In a Champion's Footsteps

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In a Champion’s Footsteps

BEFORE I heard about the £100,000 prize and bonus fund, I was interested enough in the professional promotion behind the importation of single-seater Formula Renault to attend the Williams Engineering museum presentation. It was an evening for 200 guests (selected from suppliers to potential participants) proclaiming the advantages of a category that can claim triple World Champion Alain Prost amongst its more successful graduates. MOTOR SPORT was privileged to drive Prost’s winning Renault-powered Formula 3 Martini a season after his Form ule Renault domination, and the emerging Champion was duly complimentary about the part played by the Renault formula in his burgeoning career.

I soon learned that the category has changed in every important respect since that memorable 1979 session with Prost at Paul Ricard. The 1989 season saw Renault ditch the turbocharged R18 engine and monocoque chassis in favour of the current Chamade fuel injection 1.7 litre within the cheaper charms of a tubular space frame. The initial 1989 UK progress of the latest racing category to fight for public and media attention in our ridiculously crowded racing calendar was not encouraging. The races were poorly supported and an alert 25 year old living on Silverstone’s back doorstep (Tingewick) mopped up the series with ease in a Van

Diemen. Renault 1989 Champion Neil Riddiford, and those arch Formula Ford pacesetters at Van Diemen, will be back to face revitalised opposition in 1990. Grids should be overflowing with rivals, stimulated by the thought of predicted satellite TV coverage, sharply increased media interest. . . and all that lovely cash. This in a formula that features the wings and slick tyres that drivers must experience if they are to graduate to Formula 3, and beyond . . . Renault UK liaison man for Formula Renault in 1990, Tim Jackson, knows that

he is dealing with a success even before the first race (25th March, Thruxton) is staged. He reported “Over 70 engines have already been ordered, more than 50 cars are in the course of construction and Robert Fearnall at Two Four Sports, Donington, will have discussions with the BARC about the possibilities of running qualifying races, for there seems little

doubt that we have more than 45 competitors turning up at each round.”

Competitors are lured by the promise of sharing in £3500, awarded from 1st (£600) to 20th (£50) place in each of the sensibly contained 12 qualifying rounds; every successful qualifier for a championship race grid receives £100. These direct prize and start monies amount to £82,000 alone, so the £100,000 prize money quote is conservative. Additionally there are pole position and concours cash incentives, clothing (overalls and rally jackets) vouchers, plus the grand end of season awards. These are a £10,000 Renault car and a Formula 3000 test day devoted to the top three in the 1990 Championship points.

A feature of the formula is the “maximum selling price” regulation (a worthy thought from short circuit oval racing) to establish a value for major components. Under such ex-VAT valuations a complete rolling chassis is constrained to £12,000 whilst the Renault engine and 5-speed transaxle are limited to £3,900 (the R25 gearbox accounts for just £530). I enquired as to the cost of the mandatory Firestone tyres and was told they account for approximately £85 each, a distinct advantage over the R5 turbo series Michelin slicks. These are greedily consumed at £125 apiece. To experience 1990 Formula Renault MOTOR SPORT was allowed the supreme

race preparation luxury of an exclusive, though chilly, Donington test day. We begun having fun in a Renault 5 GT Turbo (that similarly well rewarded series continues, but will switch to a 16v unit for 1991) before driving two representative Formula Renault chassis.

Eight F/Renault chassis manufacturers are listed in the Renault information pack, but the inevitable French invasion currently looks like being limited to Tico Martini’s completely updated models and their Fast International French Chassis Imported by Team Orion.

Leading constructors in the formula look like being Reynard (12 ordered), Van Diemen (a batch of ten under construction when Motoring News called) and Swift. The experienced Dave Greenwood, who tended our hastily arranged 1989 Swift F/Renault demonstrator, summed up the feeling of other racing car makers when he said, “You can’t really talk about orders until the cash has been received. Even at this time of the year — with barely two months to go before the season starts — there can be more talk than action.” The Mondiale equipe agreed that there was “too much chat” but had already taken half a dozen cash deposits as rewards for the concours presentation of the development machine I drove, M90 R/D1.

