Historic racing news

Goodwood’s star galaxy

Mika Häkkinen and Ford GT40 among headline acts | By Paul Lawrence

A guest appearance by Mika Häkkinen and an all-Ford GT40 race into the dusk are among the highlights of the 74th Goodwood Members’ Meeting on March 19/20. Double world champion Häkkinen will join Jochen Mass in a pair of 1950s Silver Arrows in a demo run on Saturday. The two Grand Prix racers will drive a Mercedes-Benz W196 and its ‘streamliner’ counterpart.

More than 25 GT40s will race in memory of Alan Mann as the sun sets on Saturday evening, while Mark Walker’s amazing 1905 Darracq will top the first Edwardian race at Goodwood.

Among a raft of rare cars will be a significant TVR having its first race for 50 years. The works prototype Griffith, registered BFR 400B had its last race in October 1965 but has now been carefully restored to period specification by current owner Mike Whitaker and will contest the Graham Hill Trophy race.

Young BTCC racers Andrew Jordan and Adam Morgan will be on the grid in the two-part Gerry Marshall Trophy for Group 1 Touring Cars.

Jordan will be back to share Nick Swift’s Mini 1275GT while Morgan will partner Ric Wood in a Ford Capri.

Jordan, BTCC champion in 2013, will also race a GT40 for the first time when he teams up with father Mike to race Philip Walker’s car. “I’m very lucky to get the chance to drive a car like that,” said Andrew. “I’ve wanted to race the GT40 for some time and for us to share the car at Goodwood is really cool.”


Jaguars get Le Mans date

A dedicated event at the Le Mans Classic will be a key feature of the rebranded Jaguar Classic Challenge this season. The series for pre-1966 Jaguars will have its own race on the Saturday (July 9) ahead of the retrospective 24-hour enduro.

The HSCC-run series will start at the Donington Historic Festival (April 30/May 2) and also visit Silverstone (May 21/22), Brands Hatch (July 1-3), the Nürburgring (August 12-14) and Oulton Park (August 27-29).

Tim Hannig of Jaguar Land Rover Classic said: “Jaguar’s wonderful history of racing at Le Mans will add to the spectacle of the Classic Challenge.”


Donington’s GP celebration

A race for Pre-War Grand Prix cars during the 17-race Donington Historic Festival (April 30-May 2) will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the 1936 Donington Grand Prix.

In 1936 Richard Seaman and Hans Ruesch won the four-and-a-half hour Donington race in their Alfa Romeo 8C.

An HGPCA grid will contest the Nuvolari Trophy race with entries set to include Alfa Romeos P3s, Bugatti T35s and T37s, ERAs, Talbot-Lagos and Maserati 8CMs. 

More early machinery will contest the ‘Mad Jack’ Trophy for pre-war sports cars, run in memory of Richard ‘Mad Jack’ Shuttleworth, winner of the first Donington Grand Prix in 1935. 


Rapid rebuild rewarded

The Brian Lister Trophy FOR 2015 has been presented to Tony Wood and Will Nuthall. 

The award honours the memory of sports-racing car manufacturer Lister’s creator and recognised the efforts of Wood, Nuthall and IN Racing to rebuild Wood’s Lister Jaguar last spring.

The car (above) was heavily damaged when hit from behind by the Mercedes of Jochen Mass at the pit entrance during the 73rd Goodwood Members’ Meeting in March.

However, a huge effort by the team had the Lister completely rebuilt in less than six weeks – in time for the Donington Historic Festival. 


Hirvonen back at the helm

Mikko Hirvonen will drive a Ford Escort Mk2 on New Zealand’s Otago Rally in April.

The former WRC star, who retired from full-time driving at the end of 2014, will drive a historic Ford Escort RS1800 for a local team. After 13 years at the top, he still rallies for fun and has his own Escort Mk2 at home in Finland.

“I have competed in New Zealand many times, but never on the South Island roads,” said Hirvonen. “The attraction of competing on these roads in a BDG Escort is irresistible. I will be aiming to win, but I am also looking forward to visiting this beautiful area.”


Cholmondeley rebrands

A new name and fresh features highlight this year’s event at Cholmondeley Castle. Out goes the Pageant element of the title; now it will be known as Cholmondeley Power and Speed. “It’s a track that rewards power and speed,” said event director James Hall during the launch at London’s Hurlingham Club, “and we wanted these factors to be better represented in the title. It’s unique in being an outright competitive event, where all entries are timed over a very demanding track.”

A new format also figures at the ninth meeting in Lord Cholmondeley’s landscaped park. As well as its theme of Supercars – Past, Present, Future, in which McLarens, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins join popular aero-engined vintage beasts, Friday brings the inaugural Motorshow Live when manufacturers will be able to demonstrate their finest on the track, with passengers aboard. “We want to increase our engagement with manufacturers,” said Hall, “and also to offer a live experience for visitors.” 

On top of the concours, water-based competitions on the park’s lake, car clubs and trade stands, Cholmondeley, which runs from June 10-12, now adds a beer festival that showcases products from specialist breweries.