Historic News

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The Historic Road Sports Championship will adopt a new pricing strategy for 2019, meaning drivers can get on the grid for just £99 per round as the championship targets a hike in numbers.

Historic Road Sports – which caters for production sports and GT cars produced between 1947-1969 – will offer drivers a discounted entry if they are competing in more than one series during a Historic Sports Car Club race weekend. For example, if a driver is already racing in another category and wanted to enter Road Sports too, their entry for Road Sports would drop from the usual figure of between £350-260 to just £99.

“You could quite easily say that we’re going back to pricing from the 1980s.” says Historic Road Sports CEO Kevin Kivlochan. “The idea is that dad can race in the Guards Trophy and his son or daughter can drive the same car in Historic Road Sports – it’s now £99 for your second race of the weekend.”

The move is a response to dwindling grids in some historic series, which Kivlochan says is down to an abundance of choice.

His comments are similar to those of outgoing HSCC CEO Grahame White, who said that the congested calendar is a growing problem (Motor Sport, November 2018).

“The HSCC offers choices,” says Kivlochan. “But, with all these new series springing up, it thins the grids and hardly anybody turns up.”

More HSCC championships may follow suit in offering cheaper entries – and Kivlochan warns that other organisers must do the same.

“A lot of these organisations are running on a knife-edge and there are just too many of them,” he says. “They need to consolidate. It happens in every market – in the financial sector, banks merge. Some historic racing organisations will bury their heads in the sand and hope the problem goes away but, in reality, they’ll be the ones who disappear.”

To boost numbers and ensure close racing, the HRS will also allow more modified FIA-spec cars to compete. “Generally, FIA cars are faster – lighter, bigger brakes and better carburation – but the tyres aren’t as good; an HRS car is slower but the tyres are better,” says Kivlochan. “We hope that will balance the competition. To prepare an HRS car is cheaper, but we have stickier Yokohamas.”

The more powerful and faster FIA Class A and C cars will not be included, so as not to skew the competition in their favour. 

“You want close racing,” Kivlochan adds. “The more cars on the grid, the more chance you have to get competitive racing. 

“And our grids have risen: we had 15 cars four years ago and we’re now averaging 24, and with the FIA cars we should have more than 30 cars at the Brands Hatch Superprix. We’re inviting FISCAR [’50s sports cars] as a guest class at that event – and I think we’re allowed up to 48 cars.”

He doesn’t believe smaller grids are down to economic uncertainty, but Kivlochan says  that historic organisations are at a fork in the road now.

“If a club was arrogant enough to think it was going to fill its grids, then it wouldn’t do this. You either wake up to today’s reality – whether it’s economics or people falling out of love with historic racing and moving on – or ignore it. We said we’d try something different and give it a go.”

Races in the HRS will range from 20-minute sprints to 40-minute two-driver enduros with mandatory pitstops, and a dedicated trophy will be offered to the highest finisher at the wheel of a Porsche.

The championship began in 1978 and is the oldest Motorsport UK (formerly MSA) championship for sports cars in Britain, with rules that have barely changed since its inaugural season. Furthermore, bonus points are still given out to competitors who eschew trailers and drive their cars to the track.

HISTORIC ROAD SPORTS CHAMPIONSHIP 2019 CALENDAR

March 30 Donington Park
May 18 Silverstone International Trophy
June 15 Cadwell Park Wolds Trophy
June 29 Brands Hatch Superprix
July 13 Anglesey
August 3 Croft Nostalgia Weekend
August 24 Oulton Park Gold Cup
September 28 Spa-Francorchamps
October 19 Silverstone Championship Finals

HSCC CAPITALISES ON F2 

Following Peter Auto’s decision to stop its Formula 2 series, the HSCC has announced an extended calendar for its own F2 FIA International Series.

An extra double-header race weekend has been added, as the club expects an increase on the 50 drivers who competed in 2018. 

“Historic Formula 2 had a tremendous season in 2018 and the signs are very positive that next year will be even better,” said outgoing HSCC chairman Grahame White. 

