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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 London Classic Car Show has led a nomadic existence for a year or two since leaving its long term home at ExCel in Docklands.  Having moved to the more central location of Olympia in early 2020, this year the organisers made the wise decision to move outdoors to Syon Park, the London home of the Duke of Northumberland.  As well as avoiding indoor COVID restrictions, 14,000 visitors attended - this allowed the return of the running of cars, on the old entrance drive.  Luck brought them good weather over the 25-27 June weekend.  John Whiteman was there...

There were three main themes this year, 100 years of the Bugatti Brescia and the Lancia Lambda, and 60 years of the ubiquitous Jaguar E-type.  

One of the original Lightweight E-types, 49 FXN, the car modified for Peters, Lumsden and Sargent, for Le Mans in 1964 was on display, along with further E-types, headed by ‘ECD 400’, the Tommy Sopwith-owned car which Graham Hill took to the model’s first race victory.  

The Bugatti Type 13 acquired the name Brescia when Ernst Friderich led home his three teammates, de Vizcaya, Baccoli and Marco to a clean sweep in the 215 mile race held on the fast 10.7 mile triangular circuit near Brescia in Ettore Bugattis’ native Italy 100 years ago on 8 September, 1921.  Many Brescias were gathered to celebrate and, on Sunday morning a live interview was conducted by Tiff Needell on the stage with Angela Hucke, curator of the Bugatti Trust at Prescott and Charles Trevelyan, former chairman of the Bugatti Owners Club during which there was light hearted banter with the Lancia Motor Club who were ‘garaged’ next door over the relative merits of the cars.

Described by Lancia authority Wim Oude Weernink as ‘Vincenzo Lancias first technical masterpiece’ the prototype Lambda was tested by the boss himself in September 1921 and after many months of thorough road work the model was debuted at the 1922 Paris motor show.  The car’s unitary body construction attracted much comment and the model enjoyed immediate success with the brakes much praised and also the light and precise steering, although not everybody liked the square look and low waistline.  Many different examples were on show at Syon Park, including a 1933 Lancia Dilambda with an 8 cylinder engine as opposed to the 4 of the Lambda, this one a 232 Sports Racing car with period racing history in Eritrea.  The car ran on Sunday on the Lime Avenue demo together with a selection of its fellows.

Aero-engined monsters attracted much attention on the runs with capacities ranging from a mere 10 litres up to a 27 litre Hispano Suiza engined Delage, with some taking advantage of the mixture of grass and gravel on the avenue.  Other classes included ‘Where it all began’ for very early cars; ‘1930s Style and Elegance’ (think Rolls Royce Phantoms and Bugatti Type 55); ‘1950s and ‘60s Americana’ embracing Cadillac, Corvette and Hot Rods; and ‘1960s and ‘70s Endurance Legends’ which were a little thin on the ground but included a very original ex-George Eaton McLaren M12.

A heatwave in Hungary saw the preliminaries for the 54th Mecsek Rallye, round three of nine in the 2021 FIA European Historic Rally Championship, take place in 39 degree temperatures.  With promises of storms to come, the 24-26 June event started as dark clouds gathered over the first stage.  Heavy rain followed making the conditions tricky for the competitors on the forest roads.

‘Zippo’ Zivian and Denis Piceno took their second consecutive Historic Championship win.  Photos Sándor Tamás courtesy Mecsek Rallye

The Italian crew of Andrea ‘Zippo’ Zivian and Denis Piceno, driving the Audi Quattro with which they won round two of the championship in Czech Republic in May, took victory over reigning Category 3 champions Karl Wagner and Gerda Zauner.  

By the 11th and final stage, ‘Zippo’ and Piceno were 1m41.6s ahead of the Austrian Porsche, with Lucio Da Zanche and Matteo Nobili, in their Category 4 Porsche 911 RS , 25.9 seconds behind in third overall and winners of the Category, 43.9 seconds ahead of the Finnish Audi Quattro of Ville Silvasti and Risto Pietilainen.  Alfons Nothdurfter and Juergen Nolte took their Ford Sierra Cosworth 4x4 to sixth place and the third step of the Category 4 podium.

Fifth place overall the Czech team of Vojtech Stajf and Vladimir Zelinka won Category 2 in an Opel Kadett,

In fifth place overall the Czech team of Vojtech Stajf and Vladimir Zelinka won Category 2 in an Opel Kadett, 5m09s ahead of reigning category champions Laszlo and Edit Mekler in their Alfa Romeo GTAM 1750, the Hungarian crew taking seventh place overall on home turf.   

