Calendar congestion prevents tin-top BTCC stars taking part in 2019 Goodwood Revival and Members Meeting events
Matt Neal’s Studebaker heads a BTCC-studded St Mary’s Trophy field at the 2018 Goodwood Revival
Events at Goodwood in 2019 are likely to suffer a dip in star names because dates for both the Members’ Meeting and the Revival conflict with British Touring Car Championship rounds, effectively ruling out many tin-top racers who usually enliven events at the Sussex circuit.
Goodwood’s 77th Members’ Meeting will clash with the opening BTCC weekend at Brands Hatch on April 6/7, while the Revival clashes with Knockhill on September 14/15.
BTCC regulars have been a large draw for Goodwood in recent seasons, with seven current or past stars competing in the 2018 St Mary’s Trophy – an event that coincided with the BTCC’s 60th anniversary season.
Triple BTCC champion Matt Neal has been a Goodwood regular in recent seasons. He said the clashes were disappointing and would affect deals he already had in place for 2019.
“They’ve taken out the best racers who have been here over the past few years”
“It’s such a shame,” he said. “I’ve competed in the St Mary’s and Gerry Marshall trophies for the last couple of years and teams have already asked me to compete in both again in 2019.”
Goodwood’s dates don’t clash with the F1 schedule. However, Neal believes that the BTCC should take precedence over F1 when it comes to arranging Goodwood’s calendar. The BTCC announced next year’s dates last June.
“Everyone said to me, ‘How many current Formula 1 drivers compete at the Revival?’ I don’t think I’ve ever seen one, so I don’t know why that’s been done,” added Neal. “But it’s Charles’s [The Duke of Richmond’s] football pitch and he can play the ball whenever he wants.”
Ash Sutton, the 2017 BTCC champion, was another star driver to race at Goodwood in 2018, sharing a Ford Lotus Cortina with Peter Chambers. Sutton’s father Warren told Motor Sport: “It’s silly, really. They’ve lost the chance to have touring car drivers on the grid and they’ve taken out the best racers who have been here over the past few years.
“It’s quite a massive thing to lose off the yearly calendar and they’re two fantastic weekends. The historic races involve a lot of touring car drivers…”
A statement from Goodwood read: “Deciding on the dates for our motor sport events is always a challenge.
“As well as inviting the very best drivers and riders, we want to make sure as many fans as possible can come and enjoy the action. Inevitably there will sometimes be clashes and next September is particularly tricky with F1 fixtures and BTCC rounds.
“So we’re sad to say for 2019 the Revival will fall on the same weekend as Knockhill. We’ll miss our BTCC friends very much but look forward to welcoming them back to Goodwood very soon.”
Neal also warned that attendance figures may take a hit as a result of the move, as BTCC fans may skip both Goodwood dates.
“Whenever I go [to Goodwood], I see a lot of faces in the crowd that I see at BTCC meetings,” he said. “It’s going to cost both events attendance and everyone will be disappointed. It is what it is, and it’s a shame because the Goodwood events are special events – especially the Revival – and I’ve always said that they are the blue riband events for historic racing all over the world.
“I did get asked to do the Silverstone Classic, which doesn’t conflict this year, so maybe I’ll do that,” he added.
In addition to the calendar announcement, it has been revealed that the SF Edge Trophy for Edwardian machinery will return to the Members’ Meeting after a year off in 2018.
Furthermore, the John Duff Trophy for pre-1930 vintage sports racing cars – named in honour of the first Canadian to contest the Le Mans 24 Hours, a winner for Bentley in 1924 – will be added to the Members’ Meeting mix.
Peter Auto F2 canned
Formula 2 cars have been dropped from Peter Auto’s schedule due to a lack of support
Peter Auto’s Historic F2 series – the Formula 2 Challenge – is no more. The organiser unveiled its 2019 calendar in November, including the Spa Classic in May and the Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or at Dijon in June.
The F2 series, which began in 2017, attracted only seven cars for its opening meeting in Barcelona.
“We don’t have enough cars on the grid, that’s the reason [for the series’ cancellation],” said a spokesperson for Peter Auto.
“Peter Auto’s regular drivers requested that we run the series [in 2017] but, finally, they didn’t come.”
