The famous hillclimb's 80th anniversary will be marked as big names return to the Gloucestershire venue
Eighty years of the Prescott hillclimb course will be celebrated with a special event on Saturday July 14 featuring a reunion of former hill record holders.
As well as a full day of competitive action for a capacity entry of 150 cars, a raft of former outright record holders will gather at the Gloucestershire hill, which was first used on May 15, 1938.
It will take in a round of the Aldon Pre ’72 Championship and will feature a class of Bugattis. The hill has been owned and operated since the very start by the Bugatti Owners’ Club, which will mark its 90th anniversary next season.
Stuart Webster, general manager at Prescott, said: 'It will be an event to celebrate the 80-year history of Prescott involving as many hill record holders as possible. We’ve got more than 20 planning to come.'
When an extended version of the hill was opened in 1960, lengthening it from the original 880 yards to 1128 yards, David Boshier-Jones was the first record holder and he is planning to attend along with his brother Peter. Also expected are hillclimb grandees like David Franklin, Martin Bolsover, Martyn Griffiths, David Grace and Alister Douglas-Osborn, while Chris Cramer plans to compete in the Gould 84 and multiple British hillclimb champion Scott Moran will attend.
Some significant cars will be on static display including the Marsh 4WD and some record-holding Bugattis, while all of the record holders will climb into suitable cars for a lunchtime parade.
Can-Am cars could get back on track
Can-Am cars could race at Oulton Park for the first time in decades as the Pre ’80 Endurance Series joins the roster for the Gold Cup meeting in August.
New-for-2018 is a class for Can-Am cars and this move could return the monstrous sports-racers possibly for the first time since the Atlantic Computers GT Championship races at the circuit in the 1980s.
Also new is a revised race format of two 30-minute sprints per weekend and the schedule will include Silverstone GP (June 16/17) and Brands Hatch GP (June 30/July 1). The season concludes with the chance to race at Spa-Francorchamps (14-16 September).
Grahame White of the Historic Sports Car Clun said: 'There are not too many places to race a period Can-Am car these days so we hope that some of them will join the Pre ’80 grid.'
F5000s gather for Goodwood
A spectacular line-up of as many as to 30 Formula 5000s will take part in high-speed demonstration sessions at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting (March 17/18).
To mark the 50th anniversary of the US debut of the stock-block V8-engined single-seater category, a superb field of the cars from the late 1960s and 1970s will run at the Sussex track.
Cars from the category have never appeared in public at Goodwood and rarely, if ever, have 30 Formula 5000s graced one UK event.
Cars from Lola, Chevron, Trojan, McRae, McLaren, Shadow, Surtees, Gurney Eagle, March and the rare Hepworth Ferguson four-wheel drive hillclimb car will be at Goodwood.
Huff mixes old and new
World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff will race at least four historic cars this season amid programmes in the World and Chinese Touring Car Championships.
Huff will again race alongside Richard Meins and will cap his historic season in the Group C race at the Le Mans Classic in July. Huff will race a Spice while Meins enters his Silk Cut Jaguar.
The season starts at Goodwood when he shares a Ford Capri with Meins in the Gerry Marshall Trophy.
They will also race the famous ‘CUT 7’ Jaguar E-type and a Ford GT40 in the Spa Classic Six-Hours.
New retro event for Yorkshire
The organisers of Lombard Rally Bath have unveiled a new retro event for Yorkshire at the end of April 2019.
Mintex Rally Yorkshire will be a non-competitive event celebrating Yorkshire’s rallying heritage and priority will be given to those who missed out on an event for this October’s over-subscribed Bath event.
The new event will be based in York, period headquarters for the RAC Rally, and will follow a similar format to the Bath event with a tour on Saturday. The morning will include Harewood (hillclimb and house), Bramham Park and Esholt and the afternoon will include the asphalt military roads of Catterick Garrison.
Impney and BOC to share ERA Challenge Trophy
The Chateau Impney Hill Climb and the Bugatti Owners’ Club will be jointly awarding the ERA Challenge Trophy again this season. It will go to the best performance by an ERA or ERA-engined car at both La Vie en Bleu at Prescott and the Chateau Impney event, which run on back-to-back weekends in July.
Stratos in Spain
The sublime Lancia Stratos of Steve Perez will top the historic entries on the Rally Tendring and Clacton on April 22. The Stratos is regularly used on events like Rally Mallorca, but will now contest the first closed-road event in England. Other historic entries include James Slaughter (Escort Mk2), Peter Horsburgh (Mini Cooper S) and East Anglian ace Ben Friend in his Escort Mk2.
Return of winning Saab 96 V4
Blackpool-based Ian Clark showed his homage to the 1971 RAC Rally winning Saab 96 V4 at Race Retro. The result of three years of work, the Saab made its public debut at the Castle Combe Rallyday last September when Stig Blomqvist drove it, just as he did the 1971 winning works 96. Clark will now take part in October’s Bath-based RAC Rally retro event.
Busy year for Willie
Chris Willie is planning a full Historic F2 campaign in his Chevron B29 after a series of problems last year. The Cheltenham driver plans to start his season at Hockenheim in April. 'I raced a kart on the old Hockenheim track in the 1980s,' he said of his only previous visit to the German venue.
Two young newcomers have committed to the MGCC Sprite/Midget Challenge this season. Abigail Witt (22), who is new to racing, will follow her father Ian into the series in the Midget used by Peter Hiley to win the 1988 and ’89 titles, while 18-year-old Edward Weston will join his father Dave in a second class A Midget.
Classic 911 entries
Porsche ace and TVR Tuscan Challenge champion Phil Hindley will contest the new 2.0L Cup for pre-1966 versions of the Porsche 911 this season. Hindley will race a car owned by one of the clients of his Tech 9 Porsche business and hopes to tend another car for a customer. 'The cars are great fun to drive,' said Hindley of the new series created by Peter Auto in France.
Classic F3 for hire
The 2017 Classic F3 championship-winning Ralt RT3 is for hire for this season via Peter Sneller’s BIOS Sport operation. Gaius Ghinn owns the car and won last year’s title but cannot commit to a full programme this year so the car is available with full back-up from former racer Sneller’s team at a competitive price.
Charade visit for FF2000
The Historic FF2000 pack will have the chance to race at the famous Charade track in France at the end of May in a non-championship event. Series promoter Alan Morgan hopes to take enough cars for a stand-alone race at the track that is the modern iteration of the classic Clermont Ferrand French Grand Prix track.
Images courtesy of Paul Lawrence and LAT