Monday, 18 February 2019



The largest single-entry team to compete in this year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo Classique has returned home after a 1,300-mile endurance road rallye battling alpine passes and sub-zero conditions.
Led by three-time Rallye Monte-Carlo Classique finishers, Blue Diamond Riley Services, all cars finished the winter rallye. With five pre-war Rileys competing, alongside one post-war MG, it made the total to six cars within the team, four of which were prepared by the specialist experts.
Starting their journey from Clydebank, Scotland on 30 January and finishing in Monaco 3 February, each car and driver overcame sleep deprivation, extreme weather and working with their Thirties and Forties car’s technology.
Being the only team to tackle the grueling 1,300-mile journey in pre-war sports cars on this year’s rallye wasn’t a small undertaking. With some cars only having a thin cotton roof and dim lights for the night passages, it was true testament to the drivers’ skills, co-drivers’ navigating, as well as the mechanical team’s support.
One stand-out pairing of the whole team was that of ex-car designers Adam Gompertz and Craig Callum. Driving the 1949 MG TC, the duo entered the rallye to raise awareness and much-needed funds for mental health charity OCD Action. With the pair battling high-altitude passes and varying conditions of between -10 degrees and a balmy 15 degrees, it was also a test of patience, endurance and teamwork.
“What a journey! It’s finally hit home what we’ve all been through as friends, teammates and drivers. Not to mention how incredible the cars have been,” said Blue Diamond Riley Services’ Managing Director John Lomas. “We’re retracing history but with modern know-how and much-needed wet weather kit. Would I do it all again? Absolutely! 2020 here we come.”
Lomas drove his 1936 Riley Sprite 2,800 miles from the company’s Bicester Heritage workshop to the official start line in Scotland. With his co-driver, Martin Greaves, the pair then undertook the official rallye journey and drove back to Bicester Heritage from the finishing point in Monaco.
“The Sprite was faultless. For it to do 2,800 miles in eight days is incredible. My co-driver Martin, the rest of my team, and the other drivers have been an immense support. Now it’s time to wash the road grime off it and press it back into action for the daily commute and school run.”
Riley, a name synonymous with pre-war endurance road and track racing, is being revived by established specialists, Blue Diamond Riley Services. The company has participated in a range of well-known endurance rallyes, including The Flying Scotsman, 1,000 Mile Trial, VSCC events and recently the Rallye Monte-Carlo Classique. Understanding the importance in well-prepared cars as well as teamwork, Blue Diamond Riley Services sponsored the official stop of the Rallye Monte-Carlo Classique in Banbury, Oxfordshire, which was open for free maintenance and mechanical support for competitors that also started from Clydebank, Scotland.
The Blue Diamond Riley Services team is already preparing cars for the 2020 season, with plans of having an even larger team for next year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo Classique. To discuss what Blue Diamond Riley Services can offer in terms of preparation or guidance about endurance events, please contact the company’s Managing Director, John Lomas.
A full list of entrants of this year’s Blue Diamond Riley Services Rallye Monte-Carlo Classique team:
1931 Riley 9 WD Tourer
1933 Riley 9 Monaco
1933 Riley 12/4 Kestrel
1935 Riley Sprite
1936 Riley Sprite
1949 MG TC

