New race tour for the UK in 2005
Tour Britannia, an exciting new race tour for historic cars, represents a new and unique event on the British motorsport calendar. The event, which will run from 5-8 September 2005, will be based in the heart of England and provide a wonderful opportunity for owners of pre-1976 road legal cars to compete in a high-quality fixture that tours some of the country's most prominent venues. Tour Britannia, which also celebrates 100 years of British motor sporting heritage, will run annually in association with the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), one of the most prestigious motor racing clubs in the world.
"This is a great new addition to the British motorsport calendar," confirmed Sir Jackie Stewart, President of the British Racing Drivers' Club. "It is something quite unique for historic car owners."
Tour Britannia, a four-day motorsport extravaganza for historic car owners, will have a central base in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, birthplace of William Shakespeare. It will start in this medieval market town on Monday 5 September and finish at the home of British motor racing, Silverstone Circuit, Northampton, on Thursday 8 September. The event, which is divided into two categories - Competition and Touring-Regularity - will visit some of the country's most renowned race circuits, including Silverstone Historic Grand Prix Circuit, Snetterton and Cadwell Park, as well as hill climb venues, sprint courses, stately homes and parks, including Belvoir Castle, the ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland for one thousand years. In total, the event will cover approximately 800 miles with an anticipated four races and seven speed tests.
Crews competing in the Competition category will have the opportunity to mix high-speed circuit racing with a rich variety of sealed-surfaced timed speed tests over non-damaging courses in the heart of the British countryside. Results from eight-lap circuit races will be combined with the times from the daily speed tests to determine the general classification.
Overall Tour Britannia honours however will be based on an index factor, allowing all crews - irrespective of the age and engine capacity of their cars - to fight for victory and the event's premier trophy.
Competitors in the precision-demanding Touring-Regularity category will complete five laps at each of the race circuits, with the emphasis being on consistency rather than outright speed. At all other venues, entrants in each class will be given a target time to achieve, with penalties applied for even a tenth of a second difference. In this exacting and calculating category, where electronic equipment will be prohibited, a major trophy will be awarded for the best Touring-Regularity performance.
Tour Britannia will run under the RACMSA sporting regulations. The event is open to drivers with pre-1976 road legal cars complying with FIA Appendix K technical rules.
One of the early entries came from Michael Schryver with his 1967 Chevron B6, a car that is more often seen powering around circuits. And, interestingly, one of the few people to have ever rallied a Chevron is the event's Commercial Director Alec Poole...
Three notable entries in the pre-war category include Germany's Rüdiger Friedrichs, who will be competing in a 1932 Alvis Speed 20, Gerry Leumann, from Switzerland, whose 1929 Invicta S-Type won its class at the 1929 TT at Ards and was a regular at Brooklands in the thirties, and Britain's Roger Saul, entered in an Alfa Romeo P3 Tipo B. All three have entered their magnificent machines in the competition category.
In contrast, American-powered machines will line-up together with these pre-war classics. Howard Redhouse has entered his 1965 Shelby GT350 alongside the sister car of David and Caroline Betts, while Philippe Olczyk will be competing in an extremely rare ex-factory 1965 Bizzarini P538-Chevrolet. An AC Cobra MkII 289 is also on the list.
Former touring car racer and regular European historic championship competitor Nick Faure has also added his name to the ever-increasing list of entries, wheeling out his recently found 1953 ex-James Dean Porsche 356 for the occasion.
Chris Sanders, Kerry Michael and Mike Smith have all entered 1970s Ford Escorts, while Norman Grimshaw brings along the only ex-works Mini Clubman in existence.
Neil Hatfield's 1952 Jaguar C-Type appeared at that year's Brussels Motor Show and was subsequently bought by the first F1 World Champion Giuseppe Farina. Andrew and Henry Fletcher bring their 1962 E-Type down from Scotland while an XK150S is entered in the Touring-Regularity category.
Further information can be found on www.tourbritannia.com, or by contacting the Tour Britannia office on +44 (0)1295 268888.
Text/Photos: Tour Brittania
ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter