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For some years now, a gap has been developing in single-seater and historic sports-racer competition.
Although certain clearly-established categories of historic racers have emerged from within the Historic grouping, pioneered by Formula 5000 and followed with Historic FF and FJ, there has been no natural category for cars fitting between FF and F5000.
The situation was further complicated when very early-70s 1600cc F3 /FB cars were removed from Group D and dumped with F5000 into the catch-all Group E (Formula Libre).
Similarly, as other formulae became obsolete or not catered for, they also end up in the odds-and sods Group E bin.
We therefore find 1600 F3, 1600 FB, 1600 F2, 2000 F2, Formula Pacific/Atlantic, FF2000, Super V, Formula Holden etc. all classified along with F5000. SCANZ and 2000Supersports are also out on a limb. Effectively everything from 1970 onwards is Group E.
Now that the F5000 owners have expanded to a level that they can form full grids, the more crowded tracks mean that speed and experience differentials are becoming apparent when F3, F2, FB, FP etc. cars are mixed in with F5000. This is undesirable and potentially unsafe.
It is also a consideration that a large speed differential in any group eventually leads to non-appearance of the slower cars and for this reason the faster post 1970 cars other than historic FF are unable to run with the pre 1970 Historic’s.
There has been quite a bit of discussion within the Historic Racing and Sports Car Club as to how to encourage owners of Group E and other “orphans” to get them onto the tracks again.
The Historic Section of the Motorsport Manual “…encourages the formation, under the umbrella of a member club, of special interest competitor registers to assist event organisers with promoting a range of races…”
It also regards it as “inappropriate” to have large speed differentials, on safety grounds, with which we completely agree.
As a result of these discussions, the undersigned were invited by HRSCC to see what interest existed in forming a register, based around single seaters faster than Historic FF, but not in F5000 territory, particularly as regards weight.
(1) As a basis for discussion, we envisage a register (provisionally called Superhistorics, unless somebody comes up with a better name) using speed-group classifications to minimise differentials.
(2) We propose that the register is as inclusive as possible. Fast sports racers, being of similar height, weight, and visibility, could also be included.
(3) The speed-group class(es) would be initially derived on the basis of agreed maximum and minimum times for various circuits to avoid lapping in, say, 6-lap races, and subject to review.
(4) Our initial suggestion is that the slow boundary for the speed-group is that of the fastest FFs on that circuit. This would be about 65secs. For Pukekohe. The fast boundary then becomes about 55 secs. We seek reaction on speed-group boundaries.(Following the HRC Meeting at Pukekohe of 26/27 Jan., several suggestions made to extend slow boundary to nearer 67 secs.)
(5) This grouping should satisfy the faster Formula Pacific’s, etc. without unduly penalising the slower cars by lapping. The fast cars can then get on with racing without traffic problems.
(6) Being listed in the Superhistoric register is a purely voluntary action on your part, depending only on the car/driver combination, acceptance of the speed-group principle, and a wish to get out and race suitable cars.
(7) Provided there is enough interest in a Superhistoric register we would supply race-organisers with the register, and invite them to run Superhistoric grids.Grant Martin or Ray Wilkinson would do an email ring around to get a grid together. The rest would depend on you.
(8) If enough cars are listed, it is feasible that several speed-groups could be formed.