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Mega Photo Gallery & Report: Peter Auto Spa Classic 2015

Submitted by on July 2, 2015


Marcel Hundscheid/Speed-O-Graphica.com

Spa hosted the fifth edition of the Peter Auto Spa Classic during the weekend of 22nd, 23rd and 24th of May. This edition was visited by 20.000 spectators, a new record with no less than 1500 classic cars taking part.

The fifth edition saw some very interesting grids featuring the popular Classic Endurance Racing series, the Heritage Touring Cup, Sixties Endurance and the Trofeo Nastro Rosso, all hosted by Peter Auto. Another crowd puller seen in Europe is Group C Racing from the United Kingdom. Compared with the grid from last year just 14 classic prototypes lined up.

A real tribute to the legendary Spa 24 Hours was a night race on Saturday evening with iconic touring cars from the Heritage Touring Cup. Along with touring cars from the seventies and eighties, classic touring cars from an earlier decade found their way for the 2nd consecutive year.

British auctioneer Bonhams was also present, featuring some interesting classic cars such as a Porsche 962C that participated in the Le Mans 24 Hours from 1990 (sold for € 1,495,000), and a 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4. (sold for € 667,000)

Highlights seen on track at the 5th edition of this great event were, amongst others, a Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan, McLaren M6GT, Alfa Romeo 33/3, a Jaguar XJR-14 and a ALD C289.


Sixties Endurance

No less than 70 historic GTs and touring cars entered the track for their first free practice on Friday. The grid hosted a vast variety in cars from the Shelby Cobra, Porsche 911, Jaguar E-Type, to the Porsche 904/s and Lotus Elan.

During the qualifying session it was clear that the final battle for the podium would be a Shelby Cobra party, with 12 cars on the entry list. Karsten Le Blanc and Nigel Greensall put their Shelby Cobra 289 (1963) on pole, followed by the same car driven by Michel Lecourt and well known French Porsche GT-driver Raymond Narac. Third spot on the grid went to the Lotus Elan 26R (1964) of Grant Tromans and Richard Meaden.

The race started surprisingly with a jump start made by the experienced Carlos Monteverde, who was sharing his Shelby Cobra (1963) with Gary Pearson. The Brazilian was penalized with a drive through penalty seeing him finally finishing the race in 33rd place. As Monteverde served his drive through the lead was taken over by Karsten Le Blanc and Nigel Greensall who drove a race in their own league. Second place went to the Cobra of father and son Pierre-Alain and Erwin France. The all Cobra podium was completed by Andrew Beverly.


Classic Endurance Racing

As usual Classic Endurance Racing hosted a large grid of prototypes and GTs from both the sixties and seventies. For several years the grid is split into two categories comprising CER1 and CER2. CER1 features prototypes and sports cars up to 1971 as well as GTs of up to 1975.

Forty-two cars entered the qualifying session on Saturday seeing a battle for the pole position between a bunch of quick Lola T70s, a Chevron B19 and a splendid Alfa Romeo 33/3. Romain Belleteste and Eric Jamar drove their Chevron B19-FVC (1971) to the best place on the starting grid. One second slower was the Lola T70 Mk.IIIB of Carlos Monteverde and Gary Pearson.

Five times Le Mans Winner Emanuele Pirro and Gianluca Ratazzi drove the splendid looking Alfa Romeo 33/3 to a third place on the grid. As Monteverde and Pearson didn’t make it to the start, the Alfa was promoted to second place.

Pirro immediately took the lead but was haunted by Eric Jamar in the Chevron who claimed the leading position. The Frenchman however suffered technical problems and couldn’t make it to the finish. In the meantime, former ski-legend and ADAC GT Masters driver Toni Seiler took the lead in his 1968 Lola T70 Mk.III. As the race was stopped after just forty-eight minutes due to a red flag, Seiler took the overall victory. Serge Kriknoff finished second in his 1971 Lola T212-FVC, as Richard Mille and Carlos Antunes Tavares crossed the finish line third in their 1968 Lola T70 Mk.III.


Classic Endurance Racing 2 is open to sportscars and prototypes from 1973 up to 1979 and GTs from 1972 up to 1979.

Thirty-six legends entered the qualifying session including a large amount of Lola and Chevron prototypes. In the GT division four mouth watering Porsche 935s appeared as well as two 934s. The battle for the pole resulted in a close fight between the Lolas of Frenchmen Patric Lafargue and Didier Guenat. In the end it was Lafargue in his Lola T298-BMW (1979) lapping the Ardennes rollercoaster in 2:22.489. Nearly sixth tenths slower was Didier Guenat in his Lola T286-DFV (1979).

