Thursday, 18 October 2012 19:20

20th Spa Six Hours Francorchamps - Part 2

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Top Hat Masters
The “Top Hat”,another great classic of the Masters Series, features both GT cars and touring cars built before 1975. There are four distinct classes according to the cars’ periods and specifications. With more than 60 cars on the grid, this one hour race promised to be one of the favourites of the Sunday. It was Chris and Ant Scragg’s ex-Broadspeed Jaguar XJ12C on pole position followed by Sean and Robert Brown’s Ford Escort Mk1. Third fastest was Ian McCallum’s Aston Martin DB5. The best of the Pre-66 Touring Cars was Leo Voyazides (Ford Falcon) ahead of the Mercury Comet Cyclone of Roger Wills/Brendon Hartley and Henry Mann’s Ford Mustang.

From the start the Broadspeed Jag took the lead and kept it for 14 laps but then the engine lost all it’s oil because of a blown engine. The track in the S-turn of Fagnes was coated with oil and although the Marshalls tried to warn the following cars with the red/yellow oil-flag, within a few seconds one after another car lost control and went into the gravel making the corner look like a junkyard. To name a few cars; 2 Ford Capris, Ford Lotus Cortina, Ford Grand Torino, Ford Escort RS, Porsche 914/6, Chevrolet Camaro,  2 Austin Healeys 3000 and the car with the most damage the McCallum’s Aston Martin DB5. On both sides there were deep impacts but happily, despite the  hefty impact driver John Bussell suffered only cuts and bruises. Chris Scragg’s retirement allowed Mark Bates (Porsche 911 RSR) to win the race followed by former oval racer Jim McLoughlin in a Ford Capri. Third was Leo Voyazides (Ford Falcon).

Talking about great competition and forcing a car to it’s limits then the U2TC race is the traditional ode to the show of this weekend. The famous U2TC brings together Touring cars under 2 litres where the Lotus Cortinas, AlfaRomeo GTA, BMW 1800TiSA and Mini Coopers S are the entered cars.

The last couple of years there were just a couple of Mini Coopers entered in this race series but happily these famous little cars are back again ! At Spa the race was dominated again by the Alfa Romeo GTA of Furiani and Hahne, who got the better of the BMW 1800 TISA of Shaw and Jackie Oliver and the Ford Cortina Lotus of Voyazides and Hadfield. Lynn and Pirro finished in 7th place in another Ford Cortina Lotus, whilst Brendon Hartley crossed the line in 15th spot, at the wheel of a … Mini Cooper S!

Historic Sports Car Club races
The Historic Sports Car Club contributed two races to the program with the Saloon and Sports Car race and a Formula Junior race on both days. The Sports Car race was dominated by a quintet of Chevron B8s running in their own league followed by the Jaguar E-Type of Andre Bailly and the Lotus Elan driven by Peter Tooms. In the Formula Junior race it was David Methley (Brabham BT6) and John Milicevic (Cooper T5) sharing the spoils.

Gentlemen Drivers
This race was the last race on Sunday evening and with 100 minutes the longest of the day but after the big accident in the Top Hat race, the race was shortened to 90 minutes.

With a number of regular Gentlemen Drivers cars racing in the Spa Six Hours instead, the entry was a bit limited. The equippe Nigel Greensall/Karsten le Blanc put their AC Cobra on pole position ahead of Simon Hadfield (in Leo Voyazides Cobra). Third fastest was Gary Pearson in Carlos Monteverde’s E-Type. The race was won by Greensall/Karsten le Blanc (AC Cobra) after the Cobra of Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield retired with fuel pump failure. That allowed the tiny Lotus XI of Danny Wright/Philip Walker to take second place just in front of the well-driven Lotus Elan of Graham and Andy Wilson.

Grand Prix Masters and Historic Grand Prix Cars
Simon Fish won both races of the GP Masters in the Ensign N180. A second place for Jean-Michel Martin (Fittipaldi F8) who attacked for the lead at the last corner in the second race. On Saturday he spun round in the La Course corner.This must have raised the adrenaline as he passed all the other competitors and finished just behind Fish. Paul Grant was less lucky as he crashed his Trojan 103 on top of Raidillon and hit the wall. Paul was taken to the hospital where the doctors diagnosed a broken  leg and knee.

The Historic Grand Prix Car Association had the second to last meeting in Spa this year before the final race at Imola. The oldest car on track, and unfortunately the only car in this class, was the ERA R1B driven by American Michael Gans. Both races were won by Jon Minshaw in a Brabham BT4.

British Sports-, GT & Saloon Challenge
In the British Sports-, GT & Saloon Challenge the spoils went to the Ford Escort RS1600 of Laki Christoforou, second was J. Knight (Morgan +8) and third McCarthy in a MGB GT V8.

This 20th edition of the Spa Six Hours was again a fabulous event, with great racing all weekend.

Key to images:

Top row:             Top Hat race Great battle between the Minis
                        Top Hat race Ford Capri 3.0 finished third and E-Type finished forth
                        Top Hat crash 10 cars involved, most damage to the Aston Martin DB5
                        U2TC  BMW 1800 TiSA grazes the Fiat Abarth


Middle:              Alex Furiani in the well-prepared Alfa Romeo GTA 1600
                        HSCC race  Lotus Europa twin cam
                        1968 Ginetta G16 in the HSCC race
                        Chevron B8s were unbeatable in the HSCC race


Bottom:             Afterburner Mustang !
                        Lotus XI finished second in the Gentlemen Drivers race
                        ERA R1B followed by the Walker Special GP Tipo 10
                        Lifting a wheel, Rod Jolley’s Cooper T45/61


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