Objective – Le Mans
Despite a forthcoming F1 partnership, WEC and GT remain at Aston’s core Aston Martin may…
Barcelona to host histories
The history of the the Montjuich Park street circuit in Barcelona will be celebrated in a new historic festival to be held at the Barcelona GP track over the weekend of April 8-10 2011.
The new event is the latest in a partnership between promoter Jesus Pozo and Masters Historic Racing, and follows on from the Monteblanco race meeting.
‘Espiritu de Montjuich’, the Catalan Classic Revival, will feature a full programme of classes fromMasters, and will exhibit a strong Catalan theme. The races will be run on the Grand Prix track without the current F1 chicanes. The venue is 20 minutes from Barcelona.
The festival will recall the Grand Prix and sports car races held on the original street circuit from 1932 until an accident in the 1975 Grand Prix claimed the lives of five people.
The line-up includes Grand Prix Masters, World Sportscar Masters, Gentleman Drivers and Touring Cars, plus the newly announced Masters Group C category (see p124). The meeting will also mark the history of the Escuderia Montjuich race team and some of its surviving cars will be on display. The promoters will take competitors and visitors around the old circuit on guided tours accompanied by team drivers of that era.
“This new classic festival in Barcelona is a special event for us and for historic racing in general,” said Christopher Tate, series director for Masters.
Lepley tops Wales Rally GB historics
Jason Lesley and Howard Pridmore headed the historic category in the clubmans rally which supported Wales Rally GB, the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship. Lepley’s Mk2 Ford Escort R51800 (above) finished with 43sec in hand over Gareth Lloyd/Llinos Davies in an ex-Roger Clark RS1800.
Crews made one run of the weekend stages as historic cars featured on the event for the first time in a decade. Among the finishers was the oldest car entered, the Austin Healey 3000 of Graham Goodall and Pete Gilbert.
Show display flags sports car series
The European 2-litre Sports Car Championship of the 1970s will be celebrated at Autosport International in January when the Historic Sports Car Club mounts a display of racers from the category.
With a revival race series for the cars starting next May, the club will show six or seven cars from manufacturers such as Chevron and Lola, including the Crowne Racing Lola T292 driven by Chris Craft to victory in the 1973 championship. The HSCC hopes to have period drivers on hand as well.
Le Mans classic to evoke ‘golden era’
The classic race supporting the Le Mans 24 Hours next June will be for cars which were eligible for the famous French endurance event from 1949 to 1965. The 45-minute race, organised by Motor Racing Legends, will be held on the morning of Saturday June 11, ahead of the start of the main race.
C-type and D-type Jaguars will be among the machines doing baffle with frontand mid-engined Ferraris, while the Ford GT40 is specifically excluded in order to keep the contest as open as possible.
“The 1950s and early ’60s is perhaps the most emotionally charged period of motor racing history a genuine golden era,” said organiser Duncan Wiltshire.
•The dates for the two major Goodwood events in 2011 have been announced, and both the Festival of Speed and the Revival Race Meeting will run on the same weekends as this year. The Festival is over the weekend of July 1-3, with the Revival planned for September 16-18.
• Bruno Pericardi, a well-known London race car preparer during the 1960s and ’70s, died in October. Among many projects, he was race mechanic to Nobby Spero with the Whitney Straight Maserati 8CM and later the exMusso/Behra Maserati 250F when raced by Spero’s son Johnny.
• After a decade as chairman of the FIA Historic Formula 1 Championship, Tony Smith is to stand down at the end of the year. CEO Mike Whatley is also retiring and the drivers’ committee, headed by vice-chairman and Lotus racer Dan Collins, will now take over the management of the championship.
• Martin Hadwen, founder of the National Motor Racing Archive, died recently after an illness. Hadwen created the Archive in 1987, which grew into a major source of information about the sport. The archive material is now under the wing of MotorSport Vision and has been relocated to Snetterton circuit.
• The London to Cape Town Rally has been postponed for a year because of security concerns in southern Algeria. The Endurance Rally Association had planned to start the 10,000-mile marathon from the Houses of Parliament on December 30, but has been forced to postpone the classic rally for 12 months.
• The pre-war 12-cylinder Silver Arrows from Auto Union will be among the main attractions at next year’s Solitude Revival. The three-day festival (July 22-24) will feature over 600 classic cars in action on the 12.7km circuit near Stuttgart and will also celebrate 125 years of the automobile.
• A Lola T70 Mk3B which may have been raced by Ronnie Peterson has finally been rebuilt by marque expert Chris Fox. First owner Picko Troberg raced the car only three times in period before a NOrburgring crash. The damaged car stood in his workshop for decades.
