Report and photos by Marcel Hundscheid
The well-known Roadbook organisation hosted during the weekend of June 11th and 12th the 2011 edition of the annual Spa Summer Classic, a historic event featuring gran turismos, touring cars, single seaters, as well as sports cars from different eras. Drivers and spectators could enjoy, in some occasions, the massive fields of cars.
The 2011 Spa Summer Classic saw constant changing weather conditions, varying from beautiful sunny weather to torrential downpours. This year’s programme saw participation of the Belgian Historic Cup, French Trophee Saloon-Car/Maxi 1000/Lotus, Spa Ardennes Challenge & Crosslé Cars, Formula Kent, Classic Sports Car Club Swinging Sixties, Classic Sports Car Club Inter-Series Cup, Sports 2000, Monoposto Racing Club & Formule Zetec, Spa Formula 3 Summer Classic, Dunlop Mini 7 Challenge and the Dutch HTGT championship.
Spa Summer Classic 2011 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture)
Spa Summer Classic 2011 – Race Reports
Belgian Historic Cup – The BRAVO organisation (Belgian Racing Automobile Vintage Organisation) organizes for over 30 years events for historic cars in Belgium. The organisation decided in 2008 in an agreement with the drivers to set up a national championship, the Belgian Historic Cup. This cup is divided into four different classes. Cars that regularly appear on the entry lists are the Alfa Romeo Giulia Super, Austin Healey 3000, Austin Healey Sprite Frogeye, BMW 2002 TI, BMW E30 325i, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Cortina Lotus, Ford Escort RS2000, Ford GT 40, Hillman Avenger Tiger, Jaguar XJS, Lancia Beta Monte Carlo, Lister Jaguar, Lotus Elan 26 R, Lotus Europa Twin Cam, MG B, Morris Cooper S, Peugeot 205 GTI, Porsche 911 RS, Porsche 934, Studebaker Commander, Sunbeam Talbot, Triumph TR3A, TVR Vixen 2500, TVR 3000M, VW Golf GTI.
The first race on Saturday afternoon became a prey for the BMW M3 of Dimitri Cuyvers, finishing no less than nine seconds in front of the Dodge Challenger of Gunther Raus and the Rover SD1 of Bert Smeets. The second race on Sunday and last race of the weekend became a battle between the Porsches of Jan van Elderen and Luc Moortgat as well as the Chevrolet Camaro of Jan Schippers. Van Elderen finished first just 0.5 second in front of the mighty Camaro. Moortgat claimed the final spot on the podium.
Spa Ardennes Challenge & Crosslé Cars – This race accepts a great variety of sports cars, gran turismos and touring cars, built between the 1940s and 1970s. Besides these cars also Crosslé Cars are invited. The Crosslé Car Company was founded in 1957 by John and Rosemary Crosslé. In a race that lasted sixty-one minutes a threesome of Crosslés battled it out on the front giving victory to the number 17 car of Mark Hobbs and Jeremy Clark. The GTS division was won by Ian McCallum and John Bussell, driving a 1965 Aston Martin DB5. The 1974 Ford Escort Mk. 1 BDG of Sean Brown and Rob/Dan Brown claimed victory in the touring car division.
Trophée Formule Ford Kent – In this French series drivers with a Formula Ford built before 1993 can compete on both French and European tracks. These classic single seaters must be in conformity with the original car and equipped with the 1600 cc Kent engine (Ford Escort Mk.II 1600 Sport) or the Ford Fiesta 1600 cc, built between January 1st 1967 and December 31st 1992. Both races held on Saturday and Sunday were won by Sylvain Debs, driving a 1991 Van Diemen RF91.
Classic Sports Car Club Swinging Sixties – The Classic Sports Car Club was set up in 2001 and is open to sports cars, touring cars and grand turismos produced in the ’60s. The series is divided into two groups: below 2000cc and above 2000cc, which also included the Marcos and Lotus. In this series you can find cars such as the Austin Healey Sprite, Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette Stingray, Ford Capri Mk1, Ford Mustang Shelby 350GT, Ferrari 246GT, Jaguar Xk 120, Jaguar Mk1, Jaguar E-type, Lotus Elan S3, Lotus Elan 26R, Lotus Seven, MG B, MG CGT, MG Midget, Morgan +8, NSU TT, Sunbeam Alpine, Triumph TR4, Triumph TR5, Triumph TR7, Triumph TR8, TVR Grantura Mk III.
Graham Miller claimed overall victory in his Triumph TR7 V8 in front of the Chevrolet Camaro of Simon Lane and Raymond Barrow. Third place in the large field of 52 cars went to the 1963 Jaguar E-Type of Belgian driver Thierre de Latre.