Part of the reason for the apparent prevarication is the sheer choice in the category. I had first hand examples at Donington with Nicholas Phillips (double R5 GT Turbo Champion, 1988/89) and Jason Plato (despite the surname, Britain’s leading contender in the 1989 Elf-Winfield Awards) hopping from chassis to chassis in search of a winning 1990 combination. Jason Plato in the Mondiale development car, on a dusky circuit of which he had no previous experience, was a model of consistency. Within seven laps, he had equalled the inn 16.7s of development driver Rob Wilson, knocking a second off each successive lap as he did so. We were all very impressed but there will be plenty

of high quality opposition to overcome and several more racing rungs to climb before drawing any Prost comparisons, especially as Formula Ford 1600 junior Harry Nuttall returned lm 17.3s (91.4 mph) in the test Swift, a particularly abused example. What are the ingredients such youngsters will need to master to follow Prost’s wheel tracks? First, the tubular space frame. In the case of many of the major British specialists cited, they have simply adapted and updated the chassis of an apparantly dying Formula Ford 2000 and this applied to the 89 season Swift I drove. There seems to be diversity of opinion over whether stressing the gearbox as part of the basic construction is worthwhile,

and even the height of the basic tubular construction around the cockpit rim was markedly lower in the Swift than the highsided Mondiale. “Security has always been a vital feature of Northern Ireland cars,” quipped Nicholas Phillips, but it is worth adding that Mondiale service British customers from a base in Lichfield. Contrasts between the Ulster-built Mondiale and Snetterton-based Swift Europe’s wishbone construction were equally startling, given the restrictive nature of cost

conscious regulations. Swift utilised the fashionably streamlined and raked arms, whilst Mondiale stuck with simple tubes. Both used varieties of the inboard damper/spring via pushrod rocker suspensions that descend to junior formulae from Grand Prix.

In external bodywork the pair differed sharply as well. Swift stayed with the needle nose and conventional side pods, whilst the Mondiale had notably low pods to contain its side cooling radiators. All have to use flat underbody panelling, so both devoted the maximum possible surface areas to front and rear wings, the Swift running maximum downforce all the cold but predominantly dry day.

Basic dimensions — maximum length, width and so on — of the F/Renault are as tightly controlled as in any current category. Particularly relevant to the feel of the car are a minimum weight of 450 kg/990 lb and the use of 13 inch diameter alloy wheels that are allowed no more than 7 inch front rim width, 9 in rear. The Firestone Firehawk slicks I experienced measured 7.0 and 8.5 inches across, but the wets are slightly slimmer at the front. Regulations demand the use of no more than six slicks, worn or otherwise, in officially timed practice, which seems pretty generous to me, given the brevity of practice sessions at most UK meetings. Renault competitors are promised only a minimum of 20/25 minutes by the regulations.

The engine and gearbox are major Renault contributions. The ratios and final drive for the NG3FR transaxle are specified and fixed, and supplies are only available (as for the F2N.FR engine) from Radbourne Racing of Wimbledon. All such major components are sealed and any maintenance work has to be followed by inspection and sealing by the Championship organisers before official practice or race.

Exhaust decibels and low lead fuel octane rating (99 by Research Octane numbering) are also stipulated by the regulations. Readers who reside adjacent to the more popular British circuits may like to know that even practice days are fiercely monitored. At Donington this has always struck me as ironic because the track rubs boundaries with the bustling East Midlands airport.

The 4-cylinder, SOHC motor has programmed electronic ignition, which competitors are not allowed to alter. Permitted modifications amount to blueprinting without weight removal, unless it can be shown that it is in the cause of obtaining reciprocal component balance. The installation of a Devil exhaust is mandatory; both the cars I drove had competition airboxes, the Mondiale’s hissing with such audible menace that I could hear it over the open cockpit slipstream. Based on a bore and stroke of 81 x 83.5mm, the 1721cc engine is traditionally French in making wide use of alloy castings, including those for the cylinder block. The standard compression is 9.5:1

and peak power was reported as 92 bhp at 5750 rpm. For racing purposes only a stark 125 bhp quote was given, but Hugh Webb at Radbourne Racing detailed the modifications that generate the extra 33 bhp.

