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Report & Gallery: Spa Six Hours 2021 – The Sound Of History

Submitted by on October 7, 2021

By Marcel Hundscheid / Speed-O-Graphica

The 28th edition of the Spa Six Hours – The Sound of History – should actually have taken place in 2020, before the COVID pandemic put an end to all plans. However, the organization behind the Spa Six Hours in the capable hands of the Roadbook organization led by Alain Defalle and Vincent Collard ensured that a resounding edition would go into the books over the first weekend of October in 2021. Motorsport Retro’s European correspondent Marcel Hundscheid was present and created this lively report and gallery. The meeting saw three days of historic motorsport headlined by the unique historic six-hour race on Saturday afternoon. This year’s program included pre-war cars, touring cars, Formula Junior, Grand Prix cars from the 1960s, Formula 1 cars from the 1970s and 1980s, sports prototypes and GTs from the 1950s, 1960s and the post-2000 period.

The Spa Six Hours itself was graced by a field of over 80 cars that featured no fewer than 12 Ford GT40s competing against Cobras, Jaguar E-Types, TVRs, Porsches and more. Both COVID-19 and Brexit affected the additional classes and some of the fields turned out to be halved compared to the edition in 2019. Happily, the quality of competition was no less.

The weather in Spa spoke volumes as usual, and we went from beautiful late summer weather on Friday to a cloudy Saturday and torrential rain on Sunday.

As expected, the fierce battle in the Spa Six Hours turned into a GT40 get-together. Pole sitter Frank Stippler was confronted with technical problems immediately after the start in his GT40. During the first hour it was the DHG Racing GT40 of father and son Hart and Nicky Pastorelli locked in a fierce battle with the GT40 of Jim Farley and Eric van de Poele before oth cars suffered from technical problems and dropped back.

In the end, it was the GT40 of Oliver Bryant and James Cottingham that grabbed the lead and took victory. But not without problems as Bryant lost his fourth gear just 25 minutes after the race started. From that point he and Cottingham had to nurse the blue GT40 all the way to the flag. Proper fuel management, two stops under saftey car lead and some decent racing lead to victory.

FIA Masters Historic F1 Championship brought just 12 cars to the grid for the first race. During the opening laps a tasteful battle ensued between Christophe d’Ansembourg and Mike Cantillon Williams for the lead of the race. But it was Jamie Constable who was given the win when both Williams drivers retired with technical problems.

Rain dominated the race on Sunday, with Nick Padmore controlling the first part of the race in his Lotus 77. As he had to retire after just 3 laps it was Mike Cantillon who drove to victory having started at the very back of the grid in his Williams. Austrian Lukas Halusa finished 2nd in a McLaren M23 and Steve Brooks scored his second podium finish of the weekend.

The scenario changed on Sunday, with rain making the drivers’ task very difficult. Padmore dominated the start of the race, but eventually returned to the pit lane with a broken throttle cable and let Irishman Mike Cantillon, who had left the back of the grid, drive to victory. Young Austrian Lukas Halusa, who was absent the day before due to engine problems with the ex-Jochen Mass McLaren M23, took a strong silver medal ahead of Steve Brooks and Christophe d’Ansembourg.

By the time the Masters Historic Sport Car championship rolled up, the weather conditions had further deteriorated and the field was faced with heavy rain.

Pole sitter Oliver Bryant lead the race but had to retire after 13 laps just as Olivier Hart did in his T70 after just 6 laps. Tom Bradshaw inherited the lead in his Chevron B19, but two laps before the chequered flag his engine sputtered. This gave way to Manfredo Rossi in his Abarth-Osella PA1 who grabbed the lead on the very last lap of the race.

A great show was provided by the Grand Prix cars from the ’50s and ’60s gathered into the Historic Grand Prix Car Association. Pole sitter William Nuthall cashed in on his pole position start and grabbed victory in his Cooper T53 during the first race of the weekend. On Sunday Phil Keen was the man to beat, skillfully navigating pouring rain in his Lotus 18. During the first race on Saturday Keen made an unlikely comeback starting from the back of the grid.

Sports cars and GTs of a more recent era found their way onto the grid under the banner of the Masters Endurance Legends. The former Le Mans and IMSA prototypes were the fastest cars on the track with a field of over 20 cars.

Briton Shaun Lynn won the first race in a Peugeot 908. His son Maxwell finished second in a BR01 prototype as Jamie Constable drove his Pescarolo LMP1 to the third place.

