FoS lures major names
Stars flock to 20th anniversary Goodwood. By Paul Laurence
The presence of seven world Champions, seven Grand Prix teams and an assault on the 14-year-old hill record are key features of the 20th anniversary Goodwood Festival of Speed (July 12-14).
Among 125 motor sport stars, former World Champions Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet, Sir Jackie Stewart, John Surtees and Emerson Fittipaldi will all be on hand, with Button and Hamilton driving current-specification Grand Prix cars up the 1.16-mile hill.
Seven of this season’s Fl teams are confirmed, too: Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus, McLaren, Mercedes, Marussia and Caterham. As well as Button and Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Romain Grosjean, Max Chilton, Jules Bianchi, Sebastien Buemi, Marc Gene and Heikki Kovalainen are booked to drive.
However, one of the star attractions will be former F1 racer and current Le Mans ace Nick Heidfeld, who will bid to recreate one of the all-time great moments from the Festival of Speed’s 20-year history.
Heidfeld will be reunited with the McLaren MP4/13 he used to set the Goodwood hill record of 41.6 seconds back in 1999. His time has never been beaten and, with the V10 machine running for the first time since that day, Heidfeld will be eager to challenge his own standard.
Elsewhere, Nelson Piquet gets back behind the wheel of a 1983 Brabham BT52 (see p104) and rally legend Carlos Sainz is due to appear on the special stage, alongside current WRC stars such as Mikko Hirvonen.
Record fields for Classic
A stellar entry for the new International Trophy for Classic GT Cars will be one of the highlights of this year’s Silverstone Classic meeting on July 26-28.
Event organisers were forced to turn away entries for the hour-long race on Saturday evening, whittling down more than 80 applications before settling on a capacity 58-car grid with six reserves.
The Pre-66 field includes AC Cobras and Jaguar E-types, plus early Sixties Le Mans contenders such as the Porsche 904, Ferrari 275LM and Cobra Daytona Coupe. Among the less powerful cars will be the 2-litre Porsche 911 entered by Porsche Cars GB and driven by 1970 Le Mans winner Richard Attwood.
“We really were spoilt for choice when it came to making the final selection,” said event director Nick Wigley, who will race a rare Milano GT.
A record will be set in the Historic Formula Ford 1600 races, which are new to the programme this year. With 52 cars already entered, it will represent the biggest Formula Ford grid in British racing history.
A record might also be set in the FIA Historic Formula One Championship, if the potential entry tops the 2001 benchmark of 38 cars.
A35 series launched
The chance to get into historic racing for £15,000 is the aim behind a new academy initiative from the Historic Racing Drivers’ Club.
The idea of HRDC founder Julius Thurgood is to provide a package of parts, including engine, for a donor Austin A35 to make historic racing more accessible at a time when car prices continue to rise.
With strong donor cars available on eBay for about £3000, Thurgood is organising a complete kit of parts to make them race-ready.
“The cars will be to a full historic specification and will be the epitome of what historic should be,” he said.
Rallying history rewritten
Plans to move the cut-off date for UK historic rallying are now being finalised, following a recent consultation process carried out by governing body the MSA.
In 2014, Category 4 for pre-1986 cars will become a full part of British historic rallying, running alongside the existing categories for cars produced up to the end of 1981.
“I think it is the way forward,” says Rod Parkin, chairman of the MSA Historic Committee. “We’ve got to acknowledge that history moves on and some of these cars are 30 years old.”
Waldegard’s Merc outing
Bjorn Waldegard will drive a rare Mercedes 500SL in this year’s Eifel Rallye Festival (July 25-27).
Waldegard took the German marque’s final WRC victory in 1980, driving a 500SLC in the Ivory Coast Rally.
The shorter SL was built for the 1981 season, but Mercedes withdrew from rallying before it was used.
Also in action will be former works driver Simo Lampinen, reunited with the Lancia Beta Montecarlo he drove on the 1975 Acropolis Rally.
Aussie rarities on tour
Five rare single-seaters from the West Australian Racing Museum are currently on a summer tour to Europe.
“The museum owner doesn’t want cars just sitting there,” said Lance Carwardine, who is racing the rare Brabham Jane Tasman car.
Others include the only F2 chassis ever made by UK-based Macon. Built to order for an Australian customer in 1969, the Macon MR1 is being raced by Neil McCrudden.
Meanwhile, the Alton AR1 of Henry Oosterbarn was built for Tasman use with a 1950s Holden V6 engine.
Tragedy mars Peking-Paris
Competitor Emma Wilkinson, 46, was killed in a road accident during the recent Peking to Paris Rally. Her 1970 Chevrolet collided with a VW Polo on the notorious Tyumen to Omsk highway in Russia.The mother of two was taking part with partner Peter Davies, who was unhurt. A man and a baby in the VW also died.
“Emma was a fun-loving, lively and popular member of the rally,” said event director Philip Young.