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

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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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Entries are now open for the HSR Classic Daytona event, which takes place on 27-31 October.  The event, which features seven different Run Groups competing in succession for a full 24 hours on the iconic Daytona International Speedway 3.56-mile road course.  The various period-correct classes within each Run Group combine to make just about any closed-wheel competition sports car from the last 60 years eligible for the event.

The weekend also features the regular season HSR Daytona Historics, a points-paying round of the overall 2021 HSR racing season.

The HSR Classic Daytona will highlight Porsche as featured marque in tribute to Porsche’s record as the most successful manufacturer in the history of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, amassing a record 22 overall wins, with the first coming in 1968 and the most recent in 2010.  The winning run includes a record 11 consecutive overall victories from 1977 through 1987.

Race Ready, Promoters of the Estoril Classic race meeting, is calling for all drivers of ‘70s and ‘80s F1 cars to get in touch for a sponsored race at the Estoril Classics event, which takes place in sunny southern Portugal on 8-10 October. This will be the fourth successful year for the independent F1 race at the event, as drivers seek to prolong the summer season in the south, with generously subsidised travel for them and their cars.

This will be the second year that Peter Auto brings the Peter Auto grids and the exceptional cars that they invariably attract, and many F1 drivers will use the opportunity to bring one or more other cars for these races. This year all the Peter Auto grids will be present and the weekend will culminate in a grand season-end prizegiving to reward all the Peter Auto Champions of 2021. The races include the 2.0L Cup, for first generation Porsche 911s; Classic Endurance Racing 1 & 2 for two eras of sports and endurance prototypes; Group C Racing, for even later Endurance cars, Endurance Racing Legends, for the most recent prototypes and LMP cars up to the 2000s; the Heritage Touring Cup for cars of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s; Sixties’ Endurance, always a favourite, with a packed grid for pre-‘66 GT cars and pre-‘63 prototypes in a 2-hour format, and Peter Auto’s own eclectic mix of exceptional GT and sports racers in The Greatest’s Trophy pair of races.

Diogo Ferrão’s Iberian Endurance series has been a regular feature of this meeting from the beginning, and this year will be no exception, with a big grid of GT, prototypes and touring cars of the 70s expected.

Another feature of this weekend, which forms the cornerstone of Estoril Classics Week, is the start and finish of the Rally de Portugal Histórico, considered to be one of the best regularity events in Europe.

Contact Peter Auto (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and/or Race Ready (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for race entries.

The Circuit Paul Ricard is continuing its commitment to sustainable development initiated more than ten years ago by adding a new action to its environmental approach: the switch of its entire diesel fleet to biodiesel.  In 2019, Circuit Paul Ricard became the first circuit in France and the second Formula 1 circuit in the world to obtain the highest level of FIA environmental certification (3 stars).  This certification is the reward for the monitoring of air quality, measurement of noise emissions, eco-grazing, sorting and recycling of waste, recovery of rainwater, photovoltaic panels, etc.  In addition, in terms of sustainable mobility, the circuit plays a role in reducing fossil fuel consumption with a large fleet of electric vehicles for the technical teams.  The circuit is also equipped with 20,000 m² of photovoltaic panels which produce 3,484 MWh, the equivalent of the consumption of 2,968 people per year (excluding heating), green energy which thus compensates for the supply of its charging stations for electric vehicles and its hydrogen station, the first in the Departement of the Var.

Concours d’Elegances seem to be proliferating in today’s world, with new ones popping up regularly, while the old established ones seem to be changing hands.  After the acquisition earlier in the year of the Cavallino Classic by Canossa Events, Michigan-based Hagerty has announced it has acquired the Amelia Island Concours, one of the largest and most prestigious concours, events, founded 26 years ago by Bill Warner, who will remain as event Chairman.  Known for its world-wide classic vehicle insurance business Hagerty has also recently acquired other top-tier US automotive events, including the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, Concours d’Elegance of America and the California Mille.  The company takes part in more than 2,500 car events annually.

 

Marcus Pye Writes…..

The Historic Formula Ford 2000 championship had its first female race winner - on track at least - when Molly Dodd took the chequered flag in the second heat on Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on Friday, July 9.  The 18-year-old was unsurprisingly deflated, however, when a 30 second penalty for a non-functional timing transponder saw her re-classified fifth.

First on the Road: Molly Dodd in her #147 Royale  Photo Gary Hawkins

The fault, flagged-up during the morning’s qualifying, with a warning that the competitor might not be timed in the race if not fixed per MSUK statute, proved to be an error.  Dodd’s team had wired the ‘red box’ into her Royale RP27’s electrical system, which trumped its built-in battery and failed to trigger TSL’s clocks.  Chief timekeeper Nick Palmer’s ‘walk-through’ of the timing beacon with Molly subsequently demonstrated that it worked independently.    

Without slicks-and-wings experience, the Junior Saloon Car and Ginetta Junior graduate’s progress has been impressive in her maiden single-seater season.  In a super-competitive category, which to most would be a steep learning curve, the Loughborough College student and MSUK Driver Academy member improved her personal best points race finish from 12th (at Cadwell Park and Donington) to sixth, then fourth at Brands.  Her Saturday final drive on the Grand Prix circuit - where she had topped the qualifying times for a while - suggested that her dream of an overall podium is attainable. 

After an enforced absence in 2020 due to COVID, the popular American Speedfest returned to Brands Hatch, appropriately over the 4th of July weekend.  This was the eighth running of the event which centres around the NASCAR sanctioned Whelan Euro Series (NWES).  While most of the race programme is for modern machines there is some interest to historic race fans with races for Formula 5000 and Bernie’s V8s.  

