Oldtimer Grand Prix Nürburgring 2014
Images Marcel Hundscheid / Speed-O-Graphica.com
To create a perfect three course meal you need the right ingredients, the same goes for a historic motorsports event. Select a stunning race track, invite several hundreds of the greatest historic race cars ever built and organize a smashing three day event attracting ten thousands of enthusiastic spectators.
The German AvD, Automobilclub von Deutschland, organized the 42nd edition of the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, the heart of German motorsports. Over the three days, approximately 50,000 spectators could enjoy no less than fourteen races and regularity tests in typical Eifel weather conditions. Without a doubt the 42nd edition was unique in both quantity and quality, as seen on the European mainland.
By Marcel Hundscheid
Formula 1 cars from the FIA Masters Historic F1 Championship, sports cars from the FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars Championship and single seaters from the FIA Lurani Trophy were present. Furthermore, touring cars from the AvD Touring Car Trophy, GTs and touring cars including some legendary Group 5 monsters gathered into the DRM Revival (Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft), historic Grand Prix cars from the HGPCA organisation, GTs from the Masters Gentlemen Drivers and two-seat sports cars and GTs until 1960/61 filled the different grids.
Two of the highlights presented over the weekend were the race for two-seat sports cars and GTs until 1960/61 race before sunset as well as a lap of honour of the Benetton-Ford B194-5 from 1994. This was actually Michael Schumacher´s car in which he scored his first F1 world championship title.
Twenty-three epic F1 cars entered the grid for their first race in dry conditions on Saturday. Welcome entries were the Theodore N183 driven by Italian driver Matteo Tullio and a first appearance by an Alfa Romeo 179B driven by German Thomas Steinke. A real tough battle for victory was fought between the Arrows A4 of Steve Hartley, the Hesketh 308E of Michael Lyons and the Ensign N180 of Simon Fish. No one could tell what driver would cross the finish line first but two laps before the end Lyons and Fish touched. Michael Lyons didn’t finish the race as Steve Hartley claimed victory. Simon Fish finished second with a damaged front wing as Silvio Kalb took third place in his Arrows A4.
A wet race was declared on Sunday as twenty cars found their way to the grid for their second appearance of the weekend. Michael Lyons proved to be superior in his Hesketh 308 as he outclassed the ground effect cars from Sylvio Kalb and Steve Hartley. Lyons scored a deserved victory and crossed the finish line first, 3.213 seconds in front of Kalb. Steve Hartley scored a second consecutive podium as he finished third.
Hesketh 308 – Arrows A4
The FIA Lurani Trophy always offers large grids and spectacular racing featuring single seaters from the late fifties and early sixties; cars such as the Brabham BT6, Lotus 18 and 20/22, Cooper T59FJ, Stanguellini, to name a few.
For their first race of the weekend on Saturday 36 cars were present. Nobody could match the speed of Jonathan Hughes in his Brabham BT6 as he scored a crushing victory over the Lola Mk V A of Swiss driver Philipp Buhofer. Fellow country man Christian Traber crossed the finish line in third in a Lotus 22.
For their second race on Sunday 29 cars entered the race. This time it was Briton Stuart Roach who claimed victory in an Alexis Mk IV. Italian Enrico Piero Tonetti finished second in a Brabham BT6 as Jonathan Hughes scored his second podium of the weekend, finishing third.
Fans of sports cars and prototypes from the seventies were treated with two exciting races provided by the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship.
Thirty epic cars entered their first race on Saturday including different Chevrons, Lolas and Porsches. Briton Martin O’Connell was a class of his own in his Chevron B19 as none of the other driver’s could match his speed. He scored a crushing victory over the Lola T70 Mk.IIIB of Jason Wright, crossing the finish line first almost fifteen seconds earlier than the mighty Lola. Briton Tim Cousins finished third in a Chevron B23.
