Historic Racing

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Historic Racing

THE racing of old cars goes from strength to strength and nowhere is it more prolific than in Great Britain. Much of the fascination lies in the variety of cars taking part, both single-seaters and sports-cars, and to see an ERA locked in combat with a Bugatti, or a Cooper-Bristol with a Connaught or a 250F Maserati with a P25 BRM or a Lister-Jaguar with a Cooper-Monaco is to see. why this type of racing has such a strong following. The racing may not be as fast as Formula Ford, Formula Atlantic or FF2000, but throats do look different and the drivers look as if they are trying very hard, and some of them are. Apart from the traditional vintage meetings organised by the VSCC, at which all the races are for old cars, the historic were has been exposed to a wider spectator band by reason of the series of events em in conjunction with modern race meetings. This series has been supported by the Lloyds & Scottish finance company and the events have been part of an overall Championship, with classes for various groups of ears ranging from single-seaters 1931-1940, to sports-racing cars 1958-1960, so there has been something for every type of old car. The pace has been set by the single-seaters 1954-1960 and from this group came the overall Lloyds & Scottish Champion. This was Willie Green driving Anthony Bantford’s Ferrari Dino 246 that came from Amenca after being sent out there from the Ferrari factory. Bamford also entered Stirling Moss in a copy of the car Green drove, that was made in Leic.tershire, and nadir final race of the series another copy appeared, driven by John Surtees no that Bamford was able to record a 1-2-3 with his real Ferrari Dino and the two made by Graypaul Motors. All good historical stuff! If you continually won your class, even though you were nowhere in the overall race, the pOillIS system allowed anyone to be everall champion, and second overall to Green was the ebullient Gerry Marshall in a Lister-Jaguar, while third overall on points was Roger Friend in a Lotus Eleven with

11/2-litre Coventry Climax engine.

There were seven events counting for the Lloyds & Scottish Championship throughout the 1980 season and these together with VSCC and other club meetings kept everyone pretty busy. As 95, of the competitors race for fun in their spare time there is a feeling that five major events would be better in 1981, otherwise Historic Racing becomes a full-time profession and only a few of those taking part. can afford the time and money for this. In Europe old-car racing has not really got off the ground, even though (or perhaps because of) the FIA took a hand and instigated a European Historic Championship. Events have been poorly supported and the cream of the cars and drivers were far too busy with the Lloyds & Scottish Championship to venture into Europe. A Coupe d’Europe was run for large cars and a FISA Trophy for small cars, the former being won by Michael Bowler with his Lister-Jaguar (it only acquired a Jaguar engine when it became

Historic!) and the latter by Alan Baillie with a Lola Mk2.

Basically the Historic scene is one of fun and friendliness, with everyone messing about with old cars because they happen to like them, but clouds keep appearing in the sky. First it was Anthony Bamford having Graypaul Motors make him two more Dino Ferraris, then it was the appearance of a very fast Mallock 02 and among the Lister-Jaguar contingent an embarrassment arose in the shape of a well-driven Cooper-Monaco, the 21/2-litre Coventy-ClUnax mid-engined all-enveloping sports car. The 250F Maseratis and the P25 BRMS have been eclipsed by the Ferrari Dino 246, and now the clumsy great Lister-Jaguars are about to be by the nimble Cooper-Monaco. If Historic Racing is all about reliving the past, then the scene is well set. We only want Jack Brabham in a Cooper-Climax to run rings round Moss and Surtees in the Ferrari Dino copies and Historic Racing will have truly come alive. — D.S.J.

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