The most interesting entry in Bernie’s V8 race was Greg Thornton’s unique 1961 McKee Mahyra, a car built for the USRRC series racing prior to the introduction of the Can-Am category in the US  Photos Eric Sawyer

Sadly the F5000 races attracted a small field of just nine cars with two 20-minute races won by Greg Thornton in his Chevron B24 from the Chevron B37 of Neil Glover.  In contrast, Bernie’s V8s series was oversubscribed with a full grid of 34 cars starting the first of three races over the weekend.  Despite the series name, although aimed at V8-powered cars from the 50s through to the early 90s, the eclectic mix included a Talbot Sunbeam Lotus and a Ford GT40 replica.  Three races produced three different winners, the first going to Sam Wilson in an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, the second to the Ford Escort Mexico of Michael Saunders and finally, the third to the V8-powered Austin Healey 106 of James Plant.  

Derek Drinkwater’s Buick Regal

In recent years the programme has included demos by historic NASCARs and this year saw the largest ever gathering, with 16 cars taking to the track, as UK enthusiasts bring more such cars in from the USA.  One of the earlier cars, the Buick Regal of Derek Drinkwater, also raced in Bernie’s V8s races.  The weekend aims at celebrating all things American with massive American car displays, monster truck rides etc. and even a BBQ competition.

Chevrolet short track NASCAR raced throughout the Carolinas during the ‘50s

Such is the fame of the Historic Tour de Corse, the organisers took just a few weeks to fill the entry list in the three eligible categories:  VHC (historic racing cars), VHRS (sporting regularity) and Legend (on show no timing), for the 2021 event.

More than 300 cars and their crews, a new entry record, will be at the start in Porto Vecchio, on 3 October, among them drivers and co-drivers from 12 countries, including Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. 

The field comprises numerous gentlemen drivers and major historic race regulars, but also professionals starting with the reigning winner, Alain Oreille and his wife Sylvie who triumphed last year in a Porsche 911.  The former double world rally champion in Group N (1989 and 1990), winner of the 1989 WRC Tour de Corse in his works Renault 5 GT Turbo and a regular in the historic event, will be out to add a second consecutive victory to his laurels.

Other notable entries have come from 1993 Dakar winner and winner of the 1986 WRC Tour de Corse, Bruno Saby, who will be at the wheel of a Ford Capri identical to the one in which he took part in the 1970 Tour de Corse with his father; and double French Rallycross champion, the talented Christophe Vaison will drive a BMW M3.  They will be up against plenty of local drivers, beginning with Christophe Casanova and Olivier Capanaccia, second and third in the 2020 event, in their BMW M3s and Marc Valliccioni, Thomas Argenti, Jean-Baptiste Botti and several other Corsican drivers determined to shine on their home turf.

A new 900km route will be covered in five days, comprising 18 special stages including some used by the WRC, in all 350km on closed roads and 550km of liaisons on the most beautiful roads the Ile de Beauté has to offer.

The 36th Stella Alpina tribute rally was held on June 11-13 on a route crossing 10 spectacular mountain passes and driving past six picturesque Alpine lakes.  With the majestic beauty of the Dolomites providing the backdrop for 65 time trials and six average speed stages, 12 time checks, and a total of 457 kilometres of mountain roads, first prize overall went Michele Lafortezza and Ilaria Carturan, in their 1969 Innocenti Mini Cooper MK2.  Second place on the podium were Mauro Argenti and Roberta Amorosa, in a 1969 Porsche 911 T 2.2, and Giovanni Pedrali and Simona Bonomelli came third in a 1956 Austin Healey BN4L 100SIX.  A modern Ferrari class was won by Fabio Vergamini and Anna Maria Fabrizi, in a 2017 Ferrari 488 GTB.

Photo Courtesy Canossa Events

The 2021 British Historic Rally Championship will now run over just three events following the cancellation of what would have been the opening two rounds of a shortened five-round season.

The Harry Flatters Rally (25 July) and the Plains Rally (14 August) were both due to run in Wales but have now been cancelled as hard pressed organisers decided that running the event under strict COVID rules simply placed too great a burden on already stretched organising teams.

The BHRC will now open with the Three Shires Stages

The Harry Flatters, due to run on the Epynt military ranges, could have gone ahead but a requirement to completely prevent spectators due to military training exercises prompted its cancellation for the second year.  Meanwhile, the Plains Rally was due to run in the forests of North Wales but the extra control measures needed also led to its cancellation.  Both events are due to return in 2022.

The BHRC will now open with the closed-road Three Shires Stages on 4 September followed by the Trackrod Historic Rally on 24-25 September and the Carlisle Stages on 23 October.

Having previously won with Andrea Guerini (twice) on the notes, then last year with his father Roberto, Andrea Vesco, this time with Fabio Salvinelli, took his fourth Mille Miglia victory, once again driving his 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Super Sport.  The time-distance contest ran counter-clockwise this year on 16-19 June, from Brescia to Rome and back in intensely hot conditions compared to last year, for some 1800kms through some of the most beautiful cities in Italy.  The Brescian driver won only on the last leg when he overtook Luigi Belometti and Gianluca Bergomi, driving a Lancia Lambda Spider Casaro of 1929, who had been leading by a mere three points.  Out of 375 cars at the start, 341 crossed the finish line back in Brescia.