In brief, December 2008

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Patrick Watts will return to racing in 2009 to campaign a Ford Mustang in Top Hat Masters races. The former BTCC ace has spent the past four seasons in historic rallying in a Sunbeam Tiger and will still tackle selected events alongside a programme in the historic saloon series.

The Killarney Historic Rally, a major historic event on the calendar, will not run in December as planned following a move by the Irish governing body, Motorsport Ireland, to penalise the organising club over problems with the running of the ’07 event. It is hoped the closed road rally will return in ’09.

No fewer than 51 different types of Formula 1 car from the 3-litre era competed in Grand Prix Masters races in 2008. The statistic is thought to make the 2008 GPM season the most varied in F1 history. Among the cars were 19 makes from 1966-78, including rare marques such as Amon and Token.

The destiny of the 2008 MSA British Historic Rally Championship title will be decided at an MSA tribunal following eligibility dramas on the penultimate round, the Tour of Flanders. Issues over rear suspension components on the Porsche 911 of Steve Smith have thrown the title into doubt. Smith must win an appeal to be champion over Patrick Watts.

The British Historic Rally Championship will become a single-tyre series in 2009, with the news that Dunlop is to significantly increase its support for the series. Already up to 80 per cent of competitors use Dunlop tyres and the move will ensure a more level playing field as well as assist with a move to get regular TV coverage for the championship.

The prototype Lola Mk1 sports-racing car, the first car built by Eric Broadley, will race regularly in 2009 in the hands of Chris Williams. The 1958 car has been raced by Richard Wills for several seasons, but new owner Williams, a Lola enthusiast, plans to contest BRDC Historic Sports Car races.