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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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February 2021

 Content from the February 2021 Issue.....

  • The Historic Sports Car Club has devised an outstanding 12-race (six race weekends) calendar for its 2021 Historic Formula 2 International Series, with highlights to be prime slots at three of Europe’s biggest historic racing festivals: The Historic Grand Prix de France at Paul Ricard, the Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix and, after the 2019 event was marked by a record field of more than 50 Formula 2 cars, the Silverstone Classic (see our calendar section this issue). Historic F2 was declared ‘race series of the year’ in the 2020 Royal Automobile Club Historic Awards. According to Championship Chairman Roger Bevan, “The signs are clear that the tremendous momentum gathered in 2019 will readily carry forward into 2021.”

    The Championship is open to cars built to period regulations for Formula 2, Formula Atlantic and Formula B, starting from 1967 and running right through to the end of the 1978 season. Later cars, designed to employ ground effect technology, are not permitted. See hscc.org.uk for full regulations.

  • Karin Kölzer and Stefan Eckhardt, organisers of the German-based Youngtimer Trophy for cars from homologation years 1966-1991, have presented an eight-event calendar for 2021 that spans three countries for its 29th season. Races include a three-hour support race on the world’s most demanding racetrack, the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where the Youngtimers will be on the racecard of the ADAC 24h race.

    For 2021 most races are of an hour’s duration, but the visit to the Nürburgring GP track will be run in two 30-minute heats with combined results. Such is the demand for places on the grid, cars will run in two race groups. From the small displacement cars such as NSU TT, VW Polo and Audi 50; to the stars of the 1970s like Opel Kadett C Coupe or Ford Escort; to the most recent vehicles, such as BMW M3 or Mercedes 190E, models that were successful in the DTM; or Group 5 Porsches that are regularly seen on the podium, the Youngtimer Trophy hosts a huge variety of machinery. See
    www.youngtimertrophy.de for details.

    Youngtimer Trophy, Provisional Calendar 2021

    April 16-18, Hockenheim

    May 21-23, Nürburgring GP

    June 03-06, Nürburgring Nordschleife

    July 16-18, Spa Francorchamps

    August 27-29, Assen

    September 17-19, Nürburgring Nordschleife

  • The 2021 Appendix K is available online at
    www.fia.com/regulations-0

  • 23-25 April Rechberg, Austria
    28-30 May Ecce Homo Sternberk, Czech Republic
    18-20 June GHD Gorjanci, Slovenia
    02-04 July Trento Bondone, Italy
    09-11 July Cesana Sestriere, Italy
    27-29 August GHD Petrol Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenia
    17-19 September Buzetski dani, Croatia
    24-26 September Coppa Chianti Classico, Italy

  • The Grand Prix De France Historique is, like its modern counterpart, moving from Magny-Cours to the Paul Ricard circuit at Le Castellet, and this year the biennial event will take place on 10-13 June, two weeks before the Formula One GP, when the weather and the joys of Provence should be at their optimum. Designed as a festival for single-seaters, the programme includes rounds of all the popular monoposto series: Historic Formula 1, MAXX Formula, Formula Ford Historic, F3 FRenault, the Lurani Trophy for Formula Junior, HSCC Formula 2, and two grids of GP cars from the HGPCA, for pre-‘61 and pre-‘68 cars. Promoted by HVM racing, entries should be made through individual grid organisers. Other races include GT and touring cars, Lotus Trophy, as well as a round of the Masters Sports Car Championship.

  • The Dutch Championship for pre- ‘66 Historic Touring and GT cars, NKHTGT, was established in 1996 and will enter its 25th anniversary year with a busier schedule than ever. Instead of the usual six events, drivers will get seven race weekends on some of the best European circuits, including two races at Barcelona-Catalunya on 3-4 September, which will be free of charge for season entrants. As support to the Hankook 24H Series, one of the races will be run at night. A very affordable series, thanks to large numbers of loyal followers on the grid and also to the generosity of sponsor Nolte Kitchens, the 2021 package deal for the entire NKHTGT season is €3,250 and single entries are €795 per event, for two races.

