Dee-Crowne, CEO of the HSCC, said, “No one can currently predict where the UK will be with the COVID pandemic by the start of next season, but we are very hopeful that we will be able to run a full programme of racing in 2021.”  (see our calendar page for these and other 2021 dates).

  • Though still provisional the Motor Racing Legends calendar has been released with five major race meetings on the schedule (see our calendar page for these and other 2021 dates).  “We are optimistic for next year, but you’ll see that we have taken the precaution of planning a more UK-focussed calendar in 2021 to minimise the potential for disruption.” announced MRL boss, Duncan Wiltshire.

    But there are other changes too.  After the successful 3-hour race, put together at the last minute to fill the end-of-season void, MRL has decided not only to repeat the experiment next October 30-31, but also to add a 3-hour pre-‘66 race to its Donington Historic Festival line-up in May as well.  “Everyone really enjoyed themselves this year and drivers are keen to do it again,” said Wiltshire.

    In another announcement, it was confirmed that after an approach by the new team at Jaguar Classic, MRL will run the Jaguar Classic Challenge in 2021, part of which will next year include a big celebration race at the Silverstone Classic for the Jaguar E-type’s 60th anniversary.  Further details of the Jaguar Classic calendar will be announced soon. 

    Besides their own series for ’50s sports-racing cars (Stirling Moss Trophy), ‘50s GT cars (Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy), and Touring Cars spanning nearly three decades, MRL also administers the prestigious Pre-‘63 GT series, which this year will have two rounds, at Thruxton and at the  Silverstone Classic at the end of July, where the Royal Automobile Club Historic Tourist Trophy will be awarded to the winner.  A perpetual trophy, housed at the RAC in Pall Mall, the Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars was inaugurated in 2010 and has been won by, amongst others, Carlo Vögele/Willie Green (Ferrari 330 GTO in 2010) Stuart Graham and Richard Attwood (Aston Martin DB4 GT in 2011), Wolfgang Friedrichs/David Clark (Aston Martin DP212 in 2012), Jackie Oliver/Gary Pearson (Ferrari SWB in 2014) and more recently by Martin Hunt and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards in an AC Cobra in 2019.

    One Make Races for GT40

    In a further announcement, Motor Racing Legends and DK Engineering have revealed that they will also run two, 80-minute races exclusively for pre-1966 spec Ford GT40s including FIA compliant continuation models.  “One of the most prolific drivers of all time, Chris Amon, will forever be associated with the GT40, and we are deeply honoured that the Amon family will present the awards at each round,” said Wiltshire.

    The first race will be held at Donington Historic Festival on 1-2 May, with the second round at Motor Racing Legends’ newly-announced end-of-year meeting on 30-31 October on the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit.  Prospective competitors are asked to register their interest with Motor Racing Legends at www.motorracinglegends.com.

  • One of the largest American historic racing organisations, Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) has announced an ambitious 17-event schedule for 2021, the most events in the organisation’s 42-year history.  With many new events and circuits in the mix, SVRA will also be visiting the west coast more often, including race weekends at Sonoma and Laguna Seca.

    Notably missing from the schedule is the flagship Brickyard Invitational at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  SVRA CEO Tony Parella explained that he built the meeting around the Vintage Race of Champions (VROC), now on hold due to uncertainty about whether spectators will be allowed to attend.  “We built the Brickyard Invitational around the Pro-Am racing,” he said.  “Our first-ever Pro-Am was in 2014, and we need that element for the weekend to make sense.  I will be regrouping with the IMS team in January to explore options for 2022.”

    Meanwhile, Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) have also announced their calendar for next season, featuring its traditional events on traditional dates.  The season will again begin and end at Sebring International Raceway, in March and December, with the season’s highlight, the big HSR Mitty at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta meeting, the event’s 43rd running, on April 21-25.  As reported in our October issue, as of next year HSR will also take over the running of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and Monterey Pre-Reunion, which take place on back-to-back August weekends at Laguna Seca.

  • Bengt-Åce Gustavsson Reports

    Racing in Norway was affected just like everywhere else when COVID-19 arrived this spring, with the first race meeting, at Rudskogen, postponed until late June.  With restrictions in place, including a rule that said anyone who had been outside Norway’s borders in the two weeks before the competition was not allowed to enter the area, all foreigners were effectively excluded!  This applied to drivers as well as officials and the press…

    The biggest event of the season is usually run in August each year at Rudskogen.  The Norwegians were expecting the rules to ease by then, so they invited foreign drivers to compete and they had almost 200 cars registered when stricter requirements were imposed instead, and they were not allowed to run the competition at all!  They partly solved the problem by moving the event to Vålerbanen, which is not so close to Oslo where the big summer spike in infections was, but of course, there were far fewer participants.  At least they had a competition.  The two final meetings in September were also run at Vålerbanen.

