Maserati 300S at Grand Prix de L’Age D’Or 2012
Maserati 300S at Grand Prix de L’Age D’Or 2012

Grand Prix de L’Age D’Or 2012 – Report and Photos

Grand Prix de L’Age D’Or Report and Photos – Page Two

World Sportscar Masters
No mistaking the start up of the Lola T70 MK3, the booming exhaust note can be heard anywhere on the circuit and the crowd senses something special is coming. These are the sports-prototypes and Group 4 GT cars from 1962-1974. The field includes the mighty Lola T70 and Lola T212, Chevron B16s and B8s, Chevrolet Corvettes and Ford GT40s. This series has one sixty minute race, a good challenge for man and machine. Teams with two drivers will swap the wheel, teams with one driver must pit and remain stationary for one minute with the engine off.

The five liter engined T70s stake out the top five spots with ease. Only the GP Masters and Boss GP single seaters can hustle around the track faster than the Lola. The series leading team of Leo Voyazides and Simon Hadfield in their Lola T70 (6) found themselves playing second fiddle to the T70 of French drivers André and Thomas Bailly (101). Sadly the blue and gold Bailly Lola returns to the paddock on the back of a truck, a fluids leak left the transmission without lubrication, not good. David Coplowe and Martin Stretton (47) post third fastest just 63/100ths behind the number 6 car.

The Voyazides/Hadfield outfit always runs smoothly and they surely know what it takes to win. So while at the very sharp end not much changed, just behind it was anybody’s race. The Michael Gans Lola T70 (30), Coplowe/Stretton T70 (47), Rossi di Montelera Abarth Osella PA1 (10) and the Paul Ingram/Chris Chiles Jr. Chevron B8 (19) were in a constant dust-up.

1st 6 VOYAZIDES Leo HADFIELD Simon Lola T70 Mk3b
2nd 47 COPLOWE David STRETTON Martin Lola T70 Mk3b (c)
3rd 30 GANS Michael Lola T70 MK3b
4th 10 ROSSI DI MONTELERA Manfredo Abarth Osella PA1
5th 53 Audi Gregoire Lola T212

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Lola T70 Mark 3
Lola T70 MkIII
Porsche 911 2.8 RSR
Porsche 911 2.8-Litre RSR
Ford GT40
Ford GT40
McLaren M1B
McLaren M1B

Historic Grand Prix Cars Association Sports Cars
Sports cars, GT cars, prototypes, front engine and rear engine are all here. Big names like Maserati, Cooper up against some unique very small production models like the one-of-a-kind Canadian Sadler MK3 and the Tojeiro Jaguars. The 24 car field had their 25 minute qualifying session in cool sunshine on Friday morning. There was lots of slipping and sliding as the track had yet to “rubber up”.

The Cooper Monaco Of Carlos Monteverde (7) just nosed out the Graeme Dodd Cooper Monaco (49) by just over a 1/10th of a second. Gary Pearson’s Jaguar D Type roared in barely half a second adrift in third. A Lotus 11 S2 and the Sadler Mk3 rounded out the top five qualifiers. Julian Majzub at the wheel of the V8 Chevrolet powered Sadler let on that there might be more in store as he was not able to get the tires up to temperature in the cool morning session.

Race 1 took place late Saturday morning, the higher temperatures and increased rubber on the track promising brisk racing. The two Coopers of Monteverde and Dodd looked in control and traded 1st and 2nd places 4 times in the initial nine laps. The Sadler meanwhile had jumped to third from 5th on the grid and was starting to chip away at the gap to the Coopers. By lap 9 the Sadler was second and took the lead permanently on lap 10. A superb drive filled with four wheel drifts and power slides that was a thrill to watch.

Race 1
22 MAJZUB Julian Sadler Mk3
2 7 MONTEVERDE Carlos Cooper Monaco
3 49 DODD Graeme Cooper T49 Monaco
4 6 PEARSON Gary Jaguar D Type
5 11 GRAVIER Jean Jacques Lotus 11 S2
6 77 van der KROFT Adrian Cooper T39 Bobtail

For race two the sports cars were the early birds, lining up to take to the circuit at 8:15am. The cars all attempted to get some heat in the tires on their warm up lap and clearly for the Sadler it did the trick. Owing to his race 1 victory, Majzub started from pole and never looked back. With each blast down the long front straight, the fuel injected Chevy bellowed its superiority until his pursuers were no longer visible.

