Historic racing news

F3 back at Goodwood
1-litre screamers to return in 2015 | by Paul Lawrence

For the first time since it originally closed in 1966, Goodwood is to host a race for 1-litre Formula 3 ‘screamers’. The event will be a feature of the 73rd Members’ Meeting, to be held at the track on March 21/22 next year.

Dedicated races for pre-66 Porsche 911s and 1-litre F3 cars will be included in the programme for the second modern running of the spring meeting, which was revived this season.

The inclusion of a race for 1964-1969 1-litre F3 cars is another major step forward for the category’s revival. Keith Messer of the 1-litre F3 Historic Racing Association said: “It is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to see the cars as they remember them. There will be no problem filling the grid.” Messer knows of about 100 suitable cars across Europe.

The Gerry Marshall Trophy, which pairs professional racers with Gp1 touring cars, will return following the success of the inaugural race, as will the Salvadori Trophy for 1955-60 sports prototypes.

Demonstration runs will be held for pre-75 Formula 1 cars, including those from the ‘high-airbox’ era, Group C Le Mans cars from the 1980s and the McLaren F1 GTR, which will appear in both short and long-tail variants.

FIA defines ‘historic’

The FIA Motor Sport World Council has decreed that the end of 1990 will be the cut-off date for historic race and rally cars for at least the next decade. Cars from 1991 onwards, considered to be a watershed date in competition car development, will not be considered for inclusion as historic until at least 2024.

“It was agreed to set the cut-off for at least the next 10 years,” said Paolo Cantarella, president of the Historic Motor Sport Commission. “1990 is a logical barrier between historic and modern motor sport, mainly from a technical point of view.”

Life begins again after 40

More than 40 years after being crashed by John Markey at Mallory Park, the famous Pink Stamps-sponsored Lotus 30/40 is back on track in America.

The car had been raced by the Willment team when new in 1965, but in August 1973 a broken rear upright sent the Lotus into the barriers at the Leicestershire circuit.

It then remained unused until the 38th Annual Portland Historic Races in July this year. Oregon-based Dick Keyes now owns it and he entrusted the car to Tom Hendrickson.

McRae returns to Britain

One of two ex-Roy Lane Formula 5000 McRae GM1s is back in the UK this season, in the hands of major F5000 supporter Frank Lyons.

The 1972 GM1 was based on the tub of the McLaren M19 and built at Leda in the UK by the late Len Terry. There are seven or eight GM1s running in New Zealand, but Lyons’ is the only one of the 14 built that is currently racing in Europe.

Hillclimber Lane used it later in the 1970s, but then sold both his cars to American Ray Boissoneau. “I asked if I could have first refusal if ever he sold one of them,” said Lyons. “Finally, last year, he invited me to buy one – but I’d put my name down 15 years beforehand.”

Ashley retraces his steps

Forty years after winning the Oulton Park Gold Cup in a Formula 5000 Lola, former Grand Prix racer Ian Ashley returned to the event to contest the Historic Sports Car Club’s Derek Bell Trophy in an ex-Mike Whatley Lola T300. A leading F5000 racer in the mid-70s, Ashley returned to F5000 this summer after a 39-year absence.

“I know I can make it go quite well and I’m thrilled to be back after so long,” he said. Early attempts to race this season were thwarted after the camshaft snapped in testing, but he finally made the grid at the HSCC’s Brands Hatch meeting in July.

Bright out of retirement

John Bright, once an impecunious racer, ended a 26-year break by competing at the recent Lime Rock Historic Festival in a 1970 Chevron B17. Bright, now 65, battled through British racing in the 1970s, despite limited funds. He got as far as Formula 3 before moving to the US as a race engineer.

“I’ve spent 45 years in motor racing and I’m trying to retire,” said Bright. “I was offered a race in the car and I ended up buying it, because I reckon it’s a better investment than a pension.”

In the late 1990s he formed Redman Bright Racing with Brian Redman, to run drivers in F3000 and sports car events.

Crowne Lola restored

Raced by Chris Craft in the 1973 European 2-litre Sports Car Championship, a Lola T292 has returned to racing this summer after Jade Motorsport rebuilt it for its US owner.

The Lola (above) is back in the period livery of Crowne Racing. It had not been seen in the UK for at least a decade until Tony Sinclair won a Martini Trophy race at the Oulton Park Gold Cup.

Tour set for Ireland

Tour Britannia could break new ground in 2015, with closed road special stages. While legislation to allow closed road competition could arrive in Britain later in 2015, promoter Alec Poole plans to take the whole event to the Republic of Ireland, for classic special stages on public roads.

The May event will start in Llandudno and then cross the Irish Sea on the first day. After one overnight halt in Ireland, competitors will return for a further day and a half of competition in Wales.

In brief

* A capacity field of 90 cars is expected to start the 13th Rally of the Tests, the event that recreates the RAC Rally before the advent of forest special stages. The 2014 route runs from Buxton to Bristol via two overnight halts in Llandrindod Wells (October 30-November 2). Last year’s winners Paul Wignall and Mark Appleton (Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint) head the entry.

* In last month’s issue we failed to identify all parties in a photograph illustrating Graham Birrell’s return to Croft after more than 40 years away. They were car owner George Cooper (back left), Jeremy Bouckley (in car) and Graham Birrell (right).

* Nick Elliott and Dave Price have been confirmed as overall champions in the R.A.C. Rally Championship, following the Neath Valley Stages in August. The Cheltenham-based Ford Escort Mk2 crew rolled out of the opening event of the season, but bounced back to take three wins from the following five rallies.