    Atle Ramberg won seven out of eight races with his distinctive Ford Escort 1300 GT ahead of a determined John A Johansen in his Mini 1275 GT Atle Ramberg won seven out of eight races with his distinctive Ford Escort 1300 GT ahead of a determined John A Johansen in his Mini 1275 GT.  Photos Jörn Petersen

     
     Norwegian historic racing is divided into three different groups that run along FIA cut-off dates: Cars before 1965; cars between 1966-1971 and cars after 1972.  Eleven cars participated in the oldest class this year, of which eight were Ford Lotus Cortinas.  Ola Svendsen missed the premiere at Rudskogen, but then he won five of the remaining six races with his Cortina.  Frode Alhaug was the smoothie himself this year with his Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.  He did not win any races but took lots of podium places and finished second in the points.  Arne Teig started the year best with three victories in the first five races, but then he missed the final and finished third.

    Mathias Havdal took over his dad’s well proven Porsche 911 RSR and won all eight races for post ’71 cars

    In the contest for cars from 1966-1971, as usual, Atle Ramberg was at the top.  He won seven out of eight races with his distinctive Ford Escort 1300 GT.  John A Johansen tried to hang on and he took one victory and five second places with his Mini 1275 GT and came second overall in the final rankings.  Odd-Andreas Ingebrigtsen came third with his Austin Cooper S.

    The class for the newest cars was the largest this year with 22 starters.  They had also invited cars newer than 1990, but these did not get any points.  Mathias Havdal took over his dad’s well-proven Porsche 911 RSR and won all eight races!  Tor Magne Tjemsland started in a “new” BMW M3 E30 and came second.  Terje Nordmark came third with his Opel Kadett GT/E.

    Hard tryer Thorkild Solberg

    It was a short and intense season for the Norwegians this year.  They can hopefully look forward to a better 2021.

  • As the season in Europe comes to a close, it’s springtime in the southern hemisphere and the NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series season is just beginning.  With travel for competition outside New Zealand’s borders virtually impossible, the Formula 5000 Association are preparing for a wholly NZ-based 2020/21 series of races.   Contested over just four - rather than the more usual five, or even six - rounds, the season kicked off on 13-15 November at the Circuit Chris Amon in Manfeild Feilding NZ.

    The rest of the season is scheduled from January to March:

    22-24 January 2021 - Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park Taupo

    05-07 February - Mike Pero Motorsport Park Ruapuna

    20-21 March - Hampton Downs Waikato

     Heading the entry list is reigning champion young, Michael Collins from Christchurch, who will once again be behind the wheel of one of Alistair and Vicki Hey’s Leda/McRae GM1s.  This season though he will be driving the original Tasman and US L&M Series-winning 1972 Leda LT27/GM1 001, while older sister Anna Collins will take over the Leda LT27/McRae car Michael used to win the 2019/20 title. 

    Like her older sister Katherine, and younger brother Michael, Anna, 28, enjoyed a successful career start in karts.  She then graduated to the South Island Formula Ford championship in 2015 and won the NZ Class 2 Formula Ford championship in only her second year in the category.  Last season she finished fifth overall in the South Island F1600 Series. 

    Set to take the battle to the Collins siblings this year is 2019/20 series’ runner-up Glenn Richards from Auckland (ex-Eppie Weitz Lola T400) and the series’ other familial pair, father and son David and Codie Banks.

  • Anniversary Edition

    Way back in April, when the Modena Cento Ore was postponed to 11-15 October, it seemed like an impossible dream, but the persistence of Luigi Orlandini and his team paid off when a reduced grid of 24 cars in the competition section and nine regularity competitors, as compared to the usual hundred cars, lined up in Rome to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this popular event. 

    Crews gathered at Villa Borghese in the centre of Rome for scrutineering and then set out for an early evening parade through the city centre, taking in all the monuments and tourist attractions the eternal city has to offer, with some racing cars suffering from being forced to run at such a slow pace.

    he annivesary event started with a tour of Rome.  Photos Courtesy Canossa Events

     

    The following day, crews drove to Perugia via two runs over the classic hillclimb Rieti Terminillo, steep, but fast if you have the horsepower, while the following day, the cars paraded through some of the hilltop towns that characterise this part of central Italy on their way to Florence, with a stop for racing at the Magione circuit on the programme.   With so few cars they all shared a common grid. 

