2014 Spa Classic Mega Gallery and Report
Images © Marcel Hundscheid/Speed-O-Graphica.com
The 4th edition of the Spa Classic, held from May 16th until May 18th, was the best so far. More than 15,000 spectators enjoyed the participation of 8 different grids, featuring more than 350 iconic cars in blazing sunshine!
By Marcel Hundscheid
Spa-Francorchamps is regarded as the temple for endurance racing for GT and touring cars. This year two different grids devoted to the legendary track including the Heritage Touring Cup and the Historic Motor Racing News U2TC, including night time racing, recalling the great era of the Spa 24 Hours.
The 4th edition of the Spa Classic, organized by the well known Peter Auto organisation from France had everything in it. Perfect weather conditions, the best grids in historic motor sports and epic fights on the track.
The largest grid of the weekend came from the Sixties Endurance category bringing nearly 60 historic GTs and touring cars to the Ardennes track. Cars that participated were, amongst others, AC Cobra, E-Type Jaguar Type E, Porsche 904, Chevrolet Corvette, Austin Healey and more. On Saturday afternoon a two hour race was held, won by the Dutch driver pairing David Hart and Hans Hugenholtz in a 1963 Shelby Cobra. Frenchman Yvan Mahe crossed the finish line in second place with a 15 second gap in a 1965 Shelby Cobra. The podium was completed by Carlos Monteverde from Brazil and Gary Pearson from the UK in a 1964 Jaguar E-Type.
Fans of prototypes and GTs from the seventies that participated in endurance racing could eat their hearts out with two massive grids from Classic Endurance Racing. CER1 saw no less than 41 cars including Lola T70s, Ford GT40s, Chevron B8s and B16s, Porsche 908s and 911s.
Winner of the 60 minute race on Sunday was Belgian Eric de Doncker is his bright red 1969 Lola T70 Mk.IIIB. The French driver pairing of Yvan Mahe and Richard scored a second place in their 1970 Lola T70 Mk.IIIB, as Serge Kriknoff and Marc de Siebenthal from Switzerland finished third in a 1971 Lola T212.
CER2 brought 35 cars to the Ardennes roller coaster, including some stunning Porsche 935s, different Lolas, a Rondeau M378, some tasty BMW M1s as well as several Chevron prototypes.
Frenchman Patrice Lafargue seemed unbeatable in his 1979 Lola T298 as he finished the 60 minute race on Sunday first with a 22 second gap over Britain’s Paul Knapfield and well known GT race ace Jamie Campbell-Walter in their 1976 March 76S. Frenchman Yves Scemama completed the podium in his 1976 Sauber C5.
Without doubt one of the most beautiful and perhaps most expensive grids were the Italian sports and GT cars from the Trofeo Nastro Rosso. Since the start of the event in 2011 this grid grows by the year and attracts iconic cars like the Ferrari 250 LM, GT Berlinetta and 275 GTB, Maserati 300, Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ and Giulietta, and the Iso A3C and Bizzarrini 5300 GT.
Over the weekend two 45 minute races were held. Belgian Vincent Gaye drove an epic race in his 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB C finishing first with a gap of no less than 30 seconds over Stanislas de Sadeleer and Christian Traber from Switzerland in a 1965 Bizzarrini 5300 GT. Fellow countryman Carlo Vögele scored a third place in his stunning 1955 Maserati 300S. During the second race the top two was an exact copy of the first race, as Dutchman Jan Gijzen scored a third place in his 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB-4.
Last year Peter Auto set up the Heritage Touring Cup including the legendary cars that participated in the famous Spa 24 Hours. This year nearly 30 saloons filled the grid with no less than 5 BMW 3.0 CSLs, Ford Capris, BMW 635 CSIs etc.
The Batmobiles proved to be the cars to beat as they drove their own race on Saturday. Eric Mestdagh and Pierre-Alain Thibault from Belgium scored victory in their 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL. German Dominik Roschmann crossed the finish line second in his 1971 BMW 3.0 CSL, as Briton Adrian Brady scored a third place in his 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL. On Sunday it was Roschmann who was the fastest man on the track as he took victory in front of Mestdagh and Thibault. The German driver pairing of Philipp and Siegfried Brunn claimed third spot in a 1984 BMW 635 CSI.
A true crowd puller were the legendary Group C Cars. Nearly 20 prototypes managed to get into the single race on Sunday including Porsche 956s and 962s, two Sauber-Mercedes C11s, an Intrepid GTP, two Nissan R90CKs and a Mazda 767B. Especially this car from the land of the rising sun proved to be something special producing a shrieking sound coming from the rotary engine.
Britons Gareth Evans and Bob Berridge were a class of their own and nobody could answer the speed of their 1989 Sauber-Mercedes C11. Japanese driver Katsu Kubota and Joaquin Folch from Spain finished second in a 1990 Nissan R90CK, Mike Donovan from the UK scored a third place in a 1988 Spice SE88.
Cars from the European Touring Car Championship in the sixties such as the Ford Lotus Cortina, BMW 1800 and Alfa Romeo Giula were gathered into the Historic Motor Racing News U2TC championship from the UK.
The first race on Saturday was won by Alex Furiana and Audi factory GT racer Frank Stippler in a 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA. Richard Shaw and former Formula 1 driver Jackie Oliver from England finished second in a 1965 BMW 1800 TiSA, German Dominik Roschmann scored a third place in a 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA. Furiani and Stippler scored a second victory on Sunday in front of the 1965 Ford Lotus Cortina driven by Britons David Tomlin and Martin Stretton. Swiss driver Marcus Mahy and George Haynes from England finished third in a 1965 BMW 1800 Ti.
Finally the Historic Formula 2 Championship from the UK settled down at Spa for two races. Briton Philipp Harper scored victory in the first race in a 1977 Ralt RT1, in front of the 1974 March 742, driven by fellow countryman Martin Stretton. Bo Warmenius from Sweden scored a third place in a 1977 March 76B. Harper managed to score a second victory on Sunday as Stretton scored another second place. Grant Tromans from England finished third in a 1978 Chevron B42.
For the second year, the famous Bonhams´ auction settled down in Spa and attracted a lot of interest. On Sunday, more than 60 prestigious cars went on sale. The following prices were reached by the most eagerly-awaited lots:
- Ferrari 308 GTB Group B Michelotto 1976/1983: 609.500 €
- Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta 1973: 471.500 €
- Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Sports Saloon 1967: 350.750 €
- Porsche 911 Type 930/935 Turbo Coupé 1983: 230.000 €
- Maserati Khamsin Coupé 1977: 178.250 €
The turnover of the second auction in the context of Spa-Classic reached 3 million euros. Philip Kantor, Bonhams Europe International Business Development manager, was very happy with the outcome.
The fifth edition of the Spa Classic will take place in mid-May 2015 and to be honest, we can´t wait for one of Europe´s best historic motor racing events!
© Marcel Hundscheid/Speed-O-Graphica.com