Historic news

Aston Martin parties on
Centenary celebrations continue into the summer | by Paul Lawrence

Two major Aston Martin celebrations are to be held at Britain’s best-known hillclimb venues.

On August 3-4, the VSCC’s Prescott Hillclimb will feature a line-up of historically significant Pre-War Aston Martins, including the ‘Halford Special’ and ‘Razor Blade’, which will run competitively in a 250-car entry.

Over the weekend of August 17-18, a class of Aston Martins of all ages will mark the model’s centenary at Shelsley Walsh. Among them will be the DB3 driven by Angela Brown, daughter of company owner David Brown, at the Worcestershire venue in 1955 and ’56. The Aston known as ‘Green Pea’, which ran in the 1922 French Grand Prix, is due at both meetings.

Other events during a summer of centenary celebrations include a recent display held in Kensington Gardens. One hundred cars tracked the marque’s timeline, while a display of more than 20 racing cars was dedicated to the late Allan Simonsen, the Aston Martin driver killed at Le Mans this year. Meanwhile, over the weekend of August 17-18, the Aston Martin Owners’ Club will host a centenary celebration in Richmond,
Surrey, to support The Poppy Factory, which helps injured ex-servicemen and women to find jobs.

Scheckter on six wheels

Jody Scheckter is to be reunited with the Tyrrell P34, the six-wheeled Grand Prix car he last raced 37 years ago. He will drive it at CarFest South, which runs at his Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire (August 23-25).

Over recent years, the 1979 World Champion has collected many of the most significant cars from his career, including his title-winning Ferrari 312T4. Scheckter has now added the Tyrrell P34 to his collection and will drive it for the first time during the event that raises money for the BBC’s Children in Need campaign.

“It was a very special car, despite the fact that I was not a fan of the theory behind the design,” said Scheckter.

“The last time I drove it was in 1976, so it will certainly bring back some wonderful memories.”

Aussies win Peking-Paris

Australians Gerry Crown and Matt Bryson emerged as winners of the fifth Peking to Paris Rally when it finished after 8000 miles in 33 days.

Octogenarian Crown drove a rare 1973 Leyland P76 (above) and repeated his victory in the Classics division after seeing off the challenge of British crew Peter Lovett and Tim Smith in their 1965 Porsche 911. Former BTCC racer Lovett won the new European Trophy for Classics after a strong run across the European countries.

“I’ve competed in the Peking to Paris four times and this one was the most demanding and the most competitive,” said Crown. “It’s the best rally car I’ve ever driven.”

Behind Lovett’s Porsche came the 1974 World Cup Rally-winning Citroën DS23 of Robbie Sherrard and Peter Washington. Victory in the Vintageants group went to British pair Phil Garratt and Kieron Brown in their 1937 Chevy Fangio Coupé.

Oulton Park turns 60

The 60th anniversary of the Oulton Park circuit will be celebrated during the Historic Sports Car Club’s annual Gold Cup meeting (August 25-26).

The programme includes a race for 500cc Formula 3 cars, of the type that contested the first race at the Cheshire track on August 8 1953. Tony Rolt won that day’s feature Formula 2 race in a Connaught and Les Leston won the F3 event, which was run over three 10-lap heats and a 17-lap final. The early track covered 1.5 miles, but within a year had been extended to 2.7 miles – approximately its present length.

To mark the anniversary, there will be a display of cars with significant Oulton Park history. The HSCC would welcome contact from anybody who owns one.

Fresh BRM initiative

A new BRM Association will nurture the legacy of British Racing Motors, the Grand Prix team that carried British hopes from the end of the Second World War.

BRM, which scored 17 Grand Prix wins before the team was finally disbanded in 1977, was initially created as a project for national prestige following the war.

The Association, formed by a small group of BRM enthusiasts, will provide a forum for car owners, former employees and enthusiasts. It has been set up with the support of the Owen family and marque expert Rick Hall.

Members’ benefits includes details of forthcoming BRM events. More information from [email protected].

Bahamas back on track

Motor racing will return to the Bahamas this winter for the first time in 47 years.

Improvements to the Arawak Cay circuit will allow full races to be held alongside the speed trials that have featured in recent editions of the Bahamas Speed Week Revival, which takes place on December 4-8.

Among the races will be one for Formula Junior, 50 years on from the last time the category raced on the islands. An event for classic Minis is also planned, with a 12-car grid limit.

The original Speed Week, held from 1954-1966, featured racing on the Oakes Airfield track and attracted many leading racers, including Stirling Moss.

* Goodwood has unveiled its new race control centre, which will be used for the first time at the Revival in September. The Credit Suisse building shares the same external features as its predecessor, but features a new interior designed by architect Brian Beardsmore. The building’s footpath will conceal a time capsule filled with racing artefacts, plus drawings of the circuit by local schoolchildren.


Robin Bryant

Successful former racer Robin Bryant has died, aged 77. Bryant won the 1000cc class of the Autosport Championship in 1960, in a semi-works Turner, and was contracted to Jack Brabham the following season. He was supposed to test Brabham’s first Formula Junior prototype, but was sidelined by a couple of accidents and Denny Hulme got the drive instead.

Frank Tiedeman

Frank Tiedeman, who founded the Monoposto Register in 1958, has died at the age of 92. The Cheltenham estate agent started racing in 1952 and was a key member of the 750MC in the 1950s before creating the Monoposto formula for single-seater racing cars. He raced in Formula Junior until he was almost 80 and then competed in an Austin 7 until 2006, when he finally stopped racing after more than 50 years.