Category 2 suffered the most attrition, when front runners on day 1, Anders and Ingrid Johnsen, retired with gearbox problems in their Porsche, and suspension failure side-lined the Ford Escort of Ernie and Karen Graham on SS8 after they had inherited the class lead.  Other retirements saw Maurizio Pagella not making the start on day 2 after the front right wheel of his Porsche was ripped off on SS2 and the Ford Escort of Richard and Lucie Ronay also suffered a technical failure after the second stage of the second day.  

Antonio Parisi and Giuseppe D’Angelo took their third Category 1 victory of the 2021 season

Antonio Parisi and Giuseppe D’Angelo took their third Category 1 victory of the 2021 season, finishing 12th overall, two places and five minutes ahead of the BMW 2002 Ti of Carlo Fiorito and Marina Bertonasco, the only other car in the category.

FIA Historic Commission President John Naylor celebrates with the podium winners

Code-switcher Heathcote beats Jordan

“Never heard of Nathan Heathcote?  You have now,” said Historic Racing Drivers’ Club founder Julius Thurgood after the 2017 British Rallycross champion beat fellow Mini Cooper S driver Andrew Jordan, the 2013 British Touring Car champion, in both Liqui Moly Jack Sears Trophy races at the third annual Historics On The Hill event at Lydden on July 4.

Nathan Heathcote ahead of British Touring Car Champion Andrew Jordan  Photos Eric Sawyer

Run by former national Mini 7 champion Bill Sollis, Heathcote broke 50 seconds to secure pole position, but come from behind on the first lap to counter JRT’s fast-starting ace in the 1958-‘66 opener.  Once ahead, Nathan coolly opened a lead and took the chequer 1.6s ahead after 18 frenetic laps of the one-mile speedbowl, to the amazement of around 1400 spectators.

The second finish was even closer, Jordan’s orange car shadowing Heathcote’s grey one over the line.  Dan Lewis made it a Cooper S 1-2-3 in both races.  Gerard Buggy (Ford Lotus Cortina) and Richard Colburn (Cooper S) bagged a fourth place each, chased by Richard Postins’ Austin A40.

The Colburn ‘junior team’ monopolised the other races.  Ben in his rapid locally-built Lenham Sprite GT aced both Dunlop Allstars races, leading Andy Jordan’s dad Mike, taking his turn in their Mini.  Third in the opener was Porsche specialist Andy Prill in the unique Pandora-BMC sportscar raced by Roger Phillips at Goodwood in period.  Tom Sharp (BMW 1800 TiSA) completed the second podium.

James Colburn had the legs on Classic Alfa Challenge rivals in a Giulia Sprint GT,

As at Thruxton, top qualifier James Colburn had the legs on Classic Alfa Challenge rivals in a Giulia Sprint GT, forging back ahead of Chris Snowdon (GTV) before the first race was stopped.  Snowdon led the restart too, but recovered to fourth, having stopped for a door to be secured.  Alex Jupe (Alfetta GTV) took second behind Colburn.  Brother Ben (1750 Berlina) chased James home in the second outing.

John Whiteman went to one of the first events in the UK to be completely open to the public.

Given the go-ahead as a pilot event by the UK Government’s Event Research Programme prior to opening all public events to normal capacity, the Goodwood Festival of Speed drew eager crowds keen to celebrate everything motoring and motorsport after a year’s hiatus, with a COVID secure event over the weekend of 8-11 July, entitled ‘The Maestros – Motorsports Great All-rounders’.  Mario Andretti was a welcome visitor again, driving several of the cars associated with his illustrious career including the Formula One World Championship winning Lotus 79 from 1978.  Mario may well be a popular returnee but another honoured guest, Roger Penske, had last appeared at Goodwood circuit in 1963 finishing eighth in a Ferrari 250 GTO with a unique 330LM Berlinetta-style body in the TT.  Much has happened to Penske in the intervening years following his driving career, including building a huge truck rental business in the US, many car dealerships, a highly successful Indy car team, a bewildering number of cars of which appeared at the Festival, and more lately, buying Indianapolis Motor Speedway and controlling the whole Indy Car series. 

Photos Eric Sawyer

How the man finds time to sleep amazes!  He appears to have lost very little of his driving ability, conducting the 2008 Sebring 12 hours winning Porsche RS Spyder up the hill at a rapid pace.  Unfortunately the third ‘Maestro’, Jacky Ickx was unable to attend.  There were several special classes including ‘50 years of Tyrrell’ featuring Sir Jackie Stewart and ‘70 years of BRM, including the first appearance of Hall and Hall’s recreated V16.  Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris represented modern GP racing albeit aboard classic machinery.