Wednesday, 13 February 2019



The Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard is evolving into even more of a motoring mecca in 2019. Changes to the physical layout, with the relocation of the road car paddocks, will make way for an all-new live action arena guaranteed to thrill spectators. The four-day Festival, this year taking place on 4-7 July, is always looking to the future in making sure the newest and most exciting cars, bikes and technologies are very much part of the mix.
The first change for 2019 will be the relocation of the Michelin Supercar Paddock. In previous years, it has been located in the Cathedral Paddock. This year it will relocate to the space adjacent to the start line of the Hill, that used to be home to the Moving Motor Show. A firm favourite with our younger audiences, visitors will be able to get up close and personal with the most exciting and inspiring road cars in the world, all pushing the boundaries of technology.
With a large space now free in the Cathedral Paddock, an all-new attraction ‘The Arena’, will be introduced here. It will be the first time Goodwood has created an amphitheatre of action this extreme. Throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday visitors will be in awe, witnessing drift cars shredding tyres, stunt drivers doing the daring, insane and unimaginable with car and motorcycle displays. The Arena will showcase some of the biggest stars and daredevils and allow fans to interact with their heroes.
Another paddock set to relocate is the First Glance Paddock. It will find a new home next to FoS Future Lab, nestled right amongst all the manufacturer stands. The First Glance Paddock, combined with FoS Future Lab, will be the hub of pioneering engineering achievement, with the latest cars and technology alongside each other. FoS Future Lab, now in its third year, is an immersive technology experience, where visitors take a look into the future and experience the technology of tomorrow first hand. Last year, favourites included Roborace and JetPack Aviation’s incredible ‘jet pack man’.
The Goodwood Action Sports zone, affectionately known as GAS, will also get an injection of new content, the much-loved shows featuring the incredible talent of BMX, mountain bikers, trials riders and freestyle motocross will remain, but be joined by new features such as an e-gaming area.
Finally, Sunday is getting supercharged! After three days of practice runs the fastest cars of the weekend will enter the Sunday Shootout and attempt to beat the 41.6-second record time that has stood for 20 years. Supercars, touring cars, electric cars and specially-built Hillclimb monsters will battle to be crowned the fastest car of the event. The three fastest cars will be displayed outside Goodwood House after the Shootout for fans to get close to.
The Duke of Richmond, founder of the Festival of Speed said, “While celebrating the Silver Jubilee of the Festival of Speed last year we enjoyed record attendance. We’ve seen an incredible 4 million visitors through the event gates over the last quarter of a century. We’re always very conscious of looking to the future as much as we are celebrating the past. We hope with Future Lab, and the relocation of the paddocks to make way for the new live-action arena, there really is something to represent every area of motorsport and technology. There is something to appeal to all, from the youngest in the family to the most hardcore motorsport fan.”
Tickets for the Festival of Speed are available from and from Goodwood Customer Sales on 01243 755 055.



A 112-year-old Mototri Contal three-wheeler is set to take on the 2019 Peking to Paris, aiming to finish a 13,840 km journey it started in 1907.
The first Peking to Paris (P2P) ran in 1907, five competitors accepting a seemingly impossible challenge. Amongst them was a French three-wheeled Mototri Contal piloted by an ambitious duo, Frenchman Auguste Pons and Oscar Foucauld. A story of struggles and triumphs eventually saw them, and their three-wheeler, stranded in the Gobi Desert. The story ended with the crew attempting to walk back to Peking, almost losing their lives in the process.
But now Anton Gonnissen (58) a successful architect from Sint-Martens-Latem near Ghent in Belgium will attempt to rewrite history by starting the 2019 Peking Paris Rally in a rebuilt second Mototri Contal and bring her back to Paris, a feat the brave Pons failed to do in 1907. Inspired by the story that almost cost Pons and his co-driver Foucauld their lives, Anton Gonnissen set about acquiring an original Mototri Contal. He reached out to many for support and all, including the Rally Director of the Endurance Rally Association, who asked: “Are you mad Anton?”
On the contrary, Anton Gonnissen is an accomplished modern-day adventurer who has finished three Dakars, four Rallies of Egypt, and one UAE desert rally variously in a car, truck and on a quad bike. He is taking this bold venture very seriously and intends to make the impossible journey possible, using all his experience from his previous adventures.
Gonnissen eventually found one of the very few Mototri Contal’s left in the world together with its original manual and went about making the necessary study of the antique machine following a structural test by Ghent University. Some improvements have been made to the chassis, wheels and engine, although, as with the original Mototri Contal, there is no rear suspension together with the 1906 crude springing still on the front. The navigator will sit over the front axle perched out front in what has long been christened the ‘suicide seat’, or as the French said: ‘le tue belle-mère’.
Brave navigator, Belgian Herman Gelan, an interior architect from Ghent, will be in that seat perched out front as Foucauld was all those years ago. Herman is an accomplished triathlon and marathon runner, a passion he shares with Anton. However, he is being thrown in at the deep end as this will be his first motor sport event, he is a total novice. 
Anton Gonnissen will be behind him steering the trike from over the rear wheel for 36 days, 13,840 km (8,600 miles) aiming to finish in Paris six weeks later. The only concession to comfort for the endurance rally specialist from Belgium is a Harley Davidson saddle in place of the original bottom crusher.
Anton Gonnissen: “The story for Auguste Pons was a short one. Stranded without petrol early in the race they couldn’t be rescued by the other competitors as they were ahead of them. They ended up drinking the water out of the radiator and then started their perilously long walk back to Peking in the heat. They nearly died and the Contal is still out there covered by sand somewhere.
“Auguste Pons and navigator Oscar Foucauld were the only men not to eventually make it back to Paris so we intend to lay that ghost to rest and exercise their long lost spirits. Pons was certainly the bravest of the five competitors in the race, as he attempted the absolute impossible race. He lost everything in the Gobi Desert, even his 1906 driving licence was left in the trike when the Contal was abandoned. However, we did find his 1908 replacement document.
“As it is one of the few original Mototri Contal, we have tried to keep as many original parts as possible which is why some components of the original trike will be in place. In some cases, we have simply had to beef up the chassis with the endurance rally and the finish in mind.
 “We are nearly ready to start testing the Mototri Contal which has to be ready to be shipped to China in early March. We want to be prepared but I am not underestimating the formidable challenge ahead. We know this will be a life-changing event, but it could turn us, ordinary men, into heroes if we can get the Mototri Contal all the way to Paris and finish the job for Auguste Pons 112 years on.”
*Testing of the Contal Mototri will begin in February. A further release with VT/ photos from the tests will be distributed in early March. Please kindly indicate if you would like to receive the material and follow the story as it unfolds.
*Please also follow Anton Gonnissen’s blog here.



