Home  »  Car Racing  »  Features  »  Gallery

Mega Gallery and Report: The 26th Edition of the Spa Six Hours!

Submitted by on October 1, 2018

by Marcel Hundscheid / Speed-O-Graphica

Sit back, relax and enjoy our comprehensive report and mega gallery from the 26th edition of the Spa Six Hours – a true celebration of motorsport held in the heart of the Ardennes region on the beautiful Spa-Francorchamps race track.

During the weekend of September 14th-16th Vincent Collard and Alain Defaille from the Roadbook organization hosted the 26th edition of the unique Spa Six Hours, presenting a true celebration of motorsport history from the ’20s through to the ’90s at Spa-Francorchamps. Motorsport Retro’s European correspondent Marcel Hundscheid was present capturing the splendour on four wheels.

Accompanied by beautiful weather conditions a vast crowd found their way to one of the most beautiful race tracks in the world. A three-day action-packed racing programme was presented featuring 18 races including Pre-War Sports Cars, single-seaters from the Historic Grand Prix Car Association and Formula Junior, touring cars from the Historic Motor Racing News U2TC and Masters Pre-66 Touring Cars as well as GTs from the Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 and the Jaguar Classic Challenge.

Sports cars and Le Mans Prototypes from the 50s were gathered into the Woodcote Trophy and Stirling Moss Trophy as sports cars, prototypes and GTs from the modern era saw action in the Masters Endurance Legends.  Masters Historic Racing was furthermore present with the FIA Masters Historic F1 Championship and FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship. Star of the event was the Spa Six Hour endurance race on Saturday featuring an impressive grid of 114 cars.

Amongst the 114 cars for the six-hour endurance race were 17 Ford GT40s, although the majority of the cars were replicas. Pole sitter Oliver Bryant in the #92 GT40 was one of the early retirements. From that moment the battle for the lead went down between the #30 GT40 of Belgian Nico Verdonck and Count Marcus von Oeynhausen-Sierstorpff and the #37 GT40 driven by Philip Walker, Miles Griffiths and Gordon Shedden.

Although the top ten consisted of just GT40s during qualifying, during the actual race there were some other predators who at least tried to make it difficult for the mighty Fords. In the end the winning GT40 from Verdonck and von Oeynhausen was chased by the #7 GT40 of Craig Davies, John Young and Andy Newall. Due to a perfect strategy Verdonck and von Oeynhausen claimed victory. Thanks to Nico Verdonck it was the first Belgian victory in the Spa Six Hours since 1994.

During the final stages the race was overshadowed by a huge crash suffered by Charles Gillet. The Briton lost his Jaguar E-Type in Blanchimont resulting in severe injuries. According to the latest info Gillett will have to recover for a long period. From here we would like to wish him a speedy recovery.

Home hero Christophe d’Ansembourg was the man to beat in the first race of the FIA Masters Historic F1 Championship. The Belgian scored victory in his ex-Carlos Reutemann Williams FW07/C.

The first race on Saturday afternoon was interrupted by two safety car periods. Steve Hartley lost control of his Arrows A4 in the La Source hairpin after the start and Matteo Ferrer-Aza slid into the Arrows as he tried to avoid the stranded car. A little while later Michel Baudoin lost one of his four wheels in La Source.

The second race on Sunday became prey for Mike Cantillon in his Williams FW07/C after starting from seventh position due to the reversed grid. Cantillon fought his way to the front and profited from the fact that d’Ansembourg, who was on a mission, got into a spin. The Belgian recovered and had to overtake almost the entire field. In the end he finished the race in second place.

Andrew and Max Banks scored a clear victory in their stunning bright yellow McLaren M6B in the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car race. In a field of 31 cars they proved untouchable, despite a strong Oliver Bryant in his Lola T70 Mk.IIIB.

From the start Andrew Banks stormed away and created a gap of 15 seconds over Bryant. At the mandatory stops Banks lead increased into 31 seconds and when he returned to the track his lead remained unchanged.