“The French have developed a purposebuilt fuel injection system for this engine that features Bosch injectors and fuel pump. The compression is left alone as the head has to remain a standard casting, but there is a racing camshaft that we fit . . . again the equipment is imported exclusively by us from France.” Specialised parts manager Hugh Webb added, “We really have been astonished by the response to this formula. After the Racing Car Show we had something over 70 orders, so we recently decided to weed them out to those with the money to go ahead, asking them for a non-returnable deposit. . . so far we have received 60!”.

A dry sump is not permitted, but the pan is effectively baffled; there was no sign of surge. A January day demanded masking tape on the Mondiale to maintain much over 60°c water temperature.

The Swift covered most laps as a taster of what journalists and assorted celebrities could expect if they are invited by Renault to race their “guest” single-seater in 1990. I am impartial on that score, because I stopped racing in 1988, but I can say that the feeling of contour flying inches above the track is as strong as ever. You just cannot beat that “front row of the stalls” viewpoint and the sheer precision offered by even a comparatively cheap monoposto. It delivers a driving experience that any series production road car, however wilfully altered in pursuit of lap speed, cannot equal.

Gaining access was of varied difficulty in the two cars, the low Swift marginally easier than the encirclement of the Mondiale, but once in position, the high sides do add to the welcome feeling of rigid strength engendered by the Ulster product of former Crossley manager Leslie Drysdale and his Bangor, County Down equipe. Mondiale are known for making a wide cross-section of customers happy — exporting cars for use in the Skip Barber Saab Pro Series in America — and all but the athletic build of Niki Phillips was easily squeezed within its confines during our test day. In both single-seaters, adjustable foot pedals help tailor the driver to the car, but the Swift regrettably lacked the crotch straps of the Mondiale.

The Swift and the Mondiale had the usual stark information of rpm, oil pressure and water temperatures, but the Mondiale’s crackle finish dash carried a voltmeter as well as a clearly defined brake balance adjuster. Both carried minimalist battery power and were started by external power packs. The high power-to-weight ratios of cars such as the Formula Renault assure supercar standards of acceleration, but the sub-1000 lb kerb weight did not seem to form part of official calculations in selecting the fixed gear ratios mentioned. First

gear is totally redundant for all but the briefest and slowest of departures from the pits. The driver relies on the broad power band — 4000 to 6800 rpm in the Swift — of this reassembled production power plant to maintain momentum.

Compared to even the best of the front line Group A saloons you see on TV, these modest single-seaters are frequently one gear higher for a given corner, especially if it is a rapid curve. The fourth gear pace through Old Hairpin, McLeans and Coppice were the biggest surprises. The ride down through Craner curves in fifth was an exercise in spotting a turn-in point from an unaccustomed low level vantage point, but the sheer grip from slick tyres and simple chassis was equally imposing at the third gear Esses, or into Redgate.

You could apply all the power in the Swift, confident that it would punish only your unused steering muscles. The Swift would never deviate from your intended path, unless coarsely steered with saloon car lock inputs. The Swift would abuse you if you started using rumble or kerbing strips, flicking out of line with the almost audible reprimand: “This is not one of your mushy saloons. Don’t try harder. Be more precise.”

Even half a dozen laps for the reporter in the Swift allowed it to emerge at 5000 rpm in fourth for the dash along Starkey’s Straight. It was at this point that the bare minimum of flying laps taken in the Mondiale, before total darkness descended, contrasted most strongly with those of the more conventional daylight laps in the Swift.

The Swift engine was obviously not in such good health as that of the Mondiale, barely requiring fifth. Meanwhile our Mondiale was into fifth and flickering over 6000 rpm to the Esses of the shorter, 1.95 mile circuit that we employed. Emerging from the lee of the Donington exhibition centre, the Swift’s lack of a cockpit windscreen on a blustery day allowed the mischievous wind to flap harness strap ends and tug upward on the helmet.

