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Contents October Issue:  Latest News - Bits & Pieces - Rally News Tour Auto, Rally Asturias, Scottish Malts, VSCC Mallory Park, Seven Questions with Jean Ragnotti, Monterey Motorsport Reunion, Oulton Park Gold Cup, French Championships, Historic Tour Val de Vienne, Hockenheim Historic, Vallelunga Classic, Goodwood Revival (four pages form Marcus Pye) and the Limonest Hillclimb

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July 2021

 Content from the July 2021 Issue.....

  • Peter Auto has been hard hit during the pandemic.  Their following is very international, and they have always produced meetings that include other activities surrounding the on-track action, such as Club displays, vendors’ areas, auctions, parades and VIP activities.  Events like Le Mans Classic just couldn’t happen under the kind of restrictions that have been in place for over a year.  So it was with a sense of relief and joy that the Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or took place on its scheduled date of 4-6 June under pretty normal conditions.  Sadly, though some did cross the Channel, the Brits still could not be present in any numbers, so the championship rules were changed to count only four of the five 2021 races, meaning everyone could exclude their worst result, which for the absent Brits automatically meant Dijon.  Fortunately the continentals could travel, and they produced somewhat reduced grids, but with the usual Peter Auto quality.  There were some 550 cars in the club areas and the atmosphere was relaxed and congenial.

     

     Dirk and Leon Ebeling took victory in the wet Greatest’s race in their Bizzarrini 5300 GT.  PhotoClassicRacing

    Good for some, and not so good for others,  the rain also attended the meeting and racing kicked off on Saturday with The Greatest’s Trophy starting in a downpour.  Dirk and Leon Ebeling in a Bizzarrini 5300 GT led the race, initially challenged by Vincent Gaye in his 275 GTB Ferrari, and Carlo Vögele, up from sixth place in his nimble Alfa Romeo TZ.  Gaye spun away his chances, leaving Hans Hugenholtz to take third in his Ferrari SWB.  In a dry second race Christian Bouriez moved his Bizzarrini to the front, and another error by Gaye made the Frenchman’s win even easier.

    An enthralling Sixties’ Endurance two-hour race, Cobras to the fore, in which mechanical difficulties, pit stop strategies, a pace car interval and rain halfway through affected the outcome, ended in victory for Maxime Guenat and Guillaume Mahé.  After a carefully choreographed pit stop, young Mahé also took second place, with his father Yvan, in a Cobra Daytona Coupe.  Third home was also from the Equipe Europe stable, driven by Pierre Alain and Erwin France.  Christian Van Riet and Damien Kohler put up the best resistance, but an uncharacteristic off by Van Riet lost them too much time and they finally finished fifth behind Urs Beck and Ralf Kelleners.  Sébastien Berchin drove his E-type Jaguar, the first non-Cobra to cross the line, into sixth.  In all there were 13 Cobras in the race.  The Index of Performance was taken by Sandy Watson and Martin O’Connell, who drove Watson’s 1500cc Lotus XI, the only car in the SP2 class and only one of a handful of prototypes in the race.

     The first two of Pierre-Alain France’s three victories was in the Group C races, driving his Nissan R90 CK

    Having aced both Group C races, Pierre Alain France added victory in his Lola T70 MKIII B in the 60-minute CER 1 race to his tally after main rival Tony Seiler retired his similar car.  Early on, Martin O’Connell had managed to tail the leading pair of Lolas in Sandy Watson’s Chevron B8.  The eagerly-awaited Ferrari 312P of Remo Lipps, co-driven by David Franklin, which had qualified fourth, and Mr John of B’s Matra MS650 were both late to the grid.  John of B worked his way back up to fifth and the Ferrari retired eight laps from the end.  

    CER2, run on Sunday morning in mist and a lifting fog provided Guenat’s second victory of the weekend, with the winner at the last two meetings (Estoril Classics and Dix Mille Tours 2020), Yves Scemama (TOJ SC304), romping away at the start.  However Guenat, in a Lola T286, found his feet and was glued to the TOJ’s gearbox after only a few laps.  Brother Philippe Scemama was determined in his Lola T600 and looked threatening in third place.  Finally Guenat slipped past and continued to increase the gap. 

    Though Cobras ruled the roost in the Sixties’ Endurance race, there was no lack of variety in the other classes

    Philippe was classified second after Yves was penalised one minute for pit lane speeding.   

