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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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September 2021

 Content from the September 2021 Issue.....

  • A twisted run of events saw the mid-July Historic Grand Prix at Zandvoort eventually take place as the Zandvoort Race Classics – with a hastily revamped programme, and without spectators. Full grids from Holland and Germany ensured a busy paddock that worked to deliver a full three-day schedule with no fewer than 23 races, but despite the busy schedule, the fans were still sorely missed. Mattijs Diepraam reports…

    Photos Peter Heil

    For many of the British regulars, Zandvoort’s Historic Grand Prix summer fixture has also meant a short holiday break with a bit of racing on the side, and this time the weather proved perfect for just that. The sun was out with blazing guns on all three days, while a cool breeze caressed the sloping dune landscape to add to the pleasant camping life on the circuit’s infield. But the British weren’t there – instead, with less than a month to go, Masters Historic Racing, the HGPCA and the HSCC were forced to pull out because of the latest restrictions imposed on anyone traveling from the UK. As a result, the organisers turned to the FHR and other German series to come to the rescue. This they duly did, the FHR coming out with no fewer than six grids, upon which the Historic Grand Prix was renamed the Zandvoort Race Classics, a more suitable moniker for the sportscar and touring car-heavy programme that was now presented to everyone with a ticket. But then, with Dutch COVID-19 infections mushrooming after the country’s government mimicked the British situation by opening up society a handful of weeks too soon, a new about-turn followed, as the event was now forced to run behind closed doors. The only alternative permitted was seated attendance, but the organisers considered that being stuck on a grandstand all day would constitute torture for the knowledgeable historic motorsport crowd.

    The start of Sunday morning’s two-hour Dunlop Endurance race, dominated by Swiss driver Felix Haase in the white Lola T210

    In fact, German competitors had to rush home before the end of Sunday, as Germany also imposed fresh quarantine measures against their out-of-control neighbours that would apply from the Monday…

    The racing was pretty good, though. Despite the grand arrival of all those German grids, the local NK GTTC (for ’66-’81 cars) and NK HARC 82-90 championships provided the core of the programme.

    Race 1 winner, Peter Mücke had already left for home when Harry Schmidt won race 2 in his thundering McLaren M8C

    For a full report see the September 2021 issue of Historic Motor Racing News.

  • The boys and girls of the Dutch Championship series NKHTGT have been busy, with races at Zolder on 17-18 July and at Assen, on 6-8 August.  Sadly, the Zolder meeting was cut short by an incident involving Jaguar driver Roland Zoomers, who hit the tyre wall hard and had to be taken to hospital.  It later became known that the accident was the result of heart failure at the wheel.  Zoomers is OK and recovering at home, grateful that it happened at the circuit, where quick intervention by trained medical staff, “undoubtedly saved my life.”  

    Starting from 16th place Michiel Campagne won both Assen races

    The drivers, who were 20 minutes into the first of two races and did not know what state their fellow competitor was in, decided to cut the weekend short and go home after the incident.  

    Onward to Assen

    By the time they got to Assen on 6-8 August, supporting the Jack’s Racing Day event, they had heard from their friend and knew that he was making a full recovery, and it was business as usual for the Dutch racers, whose on-track battles were as spirited as ever.

    Belgian Lotus driver Luc de Cock bagged pole in a ridiculous qualifying session that lasted only three minutes due to a torrential rain shower that rendered the circuit undrivable.  Regular front-runner, Michiel Campagne had to start in 16th place and used the abundant horsepower of his Corvette Grand Sport to take the lead within a few laps.  Martin Bijleveld steered his Ford Falcon to a strong second place after a rocket start.  Rhea Sautter held off two Triumphs and took the final podium spot with her Jaguar E-type.   De Cock held on to fourth.  In GTS11, Erwin van Lieshout (Porsche 911) was well ahead initially but didn’t make it to the finish.  Niek van Gils (MGA), who had outsmarted Theo van Gammeren (Porsche 911) halfway through the race took the class.  René De Vries was on course to win CT07, until he made contact with the E-type of Ed van Dijk.  Bert Mets (Cooper S) took advantage and won the class. 

    Martin Bijlevled - Ford Falcon Sprint

    On Sunday, Campagne made it two out of two after a challenge from Andy Newall in the Sautter E-type ended in a big cloud of smoke in the Jag’s engine bay.  Jaap van der Ende was thus promoted to second but was struggling to remain within the track limits in his big Ford Falcon, letting both Thijs van Gammeren (Ford Falcon) and Luc de Cock past. 

    On the last lap the Belgian Lotus driver managed to find a way past the wide blue Falcon to take second overall.  Frans van Maarschalkerwaart in the Shelby GT350 was first in GTS12 and fifth overall, chased across the line by Roel Korsten (Ford Mustang) and Jac Meeuwissen (Austin-Healey 3000).  In GTS11 Niek van Gils took another win, and Rob Rappange won the small touring car class in his Mini Cooper S.  Bert Du Toy van Hees took his Ford Lotus Cortina to CT08 honours.   

