Following annual tradition, we visit the Spa Six Hours event. As an outdoor track event, this is the final event of the season for us and we look forward to it every year.
The name Spa Six Hours is actually the name of just one part of the whole weekend. I cover that very briefly in this report and you can expect a very comprehensive version from Joris.
Friday around noon the first races start after Thursday’s qualifications.
Sport Proto 2000
Perhaps the smallest starting field of the weekend and actually a bit of a shame. Not that there is anything wrong with these cars, but when only seven appear at the start, a car passes every so often. Of those seven, there were also four Chevron B8 cars and even though the drive among the drivers was no less, we think that next edition should be different.
The Winners were the duo Chris & Freddy Lillingston-Price with their Chevron B88. They completed their fastest lap at 2:44:855 with an average speed of 152.9 Kph.
Masters Endurance Legends – Race 1
With eighteen at the start is still not a big number but the cars are all the more impressive. What was at least as impressive was that the Peugeot 908 with Stuart Wiltshire at the wheel started on pole and finished the race! The second Peugeot 908 unfortunately crashed in Speaker Corner. The Masters Endurance Legends includes several categories.
Thus, the duo Claude Bovet and David McDonald with their Aston Martin Vantage GT3 went away with the win in this class. This just ahead of the nose of the duo Christophe Van Riet and Eric Mestdagh with their Chrysler Viper GTS-R.
HGPCA – Pre ’66 Grand Prix Cars – Race 1
For those who know me a little know that this series along with Pre-war still make my heart beat a beat faster. When you see that graceful Maserati 250F passing by, I think it could hardly be otherwise. It was one of the more exciting races as halfway through the course the weather changed. The rain, of course, created the necessary spectacle for the many spectators who turned up. Whether the drivers feel the same way I doubt, although with a few exceptions you don’t notice it in their driving style. Because even though they sometimes drive very expensive machines, they really go for it.
The field is dominated by the light Cooper T53 and T79. Rudi Friedrichs’ Cooper was in the lead for a long time but had to throw in the towel due to gearbox problems. As a result, Tim Child’s Brabham BT3/4 crossed the finish line first. Among the heavier machines with the engine in front, most attention went to John Spiers’ Maserati 250F. Unfortunately, his race ended when he went off at Combes. As a result, the smoking Scarab Offenhauser with Mark Shaw at the wheel won this series.
Masters Racing Legens – F1 Cars 66-85 – Race 1
During this first race with the F1 cars, it was still raining. As a result, choices had to be made regarding tyres. Some competitors went for slicks anyway. Mike Cantillon started with his Williams FW07C from pole and also took the best start. However, at La Source things got very tense for the Irishman for a moment, allowing Nick Padmore to take the lead with his Lotus 711. After a safety car intervention, Mike Cantillon with his ex-Keke Rosberg car was able to retake the lead which he would not relinquish, taking the win by barely 29 thousandths of a second.
Pre-War Sports Cars
The first lap was already a party, the GN Parker of Justin and Charles Maeers was on the front row of the grid and thinking back to last year’s race for a moment, we knew that these guys really give their all. However, the fun was not to last long because quasi in front of us they had to retire due to technical problems.
The remaining 24 competitors did not let it get to them and went full steam ahead. The race was won by the duo of Ross Keeling and Callum Lockie with their beautiful Delahaye 135. Second came Christopher Mann’s equally beautiful Alfa Romeo 8C Monza and third place went to Martin Halusa’s Bugatti Type 35 !
Belcar Historic Cup – Race 1
Twice I was drowned as a chicken from the rain on Friday. One of those times was during the Belcar Historic Cup when I walked from the pits to the Raidillon for some shelter on the new grandstand. If you haven’t been there yet definitely go and have a look. The view there is really very good.
The persistent torrential rain made for a slightly delayed start and masses of spectacle. To keep up the pace in this weather, you really have to be cut from the right cloth. For quite a while, Guy Fastres managed to maintain the lead with his BMW M3 E30 on slicks, but after a big slide, the Bavarian car ended up in the rails.
