The Motor Sport Month - Historic News

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F3 Trophy race revived

A landmark race in the acceptance of the 500cc Formula 3 category as a serious racing class will be revived at Silverstone in April.

A modern-day version of the 100-mile Commander Yorke Trophy race will be part of the programme at the VSCC Spring Start meeting (April 20/21). Up to 30 cars are expected for 25and 20-minute races.

First run at Silverstone in 1949, the race was conceived by Tony Yorke RN to show that 500cc cars could compete for long enough to provide a proper event. Sadly, Yorke was killed in a motorbike accident before the race, which was won by a 17-year-old Peter Collins.

Marathon anniversaries

Pirelli, sponsor of the first Classic Marathon Rally in 1988, will return to backing the famous trans-Europe event for the 25th anniversary running this June. The Marathon was one of the first major historic road rallies of its kind.

Now run every other year by the Classic Rally Association, this year’s event will start in Ypres, Belgium, on June 15 and conclude six days later in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

To mark the quarter century, Paddy Hopkirk will be the guest speaker at the celebration dinner in Cortina. Hopkirk, winner of the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally, also won the 1990 Classic Marathon in a Mini Cooper, co-driven by Alec Poole.

Alumni gather to fete 50 years of Formula Vee

A star-studded line-up of former Formula Vee drivers gathered at this year’s Daytona 24 Hours race to celebrate the single-seater category’s 50th anniversary.

Michael Andretti, Hans-Joachim Stuck, Dieter Quester, Klaus Niedzwiedz, Markku Alen and Prince Leopold of Bavaria were among the drivers who started their careers in the class and they were at Daytona for a parade lap of some early cars.

The very first Formula Vee race was held at Daytona in August 1963, with a field of 40bhp, 1200cc-engined single-seaters based on the VW Beetle chassis. Two years later the class made its European debut at the Norisring and in 1971 the more powerful Super Vee class was created.

Old stagers set to star at Daun and Donington

Forty years of the World Rally Championship will be the theme of this year’s Eifel Classic Rally, when up to 150 period cars tackle demonstration special stages around the town of Daun in Germany’s Eifel Mountains.

Former World Champion Walter Rad will once again be event patron.

Historic rally cars also form part of the action at the Donington Historic Festival (May 3-5) with cars from Rallying with Group B and the Historic Rally Car Register in action.

Included in the entry should be some exworks cars from the 1950s and ’60s, which are due to tackle a mini stage and an autotest.

Aston landmark celebrated

The 100-year history of Aston Martin will be celebrated extensively this year and will be capped by a centenary race meeting at Brands Hatch over the weekend of July 6/7.

Two commemorative races are planned, one for cars from the pre-war era through to the mid 1960s, and one for all Astons from the mid-sixties onwards.

Off-track attractions will include examples of nearly every Aston Martin racing car produced, while models ranging from pre-war Ulsters to the Group C Nimrod will take part in track demonstrations.

Aston’s connection with James Bond will be showcased in a display celebrating the history of 007’s Aston Martins from the DB5, which first appeared in Goldfinger in 1964 and also starred in the latest film Skyfall.

Owners of Aston Martins and Lagondas will be invited to take part in track parades and display their cars at the Kent venue. A concours area, dealer stands and live music also feature.

David Richards, chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda, said: “Brands Hatch has played an important part in Aston Martin’s racing history so is a fitting venue for one of the key events in our year of centenary celebrations.”

Other celebrations will centre on a weeklong festival from July 15-21, including openhouse activities at Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters and a 1000-guest party on Saturday July 20. The week will finish with a Centenary Concours in central London on Sunday July 21 featuring the 100 most iconic cars and up to 1000 Aston Martins forming the marque’s largest ever gathering.

Festivals for Ford and Ferrari

The 50th anniversary of two classic mid-engined sportsracing cars will be marked this year as the Ford GT40 and the Ferrari 250LM are celebrated at two major historic racing festivals.

As well as the dedicated anniversary race at the Goodwood Revival (September 13-15), the Ford GT40 will feature in a special race at the Barcelona-based Catalan Classic Festival (April 13/14). Masters Historic Racing will run a race-within-a-race for as many as 10 GT40s.

“With Joaquin Folch in his early GT40 taking on opposition from across Europe, there is sure to be a great battle,” said Rachel Bailey from Masters.

The Ferrari 250LM also celebrates its half century this year and will return to the Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration race at Goodwood for the first time in 13 years.

Like the four-time victorious GT40, the 250LM went on to win the Le Mans 24 Hours. The 1965 victory for Jochen Rindt and Masten Gregory remains Ferrari’s most recent outright success.

Rindt memorial resurfaces

The Jochen Rindt Trophy, first presented to Graham Hill in 1971, will be awarded to the winner of the Historic Formula 2 race at the inaugural Thruxton Easter Revival Meeting this year (March 30/31).

The HSCC race meeting celebrates the 45th anniversary of the first Thruxton F2 event in 1968. Rindt won that race in a Brabham and repeated the result in Lotuses in 1969 and 1970.

Following Rindt’s death at Monza in September 1970 the Thruxton race organising club, the BARC, commissioned a Memorial Trophy.

“We are very grateful to the BARC for the loan of this trophy,” said Grahame White, of the HSCC.

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