AROUND AND ABOUT, March 1990

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For a while last month, there was great excitement surrounding the possible hosting of a non-championship Formula One race at Donington in April. With the blessing of Bernie Ecclestone and FOCA, the “200 Gold Cup” was going to take place on Easter Monday. There were hopes of at least one entry from every major team and also support from some of the smaller British ones. In the event, though, only nine entries were received which has prompted those concerned to cancel the event.

Peugeot has formally announced that it is going to contest the World SportsPrototype Championship in 1991 and has already produced a development prototype. Made out lightweight carbon fibre honeycomb, the car, designated the 905, weighs around 750 kg.

Bench tests of the new 3 4-litre V10 engine, which is expected to show horsepower figures in the region of 650 bhp, are scheduled to take place now. If successful the 905 will undergo a series of road tests in June conducted by JeanPierre Jabouille who finished fifth for Mercedes in last year’s Le Mans. The team is hoping to enter one or two championship races at the end of the, season.

The team will operate from specially built headquarters on the outskirts of Paris. The staff of 120 people will be supported by specialist outside contractors including Dassault, Michelin, Esso and Bilstein.

While the event that never existed ceases to be, FISA still continues to play cat and mouse with the ACO about the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As can be read in Cotton on overleaf, the event now looks likely to go ahead, albeit as a non-championship race which is a shame because as a consequence it seems unlikely that the Mercedes team will return to defend its laurels won from last year. Assuming that the FISA safety commissioners approve the necessary work being done to install the two chicanes along the Mulsanne Straight the 24-Hour race will go ahead on June 16/17.

The hiatus over the exclusion of Le Mans has already seen the withdrawal from the World Championship of a number of teams as can be read in Cotton on. In a recent karting event held at Chiswick in aid of Gordon Cruickshank, we regret to say that the MOTOR SPORT team did rather badly with only one member scoring a couple of wins. As a result we never made it through to the semi-final which saw a hard-charging fight between the Wilky MG team, the Pirelli Marathon team, Gordon Bruce Associates and a team of colleagues from another magazine. At the end of the

day, the Wilky team dominated the final with overall victory going to MG racer Robert Shaerf which was most appropriate as this British Benzol-backed racer was responsible for the high profile involvement of that oil company in the charity evening.

We are sorry to report the death of Bob Gerard who was renowned for his racing activities in ERAs having owned R4A,.R6B and R14B. His racing exploits began after the war when he quickly made a name for himself as one of the few British drivers around, a third place in the 1947 French Grand Prix bringing him to prominence.

He was not one of his generation’s most outstanding drivers, his good results coming by dint of careful pacing, thorough preparation and a good pit crew, but he can take the credit for being at the forefront of the British renaissance in motor racing, the benefits of which are still being enjoyed today.

After his gradual disappearance from motor racing, his last international race was at Silverstone in the 1958 Trophy Race, he ran his own garage, but his interest in motorsport never waned.

MOTOR SPORT would like to extend its sympathies to his wife Joan Gerard.

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