    Always a series focussed on preserving automotive heritage, organisers are at the same time looking ahead to the next 25 years. Effective from this year, the series will reduce its carbon footprint by offsetting greenhouse gas emissions from its races. This will be in collaboration with the Land Life Company, a technology-driven reforestation company with a mission to help restore the two billion hectares of degraded land worldwide. To achieve this, Land Life Company uses data and technology - drones, artificial intelligence and monitoring apps. By planting trees in places where they are most needed, the company ensures the restoration of important ecosystems, increased biodiversity and social and economic benefits for local communities.

    “We are pleased that as a racing series we can contribute towards making historic motorsport more sustainable. This is not a stand-alone initiative. We do this in cooperation with race organisers and the circuits. Together we are working towards the future of our sport, under the umbrella of the FIA Guide for Sustainable Events. Together, as drivers and supporters and board of trustees, we look forward to the next 25 years of historic racing in the NKHTGT,” commented NKHTGT Chairman Bert Mets.

    NKHTGT 2021 Calendar

    16-18 April Hockenheim

    4-5 June Zandvoort

    25-26 June Spa-Francorchamps

    9-11 July Zolder

    6-8 August TT-Circuit Assen

    3-4 September Barcelona

    8-10 October Dijon

  • The traditional start to the German Historic Motorsport season is the Bosch Hockenheim Historic event, dedicated to the memory of Jim Clark. This year, on 7-8 May, the feature race at the long-standing event will be a new Group C Super Cup race for Group C, IMSA & GTP cars running to 1982-1993 specification. With support from competition suspension specialists and main sponsor, KW automotive GmbH, this will be an inaugural standalone race for 2021 with more events planned for 2022. Zoe Copas, who has been the main contact and admin for the Group C series for many years, first with Bob Berridge at the helm, and then with Patrick Peter, said a number of people have been asking, “if we could do some races for those with smaller budgets, newcomers, less frequent racers etc. So in conjunction with Hockenheim circuit and the Gebhardt Marketing Services we will be the feature race at the Bosch Hockenheim Historic. The last time these cars raced at Hockenheim was way back in July 1985 when they ran in the 1000kms WEC race.” For entries contact zoe@groupcracing or see more details at www.groupcracing.com.

    As tradition dictates, the Formula Junior Lurani Trophy championship will also start their season at the Hockenheim Historic, and the HSCC will bring a round of its F2 Championship. Amongst local races on the programme is the German-based Tourenwagen Classic series, celebrating DTM cars of the ‘80s and ‘90s.

  • Just a few of short months ago, we reviewed Tony Merrick’s outstanding book, ‘A Life Restoring & Racing Historic Cars’ (see our September 2020 issue), and this month we must report the death, on 15 December, of this pillar of the early historic motorsport movement. As Tony set out in his book, he was one of the first to be enthusiastic about racing what were at the time out-of-date racing cars. He was one of the pioneers that conserved and restored these cars without knowing they would one day be a valuable part of our industrial heritage and without whom there would be far fewer of them left in the world.

    Tony was an early board member of the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association and at various times was the Association’s President and Vice President. A talented mechanic, who brought back to life, and at times even re-created, some of the worlds’ most important racing cars, Tony was also a fine driver himself and a life-long supporter of the sport. His book is a must-read for anyone interested in how the idea of racing old cars took off in such a big way starting from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Tony was very much a pivotal part of that story and remained a racer until recent years. We send our sincere condolences to his wife, Yvonne, who was very much involved throughout the journey, and to the rest of his friends and family.