    The cars line up at Imola for the last race of the event with Janssens’ Porsche up front

    As always on the Cento Ore, there is racing and there is enjoying the sights of Italy, and before the final drive into Florence crews paused for drinks in Arezzo under the Logge del Vasari in Piazza Grande.  Belgians Glenn Janssens and Tom de Geetere arrived at the top of the leaderboard in the Piazza Ognissanti in their Tuthill Porsche 911 SC, with Andrew Siddall and Sebastian Perez 1800 Escort less than 2 seconds behind.  Initial leaders, Kevin and Lee Jones from GTO Engineering, suffered mechanical problems in their Ford Escort RS 1600 and so had dropped down the order.  Richard Evans and John Faux arrived a day late in their Iso Rivolta IR 300, having repaired the clutch that failed during the parade in Rome.  First period F car was Roddie Feilden’s Shelby Mustang, co-driven by Simon Jeffries and the stunning SEFAC Ferrari 250 SWB of Arnold and Melanie Meier, was the first Period E car.

    The Kadoorie Porsche continued its winning ways over the stages, but was clearly too far behind to be able to catch up

    In the regularity section German crew Stephan Rohleder and Nadia Hahn led in their Porsche 911 2.4T by a tiny margin.

    The following day was just as much of a challenge for organisers as it was for the competitors.  First test of the day was on the beautiful Mugello circuit just outside of Florence, where, as the cars lined up on the grid, the rain started.  This soon turned into a storm that brought out the safety car.  The race was able to resume after a few laps, and amongst various spins and offs, which happily didn’t lead to any damage, Philip Lawrence Kadoorie and Daniel Wells, in their Dansport Porsche Carrera RS proved the most agile in the conditions, with Sidall up next followed by Janssens.   The Iso Rivolta showed what it was made of by coming fifth, and Roddy Feilden somehow managed to tiptoe his big Mustang to the line in sixth place ahead of the E-type of Swiss crew Thomas Kern and Stephan Peyer to take Period F honours. 

    Glenn Janssens and Tom de Geetere celebrate overall victory

    Two stages in the wet rounded off the day without change in the leaderboard.  It was all change, however, for the organisers, when new rules governing distancing and gatherings were published 24 hours before.  The Gala Soirée at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, planned for that evening, had to be re-routed to the Ballroom of the St. Regis and they were also working on changing the final prizegiving ceremony from the Military Academy of Modena to the Enzo Ferrari Museum.

    On the final day, the goal of arriving in the Piazza Roma in Modena was now firmly in sight, but first two more hillclimbs awaited and the best treat was reserved for last, a race on the circuit of Imola.  The day offered, wet, dry, dusty and leafy conditions.  The Kadoorie Porsche was clearly too far behind to be able to catch up, while Janssens’ Porsche enjoyed a comfortable cushion to Sidall’s Escort.  Kevin and Lee Jones were back in their Escort, performing well on the stages, but way behind in the overall rankings. 

    Arnold Maeier’s stunning SWB SEFAC nished ninth and second in Period E

    So it was Glenn Janssens and Tom de Geetere that rolled into Modena as overall winners of the 20th anniversary edition of the Cento Ore.  Though they only won one stage outright, their consistency while all around them faltered, paid off.  They were followed by Andrew Siddall and Sebastian Perez, with Philip Kadoorie and Daniel Wells on the third step of the podium, all three cars in the G/I categories.  Period F winner, and an excellent fourth overall was the Swiss Scuderia Apax Jaguar E-type of Thomas Kern and Stephan Peyer.  Louise and Jason Kennedy captured the Period E Trophy and the Index of Performance award, driving  their Lancia Aurelia B20. 

    Stephan Rohleder and Nadia Hahn maintained their lead in the Regularity section in their Porsche 911.

    Competitors, many of whom had braved quarantine and logistic restrictions to get there, were grateful to Orlandini and his team that the event took place at all.  They had seen an autumn Italy, with the leaves turning red and gold and the sun lying low, in stark contrast to the usual mid-summer date.  Canossa Events CEO Orlandini summed it up, “There is no doubt that this was the most difficult edition from an organisational point of view.  I have my team to thank for their commitment and for their prompt action when faced with the never-ending changes in the regulations, as well as the authorities for their advice and support.  But the biggest thanks of all go to all the participants who decided to come and join us on our 20th anniversary”.

    Though socially distanced, there was still elegant dining in Florence

    For a more detailed report see out December 2020 issue…

  • 70th Anniversary

    Only 28 cars took the green flag at the start of the Carrera Panamericana on October 15 this year, among them were French, American and Canadian crews, who had managed to get to Mexico despite all the restrictions.  Starting this year in Oaxaca, Studebakers, as usual, were favoured, and top teams included past winners Ricardo Cordero and Marco Hernández, Gabriel Pérez and Angélica Fuentes, Hilaire and Laura Damiron, Douglas Mockett and Manuel Iguiniz, in Doug’s trusty Oldsmobile, as well as Carlos Pulido and Francisco Ortiz, who compete in a Ford.