In race 1, the Peugeot 908 of Briton Shaun Lynn won, ahead of Maxwell Lynn’s BR 01, none other than Shaun’s son! Jamie Constable, driving a Pescarolo LMP1 in Gulf livery, completed the top three, while Christophe d’Ansembourg had bad luck with his beautiful Lola Aston Martin. He crashed at Les Combes.

Belgian Christophe d’Ansembourg also ran out of luck. On Saturday he drove is Lola-Aston Martin to pole position but he crashed with his Lola-Aston Martin in Les Combes during the last lap of the race. Shaun Lynn managed to keep his Peugeot trackside despite rain on Sunday. It gave the Briton his second win of the weekend.

One of the most beautiful starting fields this weekend came from the combined Woodcote Trophy and Stirling Moss Trophy. James Cottingham and Harvey Stanley dominated the race in a Tojeiro Ecosse Jaguar and never disappeared from the top of the standings. Michael Gans took second place in the Lotus XV, while the streamlined Lister Costin of Dutchmen Hans Hugenholtz and Nicky Pastorelli completed the top three.

Both Dutchmen made Cottingham’s life far from easy during the first part of the race, but an unleashed Michael Gans drove his way from 12th on the grid to 2nd place. In the Woodcote Trophy it was the Cooper T38 of Fred Wakeman and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards who took the win.

Andrew Jordan and Roy Alderslade drove their AC Cobra Daytona Coupé to a supreme start-finish victory in de Masters Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GTs. Although Jordan had initially to fend off Sam Hancock in his Cobra Daytona Coupe, Hancock’s team mate Nikolaus Ditting couldn’t match the speed. In the end he and Hancock finished the 90 minute race in 4th place. Second place went to the Jaguar E-Type of Phil Keen and Lee Mowle. Andrew Haddon completed the winners podium with his third place driving a Lotus Elan.

The usual large field of Ford Lotus Cortinas, Alfa Romeo GTAs and Mini Coopers was absent this year. An interesting field of touring cars from the seventies and eighties appeared at the start in U2TC with the Tony Dron Trophy.  Tasteful were two monstrous Nissan Skylines, a number of BMW M3 E30s, Ford Capri RS3100, Ford Escorts, BMW CSL, 635 and 2002 etc.

The Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth of Paul Mensley and Matthew Ellis dominated the opening laps in race 1. Shortly after the mandatory stop their raced ended in the gravel pit. So, victory went to the impressive Ric Wood and Jake Hill Nissan Skyline GT-R ahead of Simon Garrad’s Skyline. Christophe Van Riet drove his BMW M3 E30 to a first podium.

The second race on Sunday became a prey for Garrad as he drove his Skyline to victory. The Mensley/Ellis Sierra finished second, Martin and Lukas Halusa finished third in their splendid looking BMW CSL.

In addition to all this beauty, there were also races in the Masters Pre-66 Touring Cars, Formula Junior and the racing cars from the pre-war period.  A big compliment must be made to the entire Roadbook team. Despite the limitations in the world, Roadbook has managed to crown the 28th edition of the Spa Six Hours into a jewel once again. We’re already counting down the days for the 29th edition.

Let’s take a closer look at some remarkable cars that were raced over the weekend.

Gordon Coppuck designed the McLaren M29 for the 1979 and 1980 F1 World Championship featuring ground effect. Coppuck constructed a new smaller and lighter chassis, debuted by John Watson at the 1979 British Grand Prix. Watson finished in fourth place, although it became clear that the M29 couldn’t match the performance of the Williams FW07 and Ligier JS11. Coppuck improved the M29 for the 1980 season but like the previous year Watson only managed to score two fourth places.

Between 1979 and 1980 McLaren produced five cars. In the end the M29 turned out as one of McLaren’s least successful F1 cars. The M29 that appeared at Spa was actually a McLaren M29C, driven by Warren Briggs from New Zealand. This car was raced in period by Patrick Tambay and John Watson. The car was restored by WDK Motorsport.

Nissan’s brutal Skyline R32, nicknamed Godzilla, dominated the Japanese Grand Touring Championship from 1990 until 1994. Introduced in February 1990, the model was offered as a road car as well as for Group A racing.

Nissan won all 29 races it entered in the Japanese Grand Touring Championship. The car won the Bathurst 1000 twice (1991-1992) in Australia, despite receiving an additional 140 kg in weight penalties.  In 1991 the R32 took the overall win of the Spa 24 Hours after claiming pole position, beating the Porsche 911 and BMW M3.

