Photo Gallery & Report: Spa Classic 2013
Photography by Marcel Hundscheid
Typical Ardennes weather conditions treated drivers, spectators and photographers during the final weekend of May at Spa-Francorchamps. Peter Auto hosted the third edition of the Spa Classic over the weekend from May 24th until May 26th on the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Rather cold temperatures, nice blue skies in the early morning, followed by showers with even a flock of snow, instead of spring like temperatures.
Around 13, 000 spectators found their way to the track, despite the poor weather, as the organisation had an excellent programme in store featuring nine different competing grids.
Classic Endurance Racing sports cars and GTs, Group C prototypes, Spa-Jubilee a unique race featuring classic Porsche 911s. Spa-Classic Endurance Tourisme 1&2 paid a tribute to the legendary Spa 24 Hours with a day race and a night race, Sixties’ Endurance filled the grid with no less than 60 classic GTs and touring cars and the Trofeo Nastro Rossa paid tribute to a grid especially dedicated to pre-66 Italian Sports and GTs. Last but not least, the British Historic Formula Championship settled down in the Ardennes for two races giving spectators a chance to taste the the shapes, sound and spirit from the seventies.
Classic Endurance Racing 1
27 drivers had to cope with wet track conditions for their 60 minute race on Sunday.
Swiss driver Bernard Thuner drove a lonely race as he proved too quick for his fellow opponents. Thuner finished his 1967 Lola T70 Mk.III first, creating a gap over 1 minute in front of Belgian drivers Thierry de Latre du Bosqueau and Eric Jamar. Frenchmen Michel Lecourt and Raymond Narac crossed the finish line third in their 1974 Porsche 911 RSR 3.0.
Classic Endurance Racing 2
Weather conditions didn’t improve for the second group sports cars and GTs. Remarkably prototypes such as the different entered Lolas couldn’t settle for quick lap times due to the track conditions. In the end it was the huge flame producing Porsche 934/5 of Belgian Jean-Michel Martin and former German winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours Jürgen Barth taking victory. Briton Doug Hart finished second in his bright yellow 1975 March 75S as Swiss driver Christian Traber and Belgian Marc Devis scored a third place in their 1979 Porsche 935.
Group C Racing
Group C Racing relived the glory days of sports car racing bringing 17 epic prototypes to the legendary Belgian race track. Peter and Andy Meyrick dominated ¾ of the race in their 1990 Spice SE90C as pole sitters Gareth Evans and Bob Berridge had a very poor start in their Sauber-Mercedes. With less than 15 minutes on the clock father and son Meyrick had to retire giving victory to the 1989 Sauber-Mercedes C11 of Evans and Berridge who fought their way back to the front. Adrian Watt finished second (1989 Spice SE89), Herve Regout and Stephane Verbeeck managed to score a third place in a 1990 Porsche 962.
Spa Classic Endurance Tourisme 1 & 2
One of the highlights of the 3rd edition of the Spa Classic was the Spa Classic Endurance Tourisme 1 & 2. Touring cars from 1966 to 1984 payed tribute to the great Spa 24 Hours. Two sixty minute races, one day race and another held during the night, saw legendary cars such as the BMW 3.0 CSL and Ford Capri compete. Other cars included several Alfa Romeos, BMW 1800s and of pair Citroën SMs. In both races it was the 1973 Ford Capri 2600RS of Frenchmen David Ferrer and Mr. John of B. taking victory in front of a BMW 3.0 CSL. In race 1 it was the BMW of Eric Mestdagh and Pierre-Alain Thibault claiming second place, in race 2 Dominik Roschmann scored a second place in his BMW 3.0 CSL. Frenchman Claude Boissy manage to score a third place in both races in his 1974 Ford Escort RS1600.
For five decades, the Porsche 911 has been the heart of the Porsche brand. To celebrate this special anniversary a unique race was held for Porsche 911s built between 1964 and 1974.
This car with its timeless design and unique Flat-6 engine has positioned the 911 as Porsche’s emblematic model and thirty-three 911s entered qualifying on Friday creating a unique sight. Michel Lecourt and Raymond Narac claimed victory during the first race in a 1974 Porsche 3.0 RSR. Santiago Orjuela finished second as Didier Denat crossed the finish line third both in a 1974 Porsche 911 RSR 3.0.
Jim Pace and Georg Tuma did the same during the second race in their 1974 Porsche Porsche 3.0 RSR.The French connection by Lecourt and Narac scored a second place as Pedro Sanchez finished second in again a 1974 Porsche 911 RSR 3.0
Sixties Endurance created the biggest field of the weekend as 61 historic GTs and touring cars entered the Ardennes rollercoaster. AC Cobras, Jaguar E-Types, Ford Shelby GT350s, different Porsches, MG Bs to name only a few. The race was held on Sunday in dry conditions. Spectators could witness the the battle of the Cobras as none of the other participants could even match their lap times. Karsten Le Blanc and Jaap Sinke crossed the finish line first after a 1 hour race in their splendid looking 1963 AC Cobra 289. Jean-Marc Merlin finished second, Dominique Guenat and Yvan Mahe finished third, all in an AC Cobra.
Trofeo Nastro Rossa
Fans of Italian pre-66 Italian Sports and GTs could eat their hearts out with the Trofeo Nastro Rossa including different Ferraris, Bizzarrins, Alfa Romeos and a Maserati 250S. Belgian Vincent Gay had a lonely race as he was a class of his own in his 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C, claiming victory during both races. Belgian driver Marc Devis finished second in race 1 in a 1957 Maserati 250S as Jean Brandenburg and Jean-Luc George finished third in a 1965 Bizzarrini 5300GT. Dutchman Jan Gijzen scored a second place in his splendid looking 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB 4, as Bill Wykeham finished third in a 1960 Porsche Carrera Abarth, not the car you would expect in a Italian pre-66 class.
Historic Formula 2 Trophy
The British Historic Formula 2 Trophy settled down at Spa including 24 epic single seaters from the great days of Formula 2 racing. Andrew Smith had the perfect weekend claiming victory in both races with a 1974 March 742. Martin Stretton crossed the finish line second in his 1974 March 742 during race 1 as well in race 2, as Neil Fowler finished third in a 1977 Chevron B34D in race 1. Mark Dwyer managed to score a third place in a 1974 March 742.
The Spa Classic has grown every year since the start in 2011. Peter Auto is also known as the organiser of the Le Mans Classic. Besides three days of top historic racing on the most beautiful race track in the world, people could also enjoy an auction organised by Bonhams, visit an Automobilia village as well as many other activities. Peter Auto organised and hosted the best edition of the Spa Classic so far. We’re already looking forward to 2014 as the fourth edition of Europe’s most impressive classic events will shine on the international historic motorsports calendar.
© Marcel Hundscheid/Speed-O-Graphica.com