The Motor Sport Month - Historic News

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Pall over Donington
Accident ends historic event on tragic note. By Paul Laurence

The British historic racing fraternity has been rocked by the death of Christian Devereux during the Masters Pre-66 Touring Car race at the Donington Historic Festival.

Devereux was racing solo into the final five minutes of the hour-long race when a Ford Mustang spun on the exit of Coppice. Devereux’s Mini Cooper S was unable to avoid a heavy impact and the London-based racer sustained major injuries. Despite the professional efforts of the marshals and rescue crews, he could not be saved.

Event organiser Duncan Wiltshire said: “We would like to thank Donington Park, the HSCC, the emergency services and marshals and all who helped after the accident, for dealing with a very difficult situation in such a professional manner.”

The remaining two races on Sunday’s programme were abandoned in a very sad conclusion to what had been a successful third Donington Historic Festival, which attracted 20,000 visitors.

“By the Sunday morning we were very pleased with the attendance numbers and the quality of racing,” said Wiltshire. “But, of course, all that pales into insignificance in the light of that afternoon’s tragedy. Now the thoughts of the Donington Historic Festival team are very much with the family and friends of Christian Devereux, and everybody affected by the accident.”

Fortec boss eyes Monaco

Fortec motorsport chief Richard Dutton had his first singleseater race for 34 years at Cadwell Park in April when he drove a Chevron B38 in the Classic Formula 3 Championship.

In the mid-1970s Dutton was a rising star in FF1600 and FF2000 before setting up his team in 1979. Today Fortec Motorsport is a front-running squad in Formula Renault 3.5, Formula 3 and Formula Renault.

“The idea of buying the car was to try and get an entry for the Monaco Historic Grand Prix in 2014,” Dutton said. “The car (below) was run by Alan Docking in period for Huub Rothengatter and we rebuilt it last winter.”

911s star on Targa Classic

The 40th anniversary of Porsche’s victory on the Targa Florio and the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911 will be celebrated on this year’s Targa Florio Classic (October 9-13).

In 1973 the works-entered 911 Carrera RSR of Gijs van Lennep and Herbert Muller won the famous Sicilian road race, and van Lennep will return to the island this year to take part in the retro event.

Porsche will send several cars from its Stuttgart Museum, including a 1967 2-litre 911 Targa, a 1973 911 Carrera 2.7 RS and the 911 Carrera RSR 2.8 that finished third in the ’73 race driven by Leo Kinnunen and Claude Haldi.

Saloon aces for Silverstone

BMW touring car legends Steve Soper and Andy Priaulx will both race at this year’s Silverstone Classic, with Soper ending a decade out of the sport by driving a Ford GT40 and Priaulx (above) sharing a BMW 1800 in the Pre-66 U2TC race.

Soper, 61, quit the sport on medical advice following a crash in the final round of the 2001 BTCC at Brands Hatch. Following a recent operation, however, he has now been given the OK to race. During the operation Soper had three discs and two vertebrae replaced with carbon cages. He said: “The surgeon tells me my neck is now as strong as it was when I was 21, and therefore has cleared me to start competing again.”

Meanwhile, DTM racer Priaulx will join the U2TC grid. “I wouldn’t say I’m experienced in racing this type of car but it’s going to be really refreshing for me to be out there,” he said.

The career of Jim Clark will be celebrated at the event, marking 50 years from his victory in the 1963 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Two of the HGPCA races will be renamed the Jim Clark Trophy for pre-1966 rear-engined Grand Prix cars.

Berridge buys F1 Fittipaldi

After a dozen years away from single-seater racing, former Thoroughbred Grand Prix champion Bob Berridge has returned to a period Formula 1 car after buying a Fittipaldi F5A that was most recently raced by Richard Barber.

Berridge was TGP champion three times in the late 1990s before switching his focus to sports cars, including a Group C Mercedes. His main target is to race at the 2014 Monaco Historic GP.

“I’ve got the single-seater bug again,” said Berridge during a test at Donington Park. “I know Emerson Fittipaldi through Grand Prix Masters, so it’s nice to have one of his cars.”

Bira car back at Donington

The Ex-Prince Bira 1934 Maserati 8CM returned to Donington Park for the first time in 75 years during the Historic Festival, when Rob Newall raced the car owned by Chris Jacques.

In the 1937 Donington Grand Prix, the Maserati was the first non-Silver Arrows car to finish, taking sixth place.

Newall has raced the little-used car at Goodwood over the past five years and it returned to Donington in early May for the Nuvolari Trophy race.

“We’re planning to take it to Monaco next year as that is the 80th anniversary of it racing there in 1934,” Newall said.

Racers accept Chevron role

Respected racers Brian Redman and Mike Wilds have been announced as Chevron Ambassadors by Chevron Racing Cars, Antrobus. Both drivers have strong histories with the marque and were delighted to take on the role for the company headed by Vin Malkie. In the 1970s Redman was a works Chevron driver for marque founder Derek Bennett.

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