Home  »  Car Racing  »  Features  »  Gallery

Mega gallery and report: Spa Six Hours 2015

Submitted by on October 19, 2015

Mercedes 300M Gullwing

By Marcel Hundscheid/Speed-O-Graphica.com

A historic event not to be missed is the great Spa Six Hours, unique in the world of historic motorsports as it features a six hour endurance race for GTs and touring cars from the sixties.

On top of this it offers an action-packed program including over 600 historic sport cars, Formula 1, GTs and Grand Prix cars from the fifties, sixties and seventies. Check out our mega gallery and report.

Spa Six Hours 2015

In september Spa-Francorchamps hosted the 23rd edition of one of the greatest historic motorsports events in Europe, the Spa Six Hours. The event is organized by the Roadbook organization, led by Alain Defalle and Vincent Collard. For the 2015 edition, 104 teams entered the grid for the six hours endurance race. On Saturday evening the honours went Roger Wills from New Zealand and Briton James Littlejohn in their Ford GT40.

1st lap Spa Six Hours

As usual the event saw unique cars and drivers from across the globe. For the 23rd edition we noted entries from besides Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK, amongst others also from Australia, Chile, Italy, Japan, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and the United States.

Amongst the 104 entered teams no less than 12 GT40’s were present, as well as several Jaguar E-Types, Ford Mustang’s, different Lotus and MG’s, AC Cobra’s, Porsche 911’s, TVR’s and many many more. For the 23rd edition of the Spa Six Hours the Ford GT40 of count Markus von Oeynhausen and Michael Funke scored pole position. During the first hour it was a true battle between the different GT40’s entered for the race. The quickest GT40 challenger was the AC Cobra driven by Dutchmen David Hart, Alexander van der Lof and Nicky Pastorelli. The Cobra was in second place as the pole sitting Ford made an attack during the fifth hour and claimed the runner up spot. After a long six hours race it was the nr. 34 GT40 of Roger Wills and James Littlejohn claiming the overall victory.

Ford GT40

FIA Masters Historic F1 Championship

An epic grid of 30 Formula 1 cars from the 70s and 80s found their way to the Ardennes including different Arrows, Tyrrell’s, Lotus, March, Shadow and Williams single seaters to name just a few, all fitted with the well known Cosworth 3.0 litre engine. Most remarkable car was the Ligier JS/17driven by Briton Rob Hall, equipped with a remarkable twelve cylinder Matra engine. This car was without doubt the best sounding F1 car of the field. The fight for pole position proved to be a local battle between Loïc Deman (Tyrrell 010) and Christophe D’Ansembourg (Williams FW07C). In the end Deman scored the best starting position on the grid as he crossed the finish line just 0.243 seconds quicker than his fellow countryman D’Ansembourg.

FIA Masters Historic F1 Championship

As the weather conditions were nice on Friday, race day on Saturday proved to be the opposite. As the grid left the pitlane for their line up a heavy burst of rain hit the track. The race was red flagged immediately as each car was equipped with slicks. It was decided to use full wets and after two laps behind the safetycar the race finally started. During the opening laps the battle between the Belgian’s continued, led by Loïc Deman. Later on D’Ansembourg was passed by Steve Hartley in his Arrows A4. After eight laps Deman claimed victory, followed by Hartley and D’Ansembourg.

On Sunday the second race proved to be a true Belgian battle between Deman, D’Ansembourg and Jean-Michel Martin, father of BMW DTM-driver Maxime Martin. Loïc Deman proved to be to quick for Christophe D’Ansembourg as he proved to be too quick. Deman scored his second victory of the weekend, as D’Ansembourg scored a second podium , finishing in second place. Jean-Michel Martin drove his Tyrrell 009 to the final spot on the winner podest.

Tyrrell 010

FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship

The sound and sight produced by fourteen Lola T70’s, several Lola T210’s and 212’s, Chevron’s with and without a roof, a pair of Ferrari 365’s and McLaren M1’s to name just a few was deafening. Fifty-five sports cars from the 60s and 70s formed an epic site on the Ardennes rollercoaster. During the 40 minute qualifying session on Friday evening, the Lola T70 Mk.IIIB of UK residents Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen grabbed the pole with a 2:28.225 lap time. The Lola T70 Mk.IIIB of Chris Beighton and Jon Finnemore needed almost 3.5 seconds more for a lap and claimed 2nd best place on the grid. Their single 61 minute race on Sunday proved to be the battle of the Lola T70’s. During the opening laps the two front starting Lola’s battled it out but as the race progressed Minshaw and Keen managed to create an ever growing gap. The fight for second place was far more exciting as Dutchman David Hart fought his way into the top three, overtaking Finnemore and during the final stages of the race Daniel Gibson (Lola T70 Mk.IIIB). Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen scored overall victory, David Hart crossed the finish line second, third place went to Daniel Gibson.

