Historic racing news

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VSCC’s pre-war initiative
Club takes action to lure cars back to racing | by Paul Lawrence

The Vintage Sports-Car Club has unveiled a new proposal to attract original pre-war racing cars back to its meetings. Premier Cru Racing is the name for a three-race mini-series to run at Silverstone (April 18), Oulton Park (July 18) and Snetterton (September 27).

The idea is to create a series that caters exclusively for original pre-war racing cars from celebrated marques such as ERA, Bugatti, Maserati and Alfa Romeo.

Several stand-alone races, supported by Maserati experts Sean and Laura Danaher, have been run in recent times and now the club is working to develop the idea into a headline championship.

“The feedback to date has been really encouraging,” said James Taylor of the VSCC. “We want to encourage these cars to race with the VSCC once again, and this is an addition to our existing racing calendar.”

The races will be for original pre-war cars, with no specials or sports cars. There will be awards for vintage, post-vintage and two-seater racing cars. Competitors will have use of the pit garages at each of the three meetings.

The VSCC’s racing season opens with the annual Spring Start meeting at Silverstone, which reverts to a one-day format on Saturday April 18. As well as a full programme of VSCC races, the schedule includes a 1950s sports-racing event and the Abecassis Trophy for sports and GT cars of the 1950s.

Young’s work to continue

The Endurance Rally Association will continue its extensive programme of classic rallies and marathon events as planned, despite the tragic death of founder and driving force Philip Young.

Young died following a motorcycle accident during the Road to Mandalay event in late February. He pioneered the growth of historic rallying and organised more than 70 events.

ERA vice-president Fred Gallagher said: “Philip’s passion for historic motor sport extends throughout the team and the organisation will continue to create the best rallies in his memory, a fitting legacy to an inspirational man. Such was Philip’s foresight and drive, our current programme of events takes us through to 2018.”

The next ERA event will be the seventh Flying Scotsman Rally for pre-war cars, which covers 750 miles in a route from Leeds to Gleneagles on April 17-19.

Gordon Cruickshank’s tribute, p121

Ingliston celebrates 50th

The 50th anniversary of the former Ingliston racetrack near Edinburgh will be celebrated with the Ingliston Revival on September 11-13.

The new event has been made possible following investment to reinstate most of the original mile-long track, which closed in 1994 when racing was no longer financially viable.

The revival event will feature parades and demonstrations along with a range of off-track activity. The track was built within the Royal Highland Showground and opened for racing in 1965.

Meanwhile, in another boost for Scottish motor sport heritage, Scottish Borders Council has pledged half a million pounds towards expanding the Jim Clark Room in Duns.

The £1.2 million project will allow cars raced by Clark to be displayed, along with a wide range of trophies and other memorabilia to celebrate the life and career of the 1963 and ’65 world champion.

External funding will be required to complete the scheme, which should open in 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of Clark’s death.

ERAs turn out in force

The entry for the return of the Chateau Impney hillclimb will feature eight ERAs, while a ninth car, R8C, will be on static display at the July 11/12 event.

“We’re delighted to have attracted nine of the remaining ERAs,” said promoter Rod Spollon. “It’s a great coup for the event in its first year.” Motor sport is returning to the Worcestershire venue on a new 1000-yard hill after a gap of 47 years.

Notable cars will be R4D in the hands of Mac Hulbert, R10B, R11B and the ex-Bob Gerard R14B to be driven by Donald Day, who has owned the car since the late 1950s.

Marathon heritage show

The heritage of marathon rallies will be marked in a new event called the Historic Marathon Rally Show, to be held at the Heritage Motor Centre, Warwickshire, on Sunday May 31.

The show will recall famous marathon rallies including the 1968 London to Sydney, the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally and the 1974 London-Sahara-Munich World Cup Rally.

The day will feature crews and cars from these events, competitor interviews, Q&A sessions and previously unseen films. Doors open at 10am and admission is free.

First new Lister ready

The first continuation Lister Knobbly, built by Lister Cars in Cambridge, has been finished and is due to be delivered to its new owner. The run of 10 replicas of the original 1958 racer has been sold out for some time and all cars will be suitable for racing use, with a 3.8-litre Jaguar engine. Lister is now considering building three additional one-off ‘final editions’.

* The Williams FW15C raced by Damon Hill in 1993 is up for sale direct from the Williams Collection. Hill drove chassis 02 in 13 races, winning three. Never offered for sale before, it comes with a complete history and is described as fully operational by the agent, Cars International.

* Racer and preparer Steve Farthing will make his Formula 5000 debut this summer, three decades after being a rising star in Formula Ford 2000. Through his Wren Classics business in Dorset, Farthing has rebuilt a 1974 Lola T332 that once served time as a Can-Am car in the USA. Farthing said his first ambition was a Formula 1 car, but current values made that impossible.

* An impressive 20-race line-up has been organised for this year’s Donington Historic Festival (May 2-4). There will be races on each of the three days, including HGPCA, Super Touring, Historic Formula 2 and the Stirling Moss Trophy. Racing runs into the evening on both Saturday and Sunday as the event celebrates the 80th anniversary of the first Donington Grand Prix.