Matters of Moment, January 1999

Network Q Rally of GT Britain & Coys Historic

Extraordinary events in November’s Rally of Great Britain led to Tommi Makinen being crowned world champion for the third time, but not before one of the runners in the Coys Historic Rally nearly handed the title to Makinen’s rival Carlos Sainz. Oil left by a Hillman Imp on the Millbrook stage forced Makinen into the concrete blocks and out of the rally, only for champion-elect Sainz to retire just a few hundred yards from the end of the final stage. Russell Brookes and Richard Burns upheld British honour by winning the two events outright.

Awards ceremonies

The two big awards ceremonies of our season have been and gone. First up was the Coys Historic Motor Racing Awards where the Motor Sport trophy for the best owner driver of the season was handed to Duncan Ricketts for his success with his rare E-type ERA.The lifetime achievement award was collected by Tom Wheatcroft in acknowledgement of his work with Donington race track. At the BRDC’s annual bash the rarely awarded Gold Medal was presented to Ken Tyrrell by Jackie Stewart.

Classic Marathon comes home

As he dust settles on the 10th Classic Marathon, an adventurous route which skirted the Sahara to Marrakesh, the Classic Rally Association has announced a return to a week-long European format like the Pirelli series which began the long-distance classic scene in 1988. Starting at Le Mans on September 5 1999, the event runs along the Pyrenees, before finishing in Biarritz.

The nine-day dash to Marrakesh via the Atlas Mountains was won by American rally champion John Buffum with Neil Wilson in a Porsche 356. More than 60 crews have signed up for the 1999 Marathon; details from CRA on 01235 851 291.