    Guenat’s third victory came in his Ford Capri RS 3100 after one hour of eventful racing in the Heritage Touring Cup.  Christophe Van Riet led the race in his similar Capri, shadowed all the way by the Frenchman, only for the gearbox of the GipiMotor’s boss to fail.  A ferocious battle of the BMW 3.0 CSLs ended with Christian Traber’s taking second ahead of Guillaume Mahé’s Ford Capri.  Marc Devis and Martin O’Connell drove an AMC Javelin to fourth.

    The newest Peter Auto grid gave the earlier cars a chance to shine, including the  TVR Grantura of  Eugène Deleplanque, which won the race by a good margin after challengers Romain Guerardelle (MGB) and David Barrere in his Mini Cooper S, both encountered problems, Barrere’s car stopping just metres before the finish line and gifting second place to Louis Zurstrassen in his Elva Mk V 

     It felt like the good old days, with the clubs and the enthusiastic spectators back in the infield.  Photo Julien Hergault

    The one-make 2.0L Porsche race seems to have suffered most in terms of absent Brits to make up the numbers.  Xavier Dayraut and Damien Kohler battled for the lead, and finally finished in that order with a big gap to the rest of the 15-car field.  

    Pierre Alain and Erwin France were on the top step of the podium again, this time driving a Nissan R90 CK and winning both Group C races after favourite, Christophe d’Ansembourg (Jaguar XJR14) dropped out both times with gearbox trouble.  Lars Erik Nielsen (Porsche 962), Bertand Rouchaud/Antoine Weil (Olmas GLT 200) and Tony Sinclair (Spice SE90) were other top finishers in the two races.

    Guest Grid HGPCA 

    A good size grid from the British-based HGPCA, saw a full turnout of the Association’s continental members, many of whom were double-heading off to Paul Ricard the following weekend for the Historic GP de France.  Will Nuthall dominated proceedings in a Cooper T53, with Rudi Friedrichs’ similar car finishing second in both races.  A full house of Rettenmaiers took part, with Josef Otto (Maserati 250F), Jakob (Alta F2), Stephan (Osca F2), Klara (Cooper Bristol) and Rebecca (Alfa Romeo Monza) all enjoying themselves in the family car collection.

  • The Beauty of Historic Italy

    Gianmario Fontanella and Anna Maria Covelli won the 11th  Terre di Canossa, which took place on 20-23 May, in a 1927 Lancia Lambda Spider.  After two and a half days of tough tests alternating with picturesque stops at sites of historical interest, passing through historic towns and villages usually closed to traffic, interspersed with fine meals, the pair also took home the Pre War Cup.  Taking a route that consisted of 650kms, with 63 timed sections and six speed trials with secret controls, Michele Cibaldi and Andrea Costa in a 1948 Fiat 1100 Siluro took second, while third place went to  Alberto Aliverti and Stefano Valente in a 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS Zagato.  Winners on the average speed stages were Winand Cremers and Nathalie Peeters in a 1955 Austin Healey 100/4 BN2.

     

    Despite travel restrictions and the difficulties faced by participants just to get to the start line in Salsomaggiore Terme, competitors came from all over Europe and even from the US and were rewarded with a stunning drive along the Ligurian and Tuscan coasts, including the Cinque Terre and Forte dei Marmi.  Travelling through the hills of Tuscany for a finish in Quattro Castella in Reggio Emilia, the heart of the domains once governed by Matilda of Canossa, crews also took on some historic Italian passes and hillclimbs along the way.

  • Rally the Globe has enlisted motor sport legend Ari Vatanen as its first Club President.  Now aged 69, the illustrious Finn was rally World Champion in 1981 and amongst other rallying successes won the Paris Dakar Rally no fewer than four times.  He was a part of the mythic Group B era and, more recently, served as a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2009.  Though not Estonian, he is President of the Estonian Autosport Union.  He is also ‘Club Patron’ to Ireland’s Donegal Motor Club.  In 2009 he ran against Jean Todt for the Presidency of the FIA.

    Ari Vatenen and Fred Gallagher took a podium place on the Sarfari Rally in 1998

    The high-profile appointment also reunites Vatanen with his former co-driver Fred Gallagher, one of the founding forces behind Rally the Globe.  Together the pair won the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies with Citroën Sport in 1997 and also teamed up to score a famous podium finish on the Safari Rally when sharing an Escort WRC for the Ford factory team in 1998.