Six minutes before the finish the safety car was deployed. At the restart Max Banks and Oliver Bryant had to cope with a single lap sprint to the finish. Banks nailed the restart and drove the McLaren M6B to victory, 7.6 seconds in front of Oliver Bryant. Third place went to the Greek/British combination of Leo Voyazides and Simon Hadfield in a Lola T70 Mk.IIIB.

Twenty-one sports cars and GTs from the ’90s gave the crowd at Spa a real taste of how endurance racing went down around a decade ago. A mixed field of former LMP1 and LMP2 prototypes teamed up with former GT1, GT2 and GT3 cars.

Home hero Christophe d’Ansembourg was the man to beat in both races of the Masters Endurance Legends driving a Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2. The Belgian drove the Lola in Gulf livery to victory but was charged closely by Steve Tandy in a Lola-Mazda B12/60. Tandy got closer towards the mandatory stop but lost costly time in pit lane. In the end it was d’Ansembourg who finished first with a 5 second gap over Tandy.

During the second race it was d’Ansembourg who dictated the pace, but Tandy charged even stronger, especially after the mandatory stop. Before the stop the Belgian had a gap of 8 seconds, but the Briton started a final offensive that got him to 1.8 seconds on the finish line.

Kriton Lendoudis scored his second consecutive podium of the weekend finishing third in a Peugeot 908X. Christophe d’Ansembourg reached the highest top speed of all participating cars over the weekend in his Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2 at 286.5 km/h.

David Hart and his son Olivier from the Netherlands scored a commanding victory in the 90 minute Masters Gentlemen Drivers race in their immaculate AC Cobra despite a drive through penalty!

Due to oil on the track the race was started behind the safety car. Initially the race was lead by Andy Wolf in the #94 AC Cobra, followed by David Hart in the #76 Cobra. After the mandatory stops and driver change Michael Gans took the lead in the #94 AC Cobra, followed by young Olivier Hart in the #76 Cobra who was on a mission. Gans couldn’t do anything against Hart and despite a drive through penalty caused by his father by overtaking under a safety-car period he took victory.

The single Masters Pre-66 Touring Cars race became a prey for Sean McInerney and Phil Keen in the #64 Ford Mustang. The top three in this field of nearly 35 cars drove a lonely 61-minute race. McInerney and Keen claimed victory with a 21 second gap over Mike Gardiner and Andy Wolfe in their #37 Ford Falcon Sprint. Robert Fenn finished third in his dented Ford Mustang.

Twenty-one Jaguars entered the grid for their single 48 minute race with lots of E-Types and a handful others like the XK120, XK140, XK150 and Saloon Mk.1. Spa Six Hours winner Count Marcus von Oeynhausen-Sierstorpff scored his second win of the event by winning the Jaguar Classic Challenge with a crushing victory over Rhea Sautter and Andrew Newall.

Touring cars from the ’60s gathered into Historic Motor Racing News U2TC and provided a great show featuring drifting Alfa Romeos, Ford Cortinas and BMWs.

During the opening stages of their 61 minute race a great battle was fought between the Alfa Romeo GTA of Olivier Hart and the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA of Andrew and Max Banks who were in front. Seven laps before the finish the British Alfa dropped out of the race, giving the victory to Hart. The Lotus Cortina of Shaun Balfe and Andy Wolfe couldn’t match the speed of Hart’s Alfa and had to settle for second place.

Fans of historic single-seaters from the ’50s and ’60s were treated with large fields in both the Historic Grand Prix Car Association and Formula Junior. Several Coopers, Maseratis, Lotus and other iconic single-seaters raced over the Ardennes roller coaster. In Formula Junior several Lotus, Lolas, Coopers, Elvas and a Alexis Mk.4 cars treated the spectators to some great racing.

Besides the massive Spa Six Hours grid, the Historic Sports Car Club provided the largest grid of the weekend featuring 60 days. A mixture of prototypes, sports cars, GTs and touring cars could be seen including different Lolas, Chevrons, Ford Mustangs, Ford Falcons, a Ferrari 308 GTB and many more. As expected the prototypes dominated both 30 minute races with Bob and Vicky Brooks claiming victory during the first race in their Lola T212.