  • From Pre-War Sport Cars to the extraordinary guided missiles of the modern prototype era, squabbling Minis to Supertourers of the 1990s and Grand Prix cars of the 1930s to the Cosworth DFV age, the renamed Classic Silverstone had it all. Fickle weather, which was miserably wet for much of a three-day programme, marked the Classic’s 30th Anniversary a year late due to COVID that caused the event to be cancelled in 2020. Marcus Pye reports the action.

    Spectators were back, together with a skeleton entry of overseas competitors obliged to abide by travel restrictions to participate in Britain’s longest-established historic festival. For those unable to be at the venue, the racing and peripheral activities were live-streamed into their homes. While nothing trumps being there, doubtless comprehensive coverage will be available on social media channels indefinitely.

    Photo Peter Collins

    Formula Junior subscribed to the early morning race slots as usual, but the 54-strong 1958-‘63 pack was not blessed with a totally dry session on the 3.63-mile Historic GP circuit, the sweeping approach to Club corner having been reinstated in place of the tight left-handed exit from Vale. Sports prototype star Richard Bradley narrowly beat fellow Brabham BT2 driver Cameron Jackson first time out. Lap times fell by more than 20 seconds on Sunday, when poleman Jackson reasserted himself over Bradley.

    The demise of Gareth Burnett’s Alta after two laps gave intrepid Frazer Nash duo Frederic Wakeman/Patrick Blakeney-Edwards - on pole by almost 10 seconds - a clear run as the Pre-War ‘BRDC 500’ retrospective kicked-off Motor Racing Legends’ quintet of grids.

    Cracked It:  Out of fuel in 2015, Penalised for an early pit stop in 2019, both times while in the lead, Lukas Halusa finally took the prestigious Tourist Trophy with his 250 Ferrari ‘Breadvan’

    Historic F2 opened track organiser HSCC’s contribution. March men Matt Wrigley (ex-Rad Dougall Toleman Group 782-Hart) and Andy Smith (ex-Gabriele Serblin 742, with Cosworth BDG instead of BMW power), plus Miles Griffiths (Ralt RT1-BDG) topped the qualifying order and were head-and-shoulders above 40 rivals in the races.

    Oil pressure problems prevented Pre-‘63 GT leader Gary Pearson from relaying Jaguar’s 1988 World Sportscar champion and 1990 Le Mans winner Martin Brundle in his Jaguar E-type for what was shaping up to be a Royal Automobile Club Historic Tourist Trophy victory. After a safety car period late in the race, a two-lap final dash saw Austrian Lukas Halusa scream the unique Ferrari Breadvan past the Jags of David Gooding and Paul Pochciol to take victory.

    Andrew Smith (March 742) won Sunday’s wet F2 race Above and Right: Patrick Blakeney-Edwards celebrates from Saturday’s winner, Matthew Wrigley (March 782)  Photo Jakob Ebrey Courtesy Silverstone

    Michael Lyons won both Murray Walker Memorial Trophy Masters Historic F1 contests in imperious fashion, having had a late call-up to sub for three-time Grand Prix and ‘91 Le Mans winner Johnny Herbert in an Ensign N180B prepared and run by the University of Bolton’s National Centre for Motorsport Engineering students.

    Preparer Sam Wilson piloted Scot John Chisholm’s ex-Jim Clark/Innes Ireland Lotus 18 to victory in a wonderfully eclectic HGPCA field, pursued by Will Nuthall and Rudi Friedrichs (Cooper T53s) and Andrew Haddon - trying out for Goodwood in Julian Bronson’s Scarab - in a repeat of practice order. These bare facts don’t tell the story, for Haddon started from the pits after a water hose burst as the Offenhauser engine was warmed-up in the assembly area.

    Formula Juniors were not blessed by the weather as they started their early morning race

    The Transatlantic Trophy Pre-‘66 Touring Cars was a corker that boiled down to a Dearborn versus Dagenham Blue Oval gunfight. Burly 4.7-litre Ford Mustangs, in the hands of top qualifier Dave Coyne and Craig Davies, and earlier Falcons (lighter, but with narrower wheels) with Julian Thomas and Sam Tordoff were initially in the American V8 corner, with Richard Dutton’s Fortec-built Lotus Cortina their principal irritant in the opening salvos. The Banks brothers’ Alfaholics GTA was at the sharp end too before the real drama unfolded after the mandatory stops.

    As with Thundersports, a storm nobbled the Masters Historic Sportscar showpiece. No tyres could cope with the standing water on the Stowe to Abbey sector of the track, thus the race was stopped and restarted with second drivers installed.