On Sunday O’Connell proved that he was the quickest driver of the weekend as he scored his second consecutive victory. This time the Chevron driver passed the chequered flag nearly 29 seconds earlier than Jason Wright in his Lola. The results of the second race was an exact copy of the first race on Saturday as Tim Cousins finished third.
A true crowd puller is the revival of the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft, or German Racing Championship. This category is a tribute to the former DRM championship with cars from 1972 to 1981 including the famous Group 5 monsters such as the Porsche 935 and Ford Capri Zakspeed.
In contrast to the 41st edition of the Oldtimer Grand Prix only two 935s entered the race. Kremer Porsche’s executive director Eberhard Baunach appeared on the grid in the well known Kremer Porsche 935 K2 in Vaillant livery as Daniel Schrey entered the race in his bright yellow 935 K3.
Although Schrey started the race featuring 36 icons, he had to withdraw after just two laps. Wolfgang Kaufmann and Jörg Hübner dictated the race pace in their Porsche 934/5, claiming victory in front of the fully restored Ford Capri Zakspeed Turbo of Peter Mücke. The podium was completed by Heinrich Achim in a flame spitting BMW M1 Procar.
The second race on Sunday was almost a copy of the first. Hübner and Kaufmann claimed a second victory, as Mücke managed to score a second place in the beautiful looking and sounding 1748 cc Capri Turbo. Michael Kammermann from Switzerland finished third in a BMW M1 Procar.
One of the highlights of the action-packed weekend was the race for two-seat sports cars and GTs until 1960/61 held on Saturday evening. The race was actually started in a classic Le Mans starting procedure, got away at 20.20 local time and finished a 21.30.
No less than 48 cars entered including a Lister Chevrolet Knobbly, different Maseratis, Ferrari 250, Porsches, Lolas and more. After 29 laps it was the Lister Chevrolet Knobbly of Briton Mark Lewis claiming victory just 2.5 seconds ahead of the Sadler Mk. III of his fellow country man Julian Majzub. Briton Sam Macleod finished third in his Lotus 11.
On Sunday their second race was scheduled including 35 cars. This time it was Julian Majzub in his Sadler taking victory, only a second ahead of the Lotus 15 of Philip Walker and Miles Griffiths. Barry Wood and Tony Wood completed the podium in their Lister-Jaguar Knobbly.
Lotus 16 368
Historic Grand Prix Cars until 1960 entertained the crowds with stunning grid of no less than 32 epic Grand Prix Cars from the early days including Ferraris, Macerates, Lotus, Lister and 4 priceless Bugattis.
Philip Walker from the UK drove a lonely first race as his Lotus 16 368 proved to be much too quick for his opponents. Briton Julian Bronson finished second in his splendid Scarab Offenhauser as fellow county man Tony Wood claimed a third place in his Maserati TecMec.
Walker did the same during the second race on Sunday but this time the gap was much smaller. As he finished 22 seconds ahead of Bronson on Saturday, now his lead was just over three seconds over the Scarab Offenhauser. Tony Wood completed the podium with a second third place of the weekend.
Former Formula 1 and Grand Prix Cars until 1965 had their own two races including different Cooper, Lotus, Brabham models etc. Miles Griffiths from the UK was the man to beat in his Cooper T51 taking victory in front of William Nuthall in a Cooper T53. Peter Horsman claimed third spot in a Lotus 18/21 P1.
Miles Griffiths had the perfect weekend as he scored his second win of the weekend on Sunday. Peter Horsman settled the score with William Nuthall as he finished second this time, as Nuthall had to settle for a third spot.
A real treat for the fans is the so called BMW race, featuring all types that raced in the different championships and categories.
The cars present a unique sight seeing M1s, M3s, Cals, 2002 and 635s gathered into a single field. Hearing the different sounds produced by the 4 and 6 cylinder engines, combined with the flame spitting M1s is definitely a must see.