Remarkable were the Pre-War Sports Cars provided by Motor Racing Legends. These magic machines brought everybody on and across the track way back to the roaring ’20s and ’30s. Iconic brands including Bentley, Alfa Romeo, Talbot, Lagonda, Frazer Nash and Bugatti could be seen on track.

The highest top speed was provided by a 6.0-liter Menasco Pirate from 1929 reaching 173.9 km/h! The single 40 minute race was won by Rudi Friedrichs in an Alvis Firefly 4.3. He lapped almost the entire field except the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato Spyder from Austrians Martin and Niklas Halusa and the Bentley 3/4 ½ Ewen Bentley.

Last but definitely not least was the large field of historic sports cars from the Woodcote Trophy and Stirling Moss Trophy, giving spectators a glimpse of how it went down at the 24 Hours of Le Mans during the ’50s. Chris Ward drove his Lister Knobbly to victory in a field of 55 cars after Roger Wills (Lotus 15) and Oliver Bryant (Lotus 15) got into trouble.

As usual we focus on a few of the remarkable cars that were present during this great event. Pictured above is the McLaren M6B of Andrew and Max Banks, chassis 50-15 originally bought by Jo Bonnier.

Robin Herd and Gordon Cuppock designed the M6B in 1968 and it was in fact a new car and not a derivative of the earlier M6A. The M6B production version was built by Trojan from the UK and in the end 26 (in fact copies) based on the 1967 model left the production line. The M6B was powered by a 5.8 litre big block Chevrolet, generating 525 bhp at 7000 rpm.

Chassis 50-15 was already at Spa during the 2017 Spa Six Hours and before the car came to England it was raced and restored by Bob Lee from the United States. Swedish sports car racer and Formula 1 driver Joakim ‘Jo’ Bonnier bought the car in 1968 to race in the Can-Am Championship. Although the car was raced for a certain period with upgraded bodywork and wings, designated as a McLaren M12, Bob Lee restored it to the original M6B trim used by Bonnier.

Perhaps the loudest and without doubt one of the best sounding cars on track during the three-day event was this bright red Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive from 2002.

Prodrive developed a racing version of the Ferrari 550 Maranello to compete in FIA GT and the ALMS GT1 Championship. They constructed a total of 12 cars with chassis 108612. Pictured here is 108612-05, a car that debuted during the 12 hours of Sebring  in 2003 driven by Anthony Davidson, Darren Turner and Kelvin Burt. The car also competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours, Petit Le Mans and the 1000 km Le Mans in that year. From 2004 Larbre Competition from France operated 108612-05 in both the Le Mans Endurance Series and French FFSA championship, followed amonst others by the FIA GT Championship.

The car is fitted with the naturally aspirated 5.9 liter V12 engine generating 600 bhp at 6400 rpm. At Spa, Swiss racing driver Steve Zacchia was reunited with the car he drove back in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

One of the participating cars during the FIA Masters Historic F1 Championship at Spa was this De Tomaso 505 from 1970. Although it wears the brand Tomaso it was actually developed and built by Gianpaolo Dallara. Equipped with the commonly-used Cosworth 3.0 liter DFV engine Dallara developed the De Tomaso 505.

A young Frank Williams entered the car as team owner in 1970 for Piers Courage, a gentlemen driver from the UK. Although the car was brand new it couldn’t match the pace of older Formula 1 cars. Only when Dallara used a considerably lighter chassis did the Briton manage to qualify the car further up the grid. Courage tragically lost his life at the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort. Pictured above is De Tomaso 505-383.