     

    Patrick Blakeney-Edwards celebrates from Saturday’s winner, Matthew Wrigley (March 782) winning the Pre-War ‘BRDC 500’ with Fred Wakeman<

    With dusk morphing into darkness, making the worst of the rainfall’s residue increasingly difficult to pick out, let alone avoid, Saturday evening’s MRL Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy and Stirling Moss Trophy was a scintillating contest. The Woodcote race within the 58-car field was sensational. Martin Stretton established an early lead in Gregor Fisken’s ‘56 Mille Miglia HWM-Jaguar - before jumping ship to Richard Wilson’s Maserati 250S - as Fred Wakeman gyrated his Cooper-Jaguar T38, shared with Pat Blakeney-Edwards. Fisken was hounded down and passed by Mike Grant-Peterkin in Martin Hunt’s HWM-Jaguar on lap nine. Team boss PB-E, now in the Cooper, went into the lead two laps later, with Grant-Peterkin and Fisken on his tail. Starting the final lap Fisken split the two Blakeney Motorsport cars and, with a superhuman lunge, seized victory as overall poleman Sam Hancock (Lister-Jaguar) roared between them at Club. Wilson/Stretton finished fourth.

    Photos Eric Sawyer

    Mark Wright and Dave Coyne conquered the strongest opposition in HTCC history and heavy rain on Sunday morning to deservedly strike Adrian Flux Trophy gold in the former’s Motorcraft promotional Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500, originally built by four-time British Touring Car champion Andy Rouse. The pair finished 51 seconds clear of Steve Dance, who outdistanced another Cossie and the quickest four-wheel-drive Nissan Skyline GT R32 at the sharp end of the 52-car field.

    For a full report of all the races on the programme, see out September 2021 issue.

  • After a hiatus of more than a year, HERO staged its first international rally, the Classic Marathon, a six-day adventure that covered a 2200km route through north-west Spain and Portugal. With changing legislation in various countries right up to the eve of the event, it took no small effort for crews and organisers to get to the start line in La Caldas in the hills above Oviedo in Spain. Nonetheless, 29 crews took the start, many from the UK where restrictions were greatest. For cars up to 1985, there were a number of pre-war cars, and cars of the ‘50s on the entry list, with the latest cars being the VW Golf GTi of Paul Bloxidge and Ian Canavan, and even an MG Maestro!

    The route led participants through stunning scenery and some WRC rally stages Photos Will Broadhead

    The last Classic Marathon was in Greece in 2018, and its winner, and rally favourite, Paul Crosby, led the field away in his trademark green Porsche 911, with Andy Pullan in the map seat. Perhaps it was the fact that the cars have had little recent exercise, but mechanical problems began to plague the field right from the start. Bill Cleyndert suffered wheel bearing problems in his Model A Ford Special, as did Crosby in his Porsche, dropping him down the rankings. It was Marcus Anderson and Matthew Lymn Rose who took command in the Jaguar E-type and led until the half-way point, which was marked by a section across the infamous Portal do Inferno, or the Gateway to Hell. This road runs along a high ridge that splits the Aviero and Viseu Districts of Portugal and cuts a slender path at an altitude of some 900 metres, with abrupt drops either side - not a place for those with a fear of heights! Another highlight was the chance to tackle the Caramello Hill Climb under closed road conditions – twice.

    Everyone is a winner: Just finishing the marathon event was a reason to celebrate - Alexander and Joanna Geigy at the finish line in their Triumph TR 3A

    There was drama too on the final day. The rally fastidiously followed the sanitary procedures and protocols in vigour and as such all the competitors and personnel on the event had taken a PCR test within the time frame needed for return travel to home countries. Four tests returned positive results and those affected, as well as those sharing vehicles with them, were immediately asked to remove themselves from the rally, and isolate awaiting a second test.

    With two regularities remaining on the last day, the fight was close at the top between Mark and Sue Godfrey in an MG B and the Crosby/Pullen Porsche, back up the order after their day 1 problems. In the end it was a mistake from the Godfreys that settled it, giving Godfrey and Pulled a mere 10-second advantage at the finish.

    For a full report see our September 2021 issue

  • The 69th Rally Costa Brava will be held on 19-20 November 2021 in Girona. The oldest rally in Spain and one of the most important historic rally events in Europe, the Costa Brava is normally the opening event on the FIA historic rally calendar. However this year it was postponed from March and will exceptionally be the closing round of the FIA European Historic Rally Championship, the Spanish Championship for Historic Vehicles (Speed and Regularity) and the Catalan Regularity Cup. A treat for drivers this year will be a timed special stage on the Barcelona Catalunya circuit. Alex Romani, President of organiser, RallyClassics, said, “We want the 69th Rally Costa Brava to be a step in consolidating this rally as one of the most prestigious in Europe. To this end, we will integrate more timed kilometres and new stages allowing us to accommodate what is likely to be a large number of participants.” As things stand, the rally has already attracted a record number of entries.