    “I’m honoured and touched,” said Vatanen.  “These historic rally events have real appeal.  They are full of spirit, comradeship and enjoyment and that’s my kind of lifestyle.  I love going back in time and looking at all these cars from the past and I’m really looking forward to being part of this very special atmosphere when I attend future events.” 

  • Historic Formula One and Formula Junior competitor, John Delane, who you may have seen feature recently in our Heroes of Historic Motor Sport section, recently celebrated a milestone in his 34-year historic racing career, when he raced on his 100th different track.  Delane has competed in over 412 events in 21 countries.  With some 17 FIA titles on his CV, he was the first American to win the Historic Formula One Championship outright and the first driver to win two overall FIA historic championships, F1 and Formula Junior, in the same year.  In recent years he has concentrated on driving sportscars.

    hn Delane celebrates yet another podium finish on his 100th track

    May 14, 2021 marked Delane’s 100th track at Summit Point, WV, when he participated in the Jefferson 500 in the Cunningham Cup race in his 1972 Chevron B21.  He was cheered on by his wife of 55 years, Mimi, along with family and friends that travelled from various parts of the country to see him yet again on the podium, when he came third in the race.  During the weekend, Director of Motorsports Operations for Summit Point, Edwin Pardue recognised Delane with a Certificate of Achievement to commemorate the occasion. 

  • The Alfa Revival Cup drivers reconvened under sunlit skies for their tenth season on 29-30 May at the Autodromo Nazionale of Monza.  Many regulars were, of course, present, but there were also many newcomers, such as Gianmarco Rossi and Vittorio Mandelli in a 1958 Giulietta Ti; the very young Giulio Sordi, accompanied by the whole Sordi family, making his absolute racing debut in a Giulia Ti Super shared with Gilles Giovannini; the well-known Italian drivers Domiziano Giacon and Luca Rangoni in a GTV 2000; Swiss driver Daniele Perfetti, highly experienced in both modern and historic cars, driving a “giallo ocra” GTAM and, finally, the Senesi brothers Fabio and Federico Leonini in a beautiful and very well prepared Alfasud Ti 1.5. 

    It was a GTAM 1, 2, 3

    After a whole day of free practice and testing on Friday, it was clear that driver/preparer Franco Monguzzi would be the man to beat in his GTAM.   And qualifying on Saturday morning confirmed it.  However it was Davide Bertinelli who lined up on pole alongside the Benedini brothers, Gianpaolo and Emanuele, after Monguzzi was penalised three places for overtaking under yellow flags during qualifying.  The Giulia Sprint GTA 1600 Group 4 of Massimo Guerra and Giovanni Serio was the first car to qualify behind five GTAMs.   Bad luck for Bruno Mazzuoli and Amerigo Bigliazzi who crashed their Alfetta GTV Group 5 violently during qualifying due to a mechanical failure.

    The qualifying setback didn’t affect Monguzzi, who was back in the lead halfway through the first lap of the 60-minute race, with Bertinelli following him all the way home, while the Benedinis encountered mechanical problems and retired after four laps.  A race-long battle for third place between Serio/Guerra, up from a sixth place start, and the GTAM of series regular Mathias Körber ended in the German’s favour. 

    Gianmarco Rossi and Vittorio Mandelli collected maximum points by winning the Index of Performance in their Giulietta Ti

    At the rear of the field were battles aplenty for the all-important Index of Performance points.  First prize went to the Giulietta Ti of Rossi/Mandelli, and second to the Giulia Sprint GTA of Crescenti/Mischis, seventh overall and first in class.  Young German driver  Niclas Ondrak took his Giulia Ti Super to third.  Six cars retired from the race, including the Perfetti GTAM.

  • The 2021 NKHTGT season finally kicked off at the Benelux Open Races meeting at Zandvoort on 4-5 June with a big grid shared with the Triumph Competition series.  Niek van Gils was the fastest qualifier in his TVR Griffith, posting a 2:02 lap time, with Roelant de Waard (Shelby Mustang GT350) just 0.4sec in arrears.  Jos Stevens qualified third in his Lotus Elan in marked contrast to his son Bob who did not complete a single lap due to brake problems.  Duncan Huisman was fastest of the touring cars in Cees Lubbers’ Ford Falcon, just 0.4 of a second ahead of Carlo Hamilton.