As expected the battle for victory would be fought by the M1s with no less than ten cars entered for the first race. Christian Traber from Switzerland immediately created a gap over the M1 of his fellow country man Michael Kammermann, but as the race progressed Kammermann managed to close in on Traber. A hard battle was fought for the lead and towards the end of the race both collided, damaging Kammermann’s front section. Traber claimed victory in front of Kammermann, as Peter and Achim Heinrich from Germany finished third in their M1 Procar.
Traber didn’t participate on Sunday and only thirteen cars entered their second race of the weekend. Michael Kammermann claimed victory and finished no less than forty seconds ahead of the M1 Turbo of Hans Wagner. Frenchman Robert Boos finished third in his M1 Procar.
The British Masters Historic organisation presented a race for GTs until 1965 seeing the most beautiful Gran Turismos from that particular era.
A big field of 47 epic GTs were entered for their sole race on Saturday afternoon. As Martin O’Connell already proved to be the man to beat in the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship, he was once again the fastest driver in this race, driving a Jaguar E-Type. Sean McInerney scored a second place in his TVR Griffith as Andrew Haddon scored a third place in his AC Cobra 289.
Touring cars until 1965 had their own race in the so called AvD Touringcar Trophy. Ford Cortinas, Alfa Romeos, Lotus Élans, Minis and Porschess amongst others had two races scheduled.
Roland Portmann and Dieter Lehner from Switzerland claimed victory on Saturday in their BMW 1800 Ti. German Jean Clement scored a second place in an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint, as Graham Wilson finished third in a Lotus Elan.
Wilson scored a crushing victory on Sunday as he finished two minutes and sixteen seconds earlier than Jean Clement who scored his second consecutive podium of the weekend. Tommy Brorsson from Sweden managed to score a third place in his Lotus Cortina.
For the first time seen during the Oldtimer Grand Prix historic Formula 3 cars were invited into a single grid.
Cars from 1964 – 1984 were allowed, in fact from the so called screamers to the ground effect cars. It all started back in 1964 using 1 litre engines, resulting in the use of the 1.6 litre engines. Finally in 1974 it was decided to use the 2 litre engine.
Twenty-five historic F3 cars entered the grid on Friday for their first race of the weekend. German Falk Künster claimed victory in his GRD 374 in front of the Osella FA3 of Stefano Rosina. Palle Ringström from Denmark finished third in a March 753.
On Saturday morning a heavy rain shower started during the formation lap. Künster wasn’t impressed as the ‘Ring’ changed into a river and many drivers slowed down avoiding a DNF. Künster scored his second victory of the weekend in front of Ringström and Rosina.
Every year the Oldtimer Grand Prix features a long distance race on the famous Nordschleife or Green Hell. With a total length on 20,793 metres featuring no less than 73 challenging curves, the Nordschleife is a real challenge for man and machine, including legendary parts as Karusell, Flugplatz, Döttinger Höhe, Pflanzgarten.
Stefan Oberdörster and Andreas Gülden from Germany won the Nürburg Trophy in their Porsche 911 S. The Nürburg Trophy proved to be a true Porsche race as the complete top three was claimed by the German brand situated in Stuttgart. Wolfgang Pohl and Daniel Schrey finished second in their Porsche Carrera RSR, as Kersten Jodexnis and Wolfgang Destreé from Germany finished third in a Porsche 901.
Besides the different races BMW and Opel presented their participation in motorsports with demos. Opel was present with former Grand Prix cars from the World War 1 era, as well as the famous Manta, Ascona and Corsa. BMW presented an immaculate McLaren F1 GTR as well as a factory 635 and a couple of BMW M3s, driven by the Johnny Cecotto, Marc Surer and Marc Hessel and Harald Grohs.
The AvD managed to organize a immaculate 42nd edition of the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix. Hereby we would like to thank the organizers and the Nürburgring for a great event seeing action packed races, unique cars and a vast crowd over the three days. We’re already looking forward to the 43rd edition in 2015!
© Marcel Hundscheid / Speed-O-Graphica.com