  • The other Costa Brava Rally, a regularity event run by the same organisation, will keep to its traditional late September date, this year 30 September-3 October. A qualifying event for the FIA Trophy for Historic Regularity Rallies, the route offers a total of 28 Regularity stages over approximately 1,000 kilometres starting and finishing in Palamós, 120kms north of Barcelona, divided into three legs. It too has been experiencing a good uptake in entries, and optimistic drivers from around Europe and even the US and Uruguay have already confirmed participation. Organisers offer special packages that include transportation for the cars, hotels, meals and support crew. See rallyclassics.club for info on both events in multiple languages.

    Subscribe to Historic Motor Racing News for all the up-to-date rally news

  • Details of the route for the 24th edition of Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique have been unveiled and the event will feature the return of concentration legs, with three famous cities on the starting options: Bad Homburg, Milan and Reims.

    There will be three different routes to Monte-Carlo. This move was directed by the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) in order to boost the economy of the Principality and to again welcome crews from all over Europe. The 2022 route will feature a record number of 17 regularity stages. The End of Concentration Leg is scheduled for Saturday January 29 between Monaco and Valence with a 6am start before four regularity stages. The start for the Final Leg is scheduled in the night of Tuesday 1 to Wednesday February 2 in Monaco from 9pm onwards, taking in the famous Col de Turini and the winning crew is expected at around 1.20am on Port Hercule in Monaco.

    In order to respect tradition, the Prize Ceremony and Gala Night will be on the evening of Wednesday February 3 in the Salle des Etoiles at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club. Entries are now open and close on Monday November 8. The confirmation of selected cars will be made on Monday November 15.

    Subscribe to Historic Motor Racing News for all the up-to-date rally news

  • Historic Promotions and circuit operator MotorSport Vision (MSV) have signed a new agreement for the Donington Historic Festival, ensuring the future of the event for the next three years.  Dates for 2022 have been announced and the Festival will keep its traditional place on the calendar of the early May Bank holiday weekend, next year on 30 April-1 May.  Running capacity grids in 2021, next year should finally see the event run again with a full complement of spectators, vendors, clubs and other attractions, back after the restrictions of the last couple of years.

  • Only three short weeks after their visit to Le Mans, Peter Auto competitors met at the Nogaro circuit in southwest France on 23-25 July for a meeting arranged to make up for the cancellation of Spa Classic in May. Organising an event like this in the height of summer in the distant countryside was not easy and unfortunately only one hundred cars were present for this third Peter Auto race meeting of the season. However, no one blames the organiser. Health restrictions, the holiday period, this circuit, although attractive for historic cars, being a little far from everything, and the proximity to the previous meeting all taken together helps to explain the low number of entrants. Jean-Marie Biadatti tells the story…

    Christian Dumolin, driving his beautiful Ferrari 250 GT SWB, quite simply had forgotten to make the obligatory pitstop!.  Photos PhotoClassicRacing.com

    Due to a lack of combatants, the Group C Racing field was not present, the two Classic Endurance Racing grids were grouped together and a few regular 2.0L Cup participants were integrated into the Sixties’ Endurance field. As usual, it was this grid that welcomed the most competitors, however with 25 cars, there were fewer than half the usual number. If a few top names in this championship were missing, there were nonetheless a certain number of regular front-runners, all in Shelby Cobras, like Urs Beck, this time with Patrick Simon, Damien Kohler/Christophe Van Riet and Yves Scemama/Yvan Mahé. But the surprise came in qualifying for Armand Mille sharing a Jaguar E-type with Thomas Jamin, who was third fastest, the first six cars qualifying within 8/10ths of a second!

    In the Fifties’ Legends, the Mini Coopers were very comfortable on the Gers circuit

    For the race, the battle was intense between the three Cobras, the Jaguar E-type sitting in ambush, and another Cobra in the hands of Vincent Kolb, who unfortunately left the scene early because of braking problems. The sudden exit of Vincent Neurisse half an hour from the end brought out the safety car. This had the effect of regrouping the cars for the restart, after which the battle became even more heated. Always very strong in this kind of situation, Christophe Van Riet used his racecraft to steal second place from Mahé, but he didn’t have enough time to catch up with Patrick Simon, who finished 12 seconds ahead.

    Serge Kriknoff took his Lola T212 to CER1 victory on a combined grid

    A few drops of rain at the start of the Heritage Touring Cup race made the track tricky and there were many surprises when cars started braking for the school hairpin at the end of the long downhill straight. This was the case for Emile Breittmeyer (Ford Capri RS3100), whose lurid spin plunged him down the order in the second lap, leaving Christophe Van Riet and Yvan Mahé to slug it out once again, this time in Capris. It was, however, a short-lived battle, with Mahé out with engine problems on the fifth lap.

    With 17 cars, the Classic Endurance Racing field was very slim compared to what we usually see. Here it is difficult to talk about a fight on the track, as the difference in performance between CER1 and CER2 is so great.