 It was the first appearance of Hall and Hall’s recreated BRM V16

Elsewhere there was a Cartier Style et Luxe concours showcasing 100 years of Amilcar, Hispano-Suiza, 60 years of the Jaguar E-type among others.  The winner was the 1974 Lancia Stratos of Marc Newman.  A rally stage was held at the top of the hill and late on Sunday the traditional ‘Shoot-Out’ was won by Rob Bell driving a 2021 McLaren 720S GT3X in a time of 45.01 seconds.  Bonhams held a major auction behind Goodwood house, selling a 1928 Maserati 26B originally supplied to Juan Malcolm in Argentina and with an extensive history file culminating with Corrado Cupellini, for £967,000.  An identical amount secured the Ferrari Dino 246/60, also an ex-Cupellini car.  But the ex-works 1971 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT3 driven in period by Andrea de Adamich and Nino Vaccarella failed to find a new owner.  The c.1950 RA4 Vanguard with extensive New Zealand racing history changed hands for £41,975.  Together with extensive car manufacturer presence and many trade stands there was plenty to keep the large crowd amused.

Just a part of the display of Penske race cars

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.

It’s been a long while since we’ve seen historic racing at Spa and, while the Spa Summer Classic went ahead on schedule on the weekend of 26-27 June, it did so without an audience, and without the participation of the usual Brits. Absent was the Historic Sports Car Club, usually an integral part of the meeting and co-organisers of the feature 3-hour race. As a result the Belgian, German and Dutch grids got to make hay on the beautiful Francorchamps circuit.

The winning Gipimotor Cobra, driven by Gipimotor boss Christophe Van Riet and Fred Bouvy was way out front in the 3-hour race when fuelling issues set them back to 14th place  Photos Carlo Senten

Despite the missing cross-Channel entries, the other co-organisers of the 3-hour race, Diogo Ferrao of Iberian Endurance and, of course, meeting promoters Roadbook, provided a grid of nearly 40 cars, and it was a chance for the home-grown Gipimotor team of Christophe Van Riet and Fred Bouvy to shine in what turned out to be a tough contest. As in 2019, the last time the race was run, Van Riet made pole, his main rivals being the two Porsche 911 Carrera RS of the Danish Rolner family (Lars and Andreas in one, and Annette Rolner coupled with Michael Holden in the other), and the Lotus Elan of Christian, Lando and Alexis Graf Von Wedel, who would have to stop for driver changes, but would not have to take on fuel.

The Devis family Mustang was racing for a podium finish until it ran out of fuel and had to be towed back to the paddock

It looked good in qualifying for an Elan in the NKHTGT race, when Jos Stevens was faster than the massed ranks of Corvettes, Mustangs and E-types, and even Armand Adriaans’ GT40. However moments later he rolled his car at Raidillon, fortunately without damage to driver and with little damage to car. Long-standing NKHTGT competitor Michiel Campagne took his Corvette Grand Sport to a convincing win in the one-hour race after closest rival Kaj Dahlbacka retired his similar car when the wheel fell off! This left Adriaans’ GT40 in second place. Third on the podium was Roelant de Waard, who dominated the busy GTS12 class in his Shelby Mustang.

Kaj Dahlbacka retired his Corvette from the NKHTGT race when his wheel fell off!

Other grids were for Youngtimers of various descriptions including, amongst the Belgian grids, the Belcar Cup, for cars built up to the year 2000. Marc Duez, at the wheel of an IMSA Chevrolet Monza and Luc Moortgat’s Porsche 964 Cup put on the show for this, with Moortgaat taking the first of two races and Duez being black flagged for exceeding the sound limits in race two while in the lead. The German-based Colmore Youngtimers Touring Car Challenge (YTCC) produced a huge grid for three 30-minute races and offered two wins to Peter Mucke in his Ford Zakspeed Turbo Capri and one win to Roger Bolliger driving a Pontiac Trans AM after two DNFs in races one and two, and in the absence of Mucke in race three. Two Gentle Drivers Trophy races went to Swiss driver Marcus Jörg driving a Lotus XI and a Tourenwagen Classics race went the way of Dane Steffen Lykke Gregersen in his BMW M3 E30.

Donny Wagner and Joel Prim finished 7th overall and 4th in class

Read a more detailed report in our August issue

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.

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for entries.

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.

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.