News in brief, April 2003

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Vauxhall Motors will mark its centenary year with a recreation of the 1000-mile trial of 1903 this May.

Including veteran and vintage cars as well as cars from later periods, the event will start from Newbury on April 28 and finish at Milton Keynes on May 10, visiting Wales and Scotland in between.

* * *

Porsche 911s dominated the opening round of the Armajaro MSA British Historic Rally Championship. In the Nottinghamshire forests, Steve Perez took his first major win in the Historic section, while Nick Whale took the Post-Historic spoils.

* * *

The Matra factory in France is to close after considerable losses. In recent years, the former Le Mans-winning constructor and F1 entrant has manufactured cars for Renault but will now close down after attempts to sell the company failed.

* * *

The Downton Engineering company is for sale as current owner Stuart Mickleburgh plans to emigrate to Australia. Famed for its tuning and development work on BMC engines, the company is currently based in Norfolk rather than its native Wiltshire.

* * *

After many years of refusals, Bernie Ecclestone has finally agreed to an authorised biography. It has been written by Susan Watkins, wife of F1’s medical supremo, Sid, and will be published by the Ebury Press in May 2004.

* * *

The Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club is planning a series of E-type races in 2003. Four events will start at Croft in late June and take in Donington Park and Snetterton in August, in a bid to establish dedicated E-type racing in Britain.