  • The last 2020 meeting of the World Motor Sport Council has ratified a change to the Chairmanship of the FIA Historic Motor Sport Commission. By statute incumbent Chairman Paolo Cantarella could no longer hold the position after he had reached the age of 75. Cantarella was appointed in 2014 with strong support from Jean Todt, himself about to reach the cut-off date for office. The new Chairman, John Naylor, is President of Motorsport Ireland (the Irish ASN) and will continue to hold that office, and was already a Commission member. He also chairs the FIA Historic Circuits Sub-Commission. In recent years he has acted as permanent steward for the FIA Historic Formula One and Historic Sports Car Championships. “I got my first racing car when I was 18,” said Naylor, talking about how he grew to love the sport, “My father and I went to Mondello, it was my first time there, and we ended up buying a racing car before we left and I’ve been hooked ever since,” he recalled. The car was a Lotus 69 Formula Ford 1600. Now aged 57, he has a collection of historic cars. An experienced hillclimb racer, John is a long-time member of the Wexford Motor Club, serving as the Club’s Chairman on three different occasions. John has been married to wife, Una for 27 years and has a son aged 23 and two daughters aged 21 and 16.

  • In our September issue, we described the frightening accident that occurred at Elkhart Lake circuit when the Shadow Can-Am car driven by Jim Pace went airborne and landed upside down before skidding along the track for hundreds of metres. It could have easily ended in serious injury or even death for Jim, but he crawled out of the wreck completely unscathed. “I am fine. Not a scratch or bruise,” he said.

    Instead Jim Pace has been felled by COVID-19, on November 19 at the age of 59.

    Tributes have been flowing in for the sportscar racer, Daytona 24 and Sebring 12-hour winner, racing instructor, historic race organiser and, latterly, partner at Historic Sportscar Racing, the organisation responsible for the Classic Daytona 24 and Classic 12 Hour Sebring events, amongst many others. Pace’s relaxed southern style and natural elegance will be greatly missed in the paddock.

  • Canossa Events, who bring you the Terre de Canossa, Stella Alpina and Modena Cento Ore rallies, has acquired US based concours event and media company Cavallino Inc., organiser of the Cavallino Classic concours at Palm Beach Florida and publisher of the Cavallino Ferrari lifestyle magazine.  Founded just ten years ago, Canossa Events has rapidly expanded its rallying and other activities to include major events in the Middle East and the US, including many events on behalf of Ferrari S.p.A., such as the numerous Ferrari Cavalcades organised in Italy and globally.  At latest count Canossa was running more than 250 events annually.  Canossa was itself acquired last year by the giant digital platform Motorsport Network group, with an eye to continuing its expansion.  John Barnes, President of Cavallino Inc. said, “I have dedicated a lifetime to building the Cavallino community with a passion for all things Ferrari and it is a business with an impeccable reputation.  I received several offers for the business, but I wanted it to be part of an ecosystem that serves the Ferrari community where it can thrive.”  Luigi Orlandini, founder, Chairman and CEO of Canossa Events said, “I am delighted to welcome John and the Cavallino team to Canossa.  We share the same passion for classic and sports cars, and especially for the Prancing Horse.

  • 2021 will be the 110th anniversary of the foundation of the Italian Motorcycle Federation and it will also mark the 30th anniversary of the Motogiro d’Italia, a re-evocation of the oldest and most prestigious Italian motorcycle test, first run in 1914. Organisers of the road rally for historic, and not so historic, bikes are keen to make it a truly memorable occasion. On offer for 2021 are some 1,700kms through the small roads of central Italy in six days with time-distance trials to determine the winners. There is also a tourist category for those who just want to ride without any element of competition. The event will run this year on 23-29 May. Entries are now open, but filling up fast. See motogiroitalia.it.

  • The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs has released one of its periodic surveys into the classic car world of the UK. The independent survey was carried out during 2020 and revealed that the market in, and enthusiasm for, classic cars is growing steadily.

    Amongst the findings are the fact that there are 1,538,927 historic and classic vehicles registered in the UK, up 48% from 1,039,950, when the last study was done in 2015. This represents 3.4% of all vehicles registered. The average mileage they cover is 1200 per year, representing just 2% of annual road mileage by all vehicles in the UK.