Racing and Rally legends will once again gather at Race Retro, powered by Motor Sport, as racing drivers John Watson and John Fitzpatrick make their show debut alongside returning rally legend Rauno Aaltonen.

Held at Stoneleigh Park from 22-24 February, Race Retro welcomes Formula One driver turned pundit John Watson, who won five Grands Prix and was third in the 1982 championship.

Born in Belfast, John’s F1 career started in 1972 at Goldie Hexagon Racing but his first World Champion event wasn’t until the following year when he drove a Brabham-Ford BT37. Moving on to the BT42, John scored his first championship point in the 1974 Monaco Grand Prix. Drives with Team Surtees, Lotus and Penske followed.

John’s first World Championship podium came in 1976 coming third in the French Grand Prix with a victory to follow in the Austrian Grand Prix driving the Penske.

In 1979, Watson moved to McLaren where he gave them their first victory in over three years by winning the 1981 British Grand Prix and also securing the first victory for a carbon fibre composite monocoque F1 car, the McLaren MP4/1.

His most successful year was 1982, when he finished third in the Drivers' Championship, winning two Grands Prix before he retired from F1 at the end of the 1983 season, turning to sports car racing. John partnered Stefan Bellof to victory in the Fuji 1000km and drove a Jaguar XJR-5 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans seven times over the course of his career between 1973 and 1990 and came second in the World Sports Car Championship in 1987.

John Fitzpatrick raced professionally for over 20 years in Touring Cars, Sports Cars and GTs and was considered one of the best Porsche drivers of his era. He began his career driving Touring cars in the BSCC and ETCC, winning the British Saloon Car Championship in 1966. First it was Minis, then Ford Anglias and Escorts; BMW CSs and then Porsche 911s. He then became renowned for his expertise at driving the German machines.
John was crowned European GT Champion in 1972, and then again in 1974. He moved to the United States in 1980, driving for Dick Barbour Racing, capturing the IMSA Camel GT Championship in the process. He won the prestigious Porsche Cup in 1972, 1974 and 1980. His most prestigious wins were the Daytona 24-hours, Sebring 12-hours and the Bathurst 1000kms in Australia.

In 1981, he moved from driver to team owner-driver, with some success and spent eight years as Secretary of the British Racing Drivers Club and Director of Silverstone Circuit.

Joining these legendary racers is Finnish rally legend Rauno Aaltonen. Known as one of the Flying Finns of rallying, Rauno started his career on speed boats and later moved on to motorcycles competing in road racing, speedway and motocross. He was the first Finn to win a Grand Prix motorcycle racing competition.

