Video + Photos + Report: Spa Classic 2011
The first Spa Classic was held on 27, 28 and 29 May, in Belgium on the Spa Francorchamps layout. A brand new event which kept its promises, offering high standard grids and entertaining activities. During the whole week‐end, 10 000 visitors enjoyed the show, both on and off the track.
Classic Endurance Racing 1: the Lolas do not give up
Entries: 40 ‐ Races: 1 – Track time slot : Qualifications 2 x 30′ + Races 1 x 60′
As could be expected, the Lolas T70 MkIII dominated the qualifications, taking the first four places. Marc Hevia’s McLaren M1B, had a disappointing transmission problem which led it to withdraw. Finally three Lolas T70 Mk III were on the podium, David Hart on the top step. In GT1, Claude Nahum’s Ford GT40 ranks before Philippe Lancksweerts’ Ferrari Daytona driven by former owner John Bosch.
Proto 1: 1. David Hart – 2. Pierre‐Alain France – 3. Bernard Thuner / Claude Nahum
GT1: 1. Claude Nahum / Bernard Thuner – 2. John Bosch – 3. Alfred Strebel
Classic Endurance Racing 2: the protos have a good time
Entries: 43 ‐ Races: 1 – Track time slot : Qualifications 2 x 30′ + Races 1 x 60′
This second round of the season has put together handpicked cars such as the 935 Porsche Moby Dick driven by Stéphane Ortelli and Jean‐Marc Luco’s Ligier JS3. The grid included many 3‐Litre protos with Gulf Mirage, Rondeau 379C or Lolas T298. The show offered by the qualifications was quite exciting with local Loic Deman driving his Osella PA 4 at the lead. Patrice Lafargue on Lola T298 BMW and neighbour from Luxemburg Louis Zurstrassen on GRD 73 S completed the holy trio. After a start in pole position, Loic Deman has to withdraw on engine problems while Stéphane Ortelli interrupts his race because of a faulty Turbo. Drop outs which are beneficial to Paul Knapfield who went straight to the victory followed by Patrice Lafargue
In GT2, Michael Foveny’s Porsche 935 has started first in front of Christian Traber’s and Sean McInerney’s BMW M1s. Despite a good qualification, another Porsche 935 wins with Marc De Siebenthal.
Proto 2: 1. Paul Knapfield – 2. Patrice Lafargue – 3. Frédéric Da Rocha
GT 2 : 1. Marc De Siebenthal / Jean‐Michel Martin – 2. MR John of B – 3. Micheal Foveny
Sixties’ Endurance : fast and …historic
Entries: 41 ‐ Race: 1 – Track Time: Qualifications 1 x 40′ + Races 1 x 120′
The American V8s made a clean sweep during the qualifications; AC Cobra and TVR Griffith …qualifying as favourites. The domination was confirmed during the race with pole‐man Hans Hugenholtz on AC Cobra and Sean McInerney’s TVR Griffith close on his heels. The race was very lively with two 911 Porsches driven by Jean‐Marc Bussolini and Damien Kohler.
The Index of Performance which awards the older cars and small cubes, once again crowned Fabrice Mestrot on Triumph TR2, right after his victory in Pau. We can also note Miroslav Krejsa’s performance on the meeting’s oldest car, a 1948 Skoda Sport.
VHC: 1. Hans Hugenholtz / David Hart – 2. Sean McInerney / Michael McInerney – 3. Ludovic Caron
Index of performance: Fabrice Mestrot / Philippe Louet – 2. Mirsolav Krejsa – 3. Dennis Singleton / David Franklin
Trofeo Nastro Rosso : the Belgian Dolce Vita
Entries: 20 ‐ Races: 2 – Track Time: Qualifications 1 x 40′ + Races 2 x 45′
After the dropout from the first race of most beautiful pole car, Maximilien Werner’s Maserati Birdcage; Vincent Gaye, already on the podium in Pau, took the lead and kept it. Aboard his Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta, the Belgian resisted Alberto Francioni’s ISO A3C and the pressure of the three Ferrari 275GTBs fighting for third place. The same for the second race in which the local driver once again was rewarded with the winner’s trophy.
Race 1: 1. Vincent Gaye – 2. Alberto Francioni – 3. Dennis Singleton / David Franklin
Race 2: 1. Vincent Gaye – 2. Michael Erlich – 3. Jan Gizen
Challenge ASAVE & Groupe 1: a popular success
Entries: 55 – Number of races: 1 – Track Time: Qualifications 1 x 30′ + Races 1 x 80′
Dominated by the Porsches, the Challenge ASAVE saw three of them leading the pack right after the start of their first race within a Peter Auto meeting. The 911s remained in the lead from start to finish in front of the Fords unable to take back the upper hand.
Race : 1. Christophe Terriou / Pierre Gary – 2. Christian Lange / Pierre‐Alain Thibault 3. Jean‐Claude Allemang / Denis Allemang
BOSS GP: the F1s on the track
Entries: 20 ‐ Races: 2 – Track Time: Qualifications 1 x 20′ + Races 2 x 20′
The Ardennes heard the ’90’s single‐seaters’ engines roaring again. Back to the roots for those of them which had a glorious past there. An exciting race for the public’s enjoyment. After passing the chequered flag in the lead in race 1, Klass Zwart had a fierce battle with his first rival Marijn van Kalmtghout during the second race. A battle he will not win.
Course 1: 1. Klass Zwart – 2. Marijn van Kalmtghout – 3. Micheal Woodcock
Course 2: 1. Marijn van Kalmtghout – 2. Klass Zwart – 3. Henk de Boer
Group C Racing: the story of men
Entries: 25 ‐ Races: 1 – Track time: Qualificationss 2 x 45′ + Courses 1 x 60′
No big surprise for this grid: Bob Berridge and Christian Gläsel took the the lead of the qualifications for this grid which was very much appreciated by the Belgian public.
Course: 1. Christian Glaesel – 2. Katsu Kubota – 3. Ferdinand de Lesseps
The Clubs in the paddock
Nearly 500 Club cars made their headquarters in the Spa Francorchamps alleys to participate in this premiere. Between track laps and parades, the collector cars discovered the favourite layout of the greatest international racing drivers. A meeting which delighted all the owners; already looking forward to the next edition. In 2012, Triumph, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lotus and MG will once again hold a place of honour.
And the village lives
During the whole week‐end, the exhibitors created a unique atmosphere in the old F1 stands. Visitors were able to combine competition and shopping with dozens of shops dedicated to the automobile theme.
The Soap Boxes on the Raidillon
The Soap Boxes were very successful when they took the Eau Rouge Raidillon the wrong way round. The drivers, young or not, offered themselves an unforgettable descent with a top speed of 104Km/H!
Tomorrows’ drivers at Spa
The public’s and competitor’s children were able to drive mini replicas of prestigious cars. Many vocations have surely been born during the Little Big Spa parade.
For its first three day edition, Spa Classic fulfilled its promises and the seven grids were well decided to win the Belgian victory and put down their names in the Spa Francorchamps prize list. Now in the annual calendar, a not to be missed meeting for all motor sport enthusiasts.
Full results here
Images: www.spa-classic.com via Photoclassicracing