    According to the survey there are almost 4,000 businesses in the historic vehicle sector, employing more than 34,000 people, with a total spend of 7.2bn, up from £5.5bn in 2016.

    Another thing the survey covers is public attitude towards historic vehicles, and here too, the response is positive, with 21 million people seeing historic vehicles as an important part of British heritage. See fbhvc.co.uk for the detailed report.

    HERO-ERA Independent Survey Produced for the HERO rally organisation by the independent Centre for Economics and Business Research, a report entitled ‘The Economic and Environmental Impact of the Historic and Classic Motor Industry in the UK’ was also recently completed and it findings show an even greater economic impact than the report from the FBVA. The study revealed an £18.3 billion turnover growth industry, that has the same economic impact as all the UK’s ports, all performing arts sectors and is double the size of the UK Scotch whisky industry. It is one fifth of the size of the huge UK built heritage sector of historic buildings. The report also claims that the sector provides 113,000 jobs through the chain spread across the UK, and analyses the extent to which traditional craftmanship and manufacturing skills are preserved in the industry in different forms. These heritage crafts have a strong intrinsic value and need to be preserved and, being highly skilled, they command a pay premium and offer greater than normal job satisfaction. Another highlighted factor is that the sector, because it is highly labour intensive and has a low materials and energy input, is much greener than virtually any other type of consumer expenditure. Its carbon footprint per £ spent is less than a sixth of an average consumer basket of spending. The detailed report can be obtained from the HERO web site free of charge at https://heroevents.eu.

  • At Phillips’ December 12 Racing Pulse auction in New York, Paul Newman’s Rolex “Big Red” Daytona sold for $5.475 million to an anonymous private collector, the third highest price ever paid for a Rolex watch at auction. In the same sale, the Heuer Monaco watch that Steve McQueen wore while filming Le Mans sold for $2.2 million to set a record price for Heuer timepieces.

  • Racers Hugh Colman, Kevin Kivlochan, Ted Pearson and Andrew Warner have all been elected to join the Historic Sports Car Club board for 2021.acers Hugh Colman, Kevin Kivlochan, Ted Pearson and Andrew Warner have all been elected to join the Historic Sports Car Club board for 2021.

  • Around Europe ASNs are doing their best to renew competition and officials’ licences under favourable conditions, as many of them went unused last year due to cancellations and travel restrictions.  In France, for example competition race licence holders that didn’t race last year will have their licences automatically renewed for this year without charge, while in other countries discounts and other concessions are available.  In recognition of the fact that many people are still restricted from travelling, the FIA has also relaxed the rule that says international licence holders must get their medical from a doctor licenced in the issuing country.  This means that if you are stuck somewhere and unable to travel, you can get your medical locally and it will be recognised by your home ASN.

  • The 2021 Mille Miglia, the 39th revival event, will return to its traditional date, this year 12-15 May.  Owners must register their cars at registro1000miglia.it.  Only cars built before December 31, 1957, in original condition, restored in accordance to the original configuration, or with documented changes added during use, can be registered in the Mille Miglia Register.  A committee has been set up to vet each car that submits an application, to certify whether it is original and only registered cars will be able to apply for the Mille Miglia event.  Eligible cars are those models that took place in the original event from 1927 to 1957.  Entries are now open and will close on January 18.  The 375 successful applicants will be announced in early March.  Unusually for the revival event, the route will go down to Rome via Italy’s west coast, with a stop in Viaregggio, and come back to Brescia in an anticlockwise direction via Bologna

  • After the cancellation of the Dutch-organised Winter Trial, The Historic Endurance Rally Organisation was forced to abandon its planned Winter Challenge to Monte Carlo scheduled for February in light of on-going cross-border travel restrictions due to the Corona Virus. The Winter Challenge has been postponed for 12 months until February 2022 and in its place will be the UK-based Per Ardua Ad Infinitum classic rally running on 5-6 February.