    “I am convinced that all the great rallyists in the world must live La Carrera Panamericana before they die,” said event Grand Marshall, Ari Vatanen  Photos Courtesy La Carerra Panamericana

    The first day was run in rain and heavy mist for almost the whole day and proved to be a fight between “El Malditillo” being the Studebaker Champion of Cordero and Hernández, and “El Commander” of Franco/Brazilian couple Hilaire and Laura Damiron, the former ending the day in Veracruz with an advantage of over a minute, with Pérez and Fuentes in third.  The two leading Studebakers continued to slug it out, as Ricardo Cordero slowly increased his lead as the days passed, while Pérez and Fuentes were to suffer mechanical issues on two of the days, eventually giving third place overall and first in the Historic B Plus class to Alexis and Oscar Uribe in their Porsche 911. 

    Ricardo Cordero and Marco Hernández scored their third Carrera Panamericana victory

    And so it was that Ricardo Cordero and Marco Hernández scored their third Carrera Panamericana victory, as they rolled into Torreón after seven days and 3900kms, with nearly 700kms of special stages.  After winning two stages out of seven on the last day, 2017 champions Hilaire and Laura Damiron, came home in second place in “The Commander”, an extraordinary car that always remains in the fight.  Carrera veterans Gabriel Pérez and Angélica Fuentes refused to give up, landing in fifth place overall and third in the Turismo Mayor category.

    Pascual Piccolo and Rafael Alvarez tackled the stages in a Datsun 260Z

    As enthusiastic as ever, the live stream of the event recorded more than a million viewers, and though distanced from competitors and each other, many fans still turned out to see the cars along the route and as they arrived in the town squares across Mexico.

    “We thank each and every one of the fans, competitors, authorities, sponsors and the media for being part of the legend in its 70th Anniversary in this very complicated year.  We were able to deliver free of charge, over 3,908.98 kilometres, one face mask for each kilometre travelled.  In addition we bring to all Mexicans, in the most remote areas of our country, a message of peace and unity, where we are all moving forward, despite the circumstances.”, commented an emotional Eduardo León, Honorary President of La Carrera Panamericana.

    xis and Oscar Uribe’s reward for their conistency was a third place overall and first in the Historic B class

    For a more detailed report see our December 2020 issue…

     

  • a little smaller, just as loud

    Patrick Tremblay Reports

    The Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) Classic Daytona presented by IMSA shook the coast of Florida for its fifth running on 4-8 November with a colourful spectrum of historic race cars.  More than 60 years of speed were represented, from late-‘50s American muscle to barely-past-their-prime prototype and GT cars, all attacking the famous high banks for the 24 hour event. 

    Billing itself as the “World Center of Racing,” Daytona works hard to earn the title.  The coastal Florida city is famous for its long sandy Atlantic beaches, but its thundering heart is the Daytona International Speedway.  This sprawling complex is built around a 4-kilometre (2.5 mile) tri-oval stock car track, bordered on one side by a massive 123,500 seat grandstand, hosting a variety of motorsport events including the NASCAR crown jewel, the Daytona 500. 

    Jim Cullen and Frank Beck keeping their distance atop the Group A podium  Photos Patrick Tremblay

    Sports cars get another mile of asphalt with the addition of a tricky infield road section, as well as a chicane to break up the super-fast outer track.  This full 6.23 km (3.87 mile) course is home to the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Rolex 24, which joins the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans to form what many call the triple-crown of endurance racing. 

    If attending an event at Daytona is a pilgrimage craved by most enthusiasts, then the chance to race there is to be lusted over.  HSR’s annual event provides the perfect opportunity, with seven classifications designed to create close competition for almost any car.  The Classic Daytona 24-hour race debuted in 2015 and was originally intended to run every other year on a schedule opposite Le Mans Classic.  This would give international competitors an opportunity for a premier round-the-clock race annually, in Europe one year and America the next.  However, HSR’s second event, in 2017, proved so popular that it became an annual running, growing each of the next two years. 

    R III Racing brought a 1979 BMW M1 Procar

    Then 2020 arrived, pandemic in tow.  Like most of the world, HSR had to cancel some events and reconfigure others, but decided ultimately to go ahead with its signature Daytona Classic with concessions made for travel restrictions and social distancing.  The downsides were evident; fewer spectators, more subdued and distanced celebrating, and most significantly, the absence of dozens of European teams that had added colour, intensity and flair to the past few events. 

    The winning Corvette’s original red, white and blue livery was modi ed in a homage to US President Donald Trump

    Competitors seemed unphased by the lack of fireworks, autograph sessions and driver’s forums.  The thousands of masked fans in attendance, likewise, didn’t seem to mind.  The focus has always been on the machines, mechanics, drivers and support crews that make the glorious speed, sound and fury possible. 