Before the World Rally Championship was established, Rauno competed in the European Rally Championship, winning in 1965 with co-driver Tony Ambrose. He also won the Finnish Rally Championship in 1961 and 1965.

In 1966, he partnered Bob Holden in Australia to win the premier touring car race, the Gallaher 500, in a Mini Cooper S at Mount Panorama in New South Wales.

Aaltonen finished second on six occasions in the Safari Rally, which is considered one of the most difficult courses in rallying earning him the nickname of ‘The Rally Professor’.

This amazing trio will all be interviewed on the Motor Sport Live Stage on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February as well as taking part in Q&A sessions and autograph signings.

Tickets are now on sale for Race Retro, powered by Motor Sport, held from February 22-24, 2019 at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, with free parking for all visitors. For the latest updates and ticket information, visit

Tuesday, 12 February 2019


The first of this year’s three FIVA World Rallies take place in Austria, from 22 to 26 May 2019, and is open to any vehicle built up to 1980 with a valid FIVA ID Card – not just to members of FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens or international federation of historic vehicles).
“The Austria Classic is intended as a ‘regularity event and/or touristic discovery trip’ to enjoy not only driving your own historic vehicle, but also the architectural, geographical and cultural diversity of Austria,” explains Robert Krickl, president of OMVV (Austrian Motor-Veteran-Federation) and OMVC (Austrian Motor-Veteran-Club), the FIVA clubs organising the Austria Classic.
Starting and finishing at the Radisson Blu Park Royal Palace Hotel in Vienna, the event is a 650km run round Vienna, Wachau, Burgenland and the Semmering region, with a choice of two classes to enter: one for Regularity (Classic) competitors and one for Touring (Trophy) participants.
Wachau, which will be explored on the first full day of the rally, is a part of Austria renowned for its picturesque landscapes: rolling hills that stretch along the Danube river. Other reasons for its popularity with visitors include the region’s high-quality wines.
On the second day, participants will head for Burgenland, the easternmost province of Austria. Once part of the Kingdom of Hungary, Burgenland is characterised by Neusiedler Lake in the north and the foothills of the Alps in the hilly south.
Day three, and the tour will visit the Semmering region, since the 19th Century a popular holiday destination for Viennese ‘high society’. Not only did the nobility gather in the fashionable villas (Emperor Karl I often spent holidays here), but also artists. Today, the Semmering is an extremely popular venue for classic car rallies and historic motorsport events, helped by its history: in 1899, for example, the first Semmering mountain race was held, a 10km race for automobiles and motorcycles. It ran almost every year until 1933, with winners including such famous names as Rudolf Caracciola and Hans Stuck.
“We look forward to welcoming historic vehicle owners from many different countries to join our exploration of Austria, in company with other enthusiasts who are keen to meet new people, while enjoying their cars and the spectacular Austrian scenery and culture,” concludes Robert Krickl.
To register for the Austria Classic, please visit The entry fee is €1,300 per person, plus hotel accommodation @ circa €125 per night, and registrations are open until 30 March 2019.



