Historic racing news

Brabham theme for show
Three-time F1 champ’s legacy to be honoured at NEC | by Paul Lawrence

Brabham racing cars – and some of the drivers who raced them in period – will form a major display at Autosport International (January 8-11), when the Historic Sports Car Club celebrates the story of the marque.

As many as 11 Brabhams from the 1960s and early 1970s will be on show at the Birmingham NEC to mark the life and work of Sir Jack Brabham, who died last May.

Grahame White from the HSCC is keen to attract period Brabham racers to an informal get-together at 2pm on the Friday afternoon of the show. Sir Jack’s son David will be present and 1960s F2 racers Chris Irwin and Robin Widdows intend to be there. John Watson has pledged to visit the stand on Thursday.

In total, almost 600 racing cars were produced under the Brabham name and the cars on show are from an era when production single-seaters and sports cars from the company raced with enormous success all over the globe. “We’re very pleased to celebrate the life and work of Sir Jack Brabham,” White said.

The NEC display is due to include BT5 and BT8 sports-racers, as well as single-seaters ranging from a 1962 BT2 Formula Junior to a 1973 BT41 Formula 3 car. Feature cars will be the 1979 BT49 raced recently in Historic F1 events by Joaquin Folch and a BT24, a recreation of the 1967 championship-winning car driven by Denny Hulme and Jack Brabham.

London Hall of Fame

Some of motor racing’s greatest names will be celebrated at the inaugural London Classic Car Show, which runs from January 8-11 at ExCeL in London’s Docklands.

The Motor Sport Hall of Fame display will be a tribute to the eight founding members of motor racing’s most exclusive club. They are multiple Formula 1 world champions Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio, Sir Jackie Stewart, Ayrton Senna and Jim Clark, plus Sir Stirling Moss, Enzo Ferrari and Tazio Nuvolari.

They will be represented by important cars from their past, including the Lotus 97T Senna drove to his first F1 victory in the 1985 Portuguese GP, Stewart’s 1973 title-winning Tyrrell 006, a Nuvolari-type Alfa Romeo Tipo B, Schumacher’s Benetton B193 and an ex-Clark Lotus 25.

Elsewhere, meanwhile, sports car racing will be celebrated by six Le Mans racers: the Ford GT40, Ferrari 512S, Jaguar XJR-9, Porsche 962, McLaren F1 and Bentley Speed 8.

Austins team up in Capri

Current BTCC driver Rob Austin will team up with father Richard to race a Ford Capri in the Gerry Marshall Trophy race at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting in March.

Rob, who featured in the period Formula 1 movie Rush, said: “I’m a huge fan of ’70s and ’80s motor sport. Gerry was an absolute legend and his way of going racing, as someone who first and foremost enjoyed motor sport, is a philosophy I’ve always shared.”

More than 30 years after it last raced, the Chevrolet Camaro Z28 that started the 1981 Spa 24 Hours from pole position will contest the Marshall Trophy. David Clark has entered the ex-Wisell/Bourgoignie car in period Bastos livery in the race for pre-83 Group 1 touring cars.

Jaguars gain new series

Classic Jaguars will have a dedicated race series in 2015 – the Jaguar Heritage Challenge. The new initiative, run by the Historic Sports Car Club, will be open to the XK series, C- and D-types, MK1 and MK2 saloons and pre-1966 E-types. The calendar, due to open at the Donington Historic Festival in May, will cover four UK races and one in Europe.

“Jaguar has established a strong presence in celebrations, including the Mille Miglia and Goodwood Revival in recent times,” said Derek Weale of Jaguar Land Rover. “A single-marque race series will be an exciting addition to our plans.”

Sunbeam win celebrated

The 18th Rallye Monte Carlo Historique will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Per Malling and Gunnar Fadum’s Monte victory in a Sunbeam Talbot Mk3.

Competitors will start from five cities across Europe, including Glasgow, before converging on Saint André-les-Alpes on January 31 for five days of competition.

The event organisers have introduced a significant change for 2015 by setting three different average speeds for the regularity sections, with each speed applying to a certain group of cars. The event is open to cars of a type that competed in the Monte Carlo Rally between 1955 and 1980.

BRM returns to Combe

Almost 60 years to the day after the car’s final race, the National Motor Museum’s mighty BRM V16 will run at Castle Combe once more during the Autumn Classic in October.

On October 1 1955, Ron Flockhart took second place in a Formula Libre race at the track and brought to an end six years of competition for the complex GP car. The Type 15 V16 (seen in period at Goodwood, below) is due to complete demonstration laps at the Autumn Classic, and the Museum’s Trust will be the event’s official charity, raising money to keep the BRM in running order.

Obituary – Mick Hill

British racer Mick Hill, who has died aged 70 after a long illness, was one of the most successful club racers of the 1970s and a gifted engineer. The Derby garage owner was renowned for creating ever more outrageous saloon cars. In all, he won 96 races and seven titles, with 33 wins in 1971 in his famous BOSS Capri. He first made his name in the late 1960s with the Janglia, a Jaguar-engined Ford Anglia. His BOSS Capri was followed by period-defining projects such as a Chevrolet V8-powered VW Beetle and a BMW M1-based GT. He had a brief foray in F5000, but was always most closely associated with way-out saloons.