Sports 2000 – Fans of historic 2-litre sports cars could eat their hearts out seeing a field of no less than 37 cars. The start of the first race on Saturday had to be postponed due to a thunderstorm and heavy rain. Richard Johnson was the fastest of the pack in his Van Diemen-Duratec claiming victory during the first race. Paul Tickner finished second in a Carbir CS2-Duratec, David Houghton finished third in a Van Diemen-Duratec. Richard Johnson turned out as the quickest of the weekend as he also claimed victory during the 2nd race of the weekend. Craig Mitchell finished second on the podium in a Lola T88/90-Duratec. Paul Tickner scored his second podium of the weekend finishing third.
Trophée Saloon Car-Trophée Maxi 1000-Trophée Lotus – Three different French series were combined into one big race featuring sports cars, grand turismos and touring cars from the sixties and eighties of the Trophée Saloon Car. Tiny cars with a 1000 cc engine compete against each other in the Trophée Maxi 1000. Finally Lotus models such as Lotus XI, Elan, Europe, Elite but also the 1600 cc Ford Caterham. Fastest of the large field was Raoul Scultore in his Chevron B60ts finishing first overall with a gap of no less than 35 seconds in front of the Porsche 911 SC of Fabrice Lefebvre. Gaso Philippe claimed the final spot on the podium finishing third in his Lotus Seven.
Classic Sports Cars Inter Series Cup – This British Cup welcomed a number of series from the CSCC Series such as Swinging ’60s, Tin Tops, Future Classics, Magnificient Sevens, Classic K and Deutsche Marque. A great variety in cars from the sixties until the eighties. Large entry fields are a common sight just like in Spa as are the different categories. Fastest of all were a couple of Caterhams dividing the available space on the winners podium. Jonathan Mitchell and Andy Bourn claimed victory in their Caterham C400, second place was claimed by James Plaza in his Caterham C400. Final spot on the podium went to S. Starkey in a Caterham Superlite R.
Monoposto Racing Club / Formule Zetec – Historic single seaters are gathered into the British Monoposto Racing Club meant for the amateur owner driver. As France doesn’t have a Formula Ford championship since 2005, Formula Zetec offers drivers to compete in this type of car. Overall winner of race one on Saturday was Peter Venn in a Anson SA4-Vauxhall. Dax Ward crossed the finish line at Spa second in a Jedi Mk.6-Suzuki. Dan Clowes finished third, also in a Jedi Mk.6-Suzuki. On Sunday Clowes was the fastest man on the track claiming a victory and second podium of the weekend, in front of Marc Fortune in the same type of car. Peter Venn had to settle for a third place but scored just as Clowes a second podium.
Spa Formula 3 Summer Classic – Without any doubt the different classic Formula 3 cars were the fastest cars that could be seen in action on the Ardennes rollercoaster. Formula 3 cars from the British Monoposto Racing Club as well as the Austria F3 Cup and Austria Formel Renault cup gathered to create a massive field of 48 cars. During the first race on Saturday both David and Gery Hauser from Luxemburg fought a fierce battle giving David the victory with a margin of 0.00924 seconds, both driving a Dallara 307-Mercedes. Aaron Steve from the Uk finished third in a Dallara F302-Renault. On Sunday Steve proved to be the fastest giving him the overall victory in front of Gery and David Hauser.
Dunlop Mini 7 Challenge – The legendary Mini doesn’t need any further introduction. The Mini 7’s and Miglias gave both drivers and spectators a large amount of overtaking. Thirty-five Minis appeared on the entry list with all the drivers except one coming from the UK. The sole non-UK participant, Nuno Pimenta came according to the entry list from Poland. Race one was dominated by a bunch of Miglia drivers. The battle for lead was hardly fought between Paul Thompson, Kane Astin and Sarah Munns. After nine laps on the legendary Spa track Thompson crossed the finish line first, just 0.326 seconds ahead of Kane Astin and 0.912 seconds ahead of Sarah Munns. The second race on Sunday saw an even harder battle between Kane Astin, Endaf Owens and Dave Drew. Astin won the closely fought battle with just 0.081 of a second in front of Endaf Owens. Dave Drew crossed the finish line just 0.219 of a second after Astin.
NK HTGT – This is the Dutch national championship for both historic touring cars and gran turismos open to cars between 1947 and 1965. The race saw a combined field with also some entries from the British CSCC Classic K series. Alexander Schlüchter from Germay claimed victory in race 1 with his Lotus Elan 26R. Dutchman Michiel Campagne finished second (Chevrolet Corvette G) in front of his fellow country man Bert du Toy van Hees in a Lotus Elan. During the second race on Sunday Schlüchter proved to be the fastest driver in this series due to a second victory in front of Bert du Toy van Hees. Jaap Sinke finished third in a Austin Healey.
Just like the earlier editions the Spa Summer Classic proved to be an outstanding event for fans of historic racing, from touring cars to single seater racing and almost everything between it.
[Source: Marcel Hundscheid / Speed-O-Graphica.com]