    The Cobra battle at the front of the Sixties’ Endurance field was intense, with the Jaguar E-type of Armand Mille and Thomas Jamin sitting in ambush

    In the Fifties’ Legends, the field most recently created by Peter Auto, the Mini Coopers were very comfortable on the Gers circuit, and though Christophe Beaudon's TVR Griffith was quickest in the compulsory pitstops and came out in the lead, a subsequent penalty put him back to third.

    For its part, Endurance Racing Legends also suffered from a particularly low number of entries. One of the reasons for the low number of participants was also undoubtedly the fact that these cars were due to be present at the 24 Hours of Le Mans just a few weeks later, where no fewer than 56 cars were entered!

    Fr a full report of all the racing see our September 2021 issue

  • Rallye Weiz

    After making its debut on the calendar in 2019, the Rallye Weiz in Austria returned to host Round 4 of the 2021 FIA European Historic Rally Championship on 15-17 July. Taking place in the town of Weiz, 30km from Graz and 190km southwest of the Austrian capital, the rally route of over 500kms, featured 14 special stages covering more than 160kms over two days. Top of the 18-car FIA starting list, within a field of some 30 historic cars, was Championship leader ‘Zippo’ and Denis Piceno, keen to add to their points tally driving their Audi Quattro. However, despite scoring the fastest times on four of the first five stages and looking on course to finish the day with a commanding lead over their nearest rivals Karl Wagner and Gerda Zauner in the Porsche 911, fate intervened and both cars suffered technical issues on the sixth stage of the first leg of the rally, the Audi suffering from a fuel problem and the Porsche an electrical issue. This left the Category 4 Ford Sierra Cosworth of Daniel Alonso and Candido Carrera at the head of the day 1 leaderboard,

    Daniel Alonso and Candido Carrera scored the overall and Category 4 victory after both leading cars, driven by ‘Zippo’ (below Left ) and Karl Wagner (below) dropped out on the first day.  Photos Harald Ilmer

    The Audi was back in the race on the following day with a time penalty that put the crew in 17th place. However the Italians were fastest on all eight of the day’s stages to leapfrog up the standings and finish second overall and win Category 3, their 4th victory in four events.

    Alonso and Carrera also had their problems, with the Ford suffering a broken turbo that the mechanics had to work hard to fix, but the hard work paid off and the Spanish pair finally finished 52.5 seconds to the good to take the overall win and first place in Category 4.

    Lahti Historic Rally

    In the absence of a number of this year’s front-runners in the FIA Championship, such as ‘Lucky’, who won round one in Italy, ‘Zippo’ who won round two, and two-time runners-up for overall honours Karl Wagner and Gerda Zauner, it was the turn of Audi Quattro drivers, Ville Silvasti and Risto Pietilainen to score an overall win and victory in Category 4 in round five of the FIA Historic Rally Championship on their home turf in Finland on 13-14 August. Based at the harbour in Lahti, Finland’s eighth most populous city, and European Green Capital city for 2021, it is the only gravel rally on this year’s EHRC calendar.

    10 out of 12 stage victories for Finns Silvasti and Pietilainen.  Photo Merita Mäkinen / Meritapix

    The pair completed day 1 of the two-day event, posting the fastest time on five of the day’s six stages to lead the similar Audi of compatriots Kari Kivenne and Hannu Kemppinen by 52.5 seconds as night fell.

    With rain on scrutineering day, followed by sunshine and warm temperatures on day 1, the weather decided to add another dimension to the event on day 2, with heavy rain soaking the morning‘s gravel stages and adding to the challenge. By the afternoon dry weather returned but the rain had made conditions slippery. unperturbed, Silvasti and Pietilainen continued their dominance whatever the weather threw at them, taking another five out of six stages.

    For full reports on all FIA Historic Rally Championship events, subscribe to Historic Motor Racing News

  • Rallye Weiz

    After making its debut on the calendar in 2019, the Rallye Weiz in Austria returned to host Round 4 of the 2021 FIA European Historic Rally Championship on 15-17 July. Taking place in the town of Weiz, 30km from Graz and 190km southwest of the Austrian capital, the rally route of over 500kms, featured 14 special stages covering more than 160kms over two days. Top of the 18-car FIA starting list, within a field of some 30 historic cars, was Championship leader ‘Zippo’ and Denis Piceno, keen to add to their points tally driving their Audi Quattro. However, despite scoring the fastest times on four of the first five stages and looking on course to finish the day with a commanding lead over their nearest rivals Karl Wagner and Gerda Zauner in the Porsche 911, fate intervened and both cars suffered technical issues on the sixth stage of the first leg of the rally, the Audi suffering from a fuel problem and the Porsche an electrical issue. This left the Category 4 Ford Sierra Cosworth of Daniel Alonso and Candido Carrera at the head of the day 1 leaderboard,

    Daniel Alonso and Candido Carrera scored the overall and Category 4 victory after both leading cars, driven by ‘Zippo’ (below Left ) and Karl Wagner (below) dropped out on the first day.  Photos Harald Ilmer

    The Audi was back in the race on the following day with a time penalty that put the crew in 17th place. However the Italians were fastest on all eight of the day’s stages to leapfrog up the standings and finish second overall and win Category 3, their 4th victory in four events.