    The new event, based at Taunton in south-west England, will take in special tests and regularity sections across Somerset and north Devon, starting with a leg on Friday afternoon and evening which will finish in the dark at around 20:30hrs. Saturday will feature a full day of competition before a late afternoon finish back in Taunton. The logistics of running a UK-only event at this time are considerably easier and HERO has already successfully run a number of UK events within COVID restrictions.

  • This year the Tour Auto, one of the earliest motoring events, which first ran in 1899, will mark its 30th anniversary as a revival event. Each year a special marque or model is selected to receive priority and special recognition during the five-day rally, and this year Peter Auto has chosen to celebrate the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta and the Jaguar MK II. Competitors entered with these models will automatically benefit from a hotel upgrade as well as various advantages to be discovered in the coming weeks.

    In order to improve the Tour Auto experience for competitors, organisers have decided to limit total entries to 200, meaning entries will be even harder to get. It is worth remembering that although organisers Peter Auto will welcome the big buck cars and high profile drivers, the selection committee’s brief is to construct the most diverse and representative grid, which reflects all the models, big and small, that ran in the original event, so it is often the humble car that will get an entry over the more high-profile one. There is a list of eligible models on the Tour Auto website. Dates are 19-24 April and entries close soon!

  • Pre-entries are now open for this five-day special stage rally on the roads of Corsica.  With a unique atmosphere between competitors and spectators, the 2021 edition will follow a new 900km route, over 220kms of which are on 18 special stages.  Entries are limited to 250, and include competition and regularity sections.  The event is often over-subscribed.  Go to www.tourdecorse-historique.fr for regulations and entry forms. 

  • On page 49 of our January/February issue, and on this website, you will find the 2021 historic rally calendar, including the FIA Championship dates for the Sporting Rally Championship, which undergoes a name change this year, and is to be officially known as the FIA European Historic Rally Championship. The bad news is that COVID has already made its presence felt in the early part of the year and the Costa Brava rally, originally scheduled to open the FIA Championship season in mid-March, has been moved to the end of the year to 19-20 November. The season will now open on 9-11 April with the Sanremo Rally Storico, which is back in the FIA Championship fold.

    The Regularity Championship has been more problematic to plan and details will only be announced at the end of January.

  • Not only fast on the track, historic racer and organiser, Diogo Ferrao, is also fast on his feet when it comes to adapting to ever-changing circumstances. Without his efforts the Iberian Endurance 250km race at Estoril would not have taken place on Friday 20 November. With tighter curfew restrictions announced in the late run-up to the two-day meeting, originally scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Ferrao moved his races to Friday, while some other grids were cancelled. He was rewarded with good support from the local, and some international, drivers, and even the weather, which remained warm and sunny all day, helped boost everyone’s spirits. The other race on the one-day programme was the Group 1 + Troféu Mini race, its drivers also enjoying a two-hour enduro.

    250 kms Estoril

    With a wide variety of cars, the regs allow for a myriad of classes, leaving everyone to battle for supremacy in their own group, but occasionally, a car and driver combination comes along that punches above its weight, and that has certainly been the case of Carlos Barbot and young Diogo Matos, who drove their little Merlyn MK4, in the H-GTP class, to pole and overall victory, ahead of the powerful Porsche 911 3.0 RS of Danish father and son Lars and Andreas Rolner, who nonetheless fought brilliantly for two hours and won the H-76 class. These two dominated the race, especially after the Ford Escort RS 1600 of Miguel Ferreira and Francisco Carvalho retired in the first half.


