Report and photos by Marcel Hundscheid
During the weekend of 12-14 August 2011, the Nürburgring hosted the 39th edition of the Oldtimer Grand Prix, organised by the Automobilclub von Deutschland (AvD). Despite heavy rain on both Friday and Saturday afternoon, and almost the entire Sunday, 61,500 enthusiasts found their way to the famous track, seeing drivers from twenty different countries.
Spectators were treated with a great variety in historic race cars, dating back from the roaring twenties and thirties to the eighties. Besides thirty-two hours of spectacular racing historic car fans were also treated to a large amount of privately owned race cars, displayed on the several parking grounds.
Grand Prix Masters – Fans of historic Formula 1 cars could eat their hearts out seeing a grid of no less than twenty one cars. True legends from the glory days of Formula One, produced between 1966 and 1985 battled it out during two races.
A dry track on Saturday invited the drivers for fifteen laps around a shortened Nürburgring. Spectators were treated with an exciting battle between the Arrows A4 of Rowland Kinch and the Brabham BT49C of Joaquin Folch. During the first part of the race it was Joaquin Folch dictating the race pace, but during the second part Rowland Kinch decided to really put the pressure and finished first, just 0.331 seconds in front of Folch. Briton Steve Hartley finished third. The second race on Sunday started on a wet track. Once again it was an Arrows A4 on top of the scoreboard. This time, Steve Hartley was the man to beat and proved to be the quickest. Rowland Kinch had to settle for a second place, 0.8 seconds behind his fellow country man. Richard Barber drove his Fittipaldi F5a to the final spot on the winner’s podium.
Revival Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft 1972-1981 – Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft, abbreviated as DRM and translated as German Racing Championship was a touring cars and sports car racing series, starting in 1972, regarded as a predecessor of the current DTM championship. 1985 was the final year of the immense popular championship, followed by the birth of the DTM. During the yearly Oldtimer Grand Prix, the AvD organizes a revival of this great series.
The first race saw a true battle of the beasts like in the old days. The Porsche 935 K3s of Wolfgang Kaufmann and Daniel Schrey thrilled spectators with a nail-biting fight. Kaufmann managed the cross the finish line just 0.192 second in front of Daniel Schrey. The dominance of the two 935s resulted in a gap of no less than 1 minute and 20 seconds before Ralf Heisig finished the race on a third place in his Porsche 930 Turbo.
Porsches also proved to be the brand to beat on Sunday. No one had an answer on the great performance of Daniel Schrey in his bright yellow Porsche 935 K3 finishing first with a gap of thirty two seconds in front of the Porsche 935 of Jerome Miloe. Ralf Heisig scored a second consecutive podium finishing the second race third.
World Sportscar Masters – Le Mans Type Group 4 Prototypes, built between the mid-1960’s up to 1974 were a common sight for this race as well as some GT’s built during the same period. One of the true eye catchers was an immaculate sounding 1969 Ferrari 312P of David Franklin. This car was a Group 6 prototype-sports car, powered by a 3.0 litre V12 engine meant as an opponent for the Porsche 908 and Matra V12.
Manfredo Rossi di Montelera dominated the first race on Saturday with his Abarth Osella PA1. Sandy Watson couldn’t do anything with his Chevron B8 finishing forty-two seconds behind the Italian. David Franklin scored a third place in his gorgeous looking Ferrari 312P. The second race saw a very close battle between a pair of classic Ford GT40’s. Spaniard Joaquin Folch battled it out with Briton David Forsbrey, crossing the finish line just 0.1 of a second earlier. Italian Manfredo Rossi scored a second consecutive podium that weekend finishing third.
Two-seat race cars & GTs until 1960-1961 – Thirty-three beauties filled the grid for this interesting single race, such as several Maserati Tipo 61’s, Maserati 300’s and Mercedes-Benz 300 SL’s. The car that dominated the first race was the nr. 33 Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage of Alan and Jason Minshaw. A gap of no less than 1 minute and 7 seconds lasted until the Lister Jaguar of Simon Ham crossed the finish line. Irvini Laidlaw scored a third spot in another Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage. On Sunday another Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage dominated the race driven by Max Werner. Josef Otto Rettenmaier couldn’t do anything than follow and finished second in his Tipo 61. Christian von Wedel and Franz zu Ortenburg drove their Austin-Healey 3000 Mk.I to the final spot on the podium.