The gear changes were totally different as well, that of the Swift sloppy in comparison to the clicking precision of the Mondiale gate. However, it is worth reiterating that even I missed the pleasure of the rapid fire gear changes that a full racing gearbox provides; Mondiale could not overcome that aspect. Much the same goes for the engine. It never really sounds like a racer — although it does sharpen up promisingly from 4500 to 6400 rpm — and there were strong mid-range rpm vibrations that go beyond the usual single-seater racing application of a production four cylinder.

Opel/Vauxhall Lotus have the answer here in their 16v unit, for all the other learning formula (up to air restrictor Formula 3) tend to provide lethargic engines that do little to provide any education or pleasure, in the art of cajoling full race units. Cost is the primary reason of course, but perhaps when others have followed this aspect of production engineering (including Renault, later in 1990) my objections will be removed.

Meanwhile the Swift gave me a very fair taste of Formula Renault. A trio of laps in the 1 m 24s bracket (the best averaging 83.7 mph) was greeted with relief rather than the rustle of contracts as the aftermath of the January gales still had strength enough to upset the path of these adhesive single-seaters.

I do not think either team or I could see enough to gain any meaningful lap times in the Mondiale, so I can suggest it immediately felt quicker than the Swift in all but the latter’s confident turn into corners from almost any angle and velocity — an aspect Rob Wilson was working to improve on the Mondiale. I doubt the Swift is inferior in respect of lap speed, this was just a tatty example after innumerable potential customer laps. Formula Renault looks set to make a major impact on our racing summer in 1990. I hope we have explained some of the reasons why it is likely to succeed, given the continued commitment of Renault. JW

The Mini Marcos Owners Club recently held a Special General Meeting at Kenilworth to discuss, amongst other things, the possibilty of an annual Eurotrip. If you own a Mini Marcos, a Mini Jem or a Kingfisher Sprint, or even if you are just an enthusiast, and would like to join, please contact Melanie Newman for details at 28 Meadow Road, Claines, Worcester WR3 7PP. Tel: (0905) 58533.

The Chester Festival of Transport, organised by Chester Lions Club and Chester Vintage Enthusiasts Club, will this year feature a Collectors Car Auction, to be supported by Autojumble and trade stands. The Festival, to be held on Sunday 20th May, is expecting to attract a record number of vehicles of all ages and types, and there will be a variety of arena events including military displays and Pony Club and Carriage driving competitions.

Anyone wishing to book Autojumble plots, trade stands, club stands or to enter vehicles should contact Martin Hughes on 051-653 9434 for further details.

The 31st Ruthin Rally takes place on 22nd July in the scenic county of Clwyd in North Wales. Entries are restricted to cars built before 31st December 1940 and regulations are available from George Kerr, 1 Primrose Close, Northop Hall, Mold, Clwyd. Tel: (0244) 816138. The British Automobile Racing Club have announced the provisional dates for the numerous racing championships which they organise. The first dates for each championship are as follows:

2CV Racing Club Challenge: 16th April, Pembrey.

Special Saloon Championship: 25th March, Thruxton.

The Vauxhall Sport Championship: 11th March, Thruxton.

1974/80 Formula Ford 1600 Championship: 18th March, Pembrey.

P&O European Ferries Junior Formula Ford 1600 Championship: 1 1 th March, Thruxton.

For further information about any of these events contact BARC Ltd, Thruxton Circuit, Andover, Hants SP11 8PN. Tel: (0264) 772607 or 772696/7.

