A new race series is to recall the first years of the European Touring Car Championship the Historic Racing Driver Club (HRDC) starting a series for the Group 2 touring cars from 1963.
Julius Thurgood, HRDC founder and race director hopes the new series will attract a wider range of cars, compared to those typically found in historic touring car racing representing the early seasons of the ETCC.
“It is clear that certain models have now become ‘the weapon of choice’ in pre-’66 historic touring car races, so much so that hardly any true-to-period variety is to be seen in this arena,” he says.
Thurgood's inspiration, to an extent, comes from a single race in 1963 – 'The Motor' 6 Hours at Brands Hatch. The event included a huge variety of cars – Ford Zodiacs, Fiat Abarths, Lancia Flavias and Volvo Amazons – driven by star drivers, or drivers destined to be stars, including Roy Salvadori and Denny Hulme who shared a Jaguar MkII.
Thurgood laments; “nowadays, where can you see a proper Jaguar Mk2 running competitively, or, for that matter, a Lancia Flavia or Flaminia coupe, Alfa Romeo 2600 or early Giulia Ti, Vauxhall VX4/90, Mercedes-Benz 300SE, MG 1100, Mini 850, Ford Zodiac Mk3 or even an early model Ford Cortina GT?”
“I know that many of these cars exist in historic race form, but most have been mothballed by disheartened owners, who have given up any hope of competing on a level playing field against over-developed homologation specials. I truly feel that there is a strong demand for these early, less-developed, cars to make a dynamic return to historic racing within a well managed series.”
In order to maintain parity the series excludes 'homologation specials' – most notably the Lotus Cortina.
The new series will run alongside the HRDC's established series, 'Touring Greats' (for pre-1960 touring cars) and 'Grand Touring Greats' (for pre-1966 GTs with less than 1500cc engines) and will be called 'TC63 Touring Greats'.
Interested owners of eligible cars are invited to contact Julian Thurgood at [email protected] or on 01926 885835.