Lola T70 Mk IIIB

Masters Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT

The sight of a posse classic GTs from sixties remains awesome. The Masters Historic Racing organization from the UK provided a single 90 minute mini-endurance race, featuring nearly 40 classic pre-66 GTs. The class structure is split by year and engine capacity, bringing AC Cobra’s, Bizzarrini’s, Jaguar E-Type’s, Lotus and Ginetta’s, as well as Morgan’s and Austin Healey’s to Spa. German drivers Georg Nolte and Michael Funke drove their Bizzarrini to the pole, just 0.5 of a second quicker than the AC Cobra Daytona Coupe of Briton’s James Cottingham and Tim Summers. The first part of the race was led by their stunning AC Cobra Daytona Coupe. Due to a crash the safetycar had to be deployed resulting in a reshuffled field. After 90 minutes of racing it was the Gans-Wolfe AC Cobra claiming a comfortable win over the AC Cobra of fellow countrymen Nigel Greensall and Karsten Le Blanc. German Count Marcus von Oeynhausen-Sierstorpf finished the race third in his Jaguar E-Type.

AC Cobra

Masters Pre-66 Touring Cars Championship

One of the smaller grids of the weekend came from the Masters Pre-66 Touring Cars Championship featuring 22 cars such as the Ford Falcon, Ford Mustang, Ford Lotus Cortina, Alfa Romeo Giuletta and Mini Cooper. The battle for pole position was fought between the Ford Falcon’s of Phil Gardiner and Phil Keen, and Leo Voyazides and Simon Hadfield. In the end it was the Ford of Gardiner and Keen that proved to lap the Spa-Francorchamps track quickest, resulting in the pole position. Early in the race it was Leo Voyazides leading the pack but after the driver change it was Phil Keen who grabbed the lead. Keen and Hadfield battled it out lap after lap but in the end it was Keen who took victory during the race. Simon Hadfield finished second, French touring car and GT specialist Eric Helary grabbed third place.

Ford Falcon

Masters 70s Celebration

New on the Spa Six Hours poster was the Masters 70s Celebration. We have to go back to the 70s, when touring car development moved forward from Group 1 to Group 2 with the introduction of the European Touring Car Championship. Nowadays for all these groups, 70s Celebration was introduced, allowing cars as the Ford Cologne Capri, Ford Escort and BMW CSL to battle with cars as the Triumph Dolomite, Porsche 911 etc. For the occasion of the Spa Six Hours, the Historic Touring Car Challenge from the UK and the German DRM Classic Cup were brought together with the 70s Celebration. The result was a very mixed field of touring cars and GTs including a Porsche 935, Alfa Romeo Montreal, a screaming Mazda RX3 and two unique Mazda R100’s, all equipped with typical rotary engines. As expected, Italian Manfredo Rossi di Montelera’s Porsche 935 lapped the Ardennes rollercoaster in a 2:38.647 lap time. Chris Ward from the UK drove his splendid sounding Ford Broadspeed Capri to a second place on the grid. The race saw some controversy regarding pitlane infringements resulting in very unhappy drivers. In the end it was Chris Ward who claimed victory in the Ford Broadspeed Capri, followed by Manfredo Rossi di Montelera drove his powerful Porsche 935 to a second place. German Achim Heinrich finished third in an immaculate BMW M1 Procar.

E:\2015\Speed-O-Graphica\Spa Six Hours\Ford Broadspeed Capri

Historic Motor Racing News U2TC

The Historic Motor Racing News U2TC from the UK brought everybody back to the days of the European Touring Car Championship between 1963 and 1965. Touring cars from the particular period unter 2.0 liters are allowed such as the Ford Lotus Cortina, BMW 1800, Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA and Austin Mini Cooper S. Thirty-one cars entered the track for their qualifying session. The battle for the pole proved to be an epic one. Richard Shaw from the UK managed to score the pole position in his BMW 1800 TiSA just 0,006 of a second quicker than the Ford Lotus Cortina of fellow countrymen Grant Tromans and Richard Meaden. Richard Shaw drove a lonely race on Saturday as nobody could answer the speed of his BMW. German Horst Baumann finished second in a Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA. UK resident’s Carlos Monteverde and Gary Pearson scored a third place in their Ford Consul Cortina.

BMW 1800 TiSA

Historic Motor Racing News Pre-63 GT

Back in 2009 Historic Motor Racing News formed the Pre-63 GT grid allowing cars that have become rarer in historic racing because of the competition they encounter from highly developed cars and replicas. Sixteen cars entered their single qualifying session on Friday, won by the Jaguar E-Type of James and Jeremy Cottingham.      . Martin Hunt and Patrick Blakeny-Edwards claimed a demanding victory on Sunday in a AC Cobra, finishing 52 seconds in front of the Austin Healey 3000 Mk.2 of Karsten Le Blanc. The Morgan +4 Supersports of Gabriel and Dion Kremer crossed the finish line in third place.