    Roelant de Waard finished second in both races in his Shelby Mustang GT350

    The first race was slow to start, as young Bob Stevens’ brake problems had not been cured and, with brakes locked solid, he ended up stranded on the track at the back of the circuit.  This meant a long drive for the tow truck and thus a lengthy safety car period.  However once underway the three leaders held station in the one-hour race and, after the pitstops, the order remained the same.  The touring car class produced a more exciting contest, with initial leaders Huisman and Lubbers overhauled by old hands Martin Bijleveld and Jaap van der Ende, and Carlo Hamilton, who had come from the back of the pack to take second in class in an all Ford Falcon podium.

    The second race, of 50 minutes, started on a damp track that soon had a dry racing line.  Jan van Elderen was quickest away this time in his E-type, hotly pursued by de Waard and van der Ende leading the touring cars.  Proceedings were interrupted again by a safety car period that ended just as the pitstop window opened.  Bob Stevens, now with working brakes on his Lotus Elan, was one of the first to stop and subsequently went on to record some very quick lap times.  When de Waard had made his pitstop, the little Lotus was ahead and stayed ahead to score a dominant win.  De Waard came home second and first in the GTS12 class.

    There was mayhem in the touring car class.  First Hamilton dropped out with engine failure, then van der Ende pitted too early and was sent on his way by the team, only to receive a stop-and-go for pitlane speeding.  After the pitstops Duncan Huisman was the man on the move, taking over the lead in Lubbers’ Falcon, but Bas Jansen was not far behind in his Mustang.  He was so close in fact that he was gifted the win when Lubbers/Huisman received a 10 second penalty for a pitlane infringement.  Bijleveld/van der Ende salvaged third in class.

  • In our June issue we previewed the Zandvoort Grand Prix meeting (and misreported the date, for which apologies – it is to take place on 16-18 July) with much enthusiasm, looking forward to at last seeing an international historic grid on the new circuit layout.  However, in a repeat of last year’s scenario, the HSCC announced the cancellation of its Historic Formula 2 race at the meeting and, just as we go to press, the FIA has cancelled its Formula 3 European Cup race due “travel restrictions as well as the actual status of the entry.”  The FIA will refund anyone who has already paid an entry fee.

    Last year the Masters, who provide the largest proportion of the content for this meeting, held its nerve and provided most of the grids they had originally announced.  Their policy is one of not letting meeting promoters down, even if it means much reduced grid sizes.  They also have many competitors coming from the continent, which (again as we go to press), is open for travel as long as one is regularly tested.  

    Fortunately there are a number of home-grown and German grids only too happy to take a race slot at such a great circuit and such a prestigious event.  Promoters are not expected to have any dificulty in filling the vacant slots.

  • After a rather stuttering start due to postponements and cancellations, it has been confirmed that the new Group C Classics series announced by Peter Schleifer earlier in the year, will run along with his Can-Am cars and the Sportscars of FHR, at both the 16-18 July Zandvoort Historic GP and the Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring on 13-15 August. 2Contact p.schleifer@ahg-schleifer.de for entries.

  • The race line-up for the Goodwood Revival meeting, which takes place this year on 18-19 September, has been officially announced.  Old favourites are back on the programme, some renamed, so the Kinrara Trophy for Pre-‘63 GT cars now becomes the Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy and the Goodwood Trophy, for pre and early post-war Grand Prix cars, will be called the Festival of Britain Trophy.  The prestigious RAC TT for pre-‘66 GT cars and the popular St Mary’s Trophy pair of races, run in a pro-am format for Touring cars, both remain on the programme.

    A 45-minute race for Minis only, which first took place at the Revival in 2009, and then again at the Members’ Meeting in 2019 as the Betty Richmond Trophy, will come back to the Revival as the John Whitmore Trophy.

    The Sportscar races span a swathe of history, from the Brooklands Trophy for pre-war sports cars, to the Sussex Trophy for sports racing cars of the ‘50s and the Freddie March Memorial Trophy for production sports cars of the same era.  Finally, there is the Whitsun Trophy for big banger unlimited sportscars up to 1966.

