News in brief

The first car to drive on parts of the new Mercedes Benz World track at Brooklands was the company's futuristic 'Bionic Car'. The new handling course will total 1.55 miles when fully surfaced next spring, but was sufficiently ready for an inaugural lap during November. It marked just over 98 years from the date when Ethel Locke King led a parade of cars to open the original circuit in June 1907.

Nigel Bancroft, a regular front-runner in Historic Formula Ford 1600 in recent seasons, is switching to sportscars for 2006, having recently acquired the Merlyn Mk4/6 previously campaigned by John Bladon. Cheshire-based Bancroft finished third in the '05 Historic FF1600 Championship racing a Crossle 20F.

The VSCC will now be taking event entries on-line following the latest development of the club's website. As well as a full race programme in 2006, the club organises sprints, hillclimbs and trials all year round and is the first club of its type to take event entries via the internet.

For the first time in its 17-year history, the Winter Challenge will start in France rather than from the UK. The classic rally will kick off at Chantilly near Paris on Sunday February 12 for a route designed to get entrants into the competitive sections more quickly. The rally, which will also cross into Italy, finishes in Monte Carlo six days later.

The 21st anniversary of Rallye Sunseeker will be marked in February when a number of former winners will attend the 2006 event. Guests are expected to include former winners David Llewellin (1985) and Malcolm Wilson ('87), who both went on to win the British Rally title, as well as Colin Short, the last driver to win the event in a two-wheel-drive car back in '86.

Kiwi Stuart Lush has put his rare Begg FM2 Formula 5000 up for sale. The 1969 big-banger was built by former McLaren employee George Begg and was first raced by New Zealander Graham McRae. Lush bought the car as a box of bits in '93 and has raced it for three seasons in the NZ F5000 Revival Series. It is the first of only two FM2s to have been built.

Apologies corner. In last month's issue we failed to credit famed coachbuilder Stuart Roach with restoring the bodywork (and recreating the wings) on the TT-winning Delage D6.