Woodcote Trophy and Stirling Moss Trophy

The Woodcote Trophy and Stirling Moss Trophy is perhaps the best way to relive the spirit of post war racing and the Le Mans 24 Hours during the fifties. The Woodcote Trophy is supported by the British Automobile Club and open to post war racing cars until 1955. The Stirling Moss Trophy is supported by Sir Stirling Moss himself and features sports cars built before 1960. The combined grid brought fifty sports cars to the Ardennes track. Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen drove the Lister Knobbly to the overall pole position and at the same time the pole in the Stirling Moss Trophy. In the Woodcote Trophy it was the Jaguar C-Type of Chris Ward scoring the fastest time. Minshaw and Keen drove a lonely race on Sunday as nobody could answer the speed of the Lister. They scored a crushing victory over the Ferrari 246S of Bobby Verdon-Roe and Gregor Fisken. Dion Kremer drove his Lotus 17 Prototype to a third place in the rankings. Patrick Blakeny-Edwards and Frederic Wakeman won the Woodcote Trophy in a Cooper T38. Chris Ward finished second, Carlos Monteverde and Gary Pearson grabbed third place in a Jaguar D-Type.

Lister Knobbly

Historic Grand Prix Cars Association

For the fans of Grand Prix cars from the 1920s through to the 1960s the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association brought a fantastic grid of over 50 iconic single seaters from the early days of Grand Prix Racing. The two races on Saturday and Sunday provided the opportunity for the comeback of the Talbot 26SS at Spa. Sixty-eight years ago this car beared number 32 during the Belgian Grand Prix, driven by Frenchman Yves Giraud-Cabantous. Briton’s Miles Griffith and Peter Horsman fought a close battle for pole position. In the end it was Griffith in his Brabham BT4 claiming the pole with a 0.9 second advantage over the Lotus 18/21 of Horsman. The first race on Saturday was won by Horsman as Griffith had a gearbox problem. Griffith however managed to finish second, in front of the Brabham BT11A of Jon Fairley. Griffith’s technical problems were solved on Sunday. He scored a crushing victory over Peter Horsman as he finished 36 seconds earlier than the Lotus driver. Briton Andy Middlehurst drove his splendid looking Lotus 25 R4 to a third place.

Lotus 18/21

British Sports – GT & Saloon Challenge

The British Sports – GT & Saloon Challenge accepts a great variety of cars, as long as they are built between the forties and the seventies to meet at Club events. No less than 66 cars filled the grid on Friday morning. Pole position went to the Opel Manta of Jack and David Tetley. Sìmon Cripps claimed second spot on the grid in a MG B GT V8. Their single race of the weekend was won by Briton Laki Christoforou in a Ford Escort Mk.1, after he fought a close battle with the Chevron B8 of fellow countrymen Robert Beebee and Steven Brooks.

Historic Sports Car Club

A wide variety of cars participated in the Historic Sports Car Club (closed wheel race). The HSCC was created back in 1966 by a group of enthusiasts due to the lack of races for sports cars in their original specs. Featured were Historic Road Sports, 70s Road Sports, Historic Touring Cars, Guards Trophy, Pre 80 Endurance Series, Super Touring Cars and the Jaguar Heritage Challenge. Sixty-nine cars, presented in a wide variety entered qualifying. Pole position went to the Lola T290 of Mark Richardson, followed by the Chevron B16 of Samuel Carrington-Yates and David Carrington-Yates in second place. Samuel Carrington-Yates and David Carrington-Yates won the first race on Saturday, Martin O’Connell claimed second place in a Chevron B8. Peter Hallford and Phil Keen scored a third place in a Chevrolet Corvette. O’Connell scored victory on Sunday during the 2nd race of the weekend. Joe Ward finished second in the great looking Vauxhall Firenza Baby Bertha. Peter Hallford and Phil Keen scored their second third place of the weekend in the Corvette.

Chevron B16

Once again the Spa Six Hours proved to be an event not to be missed. Almost every aspect of historic motor racing was presented in a beautiful setting from touring cars and GTs to Formula 1. Year after year, Roadbook organizers Vincent Collard and Alain Defalle manage to create this unique event. A special thank you goes to press officer Jean-Marc Hardy for his great help over the very busy weekend. We’re looking eagerly towards the 24th edition of the Spa Six Hours in September 2016!

© Marcel Hundscheid / Speed-O-Graphica.com


Don't miss out! Our best stories, direct to your inbox!

[dfp name="home_tile11_300x250"]

Sign up now - it's free, weekly, and spam-free.