Saturday, 22 July 2023 18:06
Spa-Francorchamps Summer Classic 7-9 July 2023Written by Guus Docen
The 15th edition of Spa Summer Classic was again an eclectic event as the programme featured cars from the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and even the early 2000s. The most important race of the weekend was again the Spa 3 Hours, starting at 19.00 h. and a finish at nightfall. Considered as the 'little sister' of the Spa Six Hours Endurance race, this race welcomes touring cars and GTs built until 1976. The public was be able to visit this event without paying entry fee with access to the whole circuit, including the new stands at the Raidillon curve and the Endurance zone.
- The Spa 3 Hours race welcomed 67 racing teams with a crew of professional mechanics in the pits. Winners in 2021 and 2022 Christophe Van Riet and Fred Bouvy (Shelby Cobra) didn’t participate this year. The Ginetta G4R driven by Palle Pedersen/Nicolai Kjaergaard (Denmark) took the pole position followed by the Porsche 911 3.0 RS driven by Lars Rolner (DK) and Pierre-Alain Thibaut (Be). After 8 laps the Ginetta was out of the race and for the next six laps the lead was in hands of Rolner/Thibaut. From lap 38 the British equippe Tordoff/Jordan (Lotus Elan) were able to catch up an impressive number of cars and in lap 40 they took the lead and won the three hours race. Last year this equippe was also very succesfull as they steered the same Lotus to an impressive sixth overall in the Six Hours race. Can’t wait to see them in the 2023 Spa Six Hours !
- The Bimmer Race Car Challenge (BRCC) made its debut this weekend at Francorchamps, and promises to present spectacle races for fans of the German brand. Organized by the same team behind the Youngtimer Touring Car Challenge (YTCC), the BRCC hosts a range of competition BMWs up to 1991. 'Bimmer' is a nickname commonly used to describe BMW cars. The name Bimmer originated in the 1970s in the United States. It is derived from "Beemer" or "Beamer", nicknames for BMW motorbikes that originated in the UK. There were Fortythree BMWs on the grid, most of 3-series including M3 (E30 and E36), 325i but also an M1 Procar.
- Sixty six cars started in the Colmore Youngtimer Touring Car Challenge, a series for Touring Cars, GTs, Sports Cars, Prototypes and even Le Mans and Imsa cars until 1990. In 1993 this racing series started as the Youngtimer Trophy in the Netherlands and during the years it has become much more a European series so in 2008 it was decided to rename the Youngtimer Trophy into Youngtimer Touring Car Challenge or YTCC. The YTCC has now become a non-championship international racing series with participants from the Netherlands, Germany, Great-Britain, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland. At Spa two races were won by the German Walter Hoffmann in a McLaren MC1. The third race on Sunday was won by the German Christian Nowak in a CN-Cobra.
- The combined series Dutch GTs&Touring Cars Championship and German Triumph Competition & British HTGT had two races with 47 cars on the grid. The TVR Griffith driven by Oliver and Nigel Reuben were on pole position and won both races. The striking Plymouth Barracuda driven by Swede Jari Konola finished third in both races.
- The Belcar Historic & Youngtimer Cup is a championship suited for youngtimers built until 2000. On the grid was a various mix of brands, in total 50 cars. BMW E30 M3, Ford Capri RS3100, Ford Escort RS2000, Renault Alpine A110, Mini Cooper S but also a Volvo 240 Turbo and a Toyota Celica ! Belgium Wim Kuijl (Ford Capri RS3100) won the race on Saturday and Luc Moortgat (Porsche 964) finished first in race two on Sunday.
- The only single seater open wheel racing cars competing this weekend were the Formula 3 cars from the Drexler Formula Cup. More than 35 cars started in two exciting races, most of them Dallara’s with a 2 litre 4 cylinder engine from Mercedes, VW,Fiat and Toyota.
- Weather conditions were quite extreme this weekend with temperatures rising to 30 degrees Celsius on Saturday. Sunday afternoon it became cloudy and within an hour it started to rain during the second race of the Dutch GTs&Touring Cars Championship and Triumph Competition & British HTGT. The last two races Belcar Historic Cup and Bimmer Challenge could be watched at a more pleasant temperature. Again a very nice classic race-event at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
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