The 1990 Ecurie Ecosse Historic Motor Tour, supported by the St Andrews Old Course Hotel, will cover much of scenic Scotland and will give the Scottish public a chance to see the beautiful vehicles taking part. A three day event, the tour begins at St Andrews on Thursday 10th May and ends, back where it started, on Saturday 12th May. Further details from John Foster, Estates Office, Craigie Farm, Leuchars, St Andrews, Fife KY16 ODT. Tel: (033 483) 218. The Staverton Airport Steam and Vintage Show, organised by the Gloucestershire Vintage Motor Transport Club, will be held on 16th and 17th

June. Due to a great response over the last few years, cars and stationary engines in certain age groups will have to be limited and entries accepted on a “first come, first served” basis, so for further information write now to Mrs H D Reeves, 9 Osbourne Avenue, Tuffley, Gloucester, enclosing an SAE, or ring her on (0459) 305419.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Thames Valley Auto Sunday and the organisers, Easthampstead Rotary Club, expect it to be the biggest and best yet. Having raised over 000,000 for local charities over the last decade, the club is hoping for a record entry of over 1000 vintage, veteran and classic vehicles, supported by autojumble stalls and trade stands. Even non-enthusiasts are catered for with a full programme of events such as Sky Divers, Marching Bands and a Dog Show and the kids can entertain themselves at the mammoth Fun Fair.

Auto Sunday will be held on 1st July at Moss End Farm, Warfield. Further details are available from James Strugnell, Stable lodge, Priory Lane, Bracknell, Berks RG12 2JU. Tel: (0344) 54995 (Home) or (0344) 50078 (Business).

The Midland Festival of Transport is on 26th/27th March at Weston Park, Shropshire. Closing date for entries is 7th March so contact Linda Price now at 37 Comberford Drive, Tiffany Green, Wednesbury, West Midlands, WSIO OVA.

The Aston Martin Owners Club is running several events this year. There will be three race meetings, the first of which is at Brands Hatch on 6th May. The three championships organised by the AMOC are The Proteus Petroleum Inter Marque Championship, the first round of which will be on 23rd April at Oulton Park, The Historic Car Championship and the Thoroughbred Sports Championship, first rounds at the AMOC race meeting. Contact Alan Putt, IA High Street, Sutton Nr Ely, Cambridgeshire CB6 2RB for details.

The MG Car Club T Register is holding its 10th seminar on how to rebuild classic MG sports cars on Saturday 17 March. MG specialists will cover a range of topics such as “Coachtrim”, discussed by Mike Collingburn, and “Fitting Weather Equipment” by Ron Gammons. The one day event costs E15.00, including lunch and light refreshments, and will be held at Ernulf Community School, St Neots, Cambridgeshire.

Further details and application forms are available from David Barnes, 18 Eaton Rise, London W5 2ER. Tel: 01-997 0118. Please enclose an SAE.

An Autojumble is being held at Donington Exhibition Centre, Castle Donington Racetrack, on Sunday 25th March. For full information, contact Penny Farthing Fairs, 40 Rockingham Close, Ashgate, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S40 IJE. Tel: (0246) 239264.

The MG Car Club is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee this year with four major events. The first of these will be the MG Silverstone International Weekend on the 26th/27th May. Each UK Centre will also be organising an event as part of the celebrations, and plans are afoot for a Jubilee Concours Championship and a combined racing sprint and hillclimb Jubilee Championship. Anyone wishing to participate in these festivities should contact the MG Car Club at PO Box 251, Abingdon, Oxon 0X14 3FA. The Association of Northern Car Clubs Road Rally Championship makes a welcome return this year, with the Leeds University Union Motor Club organising the Mobil 1 Northern Lights Rally. Covering 250 miles of West Yorkshire, the rally will be held on the 3rd/4th of March and will also form part of the National Student Championship. Those inclined to feel a bit peckish at these events (and especially in these current wintry climes) will be pleased to hear that

the starting point is at the world’s most famous fish and chip restaurant, Harry Ramsden’s.

Details of this event are available from Mr Steve Harris on 0532 756383, or Mr Roland Cross on 0532 626540.

On Thursday 29 March, the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club in conjunction with the Jaguar Car Club will hold its annual film happening, in memory of Andrew Whyte, the eminent Jaguar historian. The theme will be rallying with guests including Henry Pearman, winner of the 1989 Pirelli Classic, though sadly not his codriver, MOTOR SPORT’s Gordon Cruickshank, who is still recovering from severe spinal injuries in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, after a tragic road test accident in Germany last year.