Race 2
1st 22 MAJZUB Julian Sadler Mk3
2nd 7 MONTEVERDE Carlos Cooper Monaco
3rd 6 PEARSON Gary Jaguar D Type
4th 77 van der KROFT Adrian Cooper T39 Bobtail
5th 19 TULLIO MATTEO Maria Tojeiro Jaguar

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Sadler Mk3, Cooper Monaco - HGPCA Sportscars
Sadler Mk3, Cooper Monaco – HGPCA Sportscars
Maserati 300S, Cooper Bobtail - HGPCA Sportscars
Maserati 300S, Cooper Bobtail – HGPCA Sportscars
Jaguar D-Type
Jaguar D-Type – HGPCA Sportscars
Aston Martin DB3S chases two Jaguar XKs and Tojeiro-Jaguar
Aston Martin DB3S chases two Jaguar XKs and Tojeiro-Jaguar
Jaguar XK150 - HGPCA Sportscars
Jaguar XK150 – HGPCA Sportscars

Grand Touring Sports Car Club
GT cars of all stripes divided into 4 classes. GT 4 for the fastest cars like AC Cobras and E Types, GT 3 for the Morgan Plus 4s, Austin Healey 3000s and Older Jaguars, GT 2 for TVR Granturas, Porsche 911s and MGBs and GT 1 for Lotus 11s, Lotus Elites and Triumph TR3s. Lots of action with 50 cars jockeying for position.

Qualifying went to form with the Voyazides/Hadfield AC Cobra (74) on top in GT4 with 2 E Types not far behind. In GT3 Keith Ahlers and James Bellinger impressed in their morgan Plus 4(29) ahead of 2 other Morgans. Top dog in GT2 and ahead of numerous GT3 cars was the TVR Grantura of Joe Ward and Richard Bull (55). GT1 honors went to Laurence and Tim Jacobsen in their Lotus Elite.

This was a 120 minute race requiring the owner of the car to drive at least 50% of the time. Most teams had two drivers and divided the race into 3 approximately 40 minute stints. Needless to say it is a long race for old cars, 3 qualifiers didn’t make the starting grid and another 10 didn’t see the end of 2 hours on-track.

The relentless power of the Voyazides/Hadfield Cobra simply ground the rest of the field to dust. Three other Cobras, Chris Chiles Sr./Jr. , Carlos Monteverde/Gary Pearson and Alexander Vander Lof/Karsten Le Blanc had a terrific duel, mere feet apart for lap after lap. After 28 minutes the Van der Lof/Le Blanc engine went up in a huge cloud of smoke midway down the front straight.

The driver changes were very entertaining as some drivers of a certain age who have clearly enjoyed the good life struggle to extract/insert themselves into cramped racing machines while the clock is ticking. Other crews frantically attempted repairs on the fly for equally frantically diagnosed problems. In the end after 2 hours and up to 71 laps, the smiles and warm handshakes make it all worthwhile regardless of standing.

120′ GTSCC Race
1st 74 VOYAZIDES Leo HADFIELD Simon AC Cobra GT4
2nd 84 CLARK John WELCH Jeremy Jaguar E-Type GT4
3rd 92 MELLING Martin MINSHAW Jason Jaguar E-Type GT4
4th 75 CHILES Chris Jnr/Snr INGRAM Paul AC Cobra GT4
5th 99 ZIEGLER Stefan HANCOCK Sam Jaguar E-Type GT4

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Morgan Plus Four SLR
The only three Morgan Plus 4 SLRs
Jaguar E-Type - GTSCC
Jaguar E-Type – GTSCC
Iso Griffo A3C - GTSCC
Iso Griffo A3C – GTSCC

The Boss GP series was started in 2010 by four Dutch drivers and is open to Formula one cars, Indycars, Champcars and Formula Renault/Nissan single seaters. The top ‘OPEN’ class cars are all ex F1 machines, such as a 2004 Jaguar R5, 1997 Benetton B197, 1999 Benetton B199 and a 1999 Williams FW21. The ‘Formula’ class features a 2007 Panoz DP01 Champcar, several 2005 Dallara GP2 cars and a 2000 G-Force Indycar. The ‘Masters’ class features a 2003 Dallara-Nissan Worldseries car, several Dallara Worldseries by Renault cars and several 2002 F3000 Lolas.

