Elsewhere, Sebring readies for Spring Fling, USRRC tribute set, SCCA turns 75
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of his first Formula One driving championship and to mark his 80th birthday, the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed will stage a “double-celebration” of the life and career of Jackie Stewart.
As part of the celebration, to be held July 4-7, many of the cars Stewart raced will be on display.
“The gathering of the very best road, race and rally cars in the world makes the Festival of Speed one of the great events in our country,” Stewart is quoted in the Goodwood announcement. “This year, I am very proud that the Duke of Richmond has chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my first British Grand Prix win at Silverstone in 1969 and, in the same year, my winning the World Championship for the first time.
“This June also, almost unbelievably, celebrates my 80th birthday. Goodwood have assembled a number of special cars from my career, and I hope to drive as many as I can over the weekend.”
Stewart entered his first race in 1961 in a Marcos Xylon Special. A year later he drove a Cooper T49 to victory at Goodwood. Goodwood track manager Robin Mackay was impressed enough to recommend the Scottish youngster to team owner Ken Tyrrell, who gave Stewart a test drive and then signed him to his Formula 3 team.
HSR Spring Fling offers longer races
Historic Sportscar Racing’s Spring Flint at Sebring will feature longer races at the annual event, scheduled this year for March 28-31.
Events in the B.R.M. Chronographes Endurance Challenge have been expanded to 90 minutes and a fourth qualifying session has been added for all run groups, HSR said. An unofficial test day event also will be held on Thursday.
A highlight of the Spring Fling will be a race group for pre-war cars, which have been modified only with modern tires and such safety equipment as roll bars.
USRRC tribute series set for 2019 debut
California’s Classic Sports Racing Group 4 will stage a three-race series “and friendly championship” for all cars that were eligible for the U.S. Road Racing Championship’s over- and under-2-liter competitions from 1963-1968, the group has announced.
The competition begins April 13-14 at Sonoma Raceway in northern California. Other events are set for May 3-5 at Thunderhill and October 4-6 at Sonoma.
Previously a race group for under-2-liter sports racers, Group 4 will expand to two classes. If the 2019 series is successful, the group hopes to add events for its 2020 schedule.
Aston Martin Heritage Racing launches
Aston Martin has partnered with Masters Historic Racing to launch the Aston Martin Heritage Racing Festival Series for historic Aston Martin GT1, GT2, GT3, GT4 and GTE cars, in addition to an invitational class, the British auto company has announced. The series debuts March 29-31 as part of the Le Castellet Motors Cup weekend at the Paul Ricard circuit in France.
Other series events are scheduled for Monza, Magny Cours, Silverstone, Nurburgring and Spa during 2019.
SCCA turns 75
In February 1944, seven sports car enthusiasts gathered in Boston to form a club dedicated to the preservation of sports cars. Their meeting marked the founding of the Sports Car Club of America, which in 2019 celebrates its 75th anniversary with 67,500 members in 116 regions conducting more than 2,000 motorsports events each year.
That’s considerable growth considering that the original constitution required that not only would new members have to be sponsored by a current member, and seconded by another, but would have to be elected by unanimous vote of the club’s officers.
In case you’re interested, among the cars owned back in 1944 by the SCCA’s founding fathers were a Duesenberg Model J double-cowl Phaeton, Lancia Lambda 5th series roadster, Kissel Speedster, Stutz DV 32 sports tourer, Mercer Series 4 Raceabout, Isotta Fraschini type 8A Castagna convertible coupe and a Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot Phaeton.