The evening begins at 8 pm at the Packhorse and Talbot, 145 Chiswick High Road, London W4 and there will be a contribution of £3 towards expenses. For further information contact Keith Trotter on 01-743 3627 (evenings) or Jack Stevens on 01-845 2941.

The Lakeland stages, the first round of the 1990 Cars and Conversions/Fiat Challenge, will be held on 17th March at Carlisle. The Challenge is open to all front wheel-drive Fiats with a capacity limit of 1301cc and is run in conjunction with the BTRDA Clubmans Rally Championship, with seven rounds set in the best forests in Britain.

For full details and an entry form please contact the Co-ordinator, Andrew Mortimore, Villa Rosetta, Shrubbery Road, Weston-Super-Mare, Avon BS23 2JG. Tel: (0934) 620406.

The STD Register’s Wolverhampton Weekend is scheduled for June 30th/July 1st.

The Jowett CC International Weekend for Javelins and Jupiters as well as the old flat-twins takes place at the Waverley Castle Hotel, Melrose in Scotland from May 25-28, with the Concours d’Elegance on the Sunday. Details from Sandra Purves, 4 Scotland Street, Edinburgh EH3 6PS.

The London International Classic Car Show returns to Alexandra Palace, now into its third year. Attracting 30,000 + enthusiasts from all over the UK and Europe, the show includes a display of pre-war Morris cars, a variety of vehicles which raced in the RAC rally in the 1960s, as well as over sixty club stands, displaying a full range of vehicles from American monster cars to historic commercials, and from classic British sports cars to family saloons. Autoglym, the motorshow conditioner manufacturers, will sponsor the Concours, with over 125 vehicles competing for prizes such as Best Classic Saloon pre 1960, Best Pre-War and Car of the Show.

The show also boasts the largest sale of classic cars in the UK, conducted by Arlington Auctions. Over the two days, 170 vehicles with a combined value of around £2 million will be put under the hammer, as well as a special lot of unique automobilia. The London International Classic Car Show will take place on the 9th/1 lth March and promises to be well worth a trip for enthusiasts and novices alike. Readers who own Coventry-built cars or motorcycles will be interested to hear of an event being held in celebration of Coventry’s long established links with the motor industry. Bring your vehicles, or just yourselves, to the Coombe Abbey Country Park on the outskirts of Coventry on Sunday 20th May. A non-profit making

event, there should be lots to see and do for the whole family. If you’d like more details, or wish to set up a Club or Trade stand, contact Brian Long at 15 Ludlow Road, Earlsdon, Coventry, Warks CV5 6JA. Tel: (0203) 677500.

The 1990 BMW Car Club Race Championships are almost ready for off, with the first round being held on Saturday 17th March at Silverstone. This year sees a major change to the proceedings, with two separate race championships instead of the usual one. The first championship will be for all BMW models available in the UK and the second will be solely for the various ’02 models from the BMW range (2002 Tii, 2002 touring etc). Full details of the championships, their technical regulations and event calendars are available from the championship co-ordinator, John McVicker at 24 Francis Road, Lichfield, Staffs WS13 7JX. Tel: (0543) 256117 (home).

The National Motor Museum holds its popular annual Classics and Restorations Show on Sunday 17th June. In addition to the usual events and displays, there will be a new competition, “Pride of Ownership”. Not to be confused with Concours d’Elegance, the contest is for the ordinary motoring enthusiast with a veteran, vintage or classic (pre 1961) car. There will be no entry fee but places are limited to 100 and must be pre-booked.

This year’s theme for the special cavalcade will be “British Rarities and Survivors” (pre 1961), which will again be strictly limited to 60 places. There will be two cavalcades accompanied by expert commentary from John Willis, a wellknown figure at the Vintage Sports Car Club and other events. Anyone interested in entering these or any other event should contact the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire S042 7ZN. Tel: (0590) 612345. Fax: (0590) 612624.