    Porsche 911 iterations were the weapon of choice in Group B

    Though some distant teams weren’t able to attend this year, and grid numbers were down, there were still many significant or rare cars on track being run at full tilt.  Two fan favorites, both from 1979, were cars that hadn’t been raced in decades.  The No. 94 “Road Atlanta” 1979 Porsche 935 was recently restored by Carlos de Quesada and his Alegra Motorsports team.  Fans and competitors alike were thrilled to see the deep-yellow ex-Whittington Brothers Racing car make its first race start since winning the 1979 IMSA GT final at Daytona more than 40 years ago. 

    For the full report see our December 2020 issue

  • The final of this year’s Swedish Racinghistoriska Cup was run during the Velodromloppet Historic GP in Karlskoga.  Postponed to 16-18 October from its usual June date, the meeting was run in very rainy autumn conditions, with everyone thankful that at least it didn’t snow!  For this and other reasons, the meeting saw the lowest grid numbers seen in years, with fewer than a hundred cars.  All the competitions this season have been run without an audience, but just like in Falkenberg, the proceedings were live-streamed.

    Bengt-Åce Gustavsson Reports

    Many participants have been lost in all the classes this year, but one of the great joys is Formula Vee, which has kept a steady and high level of participation - and what exciting races they have offered.  Lars-Gunnar “Vegas” Johansson took pole by just over a tenth of a second ahead of Johan Lund, with this year’s shooting star, Richard “Tiny” Persson, who had come to the meeting leading the championship, qualifying third.  It was these three fighting for the podium places in the final.  Lund proved strongest and won both races, meaning that he took the “grand slam”.  Winner of the Formula Vee series, he also took this year’s overall RHK title and won the National Championship for historic formula cars!  “Tiny” had to settle for second place in all three contests.

    Formula Vee Champion Johan Lund took the “Grand Slam” of championship titles.  Photos Bengt-Åce Gustavsson

     

    Lund also participated in the Formula Ford heats with his double-carburettor Formula Vee.  As it was raining, he had the great advantage of his rain tyres and was therefore first over the finish line in both races, while the Formula Ford drivers fought amongst themselves. 

    There weren’t so many slicks in Formula Slicks, where the F2s of Torgny Johansson (March 782) and Michaela Månlycke (March 812) had a hard time finding grip for all their horsepower.  Mikael Nordlander stepped forward and won both races with his F3 Ralt RT30. 

    The 1000cc Cup has had a tough year with many dropouts, and for the final only ten cars started.  Hans Beckert was in a class of his own in the wet conditions in his 970 Mini, finishing far ahead of teammate Torbjörn Andersson in an identical car, who was having his first race of the year.  Old rally fox Håkan Huggare took care of third place in both heats. 

    Stig Blomqvist enjoying the weather, in a Mini in the over 1000cc race

    In the races for pre-‘66 GTs, Anders Schildt dominated in his Austin Healey 3000, once again beating Lars Weigl’s Porsche 911 and the MG Midget of Per Roxlin in race 1.  Sixth in the first race, Jimmy Edvardsson upset the order in his MGB in the second race, passing both Roxlin and Weigle – as well Bengt-Åke Bengtsson’s Lotus Elan - to finish second.  Claes Andersson scored a fifth place in heat 1 and sixth in heat two in his Austin Healey 3000, giving him enough points to win the 2020 GT-Sportscars title.

    Two over 1000cc Saloon Car contests were topped by Kevin Bengtsson, who finished two seconds ahead of none other than Stig Blomqvist (both in Mini Coopers) in the first race.  Hans Eklund was third in his Saab Sonett II.    Blomqvist didn’t contest the second race and Jonas Pölda, who had not been in the first race, took second in his Mini Cooper MK2 ahead of Hans Beckert.

    Finally, the race was on for the newer Saloon and GT cars where Anders Berger took his Ford Escort 1600 RS to two victories. 

    Along with Formula Champion Johan Lund and Sportscar Champ Andersson, the overall Saloon Car title went to Kenneth Nilsson, driving his Volvo 142 “Swedish flying brick”.

  • Edgy Edwardians star in SpeedWeek potpourri

    Marcus Pye Reports

    Curated to showcase the best aspects of the Goodwood Members’ Meeting, Festival of Speed and Revival - all lost to the COVID-19 pandemic this year - SpeedWeek was a colourful mix of motor sport genre performed behind closed doors at the motor circuit on October 16-18.  Streamed live, it provided a snapshot of the brand to loyal sponsors, GRRC members and Fellowship subscribers and petrolheads globally.  Filling the void was always going to be tall order, but overall the stopgap, which hung in the balance as lockdowns loomed and international travel logistics changed throughout its gestation, probably succeeded.