    Last Race of the Season - Jerez

    Being so far south, the Iberians can start their season early (in normal years) and end it late and still expect reasonable weather. With so much of the early season destroyed by COVID, they took advantage of their geography and extended the season on into mid-December with a grand finale at the Jerez circuit, where the Iberian Endurance racers again got a two-hour race. Joined by cars from the newest Race Ready grid, Carrera M80 for touring cars of the ‘80s and small capacity cars from the ‘90s, as well as GT Cup cars of the same years, Carrera los 80s was to have a three-race debut season, but the cancellation of the Jarama meeting in November meant they were invited to share the Iberian Endurance grid at Jerez. The 30 teams and more than 50 drivers were met in Andalucía with dry and mild conditions. The Pereira/Basso Escort dominated the first 30 minutes of the race, shadowed closely by Piero Dal Maso in a Porsche 911 2.8 Carrera RSR. Luis Pedro Liberal (in a similar Ford) and Francisco Freitas (Datsun 1200) lost time to the leaders, slowed by their own battle for third. But in the final phase of the race and after the last pit stop for refuelling and driver change, Piero Dal Maso returned to the lead, and held it until the end to take overall and class H76 honours.

    Read more about these two race meetings in our January/February 2021 issue

  • Collins and Windelburn Share Spoils at Manfeild

    Defending MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series champion Michael Collins (Leda LT27/GM1) got his 2020/21 campaign off to a winning start in the series’ opening rounds at the 35th annual MG Classic race meeting at Feilding’s Circuit Manfeild Chris Amon over the weekend of 14-15 November.

    Defending MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series champion Michael Collins (Leda LT27/ GM1) got his 2020/21 campaign o  to a winning start in the series’ opening rounds at the 35th annual MG Classic race mee ng at Feilding’s Circuit Manfeild Chris Amon over the weekend of 14-15 November.  Photos Fast Company/Matt Smith Photography

    Now behind the wheel of famed Kiwi driver, car designer and constructor Graham McRae’s distinctive ‘hot-pink’ STP-liveried Leda LT27/GM1 001, the 24-year-old from Christchurch qualified quickest and won the first, of three races on Saturday afternoon from second quickest qualifier and impressive local driver, Kevin Ingram (Lola T332). Collins also won Sunday’s 10-lap feature final in the afternoon. With Kevin Ingram out with a gearbox issue on the first lap, competition this time came from Race 2 winner Shayne Windelburn (Lola T400). Under the rules of a new handicap initiative, Race 2 was started from a reversed grid based on the drivers’ best lap times. The field was split into six groups, each flagged off in succession. Unfortunately, early race leader – and one of two newcomers to the series, Toby Annabell in a Class A McLaren M10B - was an early retirement thanks to a fuel issue. Fellow Class A runners Tony Roberts (high-wing McLaren M10A) and Frank Karl (McLaren M10B) then each briefly held the lead before both were overwhelmed by a hard charging Windelburn (who had started the race halfway up the order), and Tim Rush in his Class A McLaren, with category veteran Russell Greer (Lola T332) just hanging on to third place ahead of a fast-approaching Collins. But Collins reckons that was OK. “You can’t win every race you start, and I think it’s a good thing that the committee is at least looking at – and now obviously trying out – some different starting formats. I know I was trying fairly hard to make up the deficit they gave me.” Tony Roberts (McLaren M10A) was back to his best in Class A, twice leading home 2019/20 class winner Frank Karl (McLaren M10B). For his part Shayne Windelburn was buzzing – as much about finishing second to Collins in the feature final on Sunday afternoon, as he was winning the handicap race earlier in the day.

     

    The other driver to make a big impression at the meeting was Anna Collins, driving the other Hey family-owned Leda LT27, the car that her younger brother Michael has been driving for the past three seasons, and with which he won the championship last year. Like Michael, Anna has a solid driving CV from 10 years of racing karts at an Island and National level before spending the past five years contesting both the NZ Formula Ford championship and the South Island F1600 series.

    Though she said that her plan at Manfeild was to “ease my way into the car and category” the 28-year-old from Christchurch came away with two third places in the scratch races and seventh place in the handicap on Sunday.

    Not bad for a first attempt.