Report and photos by Marcel Hundscheid
Once a year the Royal Motor Union Liege organises the RMU Classic at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit, held 21-23 May, 2010. A real tribute to the past on a track that is also known as a sanctuary to motorsports. The RMU Classic is a meeting primarily reserved for old racing cars, and just like during former editions once again managed a great line-up of beautiful historic racing cars.
Headline races held during the RMU Classic weekend were FIA Historic F1 Championship, BOSS GP, Group C, Orwell Supersports Cup, Historic Formula 2 Championship, Classic Formula 3 and the FIA Lurani Throphy for Formula Junior Cars. Other series entered this year were the Formula Ford Kent, Classic Racing League (open for GT and Touring Cars from the sixties and seventies) as well as the French Saloon Car and Maxi 1000 Trophy.
Once again the RMU Classic proved to be a real treat for drivers and crowd and is without doubt one of the main historic events in Europe. The next historical race meeting at Spa-Francorchamps will take place during the first weekend of July, known as the Spa Summer Classic.
FIA Historic F1 Championship
One of the crowd-pullers was the 2nd round of the FIA Historic Formula One Championship. Some 21 cars were entered for the second race of the 2010 season. Pole position was claimed by Bobby Verdon-Roe´s McLaren MP4/1B, a car formerly raced by Niki Lauda. Second place on the grid came to the Brabham BT49C-10 of Spaniard Joaquin Folch. From the start Bobby Verdon-Roe took the lead in front of Folch, treating spectators with an exciting 10 lap race. During the final stages Folch overtook Verdon-Roe and claimed victory with a lead of only 0.4 of a second. Third place on the podium was claimed by Steve Hartley with his Arrows A4-4.
BOSS is an abbreviation for Big Open Single Seater, a new European series open to Formula One cars built from 1990 to 2005, Champcars and Indycars, as well as Formula 3000, World Series Nissan and Renault cars. Fifteen cars were entered for the second round of the championship. Dutchmen Klaas Zwart took both pole positions in his Ascari-Benetton B197 and finally won both races on Saturday and Sunday.
Group C Racing
Group C Racing held their dress rehearsal at Spa, due to the fact that this series will participate in the Le Mans Classic, held from 9-11th july 2010. Twenty-two cars were entered for their first race of the season, a very nice field which some cars never seen before in this series. Nathan Kinch was the fastest man on the track and claimed the pole position with his Spice-Chevrolet SP92 with a time of 2.08.428. Two beautiful Mercedes-Benz C11s were entered, one driven by German Christian Glasel while the second car was in the hands of US citizen Aaron Hsu. Sad enough a lot of cars didn’t make it to the end of the 1 hour race. Both the Mercedes of Christian Glasel and the Spice-Pontiac of Stefano Rosina and Giorgio Mondini suffered from a blown engine. In the end it was Paul Livesey winning the first race in his Spice SE89, in front of Richard Eyre (Jaguar XJR16) and Paul Whight (Aston Martin AMR1).
During the second race on Sunday Aaron Hsu was the man to beat in his extremely fast Mercedes-Benz C11, claiming victory with a gap of no less than one lap! David Mercer managed to gain the second place in a Spice SE90, in front of Steve Tandy in his Porsche 962C.
Orwell Supersports Cup
Sportscars from the sixties and seventies compete in the Orwell Supersport Cup. In this class cars from the Can-Am era can be seen in action, as well as the 2 Litre Sports Cars raced during the same period. Just sixteen cars were entered for the second race of the championship at Spa, including four former Can-Am Sports Cars. Timo Scheider was the fastest man on the track in his Lola T222, followed by the bright red March 707 of Matteo Tullio. In this order both drivers finished also their first race on Saturday. British driver Doug Hart claimed a third spot in his March 75S.
During the second race on Sunday both Scheibner and Tullio collided leaving John Grant alone in front in his splendid looking McLaren M8C/D. Scheibner and Tullio entered the pits with damaged cars. Just eleven cars made it through the finish. Chevron B19 driver Martin O’Connell finished second, Doug Hart could claim a second podium taking third place.
Historic Formula 2 Championship
The British Historic Sports Car Club organises a.o. the historic F2 championship. During the RMU weekend at Spa two races were held. Matthew Watts was the winner of the first race in a March 772, followed by the March 782 of Peter Meyrick. Swiss driver Hans Peter finished third in a Ralt RT1. Watts claimed another victory during the second race, thirteen seconds ahead of Martin Stretton’s March 742. Peter Meyrick had a splendid weekend finishing for a second time on the podium, taking the third spot.
Formula 3 Classic
A historic series from France is the Formula 3 Classic presenting no less than 36 cars on the grid featuring Ralts, Chevrons, Dallaras and March formula 3 cars. Spectators could see F3 cars driven originally by Alain Prost, former F1 world champion and Andrea de Cesaris, former Italian F3 driver.
FIA Lurani Throphy for Formula Junior Cars
Brabham BT6, Lotus 22 or 27, just a few types of the thirty-two cars that were entered for the FIA Lurani Throphy. The series is especially open for Formula Junior cars from the sixties, giving the crowd a perfect taste how single seater racing looked some fifty years ago. Pierre Tonetti claimed victory in his Brabham BT6 during the first race on Saturday, Christoph Burkhardt was the fastest driver during the second race in his Lotus 22.
Additional RMU Classic Photos
[Source: Marcel Hundscheid/www.speed-o-graphica.com]