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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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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.

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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.

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

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

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.

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.   

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

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.

On the Saturday night of the Velodromloppet (see page 50), RHK held its award ceremony for last season’s winners, with over a hundred prizes awarded for all the classes.  Johan Lund, as last year’s RHK Champion received the biggest trophy.  RHK also took the opportunity to award its special prizes.   The Ronnie Peterson statue went to Patrik Åström, who “with the stubbornness of a fool” managed to get to last year’s Velodrome race in the autumn against all odds.  Torsten’s Memorial went to Tobias Svanberg for his positive fight in the 1000cc Cup.  The Presidents’ Trophy was awarded to Anders Dahlgren for his positivity and many years of hard work behind-the-scenes.