The Magazine

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

These stories are all from the pages of Historic Motor Racing News.  Some have been abbreviated for this web site.  If you'd like to receive the full version, go to Subscribe where you will find postal subscriptions available.  A full subscription also entitles you to access the current issue online (available soon), so you can take it with you and read it anywhere, and we are working on providing full access to our archives of back issues exclusively for our subscribers.  Those who subscribe online are automatically given access to our bulletin board area.

 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

Subscribe Now and read all these stories!

March 2021

 Content from the March 2021 Issue.....

  • First run tentatively for 100 minutes in 2015, then as a full three-hour race in 2016, the Spa 3 Hours has become a popular tradition at the Spa Summer Classic race meeting in the long, languid days of June, this year on 26-27.  A collaboration between Summer Classic and Spa Six Hours organiser, Vincent Collard, Diogo Ferrao of Iberian Endurance, and the Classic Sports Car Club, it has grown in popularity and now fields full grids, which means over 75 on the big Spa circuit.  For Appendix K touring and GT/GTS cars up to 1976, there is also a class for pre-‘66 under-two-litre prototypes.  If you want to enter, don’t wait too long. 

    The Spa Summer Classic is also a race meeting for many of the clubs, not only from Belgium, but also from the UK and Europe that usually only run nationally, but look forward to a once-a-year outing to the fabulous Francorchamps circuit.   Amongst these will be the Classic Sports Car Club from the UK, the Colmore YTCC from the Netherlands, joining the Belgian Belcar Historic & Youngtimer Cup.  A full programme of races and entry forms will be published soon at spasummerclassic.com.

  • 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 aleriahistoricrally@gmail.com for more information.

  • The FIA Trophy for Historic Regularity Rallies has undergone a change in format in recent years and, instead of a list of point-scoring events, there are 17 qualifying events all around Europe with one final to decide the winner.  This year the final will be held in Poland for the first time.  The leading competitors from each qualifying event will receive an invitation to compete in the Rally Poland Historic in its tenth anniversary year, on 11-14 November 2021, the winner taking the FIA Trophy for Historic Regularity Rallies 

    Based in the town of Wieliczka, close to the historic city of Krakow, the route will consist of 953km of open roads, with 633km of those being part of the regularity tests.   See www.rallypolandhistoric.eu for details.

    See  the Historic Motor Racing News website calendar pages for a list of qualifying rallies and contact details of their organisers.

  • Moving Racing Cars Between Europe and the UK

     

    We asked expert James Walker, General Manager of CARS (Classic Automotive Relocation Services), to give us an update on the transport of racing cars in and out of Europe after Brexit.

    Transporting your car around Europe used to be straightforward under the long-established provision of freedom of movement of vehicles across the UK border and into Europe.  Since the UK exited the EU, it is necessary to consider how your car will be temporarily imported into Europe and what new driving regulations you will need to follow.  Likewise, those planning to bring their racing car into the UK must consider the new requirements.

    The UK’s new relationship with the EU is a changing situation, with import and export arrangements still being straightened out and the various EU customs authorities considering how their new relationship with the UK is going to work (unfortunately customs rules are not harmonised across EU states), and vice versa.

    The following are some simple answers to those questions commonly being posed by those that tow their own race cars to Europe on their own trailer.  The rules regarding the permanent export of cars are a completely different matter.

    Is my Driving Licence Still Valid?

    Your UK Driving Licence is valid in all EU countries, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.  You will require an IDP (International Driving Permit) to drive in Monaco (as well as many non-EU countries).  You can apply for an IDP at main UK Post Offices.  EU driving licences will be valid in the UK.

    Do I need to register my Trailer?

    Trailers plated to carry under 3500kg will not need to be registered.  Trailers plated to carry 3500kg or more (or trailers carrying over 750kg on a commercial basis) will need to be registered before you can drive them through most European countries (including France).  Registered trailers must display their own registration plate (separate from the vehicle towing them).  Information on how to register your trailer can be found on the GOV.UK website.   All trailers must be properly insured to be towed on the road in Europe.

    Most European countries already require trailers to be registered separately, so there should be no issue for continentals visiting the UK.

    Will I require a Green Card?

    You will need to carry a Green Card, obtainable from your insurer,  for your trailer, your tow vehicle, and any registered vehicles being carried in your trailer.   You should carry registration documents for all vehicles and also your trailer registration (if applicable).

