Saturday, 07 September 2019 18:52

AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix 9-11 August 2019

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The 47th AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix, attracted more than 53,000 spectators. Approximately 500 historic racing cars were present at the Nürburgring, showing their muscles on the tarmac with an immense roar of the well tuned engines. The weather conditions were constantly changing with a heavy shower during Friday’s qualifying sessions in the afternoon. The weather during the races on Saturday increasingly took a turn towards the sunny side, so adding some more spice to the competition because on the wet track in qualifying the lighter and more agile classic cars frequently had an advantage, while during racing under dry conditions the more powerful vehicles were able to leverage their strengths. Hence the spectators saw gripping races with many position battles.
As in previous years, numerous Porsche owners were invited to the Nürburgring, to show their cars to all visitors of the event. A special one-make meeting at the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix is also planned by Skoda. The Czech manufacturer Skoda celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Octavia model but showcased other models from the company’s history as well. Lotus took advantage of the opportunity to provide a glimpse of the future. A new car for customer racing – the Lotus Evora GT4 – celebrated its European debut this weekend. For many years the German classic car magazine Motor Klassik is present in the paddock in a huge party tent. Special vehicles are always on display here and this year, six very special Abarth sportscars and GTs from the 60s and the 70s were showed. The cars on display were from the Engelbert Möll’s collection in Switzerland. This former Abarth works driver became an avid collector of the Italian brand after retiring from his active career. Over the years, he collected and restored 45 Abarth racing cars – particularly the very rare or valuable ones.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Saturday evening race The evening race for two-seater racing cars and GT vehicles to 1960/61 was also the major highlight this year. Fifty cars were allowed for this race and under a red The evening sky one felt reminded of the Le Mans race of the fifties with marques like Lola, Elva, Porsche RSK, Lotus 15, Lotus 17, Lister-Chevrolets, Lister-Jaguars, Aston Martin DB4 GT, Porsche 904, Porsche 356 and Maseratis. In the 65 minutes race a 1960 Lotus 15 was the front runner driven by the Swiss Michael Gans. He won the race 32 seconds in front of the equippe Mark Lewis/Julian Majzub in a Lister Chevrolet Knobbly from 1959.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Single seaters Forteen Formula 1 cars from the late 1970s and early 1980s powered Cosworth engines drove their races in the FIA Masters Historic Formula One championship.  Both races were won by Martin Stretton in a Tyrrell 012, albeit with a relatively small lead. In the first race Mike Cantillon followed in the Williams FW07C in 2nd place. In the second race on Sunday Matteo Ferreraza (Ligier JS11/15) finished second. In both races for Historic Grand Prix Cars 39 cars started from the grid. The first race, Michael Gans took victory in a Cooper T 79, while the second race went to Peter Horsman in the Lotus 18/21.  With over 40 single seaters with center and front engines, the FIA Lurani Trophy was very well staffed. Twice Manfredo Rossi Di Montelera (Lotus 22) was on top of the podium twice, in both races of 13 laps Bruno Weibel from Switzerland (also Lotus 22), was just split seconds behind.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Beautiful GT vehicles For many spectators, however, not the single-seaters, but the GT sports cars are the favorites. Whether four, six, eight or twelve cylinders, at the Nürburgring they convinced again with their beautiful shapes and impressive sounds. The Masters Gentlemen Drivers race showed spectacular racing with Shelby Cobra Daytona’s, Jaguar E-Types, Lotus Elan 26Rs and a beautiful Ferrari 250 GTO. The Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé driven by Julian Thomas and Andy Wolfe led the entire race but short on it’s tail was Nicky Pastorelli’s Ferrari 250 GTO. The Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé of Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield finished third.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Touring Cars In the AvD Touring Car and GT Trophy almost half of the entries were all kind of variants of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. The spectrum ranged from 1300 GTA Juniors, 1600 GTAs, 1750 GTAMs to 2000 GTAMs, most of them replicas but who cares. The 65 minute race was an Escort RS1600 affair as three of these Fords were in the lead for almost the whole race. Just in the last round the Escort of the Dane Lars Bojvad gave up. This allowed Alex Furiani to finish third in the Alfa 1600 GTA.  From a visitor’s point of view, one could look back on a successful event that offered an armada of beautiful, fast and legendary racing cars. Twenty race series and regularity tests took the visitors on a time journey from the pre-war era all the way to the World Endurance Championship racing cars of the 2010s.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pictures by Guus Docen
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