    Alonso and Carrera also had their problems, with the Ford suffering a broken turbo that the mechanics had to work hard to fix, but the hard work paid off and the Spanish pair finally finished 52.5 seconds to the good to take the overall win and first place in Category 4.

    Lahti Historic Rally

    In the absence of a number of this year’s front-runners in the FIA Championship, such as ‘Lucky’, who won round one in Italy, ‘Zippo’ who won round two, and two-time runners-up for overall honours Karl Wagner and Gerda Zauner, it was the turn of Audi Quattro drivers, Ville Silvasti and Risto Pietilainen to score an overall win and victory in Category 4 in round five of the FIA Historic Rally Championship on their home turf in Finland on 13-14 August. Based at the harbour in Lahti, Finland’s eighth most populous city, and European Green Capital city for 2021, it is the only gravel rally on this year’s EHRC calendar.

    10 out of 12 stage victories for Finns Silvasti and Pietilainen.  Photo Merita Mäkinen / Meritapix

    The pair completed day 1 of the two-day event, posting the fastest time on five of the day’s six stages to lead the similar Audi of compatriots Kari Kivenne and Hannu Kemppinen by 52.5 seconds as night fell.

    With rain on scrutineering day, followed by sunshine and warm temperatures on day 1, the weather decided to add another dimension to the event on day 2, with heavy rain soaking the morning‘s gravel stages and adding to the challenge. By the afternoon dry weather returned but the rain had made conditions slippery. unperturbed, Silvasti and Pietilainen continued their dominance whatever the weather threw at them, taking another five out of six stages.

    For full reports on all FIA Historic Rally Championship events, subscribe to Historic Motor Racing News

  •  

    Rally organiser Laurent Blomet, founder of Happy Few Racing - which specialises in family rallies, for father and daughter, father and son, mother and son, etc. - has launched a new app that allows anyone to participate in regularity rallies across Europe and even compete against one another. With numerous itineraries in a multitude of countries, anyone can call up a regularity route any time on their phone from anywhere. The app supplies the route and the timings, and tracks participants to create an overall classification amongst all competitors. 1500 routes are currently available, comprising some classic rally stages. First prize for the 2021 winner will be a Maserati MC 20 supercar! In the words of Blomet, “Open to everyone, you just need a car and a phone. Choose one of the thousands of routes available and get behind the wheel to join the biggest rally in the world.” See https://www.instagram.com/grantrofeo/ for details.

     

    Subscribe to Historic Motor Racing News for all the up-to-date rally news

  • The huge organisational machine behind the giant Auto e Moto d’Epoca exhibition in Padua is working full steam ahead for the 2021 edition, having reported strong demand for its 115,000 square metres of exhibition space from international vendors.

    One of the new features of the 21-24 October show, will be a special focus on Classic Motor Sports and competition cars highlighting an industry on the rise with an increasing number of fans. The show, spanning 11 exhibition halls in addition to the outdoor areas, will host a special exhibition of barchetta sports cars and torpedoes that raced before the war, Formula cars, World Touring Car Championship racing cars and the stars of the great international rallies from the ‘60s and ‘70s.

    Other themes this year are 100 years of the Lancia Lambda, and motor bikes from famous collections, from rare Menons to old single-cylinder Moto Guzzi to the great Japanese motorbikes of the 70s. Go to https://autoemotodepoca.com for tickets.

  • Organisers of Bernina Gran Turismo have expanded their offering to encompass a week of automotive festivities for this year’s event, which will be the seventh edition. Celebrating the Internationale St. Moritzer Automobilwochen that took place in St Moritz in 1920 and ’30, an automotive film festival, a sprint race, and a concours will culminate with the Bernina Hillclimb in the week of 10-19 September. The latest announcement from organisers is that RM Sotheby’s will also be holding an auction on the grounds of the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains in St. Moritz Bad on 17 September, RM Sotheby’s first auction in Switzerland. The event will now be known as the International St. Moritz Automobile Week and can be found at http://i-s-a-w.com.

  • According to FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) some of the most iconic vehicles in history could be lost to the future unless new blood is introduced to the restoration industry.  That is the main conclusion reached at a FIVA-supported international symposium in Bucharest that took place in July, entitled ‘Restoration – Art or Science?’