Although Lafargue is usually very quick, it was Philippe Scemama who had the best start and took a commanding lead. After the pit stop the Swiss driver suffered from a rear suspension failure and failed to make it to the finish line. Patrice Lafargue claimed the leading position and scored victory in front of Yves Scemama in a TOJ SC304 (1976) and Frederic da Rocha in a 1979 Lola T298-BMW.


Group C Racing

As mentioned earlier in this article, Group C is definitely one of the crowd pullers.

For their single race on Sunday only thirteen cars made it to the grid. During the first qualifying session on Friday Katsuaki Kubota crashed his Nissan R90CK heavily. Luckily the Japanese driver was unhurt, his Nissan however was heavily damaged.

Amongst the participants on Sunday was a Sauber-Mercedes C11, several Porsche 962s, a Nissan RC93, different Spice prototypes, an ADA and a ALD from the legendary period of sports car racing. Fastest during the first qualifying session was the very rare Jaguar XJR-14 of Christophe D’Ansembourg, equipped with a Cosworth F1 engine. Sadly for all the fans the Belgian had to cope with technical problems during the second session, resulting in a Did Not Start on Sunday. Pole position went to the Spice SE90 GTP of Michael Simpson and Steve Tandy. Bob Berridge drove his Nissan RC93 to the second place on the grid, followed by the Sauber-Mercedes C11 of Kriton Lendoudis and Rui Aguas.

The Portuguese stormed into the lead during the race on Sunday, followed by Michael Simpson and Bob Berridge. The experienced Berridge however proved to be much quicker after the pit stops and overtook both Steve Tandy and Kriton Lendoudis to claim victory. Steve Tandy crossed the finish line in second position, followed by Kriton Lendoudis.


Heritage Touring Cup

A real tribute to the Spa 24 Hours was the splendid grid of the Heritage Touring Cup, open for touring cars up to 1984. The Heritage Touring Cup featured two races including a night race on Saturday evening. BMW CSLs, Ford Capris, Rovers, Ford Escorts and more made up the field.

In a field a thirty-eight cars it was the Rover Vitesse (1981) of Tim Summers and Richard Meaden claiming the pole position. Less than seven tenths slower was the immaculate sounding Ford Capri RS3100 of Chris Ward and Andrew Smith. Douglas Titford and Trevor Reeves managed to drive their Capri 2600 RS to a third place. During both races the Capri of Chris Ward and Andrew Smith proved to be too quick for the rest of the field.

They won both races easily finishing no less than forty seconds quicker than second place. Steve Dance finished second during both races with his Capri RS2600, Christophe van Riet and Rafael Borman scored a third place in their quick Ford Escort RS1600. Andrew Beverly managed to drive his Volvo 240 Turbo to a third place during the second race of the weekend.


Historic Motor Racing News U2TC

Just like the Heritage Touring Cup, the touring cars entered for Historic Motor Racing News U2TC had two sixty minute races, both in the afternoon and evening. The grid saw Ford Lotus Cortinas, Alfa Romeo GTAs, BMW 1800s and a single Mini battling it out.

Amongst the participants was former Formula 1 driver Jackie Oliver from the UK, who shared a BMW 1800 TiSA with fellow countryman Richard Shaw. Despite the fact that the BMW quickly lapped the track it was the Ford Lotus Cortina of Richard Meaden and Grant Tromans who grapped pole position.

Sadly the Cortina suffered from a technical issue and didn’t make it to the start. Richard Shaw and Jackie Oliver scored two crushing victories. Second place went to the Ford Consul Cortina of Carlos Monteverde and Gary Pearson, Alan and Geoffrey Lets finished third in their Ford Lotus Cortina. During the second race on Sunday Tromans and Meaden managed to get their Cortina on the grid, finishing second. David Tomlin managed to score a third place in his Ford Lotus Cortina.


Trofeo Nastro Rosso

Fans of Italian sports and GTs could eat their harts out with a bunch of thoroughbreds including a Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan, Ferrari 250 Berlinetta and 275 GTB/C, Maserati 300s, Alfa Romeo TZs and more making up the field for the Trofeo Nastro Rosso.

Although not the largest grid of the weekend, it was perhaps one of the most valuable. Local hero Vincent Gaye qualified his gorgeous Ferrari 275 GTB/C on pole position for both races. As expected Gaye won both races without a single threat from his fellow opponents. Jan Gijzen finished second, Lukas and Martin Halusa from Austria scored a third place in their immaculate Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan. On Sunday both Gaye and Gijzen scored another first and second place, as Jean Brandenburg and Raphael Favaro in a Bizzarrini 5300 GT.

The 5th edition of the Spa Classic was again an event not be missed. Although we have to wait for nearly 12 months, we already eagerly await the 6th edition!

© Marcel Hundscheid/Speed-O-Graphica.com

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