Group C cars set to race again!

European race tracks will once more resound to the thunder of fabulous Group C sports-racers. This year, the MOTOR SPORT Historic Group C Series will bring back this classic era of sports prototype racing with the patronage of five-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Derek Bell.

Pioneered by historic racing car purveyor Adrian Hamilton, whose enthusiasm was fired by his late father Duncan’s victory at Le Mans in 1953, the series is backed by MOTOR SPORT. “These cars should be racing, not gathering dust,” said editor Andrew Frankel. “Our exciting new series will give owners, drivers and spectators a racing spectacle that’s been absent for too long.”

The series will be run for FIA authenticated Group C and IMSA cars built between January 1, 1982 and December 31, 1990. The cut-off period will include many Porsche 962 derivatives, but exclude the 3.5-litre Formula One-engined ‘fighter planes’.

A two-class format has been adopted, for Group C1/IMSA GTP and C2/Camel Lights cars in original specification. All must conform to minimum weights for their build year, with a 30mm ground clearance. Engines must use pump petrol.

“We took the view that there are so many of these fabulous cars lying dormant, with nowhere to race,” said Hamilton. “It was a necessity to give their owners a prestigious series in which to enjoy their investments. To me there is no finer form of racing.”

Two meetings are planned this season, at Donington Park on July 5/6 (supporting the FIA Global GTs), and Spa on September 6/7 (the Six Hours of Francorchamps historic spectacular), with a view to staging a full season’s racing in 1998.

Races will be of at least 15 laps duration, with double-headers where practicable, allowing owners the chance to share cars with stars, a plan which has proved popular in SVRA endurance races in the USA.

Le Mans veterans Nick Mason and Steve O’Rourke are interested parties, while Tom Walkinshaw — whose Jaguars won the great race in 1988 and 1990 — has intimated that he may run cars, as has Kremer Racing.

Full details from Steve Lydon on 01285 650444 (telephone) or 01285 659444 (fax).