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Redman’s Chevron frenzy

Brian Redman’s return to racing at Oulton Park will be one of the star attractions as the 40th anniversary of Chevron is marked at the Gold Cup meeting on August 28/29. As many as 80 Chevrons are expected to be racing in what will be the biggest gathering of cars and former drivers in the history of the marque.

Plans are in place for split races for sportscars and single-seaters: it is possible that the sportscar section will need to be divided into two races if the 53 cars currently pledged are confirmed.

Redman is bringing a B42 F2 car and a B16 sportscar from the USA as he races at his home track for the first time in 30 years. One of his first major wins came at Oulton, when he triumphed in the 1967 Daily Mirror Trophy in a B8. He also finished fourth overall and first in the F5000 class in the ’72 International Gold Cup aboard a B24.

Event organiser Helen Malkie is hoping that ex-Chevron F2/F3 star Riccardo Patrese will attend the event, which includes a reunion dinner on Sunday evening. “Patrese is a real Chevron guy,” said Malkie. Other former marque pilots due to be at Oulton include Digby Martland and Teddy Pilette.

Among the notable cars due is the B24 F5000 which Peter Gethin took to victory in the 1973 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch. Recently returned from America, the car is being readied by historics stalwart Anthony Taylor for the meeting. Also expected to appear is the sole remaining B4.

The sportscar entry includes 14 B8s, 13 B19s and 11 B16s, while the early years are represented by the B1s of Vin Malkie and Geoff Temple. Set for its first run for many years is the DFV-powered B23 of Fred Goddard, which last raced in South Africa.

***

McRae brothers to star at RallyDay

Demonstration runs by the Mk2 Ford Escorts of Colin and Alister McRae will showcase RallyDay 2005 at Castle Combe on August 13. The famous brothers will drive laps of the Wiltshire race circuit and will also be taking part in runs on a demo rally stage.

“They’ll go out on the circuit together to enjoy themselves,” said event organiser Brian Stubbings. “Then they will switch to the rally stage, which we have set up to be as spectator-friendly as possible.”

The McRaes recently contested the national event within the Scottish Rally with the brace of Escorts, which have both been significantly developed.

The day, for which the organisers are expecting a record crowd, will also mark 25 years of the Audi Quattro — five ex-works cars will be present. Meanwhile, Swedish star Björn Waldegård will be reunited with his old Porsche 911.

Up to 30 Group B rally cars from the Slowly Sideways group will be on hand to take part in the demonstration stage. A pair of Lancia 037s, at least two Peugeot 205T16s and six MG Metro 6R4s will be in action during the event.

***

Alexis Corner

The unique Alexis HF4 Formula Junior single-seater from 1962 is currently being rebuilt by Neil Daws after spending more than 30 years in storage. Although the restoration may not be complete in time for the Goodwood Revival, the car is scheduled to be running later this year.

The 1962 works car was given its debut by Steve Ouvaroff at the International Trophy meeting at Silverstone and was raced by saloon car ace John Rhodes before being shunted at Monaco by Eric Harris. After being rebuilt around a new chassis it was later developed into an F2 car for Paul Hawkins.

Daws acquired the car a couple of years ago and has been carefully rebuilding it to Formula Junior spec. It is believed to be the only rear-engined Formula Junior Alexis.

***

Wilds to rally 911

Former grand prix racer Mike Wilds will make his rallying debut at the end of July when he contests the Manx Historic Rally in a Porsche 911. He will tackle round six of the British Historic Rally Championship in the car with which Steve Perez won the 2003 championship title.

Wilds, who started racing in 1965, made his GP debut in the 1974 US GP at Watkins Glen and then raced for Stanley-BRM in ’75. More recently he has raced Chevrons to great effect in historics.

The chance to sample rallying came after Wilds taught Perez how to fly a helicopter. “It’s very different, but I just love motorsport and it’s another form of the sport to try,” said Wilds.

***

Bell back in 962

Derek Bell returned to the wheel of a Porsche 962 for the first time in more than a decade when he demonstrated one of Henry Pearman’s cars during the Clubmans 40th anniversary meeting at Silverstone.

Bell, the long-time president of the Clubmans Register, drove the ex-Weaver/Reuter 1990 Le Mans car for a series of demonstration laps and declared himself thrilled to be back at the wheel of a 962. “It’s like getting back into bed with an old girl-friend,” he quipped.

Bell drove that particular chassis at Donington in 1989. It was also the car that Damon Hill raced at Le Mans the same year in his sole attempt at the 24 Hours.

***

Lloyd on tour:  32 years on

Former saloon car and Le Mans racer Richard Lloyd will contest Tour Britannia in a Chevrolet Camaro, 32 years on from James Hunt’s victory in the Tour of Britain in a similar car.

Hunt won the 1973 race/rally event in a Z-28 Camaro that had been earmarked for Lloyd. But when Lloyd was sidelined by a racing accident Hunt was invited to drive the car. Partnered by Robert Fearnall, the future Formula One World Champion promptly won outright.

At the time Lloyd was racing a Group One Camaro in the BSCC and he will now contest Tour Britannia in September in a 1970 Z-28 that was sourced from the USA via the eBay internet auction site.

“It is an attempt to turn the clock back more than 30 years and visit the days when the car was current; it will therefore be rebuilt in a period way,” promised Lloyd. “The Camaro won that first event and we thought it would be fun to use one to compete in Tour Britannia, since it closely mirrors the original event.”

The Chevy was scheduled to arrive in the UK in early July and will be rapidly rebuilt in time for the Tour, which starts on September 5. In recent years Lloyd has masterminded Audi Sport UK’s Le Mans and BTCC campaigns.

***

HRCR in charge

The Historic Rally Car Register has retained the contract to organise the MSA British Historic Rally Championship for a further three years from 2006 onwards. The decision follows a period of evaluation by the Motor Sports Association over the structure and future of British rallying.

The HRCR has run the championship for the past five seasons, developing it into a major element of British rallying. In the past two seasons a classic category for pre-81 has run in tandem with the BHRC historic (pre-67) and post-historic (pre-74) categories.

“This is excellent news,” said championship coordinator Dave Lucas. “We can now take the BHRC into the future with confidence.”

***

Array of Burns

The public debut of the ‘Richard Burns Collection’ will be at the Castle Combe RallyDay on Saturday August 13. The event is the idea of David Williams, the man who first supported and then managed the rallying superstar’s early ascent to greatness. A collection of cars from Burns’s rallying career has been gathered together and will be demonstrated at the Wiltshire racetrack by some of his many rallying friends. All of the cars have been meticulously prepared, and will range from the Peugeot 205GTi in which he first shot to prominence right through to his 2001 WRC title-winning Subaru Impreza WRC and a Peugeot 206 WRC.

***

Shelsley finance 

Following final confirmation that a new 100-year lease has been signed for Shelsley Walsh, work will soon start on the renovation of some of the buildings adjoining the paddock area at the famous Worcestershire hillclimb venue.

Some basic tidying up of the buildings has already been carried out ahead of the centenary meeting in August and decisions are due shortly about the exact plans. A restaurant, Midland Automobile Club offices, a library and archive are all likely.

“We have to raise more money for this work.” said Martyn Griffiths, chairman of the Shelsley Trust. Visitors to the centenary meeting will have the chance to see the derelict buildings from a safe distance.

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