    Drifting illustrated raw power in a bizarre tyre-frying skill set

    For competitors, support teams, demo participants and those of us there covering the event it was very strange not having tens of thousands of spectators enjoying the opportunity to don genteel vintage wear, or buzzing grandstands, or commercial partners’ hospitality suites, or even the hurly-burly of myriad sideshows and trade stalls around the campus.  Nonetheless, at the heart of the three-day show, the core product was as strong as ever.  Unmistakably Goodwood, but without the motorcycle brigade, omnipresent since the inaugural FoS of 1993.

    Seventy Years of Formula One and a Silk Cut Jaguar reunion brought daily colour.   Photo Courtesy MotoHistorics

     

    The ‘Rally Super Special’ worked well, its seven short stages run in daylight and darkness.  Drifting - while not, perhaps, to the hardcore enthusiasts’ taste - illustrated raw power in a bizarre tyre-frying skill set.  While the Goodwood Hillclimb record-holding Volkswagen ID-R was a late withdrawal, the Shootout for the lap record brought surprises across a broad spectrum of machinery.  Seventy Years of Formula One and a Silk Cut Jaguar reunion brought daily colour, building to The Duke of Richmond & Gordon’s heartfelt tribute to ‘Mr Goodwood’, Stirling Moss.

    Freed from the constraints of the Revival’s Pre-1966 timeline the race programme still commanded most excitement. 

    Appropriately Gregor Marshall was on pole for the Gerry Marshall Sprint race in his Vauxhall Firenza.  Photo Jason Ingold

    For spectacular motoring, nothing could match the SF Edge Trophy double-header for Edwardian cars in the spirit of the BARC’s remarkable Brooklands era, before that track was closed by the war in 1939.  The sight of four very different cars and their apparently fearless drivers doing battle was akin to a motorised chariot race of the early 20th century.  Ben Collings in the Sinsheim Museum’s Blitzen Benz Land Speed Record car; Mark Walker’s thunderous 200bhp Darracq - which completed a 1,000-mile return trip to Europe last year; hirsute son Hughie on the Hildyard family’s 10-litre aero-engined Theophile Schneider and Julian Mazjub’s sublime Indianapolis Sunbeam (which finished fourth at ‘The Brickyard’ in 1916, with Belgian Joseph Christiaens) were the protagonists at the field’s sharp end in two five-lap jousts.

    Will Nuthall and Miles Grif ths battled at the head of the Richmond & Gordon Trophies pack

    The Goodwood Trophy contest for Grand Prix cars and Voiturettes of 1930-‘51 went the way of David Morris in ERA R11B -  nicknamed ‘Humphrey’ for the marque’s financier Humphrey Cook, while the Glover Trophy was a period 1500cc F1 fixture of the ‘61-‘65 epoch, carrying much prestige among historic racers.  This time McLaren GT star Michael O’Brien, 26, put a cat among the pigeons by coming out in veteran Alan Baillie’s Lotus twin-cam engined Brabham BT14, Rodney Bloor’s period mount. 

    Marino Franchitti was uncatchable in Nick Mason’s Maserati Birdcage in the Lavant Cup

    The earliest sports racing cars on the programme were those of the 1952-‘60 era that populated the Lavant Cup race.  Marino Franchitti was uncatchable in Nick Mason’s Maserati Birdcage, try as James Cottingham (Tojeiro-Jaguar) did, ramping up the pressure when his Scottish rival’s rear tyres overheated. 

     

     

    Two big double-driver Gran Turismo races were on the bill.  Cottingham’s day was Friday when team-mate Harvey Stanley battled Gary Pearson in the Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy Pre-‘63 event in similar Jaguar E-types. 

    The Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy Celebration brought a magnificent Pre-‘65 field into focus.  Three-time Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer finally broke the ex-Peter Lumsden/Peter Sargent ‘63 race-contending Lister-Jaguar coupe’s luck - and the eight-year-old lap record - to the delight of its latest custodian Fred Wakeman.

    The Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy for Pre-‘63 cars was last race of the meeting on Sunday evening

    The Whitsun Trophy Pre-‘66 big-banger sports prototype race rewarded Mike Whitaker for the second time in his Lola-Chevrolet T70.  His task was aided by the early demise of Tony Sinclair, whose similar car was spun out at St Mary’s, leaving Gordon Shedden and James Cottingham disputing second in Ford GT40s. 

    Two tin-top grids brought action aplenty as ever.  Driving Bill Shepherd’s ex-Bo Ljungfeldt Ford Galaxie, Stig Blomqvist beat Nic Minassian in Adrian Willmott’s Studebaker Lark Daytona 500 by 0.283s in Saturday’s celebrity leg of the St Mary’s Trophy Pre-‘66 contest. 

    The later Group 1 cars of the 1970s - a Members’ Meeting favourite - saw Fred Shepherd drive a superb opening stint in the mini-enduro - bringing dad Bill’s Boss Mustang back from sixth to snatch the lead from Mike Whitaker (Capri 3.0S) - then handed over to Andre Lotterer with the lusty V8 in perfect condition. 