Historic Grand Prix Cars until 1961 – Great cars, great sounds, just two ingredients for the Historic Grand Prix Cars race, bringing back memories from the early years of Grand Prix car racing. The Ferrari 246 Dino of Tony Smith scored a victory on Saturday, in front of the Aston Martin DBR4 of Hubert Fabri. Allan Miles and Gerry Hann finished third in their Maserati 250F CM7. The second race became a prey for Paul Grant in his Cooper Bristol. Willy Balz (Maserati 250F 2533) and Allan Miles and Gerry Hann (Maserati 250F CM7) finished second and third.
Masters GT until 1965 – No less than thirty-five lovely GT’s from the early sixties filled the grid for the single Masters GT race. Different Jaguars, Lotus, Ford Shelby Mustang, TVR’s as well as a gorgeous looking Cobra Daytona Coupe could be seen and relived the early years of GT racing. Count Marcus von Oeynhausen claimed victory in a Jaguar E Type. UK driver Rob Hall finished second in a AC Cobra, thirty seconds behind the E-Type of von Oeynhausen. Sandy Watson and Martin O’Connell celebrated a third place in their Jaguar E-Type.
AvD-Youngtimer Sprint for Touring Cars and GTs 1972-1990 – Only ten GTs including six Porsches, three BMW’s and a single De Tomaso Pantera were entered for this single race. After thirteen laps around the shortened Grand Prix track it was Daniel Schrey in a Porsche 964 who crossed the finish line first. Hans Wagner in his 800 bhp BMW M1 Turbo scored a second place. Edgar Salewsky had to settle for a third place in a Porsche 911 Carrera RSR.
Jaguar E-Type Challenge – The AvD organized two races along the Nürburgring especially for Jaguar E-Types. The first race would become a fight between different drivers from the United Kingdom, giving Gary Pearson the honour of finishing first. Martin Melling scored a second place in front of Stephen Skipworth and Graeme Dodd. Gary Pearson had a perfect weekend at the Nürburgring scoring a second victory on Sunday. Count Marcus von Oeynhausen finished this race in second place, Jon Minshaw scored a third place.
Mini Challenge – Perhaps a little out of order but the modern Mini Challenge is almost a tradition during the yearly Oldtimer Grand Prix. Hendrik Vieth scored victory in race one, 3.5 seconds ahead of Nico Bastian and Jürgen Schmarl. The second race on Sunday was a copy of the first race on Saturday giving another victory to Hendrik Vieth. Nico Bastian and Jürgen Schmarl scored a consecutive second and third place.
Roaring Twenties and Golden Thirties – Truly oldies but goldies were presented in two regularity races featuring 22 classics such as the Alfa Romeo 8C Monza, Lagonda LG45, BMW 328 etc. Michael Straus in his Talbot AV105 scored the best total time, followed by Hans-Werner Wirth in an Opel 10/35 PS. Peter Forster scored a third total time in an classic MG. The second regularity race became a prey for the Alvis 12/70 of Berthold Urrich. Ulrich Sauer managed a second total time in his BMW 328, as Michael Strauß finished third in a Talbot AV 105.
Avd Historic Marathon/Nürburgring Trophy – No less than 57 cars participated in the Avd Historic Marathon held on the classic Nordschleife featuring touring cars and GTs from the sixties. The four hour marathon became a victory for the Jaguar E-Type of Count Marcus von Oeynhausen and Frank Stippler. “Fred & Barney” drove their Ford Fairline to a second place, third place went to the Jaguar E-Type of Alexander Berstein and Wolfgang Weber.
Besides an action packed programme featuring races in single seaters, sports cars, touring cars and GTs the AvD organized two classic revivals including a part of the racing history of Opel as well as an very welcome DTM-STW revival. Presented were former touring cars from the legendary DTM championship (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) as well as the STW championship (Spezial Tourenwagen).
AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix 2011 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture)
[Source: Marcel Hundscheid]