Historic Motorsport Round-up: HERO rally demand flying high

The Historic Endurance Rally Organisation is considering enlarging its calendar as it attracts capacity grids in 2018

HERO struggles to meet demand

The Historic Endurance Rally Organisation is considering extending its calendar after most of its 2018 classic rallies filled up in the opening weeks of the year.

Events like the Scottish Malts in April and the Classic Marathon in June already have capacity entries, while November’s Rally of the Tests has taken over 100 entries and the challenging Le-Jog in December now has a full entry of 60 cars. The HERO team is now trying to extend the entry to cope with demand.

Demand for rallies that blend regularity sections with special tests is showing no signs of abating and HERO is now planning to add events to its schedule over the next two or three years.

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Mitchell gears up for 2018

Historic Formula Ford 1600 champion Richard Mitchell, now 25-years-old, will return to a full race programme this season by sharing two cars with Tim Parsons.

The duo will campaign an Alfa Romeo GTA in the Classic Sports Car Club’s Swinging 60s Series as well as a BMW E21 Alpina in Future Classics.

Mitchell, who has been coaching racing newcomer Parsons, has not contested a full season since winning the HFF1600 crown with the Speedsport team in 2015 and only raced once last year due to lack of funds.

The Exeter-based racer now hopes to further his reputation in the historic arena. 'I’d love to move up the historic racing ladder,' he said.

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Racing Royale ripe for restoration

A Royale RP11 Formula 3 car from 1972 has recently been rescued from a garden where it had been stored under a tarpaulin for 30 years.

David Cranage discovered the car by chance and persuaded the owner to sell the sorry remains of chassis RP11/6, a 1600cc F3 car used by the works team in period.

The chassis, one of only eight, could have been a replacement for Tom Pryce in 1972 when his first chassis was hit by another car at Monaco and wrecked.

'I’m sure it is worth restoring,' said Cranage. 'I’d like to research it and see it properly restored.'

Other great cars

Race Retro 2019 date

Following the success of the 2018 edition of Race Retro, the date for 2019 event has been confirmed as February 22-24. Over 23,000 visitors attended last month’s show, which marked a 10 percent increase over the previous year. Star guests Miki Biasion and Brian Redman were greatly in demand for interviews and autographs.

Sports 2000s embraced by Classic Clubmans

After a couple of seasons running on an invitation basis, historic Sports 2000s will have a dedicated class within the Historic Sports Car Club Classic Clubmans Championship. A growing number of pre ’85 Pinto-powered Sports 2000 have raced with the front-engined Clubmans and the arrangement has now been put on a permanent footing.

Bromyard Festival relocates

After two demonstration events around the town centre roads of Bromyard in Herefordshire, the Bromyard Speed Festival is moving to nearby Shelsley Walsh for the 2018 edition. A mix of road and competition cars will tackle the famous hill on Sunday April 8 under the ‘BSF on Tour’ heading. Rally cars, single-seaters and historics will all be in action.

Jersey specials

Two popular events on Jersey will cater for pre ’93 cars this summer. The Jersey International Motoring Festival (June 1-3) features an evening sprint followed by two hillclimbs, while the Jersey Speed Festival (August 25/26) will feature two days on the competition on the 1074m Greve de Lecq hillclimb course.

Tweaks to Classic Racing Car Series

The HSCC has re-affirmed its commitment to the Classic Racing Car Series, with a re-work of car eligibility and an attractive calendar of races for 2018. The focus will return to the category’s origins as a series for racing cars from the era before wings and slicks and the schedule starts at Donington Park on April 8.

Motorsport auction success

Nearly £900,000 was taken in the Silverstone Auctions Competition Car Sale at Race Retro, including £182,250 for the Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth that won the 1990 British Touring Car Championship with Robb Gravett. The ex-Colin McRae Ford Focus WRC from 1999 sold for £126,500.

Historic Asphalt Rally axed

The opening round of the Historic Asphalt Rally Championship was a casualty of the snow and ice over the weekend. The Bovington Stages in Dorset was postponed due to the conditions, so the opening championship round will now be the Salamandre Rally in Belgium on April 22. The Bovington event is now planned for August 11/12.

La Vie en Bleu celebration

French and Italian cars will be celebrated at Prescott in May at the 2018 edition of La Vie en Bleu incorporating La Vita Rossa. The weekend of May 26/27 will include a round of the Ferrari Hillclimb Championship, a class for ERAs and demonstration runs by Duncan Pittaway in the ‘Beast of Turin’, the 1911 Fiat S76 land speed record challenger.

Images courtesy of Paul Lawrence and LAT

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