    Tiddo Bresters Photo Dragos Savu courtesy Retromobil Club Romania

    FIVA president Tiddo Bresters describes it as an “existential challenge” for the future of classic motoring.  “This is one of FIVA’s primary objectives – to foster the preservation of historic vehicles and pass them on in working condition to future generations.  To this end, a mature restoration industry is as important as it is for other areas of cultural heritage, such as paintings and historic buildings”

    A succession of world authorities addressed the symposium hosted by the Retromobil Club Romania.  Stéphane Guarato and Arthur Morault run the Conservatoire National des Véhicules Anciens near Paris, where students gain experience in basic restoration techniques before going on to specialist training.  They say a lack of skilled labour means demand is outstripping supply.  Part of the problem is the increasing gap between the skills needed for modern car repairs and those needed for historic restoration.  Plus it’s difficult to attract young people to the industry.  Half their current 150 students are around 60 years old.

    A skills training programme at the Collège La Cité in Ottawa, Canada aims to attract young people into historic vehicle restoration from September 2022.  Michel Lamoureux, principal advisor for the programme, told the symposium about the two-year course, one with an international approach, offering global recruitment, work placements and collaborations with restoration shops, museums, collectors, auction houses, clubs, associations and automotive media.

    Eastern European countries are increasingly looking for opportunities in historic vehicle restoration.  Cătălin Cedric Ghigea has run a specialist facility near Bucharest International Airport for the past 18 years, working on 20 or 30 cars a year.  He says all his clients are from Western Europe, and similar operations are being successfully set up and run in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia.

     

    David Cooper of Chicago-based Cooper Technica Inc. spoke of his “forensic restoration” technique when recreating parts that can no longer be sourced.  He has travelled all over the world researching original design drawings, surviving broken parts, and construction techniques, methods and materials.

     

    Well-known collector Corrado Lopresto from Milan uses modern techniques taken from the art world for his special Italian cars, both to analyse monochromatic photographs to identify the true colours of the time, and to preserve the original paint as much as possible, entrusting his cars to professional restorers of vintage paintings.

     

    President of Retromobil Club Romania, Gabriela Măgureanu, concluded, “It’s high time we talked about restoration and worked together to create opportunities, share experience, exchange ideas and address challenges better.  We are honoured that these leading figures have agreed to share their knowledge, and we aim for this symposium to be the first of many.”

  • Brands Hatch was the location of Festival Italia on August 15, celebrating a wide spectrum of motorsport, people and virtually anything else Italian.  Peter Collins Reports…

    Perhaps one of the most remarkable features was to be found in the static display of Abarths from Tony Castle-Miller’s emporium.  On show in public for the first time in over 50 years and only just completed was the famous ex-Bob Burnard Abarth Simca Due Mila RB 38, which enjoyed much success in early to mid-1960s UK GT sportscar racing.  Not quite ready to run as yet, it headed up a row of over a dozen examples of Carlo Abarth’s expertise over the years.  Some of these cars took to the track for a demonstration during the lunch break.

    Chris Whelan in the ex-Dooley and ex-BTCC Alfasud

    The competitive on-track action took place courtesy of the various UK Ferrari and Alfa Romeo championships, both classic and modern.

    The two Pirelli Ferrari Formula Classic races were both won at a canter by Wayne Marrs in his Ferrari F355 Challenge and the same mounts were used by Tim Walker and Tristan Simpson in finishing second and third in race one.  The order was changed in the second race when Gary Culver took second with his Ferrari 328 GTB.

     James Colburn took a lights to falg HRDC Alfa Challenge win in his Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT

    The HRDC race for the Classic Alfa Challenge was also an unopposed, lights to flag drive, this time for James Colburn in his fast Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT.  He was followed in by Ben Colburn who was at the wheel of his Alfa Romeo 1750 Berlina with the 75 of James Wright in third.  With a superb entry of around 30 cars and a race around the Indy Circuit for 30 minutes the track was very busy at all times, with drivers reckoning on getting dizzy by the finish!  Gavin Watson was driving the wheels off his venerable ex-Dooley Giulietta Ti and Chris Whelan was finding plenty of speed from his, also ex-Dooley and ex-BTCC, Alfasud.  

    With a live performance of Nessun Dorma just prior to the first race, the large crowd enjoyed a great Italian day out.

  • Those who expect to see our Oldtimer-Grand-Prix report in this issue will be disappointed.  If you hadn’t already heard, the Oldtimer, along with other events to have taken place at the Nürburgring, was cancelled for this year at the last minute.  This time it was not due to COVID, but to the extreme flooding in the Ahrweiler region of Germany.  The circuit itself survived the worst, in fact, the Nordschleife has already re-opened for ‘tourist drives,’ but its unique infrastructure in the area has meant that the emergency and rescue services are using it as a base of operations to help the many thousands of stricken people in the area.  Much of the immediate needs of those affected by the flood, such as clothing, food and water, is stockpiled there.

