The 30th edition of the Spa Six Hours is just around the corner! From September 27 to October 1 2023, the Roadbook Organisation will be offering fans of historic racing an exceptional cocktail, but also a revamped format. The races and their qualifications will be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Qualifying for the Spa Six Hours Endurance takes place on Friday between 7.15pm and 8.45pm, while the 30th edition of this prestigious race gets underway on Saturday at 3.50pm, finishing at 9.50pm. And with approximately hundred crews ready to battle it out, there's no doubt that the Spa Six Hours Endurance 2023 will be exciting as never before! Winning car on 15 occasions in 29 editions, the Ford GT40 will once again be the car to beat, as there will be... 20 of them at the start!
The Oldtimer Grand Prix is "Back on Track". After the cancellation of the event in 2021 due to the flood disaster in the Ahrtal valley there was a restart in 2022 with the 49th edition of this classic race event. From 2022 the AvD (Automobile Club of Germany) stopped organizing this event and two other clubs (CHRSN and HMSC) that already supported this event from the start in 1973, took over the organization. The 50th edition of the Oldtimer Grand Prix still had to deal with a few organizational issues and as a result probably did not fill all of the starting fields. Nevertheless, approximately 500 historic racing cars from almost all eras competed in some exciting races. Weather conditions were fine on Friday with much sunshine, Saturday started with rain but late in the morning the sky cleared and from the afternoon it remained dry. Sunday was cloudy but without rain.
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.
Just one week after the ADAC 24 hours endurance race at the Nordschleife, the fifth edition of the ADAC Nürburgring Classic was held from May 26 to 28 May on the legendary Nordschleife and Grand Prix Track. The weather conditions couldn’t be better, sunshine and 20 degrees Celsius. Regularity runs as well as races were held on the 5.4 km long Grand Prix course. They was a great gathering of the German Ford Capri Club and the British BMW M3 Club. The owners could drive the Nordschleife for 30 minutes.
The first Unimog model was designed by Boehringer shortly after World War II to be used in agriculture as a self-propelled machine providing a power take-off to operate saws in forests or harvesting machines on fields. It was designed with permanent all-wheel drive, with equal-size wheels, in order to be driven on roads at higher speeds than standard farm tractors. Daimler-Benz took over manufacture of the Unimog in 1951, and first produced it in their Gaggenau plant under the Mercedes-Benz brand. However, the first Unimog to feature the three-pointed Mercedes-Benz star was only introduced in 1953. The Murgtal in Gaggenau had been the home of Mercedes-Benz Unimog production for decades, before production was relocated to Wörth. But the people of the city Gaggenau (state Baden-Württemberg) were so attached to the Unimog that in 2006 the Unimog Museum was founded by private citizens.
DAF is the abbreviation of Van Doorne’s Automobiel Fabriek (Van Doorne Car Factory). DAF’s history goes back to 1928 when the brothers Hub and Wim van Doorne formed the basis of their car factory in the city of Eindhoven, the Netherlands. What started as a small engineering and forging workshop developed itself the production of trailers in 1932 and the production of trucks in 1949. The production of passenger cars started with the model 600 in 1958. It was a small family car and the first production car to have a continuously variable transmission (CVT) - the innovative DAF Variomatic. The 600 was presented at the Amsterdam Motor Show in February 1958 and was in production by 1959.
The Spa Six Hours definitely rangs itself in the top 5 of the most important and attractive European historic racing car meetings. For the spectators this event is most enjoyable as there is access to almost all areas. Paddocks are open and viewing the mechanics working on the cars is always interesting. The Pit Bar Restaurant, located at the top of the pit building, is the ideal place to have a drink and enjoy the “all-you-can-eat” buffet dinner. Next to the restaurant is the terrace which offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the most beautiful parts of the circuit, overlooking the pits, the finish line, the hairpin and the famous L’Eau Rouge. Just like last year the racing-weekend was characterized by erratic weather conditions. Friday remained dry but Saturday started very cloudly and there several showers during the day. On Sunday it rained constantly until half past three in the afternoon. For all participants there’s the possibility of a non-timed free practice and testing on Thursday with more restricted noise standards. Friday is the official beginning of the meeting with qualifications for each race class.
The Historic Grand Prix at Zandvoort held this year can be considered as the 10th edition as the event from last year had to be completely changed because of Covid and also the event’s name was changed into Zandvoort Race Classics and no visitors were allowed. This year the original name was back and spectators were welcomed again at circuit Zandvoort.
This fourteenth edition of the Spa Summer Classic, organized by Roadbook events, promised a multitude of races for Touring Cars and GT Cars from the 60s, 70s and 80s as well as a category of Youngtimers, until the beginning of the 2000s. The meeting also welcomed Single Seaters (Formula cars) from the 60s and 70s. and a Caterham race. The whole weekend at Spa had an European flavour, as there were racing teams from Great Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Denmark and Luxembourg. Most important race of this weekend is a 3-hour endurance race, on Saturday-evening, for Touring Cars and GTs from before '76.
Covid-19 made it quiet at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the Belgian Ardennes for a long time. Finally the organizers of the Spa Six Hours, Roadbook (Alain Defalle and Vincent Collard) got the green light from the government for their traditional long distance race-weekend. Not only the drivers but also the spectators were eager to travel to the 7 kilometre long track. The organizers had chosen a subtitle for the event as well. The motto for the entire weekend was “Spa Six Hours - “The Sound of History”. There were 87 entries for the most important race of this event, the Six Hours race. Some grids of the other races were not as full as in previous years but that’s understandable as the majority of the teams come from the UK and travelling from the UK and back again is still an issue in the light of Covid-19.