Historic Motorsport: Rare Chevron B8 returns after 15 years

Mapping out its precise history is still an ongoing process, but Alex Ames is nearing the end of a 15-year rebuild on his rare Chevron B8

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A Chevron B8 that has not been seen in public for at least 15 years returned to the track at Silverstone last week when Alex Ames shook down the car he will race with his father Richard.

The B8 has been under-going a slow rebuild for 15 years since it was bought from former Chevron owner Chris Smith. It is a very original car based on a period Arch Motors chassis, but its competition history is yet to be researched.

'We don’t know when it last ran on a track,' said Ames, who ran it during the Historic Grand Prix Car Association test day on Friday. 'It has taken for ever to get it finished. It is a proper period car on one of the last Arch Motors chassis and we think the bodywork is to road car specification as it is very heavy.'

The spur to get the car finished came when it was granted an entry for the Le Mans Classic, when Alex and Richard plan to share the car. A run in the Chevron race at the Oulton Park Gold Cup is also a possibility as the 50th anniversary of the model is celebrated.

'We plan to run it in Duckhams colours and we’ve tried to rebuild it faithfully to period specification with a Hewland gearbox and a BMW engine from Craig Beck,' said Alex. 'Martin O’Connell has done some of the work as he has several B8s in his workshops.'

Historic rally cars tackle Kielder

The MSA British Historic Rally Championship is wide open heading into round two on Saturday (the Pirelli Rally) as the top two crews from round one are absent.

Nick Elliott and Dave Price, winners on Rally North Wales, always planned to miss the Pirelli due to a major family commitment for Elliott, while Marty McCormack is returning to his Skoda R5 for the British Rally Championship section of the rally.

Making his 2018 BHRC debut after missing North Wales due to business commitments is Matthew Robinson, so it is Northern Irishman Paul Barrett who is best-placed to move ahead in the overall points.

Ranged against Barrett will be more quick Escort Mk2s for Steve Bennett, Rudi Lancaster, Alan Walker and Simon Webster as well as the Avenger-BRM of Ieuan Rowlands.

The BHRC crews will tackle four stages in the central block of Kielder, running ahead of the BRC section of the rally.

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F1 Scirocco back on track

One of the three Scirocco-BRM Grand Prix cars from 1963 is back in the UK for a European programme this season with owner Harindra Da Silva.

Three cars were built in the UK by Roy Thomas with US funding via team driver Tony Settember. US-based Da Silva’s car is the second chassis, which is markedly smaller as it was built for the diminutive Ian Burgess. It was later found stored in a mill in Bristol.

Now restored by Hall and Hall, it has run at Goodwood in recent times but is now in Europe for a fuller programme with Da Silva. However, he will miss Monaco as it clashes with his son’s university graduation in California.

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Ex-Gerard Cooper has new home

The unique Cooper T71/73 grand prix car will be raced by Formula Junior racer Chris Drake this season after 22 seasons in the hands of Alan Baillie.

The 1964 1.5-litre car was originally built up by privateer Bob Gerard and was notably raced by John Taylor and Piers Courage in period. Baillie has owned and raced the car since 1997 but finally sold it to Drake a couple of months ago.

'I’ve been trying to buy this car for 10 years,' said Drake, who has taken it back to original Gerard colours. He had a first run at Silverstone over the weekend and will now take it to Monaco.

South African Rover set for UK debut

Patrick Blakeney-Edwards and Fred Wakeman will branch out from racing period sportscars to field a Group 2 Rover Vitesse in the Historic Touring Car Challenge.

They recently bought the car, which raced in South Africa in period and contested the Kyalami 9-Hours in 1981 and ’82. It was originally built by Dave Price Racing and came back to the UK to be restored by BGM Sport in 2014 for Tim Summers.

Now Blakeney-Edwards and Wakeman will race it alongside their sports cars, starting at the Donington Historic Festival. 'We had a shakedown at Silverstone and it’s fantastic,' he said.

Webb begins 40th racing season

Clubmans racer Barry Webb started his 40th season of racing at Snetterton on Saturday in his Classic Clubmans Mallock Mk16BW. Webb first raced in Formula 1300 in 1975 but switched to Clubmans in 1979 and has only missed three seasons since then.

Dixies Challenge attracts over 30 historics

Over 30 historics, including a strong field of Minis, will contest Sunday’s Dixies Challenge Rally over the Epynt ranges. The event is a round of the Historic Rally Car Register Old Stager Championship and the Mini Cup and the field is headed by Ray Cunningham. It will be a second visit to Epynt for the Galway Mini expert.

Novice racer Colin Ralph made his race debut at Snetterton in a Classic Clubmans Mallock Mk16. Bedfordshire-based Ralph has helped championship pacesetter Mark Charteris run his Mallock Mk20/21 in recent seasons and has now built up a Formula Ford Kent-engined car for his own use.

Hans Peter F2 brace

German racer Hans Peter scored a double win as the Historic Sports Car Club Historic Formula 2 season started at Hockenheim. As the event celebrated the life of Jim Clark, Peter kept his Ralt RT1 ahead of current champion Robert Simac (March 712M) and Swedish racer Torgny Johansson (March 782) in both races run in very hot conditions in front of a big crowd.

Jacks learning from Historic F1 champ Stretton

Racing newcomers father and son Roderick and Patrick Jack are currently gathering licence signatures with a Lotus Elan and finished tenth in the Guards Trophy race at Snetterton. They are racing under the wing of Martin Stretton and have plans to race historics at international events once they have achieved the relevant licence status.

New 911 for Williams

70s Road Sports racer John Williams has switched to a different Porsche 911 this season after rebuilding the car he first prepared for the Porsche Classic Championship in 1998. The car he raced last year has now gone to Chris Berry, who owned it originally, and is due to join the grid mid-season. Berry, another Classic contender 20 years ago, will be ending a long break from racing.

New power for Clark's old Lotus

John Chisholm had had his ex-Jim Clark Lotus 18 Grand Prix car fitted with a 1500cc Coventry Climax engine ahead of the Monaco Historic Grand Prix. The car will run in the same trim as in 1961/62 but will also return to a 2.5-litre Climax engine, as it ran in 1960, at certain events including the Silverstone Classic.

Images courtesy of Paul Lawrence

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