Historic authenticity row brews

The system for authenticating historic racing cars has been thrown into turmoil by the FIA's plans to introduce Historic Technical Passports (HTP) in place of the Historic Vehicle Identification Forms (HVIF).

The crux of the discontent lies in the FIA's assertion that technically correct replicas will qualify for an HTP, which has led to fears that a rash of newly constructed cars will appear in period races.

An FIA document stated: "Any car will now be eligible for an HTP provided its specification is identical to that of the period model it purports to be."

A two-tier system is now proposed incorporating a Heritage Certificate, which is intended to be a statement that the FIA considers the car to be authentic and original. However, implementation of this element has been delayed.

Leading historic racing figures have expressed their fears about the new system (right). But race organisers have pledged to retain tight control over cars entered for events.

Martin Grant-Peterkin (HGPCA)

"We've a fairly liberal attitude. Our primary requirement is that the car has to be technically correct and if it's a really genuine copy like a Lancia D50, we like to see that racing. But now it seems that as long as cars are to the correct technical specification, they can be made out of anything. It could be real heresy."

Duncan Rabagliati (F Junior Historic Racing Association)

"Our policy is that we must be satisfied that they are original cars. They will not get an entry unless they are. The only replicas that will get papers are cars that have the consent of the owner of the name of the car and the consent of the owner of that particular model."

Simon Hadfield (Simon Hadfield Restoration)

"What we had before wasn't perfect, but what we have now is a travesty. You'll get people building specific cars to do a certain job, which is not what historic racing is about. It's about running real cars. If they are going to start building cars, we may as well do a modern category. I think it's a disaster."

Rick Hall (Hall & Hall)

"I think it's chaotic as no-one seems to know what's happening. I think it's fair enough to have two types of form and I agree that they should all be identified. The problem is that FIA forms are supposed to have no value, but they have become an important part of the car's value. A lot of cars that shouldn't have them have probably got forms."

Alan Putt (MSA Registrar)

"There is room in the historic market for recreations that are very tightly controlled. I have been riding this hobby horse for 10 to 15 years. The FIA has caused confusion by the language that has been used. There is a section in Appendix K that deals with replicas. I'd like to see that fleshed out and made much clearer."