    Along with the newly named Festival of Britain Trophy, single seaters will be racing in the Richmond Trophy for front-engined Grand Prix cars up to 1960, and the Glover Trophy for pre-‘66 GP cars.  This year’s Chichester Cup is for front-engined Formula Juniors. 

    The Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy races for Grand Prix motorcycles of the 1960s remains a firm favourite on the programme, with its two-race format to include invited VIPs.

  • Under brilliant southern sunshine the Iberian Endurance racers went to Spain and the Jarama circuit to support the meeting for the Super 7 Series and Super Cars, for the second round of their championships, on 5-6 June.

    Porsche vs Merlyn, Rezende and Barbot take the fight to Jarama Photos Courtesy Race Ready


    Joined by many local teams the Portuguese Iberian Endurance regulars had to concede two wins to Spaniards Jordi Puig and Fernando Navarrete driving their newly-acquired Ford GT40. With the GT40 circulating in the lead throughout the two 50-minute races, the 1000 socially-distanced spectators distributed in stands and viewing areas around the circuit turned their attention to the battle for second place between the Merlyn of Carlos Barbot and the Porsche RSRs of Pedro Bastos Rezende and locals Jesus Fuster/Alfredo Martinez. The battle ended in mechanical problems for the Spanish team, leaving Rezende and Barbot to continue their scrap from the race at the Algarve a couple of weeks earlier unabated. Rezende went on to finish 7 tenths of a second ahead of the Merlyn and also won the H-1976 category.

    as socially distanced spectators look on

    The second race took place later in the day, and everything picked up where it left off. This time a couple of safety car intervals mixed things up, but in the end did not alter the final results. What did alter the result though, was the time penalty incurred by Rezende for an out-of-window pit stop, which dropped him down to seventh place, handing second place overall to Barbot behind the GT40, and third to Carlos Brizido and Joäo Cardoso’s Porsche RSR, the pair having got the jump on the Porsche of Eduardo Davila to take fourth place in the closing stages of race 1.

    The H-1971 category podium was a Porsche 911 ST lockout, with Frenchman Alexis Raoux winning the class in race 1 ahead of Madrileno Antonio Gutierrez, who reversed the order in race 2. The Index of Performance, and the Cuervo y Sobrinas watch, went to Pedro Moryion and José Carvalhosa, who drove a Porsche 356.

    Carrera los ‘80s, Group 1 and Troféu Mini shared one big colourful grid

    Also on the programme, the new Carrera los ‘80s grid ran alongside the other grids from Diogo Ferrão’s Race Ready organisation, for Group 1 cars and for Minis, to form one big grid that had two 40-minute races. Won by Ford Escorts, Fernando Gaspar’s in race 1 and Carlos Dias Pedro and Ricardo Pereira’s in race 2, Daniel Cuadrado and Diego Candano scored second in a BMW M3 E36 both times at the front of the 40-car field. Nuno and Jos Dias lifted the Mini Trophy in both races and the Production class went Tomás P. Abreu in his Datsun 1200.

  • The first major classic road rally of the year was the HERO Summer Trial which ran over three days, from 4 to 6 June, from a base in Telford.  Nearly 60 crews took part in pre-1986 cars and the winners were BMW crew Angus McQueen and Mike Cochrane who have twice been runners-up.

    Despite COVID restrictions, the event was judged a great success as competitors tackled a route that took in special tests and regularity sections in the Shropshire and Staffordshire countryside, with 18 regularities and 10 tests in a 400-mile route over three days.

    A tremendous final day top ten battle included a three-way fight for fourth with just two seconds between the crews with one test to go.  Former HERO-ERA Cup champion Paul Bloxidge navigated by his 15-year-old grandson Oli Waldock, hauled themselves up from fifth to second place.  It was a remarkable performance by the young navigator in an event which the experts said was not easy.  As a bonus, Oli took the ‘Clock-watcher’s Award’ for the best navigator after his stupendous efforts.

    Photo Will Broadhead

    Winner McQueen (BMW 323i) had been knocking on the door of victory several times before.  Co-driver Cochrane said, “Being on time and not being pushed is important.  We like to stay on the clock and make it up if we have to, rather than have time in hand.  Our tests have been fantastic, it used to be a bit of weak point for us but we were fastest on test one and second fastest on test two, so it started well.”