Lambert and Foster are holding a spring auction of veteran, vintage and classic cars, motorcycles and automobilia at Allerton Castle, Kent, on 25th April. If you are considering parting with an old vehicle of value, why not contact their auction office at 77 Commercial Road, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6DR. Tel: 089-283 2325. The Royal Lancaster Hotel in London was the venue for the 1989 British Racing and Sports Car Club Awards on Saturday 20th January. The famous Brabham family, represented this evening by three times World Champion Sir Jack, and National F3000 Champion and future Formula 1 driver Gary, were delighted to accept the BRSCC Trophy, awarded to the individual or organisation who, in the eyes of the BRSCC Committee, makes the greatest contribution to the furtherance of motorsport. The Steve Sydenham/Racing for Britain Trophy for the most promising

contact Benjamin Stevens, 13 Rue Montorgueil, 75001 Paris, France.

The MCC’s 69th Land’s End Trial takes place on April 13/14th, starting from Okehampton, Bristol and Basingstoke and finishing at Newquay. Entries opened on January 26th and they close on March 5th. Among a total of 15 hills will be the famous “observed sections”, the Beggars Roost (3.50 am), Darracott (7.20 am), Crackington (9.20 am) and Bluehills (12 noon). We give in brackets the approximate arrival times for the first motorcycle competitor, should you wish to spectate.

An exciting day of “motorsport as it used to be” is promised at the stately home of Longleat in Wiltshire on Sunday 9th March. The Longleat Historic Rally, organised by the 182 Classic and Rally Car Club, brings together 90 classic rally cars in a thrilling 52 stage mile race round the home of the famous Lions of Longleat. The action starts at 9am and continues throughout the day, with the first car to finish being welcomed back at Longleat at 4.15 pm. Scrutineering takes place on Saturday afternoon and the rally headquarters will be based at the Mendip Hotel in Frome.

The Alvah R. Holbert Memorial Scholarship is a scheme set up in memory of the late, great Porsche driver, to help youngsters of both sexes in their mechanical engineering studies at Lehigh University where Al himself studied in this field. Information can be obtained from either Keith Trotter, 32 Ashchurch Villas, London, W12 9SP or from Patricia Boig, Alumni Memorial Building 27, ‘Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. 18015, USA where contributions can also be sent. Entries have opened for the Esso Bristol to Bournemouth Vintage Vehicle

Run, which takes place on Sunday, June 10th 1990.

This event, organised by the Yeovil Car Club and sponsored by Esso Petroleum, has continued to grow in popularity each year. Permission has been granted for 350 entries to take part in 1990 and, as in previous years, these will come from Britain and overseas, giving the event a truly international flavour. The Esso Run is open to pre-1940 cars, motorcycles and light commercials.

A pre-rally dinner will be held for the participants in Bristol on Saturday, June 9 and the following morning the Lord Mayor of Bristol will flag away the first vehicle from the magnificent setting of the Ashton Court Estate.

There are three stopping points at Wells, Yeovil and Blandford Forum where the spectators can take a closer look at the entries. The route follows a particularly scenic drive through Avon, Somerset and Dorset and finishes along the Undercliff Drive at Bournemouth, where the vehicles will be displayed in a fenced off enclosure, while the participants attend a nearby Reception and Awards Presentation.

Regulations and entry forms were published on January 1 and early entry is strongly advised as all 350 places will be taken well before the closing date of April 1. Forms can be obtained from the Entry Secretary, Keith McGee, 38 Kenmore Drive, Yeovil, Somerset BA21 4BQ. Tel.: 0935 74630 — evenings. For further information contact Alan Davidson, Yeovil Car Club Ltd. Tel.: 0935 25597 — evenings.

The Riley Register’s Bulletin continues to embrace the vintage Riley scene, issue no. 136 containing a cutaway drawing of the ifs racing Riley and a photograph of Freddie Dixon’s shed at Brooklands.

Club News is compiled by Shara Simpson.

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