    The reverse grid Sprint race - appropriately with Gregor Marshall on pole in his Vauxhall Firenza ‘droop-snoot’ - again started dramatically when Jason Brooks’ Mini 1275GT tagged the inside kerb and flipped through St Mary’s, causing a bomb-burst avoidance and the inevitable stoppage. 

    After a busy weekend hopping from car to car across the race programme, Historic lap record holder former FIA Historic F1 champion Nick Padmore underlined his versatility in an ex-Derek Warwick 3.5-litre Arrows-Ford DFR A11 of a subsequent era.  From a short standing start through the timing beam Nick put together a splendid 1m09.973s (122.44mph) lap to win the Shootout on Sunday. 

    Read the full report in our December 2020 issue

     

  • The curtain comes down on an intense season

    Seemingly within only a matter of weeks from the delayed start of the season, the Historic Sports Car Club was on home ground at Silverstone for the annual Finals Meeting on the National circuit.  Good grids, some typical end of season excitement and decent autumn weather ensured an enjoyable weekend of racing even if Silverstone’s COVID classification meant that, like every event at the circuit in 2020, it ran without spectators.

    Paul Lawrence Reports

    Headlining the programme was a re-arranged Historic Formula 2 double-header to make up a little for the championship schedule being completely wiped out by the virus and limitations on pan-European travel.  That ensured it was a largely UK-based grid for the pair of non-championship races, but the 26-car field was another sign of the remarkable strength of the category.  Back in the Richard Evans-tended March 742, raced to a double win at Oulton Park by Tom Smith, Andrew Smith (unrelated) was peerless as he charged to a double Silverstone victory. 

    Andrew Smith raced to a Formula 2 double in the Richard Evans-run March 742.  Photos Eric Sawyer

     

    To back up his F2 victories, Andrew Smith also set the pace in Classic Formula 3/Classic Formula Ford 2000 races in the team’s March 783, but was denied victory on Saturday when the gearbox output shaft failed, but after an overnight trip back to Leamington Spa to get a replacement, Smith bounced back to win the second race on Sunday.

    Former Caterham racer Luke Stevens was superb at the wheel of George Douglas’ Ginetta G16 in the 40-minute Guards Trophy race

    Historic Formula Ford 2000 has enjoyed a fabulous season and an entry of more than 40 cars had to be split across two grids, but that made little difference to Benn Simms who had the handling of his Reynard SF79 right in its sweet spot to sweep to an impressive double. 

    The Historic Formula Junior season concluded with four races and double wins for Ray Mallock (U2 Mk2) and Cam Jackson (Brabham BT2), both clinching titles in the process

    At the wheel of the Ginetta G16 of George Douglas, former Caterham racer Luke Stevens was superb in the 40-minute Guards Trophy race and won by over seven seconds from the Chevron B6 of Andy Newall, and Kevin Kivlochan was the class of the 70s Road Sports field in his Morgan Plus 8, capitalising on the open spaces of Silverstone to stretch clear. 

    Philip Hall failed to nish the rst Historic Touring Car race but returned to compete in second

    An excellent field of Historic Touring Cars delivered two action-packed races and two winners.  Dan Williamson (Ford Falcon) won well in Saturday’s opening race despite a dogged pursuit from the Lotus Cortina of Richard Dutton.  But the Falcon developed an oil issue and didn’t start the second race, so Dutton was able to win from the similar car of his old mate Neil Brown.

    For more details see our December 2020 issue

  • Originally scheduled to consist of five race meetings, with two races at each meeting for each championship series, the FFSA and HVM Racing pulled off the unique feat of providing all five French Championship events, albeit with the first three rescheduled.  Now they are looking forward to a more normal 2021.

    “We are heading towards the seventh season of the French Historic Circuits Championship,” said Historic Tour promoter Laurent Vallery-Masson of HVM.  “For the 2021 calendar, we remain true to our habit of offering at least one different circuit each season and to vary the location of the final.  In the interest of the drivers and the teams, we have made sure to retain dates that do not overlap with those of other historic competitions.  Due to the crisis, major events such as the historic Monaco GP and Le Mans Classic have been postponed to 2021.  We had to take this into account.”  The dates are subject to FFSA approval (see our calendar page for these and other 2021 dates).

     

    Added to the usual schedule of Historic Tour championships and trophies, a new initiative is under discussion in order to give competitors more track time.  The idea is to create a 90-minute race that will take place on Saturday at the end of the day.  It will be open to all competitors already registered in one of the other GT, Touring or Prototype fields (Lotus Trophy excepted), who will thus be able to taste the pleasures of racing in teams of two or three drivers.  Called the “200kms de l’Historic Tour”, it will be organised over at least three meetings.

