By Marcel Hundscheid
Once a year the German ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobilclub e.V) settles down at Circuit Zolder in the Northeastern part of Belgium. The track originally built in 1963 and hosted the Formula 1 from 1975 to 1982. The late Gilles Villeneuve died during qualifying on this track. The track is also known as Circuit Terlaemen and measures 4.011 km in length. Between 2006 and now Zolder hosted a Champ Car World Series Grand Prix as well as rounds from the FIA GT and FIA WTCC championships.
During the weekend of August 18-19, 2012, the ADAC, Europe’s largest automobile club with more than 18 million members, hosted their annual race meeting in Zolder. Mainly European touring cars and GTs from the sixties, seventies and eighties filled the different grids such as Alfa Romeo, BMW, Ford, Opel, Porsche, Triumph, among others. Weather conditions were sunny and dry but temperatures exceeded the mid thirties. Drivers had to cope with extreme temperatures in their cars reaching sixty degrees Celsius and more.
STT Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy (Special Touring Car Trophy)
The STT Series was originally created in 1986 to allow former Group 2 and Group 5 cars from the predecessor of the DTM championship, the Deutsche Rennsportmeisterschaft. Divided into different engine categories both Touring Cars and GTs are allowed from 1968 and further. As expected Finnish driver Pertti Kuismanen dominated both races on Saturday and Sunday with his 800 hp Chrysler Viper GTS-R. Behind him some fierce battles were fought between the Chrysler GTS-R of the Belgian duo Wim Lumbeeck and Werner Moonens and German Ulrich Becker in a rather modern Porsche 997 RSR.
CTT Cup und Tourenwagen Trophy (Cup and Touring Car Trophy)/BW Challenge
The CTT Trophy is open to a wide range of cars such as former DTM cars built between 1984 and 1995, as well as former Deutsche Rennsportmeisterschaft cars from 1980 to 1983, touring cars from the former STW championship until 2002. Also allowed are different GTs, touring and cup cars, creating large fields of BMWs, Fords and Porsches. In the end it was the Porsche 996 of Germans Krumbach and Nagler claiming two victories in front of the Porsche 964 Cup of Heiko Hammel who scored two second spots.
Youngtimer Trophy/Triumph Competition
Classic Touring Cars and GTs filled the grids presenting many popular German build cars from the seventies and eighties. Originally created in 1993 by Egon Meurer and Hans Schnock, the series are divided into two categories, Youngtimer 1 and 2 and four different eras (1966-1971, 1972-1975, 1976-1981, 1982-1988). Wolfgang Kaufmann and Dieter Dormann drove their Ford Escort RS1600 to victory, finishing eleven seconds in front of the Ford Escort RS1600 of Dieter Karl Anton. Third place was taken by the Audi 50 of Olaf Rost. Three Porsches claimed the podium in the Youngtimer 2 division, dominated by the 911 RSR of Edgar Salewsky. He created a enormous gap of no less than 1 minute and 27 seconds in front of the 911 Carrera RSR of Stefan and Max Roof. Michael Kuke drove his 944 Turbo to a third place.
Dunlop FHR Langstreckencup (Dunlop FHR Long Distance Cup)
Thirty-nine classic touring cars and GTs filled the grid for their three hour race on Saturday afternoon. It was remarkable to see touring cars and GTs battling it out in extreme hot conditions. In the end it was the Lotus 23B of Felix Haas dictating the race creating a gap of two laps in front of the Ford Escort RS1600 of Frank Genbrock and GT3 driver Lance David Arnold. Third place was claimed by the Porsche 907 of Hans-Peter Richrath and Ingo Putz.
Belgian Youngtimers Cup
The Belgian Youngtimers Cup is part of the Belgian Historic Cup and open to classic touring cars and GTs. During the race at Zolder sixteen Youngtimers drove their race along with three cars from the Belgian Historic Cup as well as sixteen cars from the Dutch Youngtimer Touring Car Challenge. The BMW M1 driven by Dimitri Cuyvers demonstrated his sheer power on Saturday. Peter Stox could only follow in his Porsche 911 RS but managed to finish second. Luc Moortgat drove his Porsche 964 Cup to a third place. On Sunday everything changed and it was Stox dictating the pace giving him the overall victory. Now it was Cuyvers who could only follow the leader finishing in front of the Porsche 964 RS of Pau Geeris.
Beautiful, but extremely hot, conditions and large fields made the 2012 Zolder Race Festival another success. Let’s hope the German ADAC Youngtimer organisation will find their way to Zolder once more in 2013.
Zolder Race Festival 2012 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)
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[Source: Marcel Hundscheid]