Historic racing

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Motor Sport teams up with UK’s leading historic show

by Paul Lawrence

Race Retro, the international historic motor sport show, will be powered by Motor Sport magazine when it runs for three days (February 22-24) at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire.

In a new three-year partnership, the leading show for all branches of historic motor sport will showcase Motor Sport’s Hall of Fame.

Motor Sport’s Hall of Fame Live will offer visitors the chance to meet HoF inductees, and take part in question and answer sessions across the weekend. Meanwhile, a major display will feature some of the cars and bikes used by star drivers and riders.

Show visitors will also have the chance to vote on the short list of potential inductees. The winner of each category will be announced at the next Hall of Fame inductions in June 2017.

Event director Daniel Nwaokolo said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Motor Sport. Having motor sport legends at the show has always been a highlight, and introducing the Hall of Fame as a new feature raises that to the next level.”

Another new feature of Race Retro will give visitors the chance to drive a classic car from the HERO rally fleet on a special route within the grounds of the park.

Goodwood sets 2017 dates

The return of the spectacular Edwardian race for cars built up to 1923, the S F Edge Trophy, will be one of the highlights of the 75th Members’ Meeting at Goodwood over the weekend of March 18/19.

The annual Gerry Marshall Trophy for touring cars of the 1970s is also confirmed for the fourth running of the event since its recreation in 2014.

The other dates for the major Goodwood events in 2017 have been confirmed, with the Festival of Speed running over four days from June 22-25 and the annual Revival Meeting scheduled for September 8-10.

Formula Ford reaches 50

The Historic Sports Car Club will mark 50 years of Formula Ford during 2017, with a schedule of events capped by a major celebration at its Brands Hatch GP circuit meeting on July 1/2.

The Club’s Historic Formula Ford Championship caters for cars built up to the end of 1971, covering the first five years of the formula. Entries of up to 50 cars are expected across the racing season, but it is the Brands Hatch event that will headline the campaign. 

The first Formula Ford race was held at the Kent track on July 2, 1967.

Historic cars get younger

The MSA has followed the FIA lead on historic rally car ages by adding Categories J1 and J2, for cars up to the end of 1990, into its 2017 regulations.

The newer cars have now been permitted by the FIA for two seasons, but the cars will not be allowed into the MSA British Historic Rally Championship, according to championship manager Colin Heppenstall.

“The BHRC does not need four-wheel-drive rally cars to bring the sort of problems and issues that happened in the 1980s,” said Heppenstall. The BHRC will retain its current 1986 cut-off, thus ensuring that the Ford Escort Mk2 continues as the benchmark car.

Champions crowned again

Welshman Jason Pritchard and Englishman Phil Clarke clinched the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally title for the second time on the final round, the Trackrod Historic Cup.

Pritchard and Clarke just needed to finish the Yorkshire event in their Ford Escort Mk2 to be crowned, but had a nervous day on the way to fifth place. “It was hard to find a rhythm,” Pritchard said. “The car was perfect and I was just trying to drive in the middle of the road.”

Pritchard and Clarke are only the second pairing to win back-to-back BHRC titles, emulating the achievement of David Stokes and Guy Weaver back in 2010/11.

Popular Manx hill returns 

A return to the high-speed Sloc hillclimb tops the schedule for the three-day Manx Classic next April. Up to 100 cars will tackle three different hillclimbs on three consecutive days over closed public roads on the Isle of Man.

The recently resurfaced Sloc will return after a break due to deteriorating road conditions and will be used on Thursday April 27 before the action moves to two sections of the TT course. The event continues at Creg Willey (1.39 miles) on Friday and Lhergy Frissell (1.48 miles) on Saturday.

The 1.06-mile Sloc hill was last used in 2013 and is now in superb condition.

Brits head to NZ

British Ford Escort drivers Vince Bristow and Simon Tysoe head the entry for the Silver Fern Rally New Zealand, which runs from November 27 to December 4. 

Bristow and Tysoe finished first and second when the event last ran in 2014 and head a 10-strong contingent of UK crews. The 2016 edition runs on the South Island, starting and finishing in Christchurch and heading as far south as Gore as it covers more than 600 stage miles on gravel roads.

Among the UK entries are Laurence Tysoe, Phil Squires and rapid Welshman Meirion Evans, all in Ford Escort Mk2s.