Ford GT40s pack Tour Auto entry
No less than seven Ford GT40s, headed by 2003 winner Chris Chiles, will line up for the start of the Tour Auto on 19 April. The five-day event will include visits to five French race tracks as well as a series of timed sections on closed public roads. Le Mans, Val de Vienne, Nogaro and Ledenon are all on the schedule.
Star drivers in the field include Stirling Moss (MGB), Jean Ragnotti and Erik Comas (Renault Alpine A110s), Danny Sullivan (Ferrari 365GTB) and Jean Sage (Ferrari 250GT).
Notable British entries include the ex-works AC Cobra of Jon Minshaw and Martin Stretton, the Lotus Elan of Nick Faure and the Porsche 911S of John Sheldon, while Desmond Smail and Richard Meins will be making their first foray into the event in a Ford GT40. The Tour Auto starts from the Trocadero Fountains in the centre of Paris.
Stoneleigh show a success
Historic rally cars and several star drivers, including front-runners from the British Historic Rally Championship, delivered live rally action during the inaugural International Historic Motorsport Show at Stoneleigh Park in February. More than 16,000 people visited the new event, which drew a positive response from exhibitors and racing clubs.
On a short special stage, rally legends Penti Airikkala (Vauxhall Chevette HSR) and Russell Brookes (Ford Escort Mk1) took part, although Brookes was hindered when his ex-Mikkola car shed a wheel. No official results were published, but Steve Perez’ ex-Mikkola Audi Sport Quattro set the pace.
Saturday’s awards evening saw HERO founder John Brown a lifetime achievement award from Prince Michael of Kent. Other winners were the FIA Lurani Trophy (championship of the year), Midland Automobile Club Shelsley Walsh Festival (speed event of the year) and the Historic Sports Car Club (competiton club of the year).
Martin Walford and Frank Fennell were named race and rally driver of the year respectively, while Hall and Hall were rewarded with the restoration of the year award for their work on the BRM P25.