Rival GpC series for 2011
Owners of Group C and GTP racing sports cars will have two sets of dates to choose from in 2011 after Masters Historic Racing announced it would be holding events for the category alongside the existing Group C Racing series.
Bob Berridge, manager of Group C Racing, is bullish about the prospects for his series in 2011, reporting strong interest from drivers new to the category. “I expect to have at least 12 new names next year” he said. “We’re planning six events, with a mix of races. The job for 2010 was to turn the category around and centre the Group C identity and it was a big improvement over 2009.”
The provisional Group C calendar includes races at Spa in late May, the Silverstone Classic, the Brands Hatch Superprix and Paul Ricard in October.
Among the new cars expected is a Lancia LC2, fielded by Rupert Clevely, now being race-readied by the Chamberlain Synergy team. It is chassis number 5, which took pole for the 1984 Le Mans 24 Hours in the hands of Bob Wollek. Meanwhile, the current Historic F2 champion, Katsu Kubota, is preparing a Nissan RC90 for the season.
However the new Masters series will offer an alternative set of dates for GpC drivers, starting at Barcelona in April. “We have good support behind us from a number of GpC owners for this new venture, which has been vital in setting this in motion,” said Masters founder Ron Maydon.
Historic festival for Donington
Donington park will host a new classic event next season. The Donington Historic Festival will run over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend of April 30 and May 1/2.
Organised by Duncan Wiltshire of Motor Racing Legends, it will include races for the Stirling Moss and Woodcote Trophies, plus the Pre-War Sports Car race series and additional guest races.
The festival will fill a clear hole in the calendar, putting the wishes of owners, drivers and enthusiasts at its heart,” said Wiltshire.
Obituary: Dan Margulies
One of the characters in vintage motor racing, Dan Margulies, has died aged 85. Both aspects of his passion appeared often in Motor Sport he was a regular winner in VSCC events in a huge variety of machinery but notably in his beloved Grand Prix Maseratis, and he was one of the best-known traders in racing cars. His adverts in this magazine brimmed with rare sports and racing machinery, often rescued thanks to his knowledge and devotion, while his Kensington mews base was a Mecca for old car people.
Smitten by racing at his home GP in Bucharest in 1937, he made cars his life after coming to the UK, sharing a C-type with Graham Hill on the Targa Florio as well as competing in Acropolis, Monte Carlo and RAC rallies. A true gentleman driver, he retained his love of fine machinery to the end.
Tour Britannia waives the rules
There will be a new look to Britannia for 2011, with a June date and a Wales and West Country route for the classic race and rally tour. The new date runs over the weekend of June 17-19, moving from its September weekday slot.
“While it is difficult to find a fresh gap in the busy historic calendar, our announcement seems to have been well received,” said event organiser Alec Poole.
The outline route includes a leg into South Wales on Friday with a race at Pembrey, while Saturday takes in the West Country with a race at Castle Combe. The finish is at Silverstone on Sunday.
Peking to Paris is ‘hardest ever’
The Vauxhall Prince Henry of Charles Bishop claimed victory in the pre-26 category of the 10,000mile Peking to Paris Rally, an event that veteran organiser Philip Young described as being the hardest he has ever staged.
Steve Hyde won the Vintageant class in a 1938 Chevrolet Coupe, having led from the start. Australian Gerry Crown, at 78 the oldest driver entered, won the Classics category in a 1974 Holden. Crown was too old to be given a Chinese driving licence so his navigator Matt Bryson had to drive for the first few days.
Pau historic to head Peter’s triple
The Peter Auto Organisation in Paris is expanding its programme in 2011 with an outline plan to run three major historic festivals across Europe.
As well as the return of the Grand Prix de Pau Historique on May 14/15, Patrick Peter’s company will run the Spa-Francorchamps Classic over the weekend of May 27-29 and the Dix Milles Tours at Paul Ricard on October 7-9.The Peter Auto season starts with Tour Auto from April 11-16.
Huge entry for 77th Brighton run
Over 500 Veteran cars took the start for the 77th running of the Royal Automobile Club’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, the highest number since the centenary event in 1996.
From 572 entries, 505 veterans crossed the startline in Hyde Park and 433 reached the finish line on Madeira Drive in Brighton after the traditional 60-mile route. The participating cars spanned the era from 1894 to 1905 and the first car away from London was the 1896 Salveson Steamer of John Brydon.
Among the first cars to reach Brighton was a 1903 Sunbeam, which had been bought at Friday’s LBVCR Auction at Bonhams and was driven by British Racing Drivers Club chairman Robert Brooks on behalf of the new owner.
“We look forward to seeing everyone again on Sunday November 6, 2011,” said event director Roger Etcell. “We’ll celebrate Germany as a manufacturing nation, plus the 125th anniversary of the first patented Benz motorcar.”
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