The 26th edition of the unique Spa Six Hours was again a remarkable one. Large grids, great racing and perfect weather conditions treated the crowds with a true celebration of motorsport. We’re eagerly counting down the days for the 27th edition!

by Marcel Hundscheid / Speed-O-Graphica

Results Spa Six Hours 2018

Spa Six Hours Endurance Race

1) Count Marcus von Oeynhausen-Sierstorpff – Nico Verdonck, Ford GT40

2) Craig Davies – John Young – Andy Newall, Ford GT40, + 2.477

3) Philip Walker – Miles Griffiths – Gordon Shedden, Ford GT40, + 24.274

FIA Masters Historic F1 Championship race 1

1) Christophe d’Ansembourg, Williams FW07C

2) Mike Chantillon, Williams FW07, + 4.091

3) Joaquin Folch-Rusinol, Brabham BT49C,  + 8.252

FIA Masters Historic F1 Championship race 2

1) Mike Cantillon, Williams FW07

2) Christophe d’Ansembourg, Williams FW07/C, + 10.969

3) Joaquin Folch-Rusinol, Brabham BT49C,  + 14.748

FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship

1) Andrew Banks – Max Banks, McLaren M6B

2) Oliver Bryant, Lola T70 Mk.IIIB, + 7.607

3) Leo Voyazides – Simon Hadfield, + 10.127

Masters Endurance Legends race 1

1) Christophe d’Ansembourg, Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2

2) Steve Tandy, Lola-Mazda B12/60, + 5.076

3) Kriton Lendoudis, Peugeot 908X, + 28.043

Masters Endurance Legends race 2

1) Christophe d’Ansembourg, Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2

2) Steve Tandy, Lola-Mazda B12/60, + 1.877

3) Kriton Lendoudis, Peugeot 908X, + 27.815

Masters Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT

1) David Hart – Olivier Hart, AC Cobra

2) Leo Voyazides – Simon Hadfield, Shelby Daytona Cobra + 8.199

3) Michael Gans – Andy Wolfe , AC Cobra, + 9,151

Masters Pre-66 Touring Cars

1) Sean McInerney – Phil Keen, Ford Mustang

2) Mike Gardiner – Andy Wolfe, Ford Falcon Sprint, + 21.434

3) Robert Fenn, Ford Mustang, + 1:42.755

Jaguar Classic Challenge

1) Count Marcus von Oeynhausen-Sierstorpff, Jaguar E-Type

2) Rhea Sautter – Andrew Newall, Jaguar E-Type, + 37.620

3) Nick Riley – Ben Short, Jaguar E-Type, + 1:01.989

Historic Motor Racing News U2TC

1) Olivier Hart – Alfa Romeo GTA

2) Shaun Balfe – Andy Wolfe, Lotus Cortina, + 13.309

3) Mark Martin – Andrew Haddon,  Ford Lotus Cortina, + 25.893

Historic Grand Prix Car Association race 1

1) Rudi Friedrichs, Cooper T53

2) Tom Dark, Cooper T51, + 321.857

3) Michael Gans, Cooper T79, + 39.344

Historic Grand Prix Car Association race 2

1) Michael Gans, Cooper T79

2) Peter Horsman, Lotus 18/21, + 0.174

3) Rudi Friedrichs, Cooper T53, + 7.313

Formula Junior HRA race 1

1) Chris Goodwin, Lotus 22

2) Stuart Roach, Alexis Mk.4, + 8.788

3) Martin Bullock, Lotus 27, + 8.948

Formula Junior HRA race 2

1) Chris Goodwin, Lotus 22

2) Stuart Roach, Alexis Mk.4 + 20.233

3) Lee Mowle, Lotus 20/22, + 20.913

Historic Sports Car Club race 1

1) Bob Brooks – Vicky Brooks, Lola T212

2) Kevin Cooke, March 75S, + 2.043

3) Robert Beebee – Steve Brooks,  Lola T70 Mk.IIIB, + 9.405

Historic Sports Car Club race 2

1) Leo Voyazides, Lola T282

2) Guy Peeters, Chevron B23, + 10.862

3) Kevin Cooke, March 75S, + 11.537

Pre-War Sports Cars

1) Rudi Friedrichs, Alvis Firefly 4.3

2) Martin Halusa – Niklas Halusa,  Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato Spyder, + 2:37.742

3) Bentley 3/4 ½, Ewen Bentley, + 2:55.853

Woodcote Trophy – Stirling Moss Trophy

1) Chris Ward, Lister Knobbly

2) Keith Ahlers – Billy Bellinger, Lola Mk.1 Prototype, + 23.724

3) Justin Maeers – Charlie Martin, Cooper Monaco, + 24.739

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.