One of the two Skylines that raced in Spa this weekend was this blue R32 from 1990 in Calsonic-livery, driven by Ric Wood and Jake Hill.

South African and former Cooper Formula One mechanic Basil Green fitted V6 engines to the Ford Capri during the early 70s. Around 20 cars were built. Ford South Africa offered their own Essex V6 engine and in a response Green started to use the 5.0 liter Windsor V8 engine that was used on the Mustang.

From that point the Ford Capri Perana saw life. Ford sanctioned the car and could be ordered as a Capri 3000XL Mk.I from any based South African Ford dealer. Basil Green Motors fitted the car with the 5.0 liter Mustang V8 engine. Besides the V8 engine, the Perana was equipped with an uprated gearbox and suspension and a four-barrel Holley carburetor. The Perana dominated the South African production car championship from 1970-72 in the hands of Bobby Olthoff in the epic Gunston livery.


Masters Historic F1

Race 1

1) Jamie Constable, Tyrrell 011

2) Nick Padmore, Lotus 77, + 6.437

3) Steve Brooks, Lotus 91, + 20.732

Race 2

1) Mike Cantillon, Williams FW07C

2) Lukas Halusa, McLaren M23, + 4.827

3) Steve Brooks, Lotus 91, + 1:06.010

Masters Historic Sports Car

1) Manfredo Rossi di Montelera, Abarth Osella PA1

2) Tom Bradshaw, Chevron B19, +23.597

3) Michael Gans, Lola T290, + 1:16.907

Historic Grand Prix Car Association

Race 1

1) William Nuthall, Cooper T53

2) Phil Keen, Lotus 18 915, + 38.961

3) Rudi Friedrichs, Cooper T53, + 1:07.562

Race 2

1) Phil Keen, Lotus 18 915

2) William Nuthall, Cooper T53, + 11.946

3) Rudi Friedrichs, Cooper T53, + 1:24.031

Masters Endurance Legends

Race 1

1) Shaun Lynn, Peugeot 908

2) Maxwell Lynn, BR01, + 26.508

3) Jamie Constable, Pescarolo LMP1, + 40.639

Race 2

1) Shaun Lynn, Peugeot 908

2) Rui Aguas, BR01, + 37.486

3) Maxwell Lynn, BR01, + 55.395

Masters Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GTs

1) Rory Alderslade-Andrew Jordan, AC Cobra Daytona Coupe

2) Lee Mowle-Phil Keen, Jaguar E-Type, + 1:33.467

3) Andrew Haddon, Lotus Elan, + 1:42.366

Masters Pre-66 Touring Cars

1) Richard Dutton, Ford Lotus Cortina

2) Marcus Jewell-Ben Clucas, Ford Lotus Cortina, + 0.341

3) Alex Furiani, Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA, + 4.890

Stirling Moss Trophy

1) James Cottingham-Harvey Stanley, Tojeiro Ecosse Jaguar

2) Michael Gans, Lotus XV,+ 14.360

3) Hans Hugenholtz-Nicky Pastorelli, Lister Costin, + 16.250

Woodcote Trophy

1) Fred Wakeman-Patrick Blakeny-Edwards, Cooper T38

2) Steve Brooks-Martin O’Connell, Jaguar D-Type

3) Rudi Friedrichs, Jaguar C-Type

Historic Touring Car Challenge

Race 1

1) Ric Wood-Jake Hill, Nissan Skyline GT-R

2) Simon Garrad, Nissan Skyline R32, + 24.301

3) Christophe van Riet, BMW M3 E30,  + 1:34.935

Race 2

1) Simon Garrad, Nissan Skyline R32

2) Paul Mensley-Matthew Ellis, Ford Sierra RS500, + 58.134

3) Martin Halusa-Lukas Halusa, BMW 3.0 CSL, +1:55.280

Historic Formula Junior

Race 1

1) Alex Ames, Envoy-FJ

2) Manfredo Rossi di Montelera, Lotus 22, + 1.394

3) Mark Shaw, Brabham BT6, + 2.735

Race 2

1) Manfredo Rossi di Montelera, Lotus 22

2) Alex Ames, Envoy-FJ, + 10.393

3) Mark Shaw, Brabham BT6, + 1:00.232

Pre-War Sports Cars

1) Fred Wakeman-Patrick Blakeny-Edwars, Frazer Nash TT Replica Supersport

2) Justin Maeers-Ben Maeers, GN Parker, + 0.368

3) Michael Birch-Gareth Burnett, Talbot AV105 Brooklands, + 34.793

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