    The Kreissparkasse Ahrweiler has set up an emergency aid account for those who want to help with donations for the victims:

    IBAN: DE 86577513100000339457     BIC: MALADE51AHR

  • With high demand, Automobiles Historiques added an extra GT & Sports Car Cup race to its 2021 calendar and are offering a 90-minute race at the Castle Combe Autumn Classic, before finishing their season, as tradition dictates, with a two-hour enduro at the Algarve Classic Festival on 29-31 October.  Eligible cars are pre-’66 GT and pre-’63 sports prototypes.  Entry forms for both invitation-only events can be requested from      cars@automobileshistoriques.com

  • Having missed the opening event in California in May, English-resident Irishman Greg Thornton has made it four straight wins in the Masters American Historic Formula 1 series when he took his 1982 Lotus 91 to four race victories on back-to-back weekends, at the historic Watkins Glen circuit on July 11, and a week later at the challenging Road America circuit in Wisconsin. 

    Photo Courtesy Masters

    Now age 60, the globe-trotting Thornton only started racing historic cars at the age of 41, making his debut with his South African born wife, Anthea, who, it is said, shares his passion for cars.  A three-times Masters Historic F1 Champion and the only driver to date to win both the Post 1978 (2013, Lotus 92) and Pre 1978 (2018, Lotus 77 and Titan) categories of the European championship, in 2019 Thornton backed that up by winning the USA Masters Post 1978 Historic F1 Championship in convincing style, taking seven victories in eight races and setting the fastest lap in every race in the ex-Mario Andretti John Player Special Lotus 77 and ex-Ronnie Petersen March 761/03.

    He drives a Cooper T52 in the Lurani Trophy Championship for Formula Juniors, coming sixth in the Championship in 2014 and lately has been in the Masters Endurance Legends races.  He is a regular at Hampton Downs and Christchurch in New Zealand, in Formula Juniors and the Libre Historic Single Seater category in a Lola T192, as well as F5000 in a Chevron B24.  He also races a Ferrari 308 in HSCC Historic Road Sports, a Titan Mk3/4 in Historic Formula Ford, is seen in South Africa in a Lotus 22 Formula Junior and runs an LDS 03 with the HGPCA.  Most recently he caused a stir when he appeared at Goodwood in a 1961 McKee Mahyra, an American built V-8 one-off prototype.  At the back of the grid in its day, after a 12-year restoration, the strange-looking 400hp beast held its own at Goodwood.

  • With fewer traditional F1 support races this season, the Masters were invited to stage two 30-minute races for their Gentlemen Drivers ‘60s GT grid at Silverstone to support the Pirelli Formula 1 British Grand Prix.  A 33-car, all-British, grid was duly formed, consisting of Cobras, TVR Griffiths and E-type Jaguars at the sharp end, mixed with Lotus Elans, Austin Healey 3000s, Porsche 911s, Morgan +4, etc. in other classes.

    Julian Thomas was a dominant winner of the first race, as he passed  2013 British Touring Car champion Andrew Jordan on lap two and pulled out a 16-second lead, both drivers in Cobra Daytona Coupes.  James Cottingham in his Shelby Cobra was a lonely third but doing his utmost to keep contact with the leaders.  Further down, the battle for fourth place between two TVR Griffiths was terrific, with John Davison leading John Spiers for the first two-thirds before Spiers got past.  However, Davison never gave up and stayed within three-tenths of a second behind to the chequered flag.

    Matthew Wrigley (Jaguar E-type), in sixth, was under pressure from Ben Short (Aston Martin DP214) and Jonathan Mitchell’s E-type.  Short passed Wrigley at Brooklands but ran wide and lost the spot.  Rob Fenn (Lotus Elan), Jeremy Welch (Austin Healey 3000M) and Mark Sumpter (Porsche 911) were other class winners.

    The second race ended in drama as the two leaders continued their battle.  As on the previous day, Jordan made a demon start to get the jump on Spiers and lead the pack into Abbey  with Thomas breathing down his neck.  Thomas repeatedly tried for the lead and each time drifted wide allowing Jordan to reclaim the place, but on lap eight he finally made a move stick and took the lead.  But it wasn’t over.

    This time he couldn’t shake Jordan, who applied plenty of pressure, using all the tricks he could find, flashing his headlights to distract his rival, and forcing a couple of inconsequential errors out of Thomas.  He made his final charge on the last lap.  Drawing level with Thomas on the approach to Stowe, both braking as late as they dared, Jordan’s car slid slightly, and just clipped Thomas who was turning into the corner, causing both cars to spin.  Thomas recovered ahead of Jordan but by then James Cottingham was in the lead to take a surprise win.  He was followed through by the two Griffiths of Davison and Spiers in that order, leaving Thomas in fourth and Jordan fifth.  

     

    Sixth went to Matthew Wrigley again.  Class wins went to Cottingham, Eddie Powell who hauled his Lotus Elan up from the rear of the grid to 10th place, Welch, and Billy Bellinger (Morgan +4).