Wheel to wheel - The month in hisotric motorsport

Aston invitational for July

Silverstone Classic to celebrate 50th anniversary of Aston Martin DBR1 sportscar

Two packed Formula One grids and a celebration of the Aston Martin DBR1 will be the key features of this summer's Silverstone Classic.

The July 28-30 event will pack in more than 20 races, with at least two races on the Friday. The event will have a strong Aston Martin flavour and will mark the 50th anniversary of the debut of the DBR1 sportscar, which went on to score the marque's only Le Mans victory to date, in 1959. An invitation race for Aston Martins has been added to the schedule.

The expansion of the race programme means that there will only be two races for 3-litre Formula One cars. Last year Grand Prix Masters had two races and Thoroughbred Grand Prix a separate one, but some considered this was confusing for some spectators! The plan for 2006 is to run two races and encourage crossover between the two series for the first time.

"It is expected that there will be two races for 3-litre Formula One cars," reports Christopher Tate of the Masters organisation. "We understand the track-time pressures that the event organisers are under."

Exact details are still to be confirmed, but it seems that relevant Thoroughbred GP cars will be invited into the Masters race, while Masters cars will get an invite into the TGP event. The 2005 Silverstone Classic was the first time that the two rival series had been at the same race meeting.

Other races will include Group C/GTP, Orwell Supersports, HGPCA and the BRDC 500 for pre-war sportscars, while classic motorbike races are also being added to the programme.

‘B16’ Continuation

The first Chevron B16 continuation model is set for a public unveiling at the Historic Motorsport Show at Stoneleigh at the end of February.

Chevron Racing Cars has now sold the first three examples of the B16, which will be built to exactly the same specification as the original cars. They will qualify for Historic Technical Passports from the FIA and are expected to be racing this season.

“The value of the original cars was high enough to justify making continuation models." said Helen Malkie of Chevron. "But we aim to restrict the number of continuation cars we make to help them keep their value and to protect the integrity of the marque."

Only 23 examples of the B16 coupe were produced in period, and cars with strong histories are now fetching over £200,000. The continuation cars are priced at £70,000 less engine and 'box.

Herbert at show

Johnny Herbert, Giacomo Agostini and Prodrive principal David Richards will perform opening honours on each day of the International Historic Motorsport Show at Stoneleigh on February 24-26.

Richards will open the show on Friday, 15-time World Motorcycle champion Agostini on Saturday, and ex-Le Mans and F1 winner Herbert on Sunday.

Among the big names at the show some of whom will appear on the MotorSport stand are rally stars Pentti Airikkala, Russell Brookes, Björn Waldegård, Louise Aitken-Walker and Rosemary Smith. Bike aces Mick Grant. Steve Parrish and Jamie Whitham will also be in attendance.

Park life for tour

Donington Park and Oulton Park are star additions to the Tour Britannia route for the second running of the event from September 5-8.

The outline route centres on a parkland circuit each day, with visits to Oulton Park (Tuesday), Cadwell Park (Wednesday), Donington Park (Thursday) and Mallory Park (Friday). "I may even be tempted to have a go at the event myself," said Oulton circuit boss Jonathan Palmer after agreeing to his track's use.

For regulations, call 01295 268888.

Kneller’s award

Tim Kneller was presented with the MotorSport Brooklands Trophy at Autosport International after a fine campaign in VSCC races last season in his1936 Riley 12/4 Special.

His performances at the five VSCC race meetings of '05 left him just clear on points from Julian Majzub, who was a front-runner in his 1929 Bentley Pacey Hassan. Peter Fenichel, Michael Rudnig. Will Mahany and Rodney Seber all tied for the third-place award. Kneller, who won three races last year, was awarded a cheque for £500 and a lifetime subscription to MotorSport by editor Marcus Simmons.

MotorSport will again support the award in 2006.

Le Mans split

The Le Mans Legend event will be split into two races for this year's running on the morning of the 24-hour race in June.

To celebrate the centenary of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, races will be run for cars from 1923-39 and 1945-54.

Motor Racing Legends will again organise the 40-minute, one-driver races for cars that ran at Le Mans in period and genuine sister cars of the same specification.

Abarth for Björn

Björn Waldegård, at the wheel of an ex-works Fiat-Abarth 131, will be one of the star attractions of the live rally stage at the International Historic Motorsport Show at Stoneleigh on February 24-25.

The 1979 World Rally Champion will drive the 1980 car as a series of classic rally cars, including many from the Group B era, are put through their paces.

Russell Brookes will drive an ex-Airikkala Opel Manta 400 while other cars expected include an Audi Quattro A2, Lancia 037 Peugeot 205T16, Renault 5 Maxi Turbo, Metro 6R4 and Ford RS200.

ADA for Monza

Pietro Silva is the latest driver to commit to Group C/GTP for '06 and hopes to join the series for the opening round at Monza in mid-May with an ADA-Ford.

Silva has acquired chassis 03, which was built in December 1987.

Hadfield storms Kiwi opener

Simon Hadfield dominated the second round of the New Zealand F5000 Revival Series at Pukekohe on January 28-29. Hadfield won two of the three races as a contingent of British racers joined the strong local field.

The visitors were forced to switch to borrowed cars after their own were stranded at sea en route to New Zealand, but that made no difference to Hadfield, who quickly set the pace in Stan Redmond's Lola T332.

Hadfield took pole by three quarters of a second from team-mate Michael Schryver, who raced the Lola T430 of Todd Stewart. Hadfield lapped nearly 2.5sec faster than defending NZ champion Murray Sinclair (Lola T332) in qualifying.

With Schryver sidelined by a spin, Hadfield won the opening race at a canter. He then played to the gallery in the second race, enjoying a close battle with Schryver, who won by 0.17sec.

In the final Schryver went out with driveshaft failure, so Hadfield blitzed clear to win by more than 20sec. Redmond's McRae GM1 again led the home contingent from the similar car of Stuart Lush and Sinclair.

Fifth in the final was Frank Lyons, who had air-freighted his McLaren M26 out for this event and the follow-up at Ruapuna near Christchurch.