“We asked the competitors about adding a sixth race weekend and the support for an expanded calendar was unanimous.”

The HSCC championship is open to period F2, Formula Atlantic and Formula B cars from 1967-78, but cars with ground-effect aerodynamics are not allowed. The season begins with the Jim Clark Revival at Hockenheim in April 26 and ends at Dijon on October 4-6.

HISTORIC F2 FIA INTERNATIONAL SERIES 2019 CALENDAR

April 26 Jim Clark Revival, Hockenheim 
May 25 Masters Historic Festival, Brands Hatch
June 28 Historique Grand Prix de France, Magny-Cours
July 26 Silverstone Classic, Silverstone
September 6 Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix, Zandvoort
October 4 Dijon Motors Cup, Dijon

PROCAR CELEBRATED

Forty years on from the first BMW M1 Procar Championship, the Goodwood Members’ Meeting will host a demonstration of the squat sports cars. The 77th running of the event at the Goodwood Motor Circuit takes place on April 6-7, 2019. 

Although the championship was short-lived – running only from 1979-80 – BMW M1 Procars gained fame when Formula 1 drivers competed in the series, with Niki Lauda taking the inaugural title.

Ex-Piquet BMW M1 being demonstrated at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Le Mans Prototypes from the start of the millennium onwards – similar to those in the Masters Historic Endurance Legends Series – will also perform a demonstration. It’s not clear whether cars from the Masters series will participate, with the first round of 2019 taking place at Imola on April 20-22.

And the final demonstration planned for the 77th Members’ Meeting will involve NASCAR stock cars. A dozen or so of them will take to the circuit, and although Max Chilton drove a stock car for fans at the 2016 Members’ Meeting (as did Emanuele Pirro in 2018), 2019’s event marks the first time a group of them will have been seen together at the track. 

Three new races have been announced for the event, with the Betty Richmond Trophy celebrating 60 years of the Mini (and its variants), the John Duff Trophy for pre-1930 vintage cars and the Sheene Trophy that pits Formula 750 motorcycles against each other. 

F1 TURBO TRIBUTE

The 2019 Race Retro historic motor sport show on February 22-24, 2019 at Stoneleigh Park, will celebrate Formula 1’s turbocharged era. The Hall of Fame live exhibition will have a number of turbocharged racing cars on show including Nelson Piquet’s Williams-Honda FW11, which won the 1986 championship for constructors. 

Race Retro coincides with the 40th anniversary of the first turbocharged F1 win when Jean-Pierre Jabouille took victory in the 1979 French Grand Prix, driving the twin-turbo V6 Renault RS10.

Dijon 1979: Jean-Pierre Jabouille heads for Formula 1’s first turbocharged victory

CLARK TRUST BOOST

The Jim Clark Trust has announced that visitors to the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed donated £53,000 in memory of the Scottish double world champion.

Those funds will support the £1.6 million Jim Clark Museum that is due to open in summer 2019 in his home town of Duns. 

Currently, the space holds two racing cars but the Trust, which has FIA president Jean Todt as patron, is looking for backing to expand the museum via crowdfunding drives. Selling memorabilia such as driving gloves and commemorative whisky are some of the ingenious ideas that the Jim Clark Trust has used to raise funds.

“The support of Goodwood and donations raised by the thousands of visitors to this year’s Festival of Speed is tremendous and we are extremely grateful,” said Jim Clark Trust secretary Ben Smith. 

“A sincere thank you must go to the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, and the army of bucket collectors and volunteers who helped to support the fundraising over four memorable days at the event.

“We were greatly encouraged by the genuine interest in our plans and affection for Jim Clark and we look forward to welcoming visitors to the new museum in the future.”

Furthermore, a competition to win a Lotus Evora inspired by Clark’s Elan has been launched, with the winner announced at the museum’s opening in the summer.

The Evora features a tartan interior, wooden gear knob, Jim Clark signature and an interior plaque. It is also the 100,000th Lotus car ever built.