The race ended under red flag with the initial winner being G. Fastres with his BMW M3 E30. However, this was without counting the various penalties which suddenly put team Moortgat’s Renault Clio with Italian Ilaria Stalliviera at the wheel in first place.
This just ahead of Erik Qvick’s beautiful BMW 320i STW.
Masters GT Trophy
Rain continued to fall incessantly during this race as well. The Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo was favourite and confirmed its role. In the GT4, the win was for Hans Hugenholtz in a Ford Mustang FR500C
Roadbook made a beautiful aftermovie that you can admire above.
HGPCA – Pre’66 Grand Prix Cars – Race 2
Meanwhile, it is Saturday and the sun is shining brightly, as we often say it to each other, the earlier you can get to these kinds of classic car racing events the bigger the starting fields are. By Friday’s race there were already four fewer cars on Saturday, and the misfortune is that two fewer Maserati 250F crossed the finish line.
However, that does not detract from the fact that it was another exciting race. The Cooper drivers had sharpened their knives after Friday’s defeat when Tim Child’s Brabham BT3/4 ran away with the win. With the track completely dry, Luxembourg’s Michael Gans was able to drive to the lead and won there with his Cooper T79.
In the category of cars with the engine at the front, the Maserati 250F with John Spiers at the wheel would claim victory today.
For me, the Maserati 250F remains a fantastic car on which we have been able to mount our GoPro in the past. So if you want to take a few tours with Guillermo Fierro just click on the clip above.
Masters Endurance Legends – Race 2
Whereas on Friday the Dallara-Oreca had to settle for third place, on Saturday it could go for the win with Antoine d’Ansembourg at the wheel.
In the GTs, the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Swiss Claude Bovet and Briton David McDonald could again finish ahead of the Chrysler Viper GTS-R of Belgians Christophe Van Riet and Eric Mestdagh.
Belcar Historic Cup – Race 2
Two days in a row the most impressive starting field apart from the six hours. With as many as 44 cars at the start, all of Spa vibrated at the start of this second race. Where on Friday it was difficult for the St Paul team to get to the front it succeeded on Saturday. This allowed the mighty Ford Capri 3100 RS of Dutchman Wim Kuijl to take first place. In second place was the Corvette C4 of Belgian Luc Branckaerts.
At the start it might have been a bit of a squeeze for Italian Ilaria Stalliviera with her Renault Clio. Thanks to her win on Friday, she was now side by side on the front row next to Erik Qvick’s BMW 320i E36 STW. The fun was not to last long, however, as she did manage to finish the race and finished in a creditable 34th place that still managed to keep several BMW 325i behind her.
Masters Sports Car Legends
A starting field of 19 competitors, nine of which were driving a Lola. So the chances of a Lola grabbing the podium were also very high. However, the Chevron B23 with Kyle Tilley tried to break the Lola dominance. If not for his brake problems, he might have succeeded too. The duo of Diogo Ferrao and Martin Stretton won this race with their Lola T292
Masters Racing Legends F1 Cars 66-85 – Race 2
After Antoine d’Ansembourg’s victory on Friday with his Dallara-Oreca in the Masters Endurance Legends, it was now up to Werner d’Ansembourg. With his Brabham BT49 ex-Nelson Piquet, he managed to dominate this series. He finished ahead of the Tyrrell 011 of American Ken Tyrrel and did so with a still wide lead of 13.451 seconds.
In the class of cars without ‘ground effect’, victory went to Nick Padmore’s Lotus 77.
Spa Six Hours Endurance
Definitely the highlight of the weekend. With around 20 Ford GT40s in this series and looking at who has won in previous years, it was almost predictable that this year too the podium would be dominated by Ford.
Qualifying on Friday took place partly in the rain which of course provided the necessary slides and spectacle.
However, to everyone’s surprise, only one Ford managed to keep the small but lightning-fast Lotus Elan 26R from winning. An unimaginable performance by the Lotus and we are already looking forward to next year’s edition in that respect.
For the complete report on the Spa Six Hours Endurance race, please refer to Joris’ story