Evolution E-Types is all set to steal the show at this week’s London Classic Car Show, with the unveiling of a brand new all aluminium bodied E-Type Roadster. The new Roadster is the first of its kind to come out of the Evolution workshop and is due to be unveiled by its creator, engineer and E-Type guru Uryk Dmyterko and the Evolution team at the London Classic Car Show when it opens to the public this Thursday 14-17 February at London’s Excel.
Evolution are not just another Jaguar E-Type restorer, E-Type Fabs is already recognised as the World’s leading supplier of E-Type parts with their; High Strength Chassis Frames; Solid Billet Machined Aluminium Cam Covers; and the most recent development their Aluminium 5 Speed Gearbox, to name just a few. Now the world’s leading parts supplier has taken a major step forward to create a brand new range of Jaguar E-type models with modern day comforts, handling and engineering developments, offering customers all the sixties style, look and feel of an iconic classic, but with twenty-first-century handling, reliability and comfort.
Evolution Creator Uryk Dmyterko explains “This is a Jaguar E-Type like no other, we don’t cut corners on our builds, we don’t count the hours, if something isn’t absolutely perfect, we reject it and start again. I personally check everything and we take enormous pride in manufacturing as much as possible on site here at our workshops in Darlington.”
“Our aim is to create a car, which doesn’t just look great, it is engineered to be fun to drive offering excitement and speed but also to be reliable and comfortable enough to be your everyday drive.”
Evolution’s on-site manufacturing facility in Darlington builds just three Evolution E-Types a year and with a full order book for 2019, Evolution will be offering visitors to the London Classic Car show the opportunity to book build slots for 2020. Customers can choose from the Jaguar E-Spec Fixed Head Coupe (also on show in London) or opt for a Roadster or a Low Drag Coupe. All Evolution cars come with the option of a steel or aluminium body and a range of engine sizes, as well as a paint colour of your choice, prices start from £350,000.00.
If you are visiting the London Classic Car Show 14-17 February at London’s Excel. Make sure you swing by the Evolution E-Type stand and see their stunning Roadster. Jaguar will be very much in the spotlight at the show, where Jaguar’s Director of Design Ian Callum opens his exhibit and receives the Icon Award for his career-defining design work at Jaguar and Aston Martin.
For more information on the Evolution E-Type visit:

For more information about visiting the show visit:

Friday, 8 February 2019



Beaulieu’s Simply Ford will return on Sunday, May 5th for a huge celebration of all things Ford, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Ford Anglia 105E and 50th anniversary of the popular Capri.
Anglia and Capri owners are invited to park their classics in special areas set aside at the heart of the show, as part of the diverse display of hundreds of Fords in the grounds of the National Motor Museum.
Simply Ford is the biggest in Beaulieu’s range of 10 Simply rallies and promises to be as unmissable as last year’s event, which attracted 3,000 enthusiasts and nearly 1,800 Fords.
The Ford Anglia stands out in the memory of many family motorists, as well as being a firm favourite with racing drivers and customisers over six decades. Event-goers will also be able to see the Anglias on show at Beaulieu, with the 1966 Anglia Super 1200 in the National Motor Museum and the famous ‘flying’ Anglia from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in On Screen Cars. For more details see the Ford page on the Beaulieu website at
In the double celebration display, Surrey Capri Club will show a collection of its members’ cars to mark the anniversary of the Capri – which enjoyed a production run spanning 18 years with its fastback shape and also graced the race tracks of Europe.
Simply Ford is always buzzing with amazing cars on packed club stands and 27 owners’ groups and clubs have already booked to take part this year. Flying the flag for the Mondeo will be the ST220 Enthusiasts, Midlands Mondeo Enthusiasts and Ford Mondeo Mk2 Owners Club, as well as displays by Focus Enthusiasts, Hampshire and Berkshire RS Owners Club, Ford All-Stars and Oval Outkasts.
A highlight of the day will be the People’s Choice Awards, as visitors and event-goers vote for their favourite Ford of the show, with the winner receiving a Beaulieu trophy.
Event tickets include entry to all of the Beaulieu attraction, including the museum with its Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 50 years exhibition, World of Top GearOn Screen Cars, 13thcentury Beaulieu Abbey, the Montagu ancestral home of Palace House and its grounds and gardens.
For those driving Fords and taking part in the show, participant tickets are £10 an adult, £5 a child (aged 5-16) if bought in advance online before 5pm on May 2nd, or £12 an adult and £6 a child on the day. All other visitors can buy a general admission ticket to Beaulieu at the standard attraction price. For tickets and information see
Entry is from 9am - 3pm for rally participants. The Brabazon Restaurant will serve hot drinks and breakfast snacks from 9am. All other visitors should enter Beaulieu though the Visitor Reception building with a standard attraction admission ticket, from 10am.
Simply Ford is Beaulieu’s third Simply rally this year. Simply Porsche returns on June 2ndSimply VW on June 15thSimply Land Rover & Rummage on June 23rdSimply Jaguar on July 14thSimply Japanese on July 28th, the first Simply Mercedes on August 18th and Simply Smart on November 10th. For tickets and details see
Find us on Twitter @Beaulieu_Hants, on Facebook at /nationalmotormuseum or on Instagram @national_motor_museum and join the conversation.