    “2021 will be for us a year embellished with the organisation of the Grand Prix de France Historique.  Scheduled for 10-13 June, it will again focus on the history of F1.   For the rest, the fields planned for the Dijon Motors Cup, which we were forced to cancel this year, are postponed to the 2021 edition.  We also have a period in May during which another meeting could take place,” Vallery-Masson added.

  • Bugatti Bonus

    Though the French Championships were decided at Val de Vienne in late September (see our November issue), there was still some fun to be had and some points to score for a few  of the individual French series at the October 16-17 Motors Cup meeting at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit.  Originally conceived on an international scale, the dreaded virus stopped the foreign grids from travelling to France and the event was scaled back to a two-day meeting for the final rounds of six French series.  With one exception, grids had free practice and qualifying on Saturday and two races on Sunday.

    Groupe PSA boss Carlos Tavares took pole and two wins in his Chevron B21, but José Beltramelli, impressive in his TVR Grif th, came away with the ASAVÉ pre-‘66 crown.  Photos Guy Pawlak

    At the close of Sunday,  2020 titles went to Xavier Jacquet in the Lotus Trophy, Julien Grenet in Saloon Cars Trophy, Gérard Besson in ASAVÉ Racing 75 and José Beltramelli in ASAVÉ Racing 65.  Having already won the F3 championship, Frédéric Rouvier, was absent this weekend, but Christian Vaglio -Giors and Alexandre Faucher tied for the Formula Renault Classic title.

    Breton Yoann Hervé (Peugeot 309 GTI) and 16 year-old Irishman Cameron Hawes (VW Golf GTI) had a splendid wheel-to-wheel battle for 45-minutes in the Youngtimer race

    Read our report in the December 2020 issue

  • Marcus Pye reports on an event, conceived and executed within only a few weeks, that proved to be like food to drivers starved of racing this season

    Historic Tourist Trophy brings Silverstone lining to MRL’s year

    Organised in the wake of the Spa Six Hours event’s late but inevitable cancellation, which rubbed salt into the wounds of a season torpedoed by Coronavirus, Motor Racing Legends looked closer to home for its 2020 calendar closer on October 25.  With tremendous backing from loyal partners the Royal Automobile Club and DK Engineering, and wonderful competitor support, the one-day meeting on Silverstone’s 3.66-mile Grand Prix circuit did more than turn the year around.  It pointed the way to the future.    

    Roger Wills and David Clark nished 7th in the TT in their Lotus 15, helping Ecurie Triple C to the Tourist Trophy title.  Photos Eric Sawyer

    Star of the show - run out of the cavernous Wing pits with a convivial hospitality lounge in the midst of DK’s tempting sales stock - was the three-hour Pre-‘66 team race.  Usually run at the Silverstone Classic exclusively for pre-‘63 cars, but cancelled this year along with the rest, it was decided to award the prestigious Historic Tourist Trophy title to the winning three-car team.  This required each crew to make two five-minute ‘socially distanced’ pit stops at times of their choosing, rather than within set windows.  While tactics came into play, this gave them the freedom to change strategies as the race evolved.

    “That was a proper race. I think we changed places ve times on one lap,” beamed Tomlin, having landed his rst HTCC win in the Batibouw/Thierry Boutsen tribute-liveried Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500

    The 58-car field stampeded away in beautiful autumn sunshine, but soon the skies darkened, heralding showers that changed the track conditions constantly.  With greater contact patches to put their Ford V8 power down nothing would catch the Shelby Cobras of Julian Thomas/Calum Lockie (Daytona Coupe) or Andrew Jordan/Adrian Willmott, which finished first and second in that order after a stout early scrap.  Best sports racer was the ex-Bruce McLaren/Syd Jensen Lotus 15 - a veteran of the 1959 TT at Goodwood - of Roger Wills/David Clark in seventh.  Having put so much into the event James Cottingham suffered cruel luck in the early stages, when a conrod ventilated his Tojeiro’s Jaguar engine while it was flying in fourth.

    “It’s like riding a wild tiger on wet lino - and that’s in the dry,” was Milner’s description of driving the ex-Mike Anthony Chevrolet V8-powered car

    When TSL’s timekeepers had ruminated over their figures the team results honoured Ecurie Triple C - Wills/Clark, Karsten Le Blanc/Chris Milner (Austin-Healey 3000) and Georg Kjallgren/Jeremy Cooke (Ford Mustang) - as the RAC Historic Tourist Trophy winners. 

    The morning’s three qualifying sessions on a wet but drying track were followed by 60-minute RAC Woodcote/Stirling Moss Trophy and Historic Touring Car Challenge/Tony Dron Trophy/U2TC mini-enduros.  Both were close-fought and contested with an end-of-term spirit.

    Nothing could catch the Cobras, and Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie took overall honours in their Daytona Coupe

    For a full report see our December 2020 issue