The organiser is exploring other options, but it is not considering a new F2 series. Rather, it is looking at a new one-make historic series for 2019. The Historic Sports Car Club runs a more successful F2 series, also incorporating Formula B and Formula Atlantic cars built between 1967 and ’78.
Peter Auto will expand into the Middle East for 2019, however, as its Sixties’ Endurance for pre-63 Sports and pre-66 GTs will support the Bahrain GT Festival that begins on November 30, 2019, at Formula 1 venue Sakhir.
Around the world: Rally the Globe
Former World Rally Championship co-driver Fred Gallagher has founded Rally the Globe, aiming to provide rallying adventures all around the world.
Gallagher, who has won WRC rallies with the likes of Juha Kankkunen and Björn Waldegård, said: “We pride ourselves not only in finding some of the greatest driving roads on earth but also in seeking out both quirky and astonishing places along the route for our crews to relish in between their competitive tests.”
Rally the Globe’s first event takes place in Spain and Portugal with the Carrera Iberia in October 2019. Other events include Seoul to Sapporo in 2023 and the 2020 Celtic Challenge. Its flagship rally covers the whole world and runs in three parts: London to Casablanca, New York City to Anchorage, and Vladivostok to London over 70 days from 2020-21.
Gallagher’s fellow founders include former Subaru WRC team manager John Spiller, while Graham Goodwin serves as chairman. He said: “We are setting this up as a not-for-profit club for invited members who share a similar passion for automotive adventures.
“We all desire events that will serve up a magical cocktail of great classic cars, the thrill of competition and some unforgettable shared experiences in far-off places.”
RtG’s main competitor is HERO events, which took over the Endurance Rally Association’s 25 events earlier in 2018. Gallagher and a number of his colleagues formerly worked for ERA/HERO.
Birmingham Classic Motor Show attracts 71,000
The National Exhibition Centre played host to more than 71,000 visitors over Remembrance weekend, as the 2018 Classic Motor Show opened its doors in Birmingham. The theme of the event was ‘built to last’ and more than 300 car clubs interpreted that brief in their own unique ways. In particular, the Veteran Car Club themed its display on World War I with a ‘Coming Home’ tribute.
Silverstone Auctions’ sale took £4 million, with Frank Sinatra’s 1984 Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertible selling for £140,625 and Steve McQueen’s 1945 Willys Jeep fetching £84,375.
Armistice Day was marked with a moving two-minute silence on Sunday, broken by a Highland bagpiper playing the silence away on the Live Stage.
Jim Clark Road Run
A new classic car event in memory of Jim Clark will take place on August 25, 2019. The Jim Clark Road Run, which ties in with the Linlithgow Classic Car Day in Central Scotland, is a two-hour drive that starts outside Linlithgow and ends in the town centre.
Special plaques will be handed out to the first 100 entrants, with Doug Niven – Clark’s cousin – attending along with the famous yellow Lotus Elan once owned by the Formula 1 legend.
“It’s something we’ve decided to do in Jim’s memory as he died 50 year ago last April and we’d like to get it running next year,” said Dave Miles, the promotions manager for the Linlithgow Car Club.
“I’ve been in touch win Doug Niven and he and his family are over the moon about it, and very supportive. Doug is coming along with Jim’s Lotus Elan and the Jim Clark Trust will be there, too. We have special plaques for the cars, provided by Dragonfly, and they’ll be highly coveted.”
Thruxton Motorsport Celebration
A new summer event has been announced for June 1-2, 2019, with the Thruxton Motorsport Celebration. Historic Promotions, which manages events such as the Sunday Scrambles, Flywheel Festival and Donington Historic Festival, will be taking the reins. Car club displays, historic racing and more will all feature during the weekend.
“We’re certain the Thruxton Motorsport Celebration will become a huge regional summer highlight for years to come,” said circuit managing director Bill Coombs.
The first major Thruxton meeting in 2019 is the BTCC round on May 18, with another round on August 17 and a Classic Sports Car Club meeting on September 21.
Elsewhere, Masters Historic Racing will return to Donington Park on June 8-9 for the Masters Historic Festival. The headline event will be the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car race, as well as a three-hour race for cars eligible to enter the Spa Six Hours. Pre-66 Touring Cars and a race for GT cars built between 1966 and 1981 feature among the supports.