Alongside the re-launch of the Championship website, we are reviving “News & Gossip” so that we can keep everyone in touch with competitors’ plans, car movements, circuit news and other relevant topics. If you have anything you wish to have included, please e-mail Michael Lindsay on [email protected] or call on 01223-891219.
There are some changes in the car line-up at Peak Alfa this year. Team boss and championship Panel member Roger Evans has built himself a 156 GTA to run in Class C and his double title winning 147 is now for sale. Roger’s modified GTV, which we saw in its latest incarnation (minus big wing!) at Silverstone in October, has been bought by Graham Seager who says that he has always had an ambition to run an A1 car. He will certainly be in the mix for overall wins this year.
Graham Seager’s successful Class C GTV has been bought by Will Winterson who raced a Class C (or D was it then?!) 33 back in the late 80s and early 90s before moving on to the ex Chris Snowdon/Jerry Odhams GTV6 in 2000. Sadly we saw little of the GTV6 in Will’s hands but it has now been bought by Ian Stapleton and it will be interesting to see what he intends to do with it in the future.
Another with ambitions to do something different is double Alfa Champion Ted Pearson who recently tested a Classic Formula Ford 1989 Crossle at Donington. His lap times would have put him in the top ten in qualifying for the final race there last season. He has now bought the car and also tested at Brands where he ended a mere 0.4” off last year’s best pole position only to find out that this would have left him 9th on the grid!! His first races in the car will be at Donington over the weekend March 22/23 and we wish him luck with his new venture.
Chris Snowdon says that he hopes to fit in 3 or 4 meetings this year with John Sismey’s class A2 33 16v. However, he also has another exciting Alfa project near to completion, this being a replica 1982 Group A GTV6 as raced by Lella Lombardi and Anna Cambiaghi in the 1982 European Touring Car Championship in the white and green colours of Alpilatte. The car is based on of the first 25 GTV6s to come into the country which Chris bought from past Alfa racer, Ken Waite. When I talked to Chris the other day, it was “all hands to the pump” to get it ready for the Goodwood Members Meeting at the end of the month where it was planned that it would be co-driven by ex F1 driver, Rupert Keegan. We might see Chris run it in the occasional Alfa championship race although he also has his 3 litre 24v 75 to fall back on.
Also in the CSR stable is the very smart 75 3 litre that George Osborne ran for the first time at Silverstone in October. It could be that the next time we see it the specification will have moved the car into Class A1.
Spur Motorsport are looking forward to a busy season, starting at Silverstone (April 6) where Chris Healey and Tom Eastwood will be racing their 156 and 145 respectively. Matt Daly’s 145 suffered more damage in the last lap Thruxton accident than at first thought and a “donor” car has been bought to source a replacement chassis leg. He will not be at Silverstone but has hopes for Donington. We may see Ian Brookfield racing his 164 at some point during the year and as Chris Healey can’t do all the races, there is distinct possibility that 2010 Champion Mel Healey will make her racing return at some point in 2014.
Ron Davidson has long had a plan to build another 164 for racing and we understand that preparation is well underway. He will probably race this at the three listed AROC meetings for cars built prior to 1991 – Cadwell (July 26/27) Brands Indy (September 27/28) and Oulton (October 25). Ron will keep the Class C GTV for Alfa Championship outings.
Chris Tate, who those with long memories will recall racing a 116 Giulietta and then a 75 in the Alfa Championship between 1992 and 2002, is of course now MD at Donington and he recently revealed ambitious plans for the circuit which include the establishment of the headquarters for the new Formula E there. The infield will see new spectator banks but more controversial is the removal of the historic Starkey’s Bridge just after the Old Hairpin. As an occasional commentator, I was also interested to read that the old PA system will disappear, to be replaced by links to the commentary and live timing on your Smartphone for which a free App will be provided. I’m not sure that the loss of atmosphere generated by the old style commentary will improve the show although I do admit to using FM Radio Silverstone at times during a noisy Grand Prix or Endurance race. The only problem was that I was so engrossed by the words of Ian Titchmarsh and Co that nobody could have a “wow, look at that!” conversation with me as an Alain Prost’s Renault Turbo thundered by.
Cruciate ligament damage looks like affecting a couple of our drivers plans for 2014. James Thomas hurt his knee while ski-ing a couple of months ago and Nick Anderson slipped over on a disabled slope! When I last talked to Nick he was sitting helping Louise West who was sorting out the rear suspension of Nick’s A2 33 while James was looking at a possible 8 month recuperation.
Andy Inman has now bought the ex Paul Buckley 156, his faithful old black and white car having been consigned to the scrap heap. As before, he will be racing with Avon Racing, now slimmed down somewhat as the six car transporter has been sold and replaced by more manageable size vehicle. This means that we shall probably only see two, or on occasions three, Avon cars at most meetings.
Looks as though Bianco Auto Developments are going to have a very busy year if a recent conversation with Gary Walker is anything to go by. Bianco will be looking after the 156s of front running James Ford and James Bishop once again and the team also now has two renta’ 156s – the car that Stacey Dennis drove at Silverstone will be raced by associate championship sponsor Grove & Dean’s Andy Hancock, while Stacey will drive the ex Shaun Hazlewood car. Tom Herbert has also rebuilt his 156 for the new season. Now in the fold is the ex Emma Karwacki 147 which will be driven by Steve Potts(with past Porsche experience), joining the similar cars of Silverstone wet race winner Jon Billingsley and the ex Tim Perry 147 that has been bought by Steve O’Brien. And don’t forget the ex Ian Fisher 156 3 litre that will be a spare “fun” car and Paul Plant’s fleet which includes his Class E 156. Will there be room inside the team marquee I hear you ask?!
Will Inglis has been working hard on plans for our TV coverage in 2014 and we look forward to giving you details soon.