    Will I require an ATA Carnet to take my race car into Europe or the UK?

    An ATA Carnet is an international customs document that permits the tax-free and duty-free temporary export and import of non-perishable goods for up to one year.  UK road registered race cars will not require an ATA Carnet when going to Europe (you only need to carry a copy of your UK registration document and a Green Card).  However, it may be necessary to carry a separate list of any spare parts that you are carrying.

    Non-registered vehicles will require an ATA Carnet.  You will also need to list any spare parts that you are carrying on your ATA Carnet (you are not required to list consumables on an ATA Carnet). 

    An EU road registered vehicle being transported on a trailer will require a C110 form to enter the UK   This is available to fill out online at Gov.UK.  At time of writing we do not know whether a formal customs entry will be required.

    All vehicles, whether they are registered or not, being transported by a third party (such as your race team) or a commercial operator will require an ATA Carnet (as well as a Green Card).

    The information listed above is provided to the best of our knowledge.  These rules could have easily changed by the time you read this.  It has not been possible to test these practices since the UK’s departure from the EU, as the current COVID-19 pandemic has stopped the general public from transporting their race cars to the continent on a trailer. 

    We strongly advise that you seek the most up-to-date advice before transporting your car.  We understand that there is a strong possibility that the EU will insist on all race cars being temporarily imported under an ATA Carnet (regardless of whether they are road registered) but this is yet to be confirmed. 

    You can of course enlist the services of a reputable vehicle transport company to take the hassle for you!  I am of course more than happy to recommend the services of CARS (Classic Automotive Relocation Services).  CARS have formed a partnership with the Bristol Chamber of Commerce and are able to issue ATA Carnets on their behalf.  Contact Sukie Duhaney (sukie@carseurope.net) for further information.  With over 30 years of experience, CARS are ideally placed to solve your European transport needs - for further information please visit www.carseurope.net.

  • A new challenge for historic rally drivers was the Dakar Classic, a regularity event in the Saudi desert for cars up to the year 2000.  Run in parallel with the madness that is the modern Dakar, which took place from 3-16 January, a reconnaissance team led by historic rally specialist Yves Loubet and 1980s co-driver Alain Lopes traced a route comprising 12 stages running alongside those of the modern vehicles, but shorter in length - 200 to 300kms per day compared to 600 and more for the moderns.  Adapting the difficulties to avoid breakage and overheating, the route saw only one retirement when the Spanish team of Carlos Vento and Juan Carlos Ramirez retired their Mercedes G320 on stage ten.  The cars shared the bivouacs and started in amongst the modern rally stars each day.  A new route saw the start and finish in Jeddah.   

     

    Ignacio Corcuera, co-driven by Iker San Vincente drove a Volksvagen Il s, iden cal to the vehicle that won the 1980 Dakar in the Cars category. Corcuera has raced the African Dakar three  mes, alone and without assistance. He also contested the Rally of the Pharaohs and went from Bilbao to Dakar in 112 hours in 2013 amongst his many other driving feats.  Photos Gustavo Epifanio

    Like the rest of the world, protective measures against the COVID virus were in place and more than 2,400 PCR tests were completed to form the “Dakar bubble” in which the rally caravan operated for nearly two weeks.

    Amongst the more 300 vehicles in different two and four-wheel categories at the start were some 25 classics, including the Porsche 911 SC tribute to René Metge’s 1984 Dakar winner, driven by American Amy Lerner and co-piloted by novice Belgian navigator Sara Carmen Bossaert, the pair finishing in 15th place.  Two Sunhill buggies like those that tackled the Dakar in the ‘80s were running, and it was the French team of Marc Douton and Emilien Etienne, driving a Nantes Prestige Auto-prepared example, that won the classic category.

     Classic category winners Marc Douton and Emilien E enne in the Team Sunhill Buggy, a lightweight machine, well- adapted to desert condi ons. On the  rst Dakar in 1978, an example of this avant-garde machine was present at the start, piloted by its preparer Yves Sunhill

    Amongst other vehicles were a VW Baja, a Nissan Patrol, and even a Mercedes Unimog and a Renault truck with mechanic on board for assistance, which finished third overall.

    Amy Lerner’s Porsche 911 SC tribute to René Metge’s 1984 Dakar winner