Whatever the pedigree, these are some seriously fast and loud cars. For the ‘Open’ class cars just close your eyes and you could be at a contemporary F1 race! The wail of Zwart’s R5 is genuinely wince inducing even with ear protection.

Qualifying honors went to Klaas Zwart in the ex Mark Webber Jaguar R5, a good 3 seconds up on Marijn van Kalmthout’s ex Jean Alesi Benetton B197. The other top runners were Bernd Herndlhofer, tops in the ‘Formula’ class with his 2005 GP2 Dallara and in the ‘Masters’ class Johann Ledermair driving a 2008 Worldseries by Renault Dallara.

Saturday’s race was 20 minutes and that was more than enough time for Zwart to disappear from the field, his superior machine banking an average of 3 seconds per lap. In the ‘Formula’ and ‘Masters’ classes they mixed it up and entertained the spectators with some wheel to wheel moments.

Race 1
1st 1 ZWART Klaas Jaguar OPEN
2nd 2 VAN KALMTHOUT Marijn Benetton OPEN
3rd 31 HERNDLHOFER Bernd Dallara FORMULA
4th 21 DE BOER Henk Panoz FORMULA
5th 44 LEDERMAIR Johann Dallara MASTERS

In Sunday’s 25 minute race, Zwart perhaps eased off a bit only banking one second per lap on the other ‘Open’ class car. Herndlhofer in the GP2 Dallara again bested De Boer in the Panoz for ‘Formula’ class honors and the silverware in the ‘Masters’ class went as in race one to Ledermair driving the 2008 Renault-Dallara.

Race 2
1st ZWART Klaas Jaguar OPEN
2nd 2 VAN KALMTHOUT Marijn Benetton OPEN
3rd 31 HERNDLHOFER Bernd Dallara FORMULA
4th 21 DE BOER Henk Panoz FORMULA
5th 44 LEDERMAIR Johann Dallara MASTERS

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Dallara-Renault - BOSS GP
Dallara-Renault – BOSS GP
Jaguar R5 - BOSS GP
Jaguar R5 – BOSS GP

HSCC E-Type Challenge
The series was created in 2011 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the E Type. Only pre 1966 E Types are allowed including aluminum monocoques, steel monocoques and the factory made aluminum lightweight models. E types are without a doubt very beautiful cars and E types going very fast and sounding great is all the more beautiful.

16 cars cast their lot in for the Friday qualifications, a good mix of the aluminum and steel versions to keep it interesting. The #55 Martin Melling/Jason Minshaw car shaved just 1/10 out of the lap to beat the #38 car of Stephen Skipworth/Graeme Dodd. The top five cars all ran in the 1:35-1:36 bracket guaranteeing a good racing.

Just after Saturday lunch the Jaguars lined up. The field had grown to 17 as the #27 Stefan Zeigler/Sam Hancock car which had missed qualifying lined up last. The Melling:Minshaw car had the clear air and kept it that way while a great battle raged just a couple of car lengths behind. The Skipworth/Dodd car had a fight on its hands with #10 André Bailly for second. Third place was in the sights of the #84 John Clark/Jeremy Welsh and #80 Sandy Watson car until lap 9 where Watson finally took over for good. A good race, 1st and 2nd decided by only 2.5 seconds.

Race 1
1st 55 Melling Martin Minshaw Jason Jaguar
2nd 38 Skipworth Stephen Dodd Graeme Jaguar
3rd 84 Clark John Welsh Jeremy Jaguar
4th 10 Bailly Andre Jaguar
5th 80 Watson Sandy Jaguar

The second race of the E Type Challenge closed out the racing in Dijon on Sunday afternoon. What a great final memory for the fans. Although the faces were different, the racing was just as close as race one. After one lap #10 Bailly had control with #84 Clark/Welsh matching his every move and #27 Ziegler/Hancock right behind. Suddenly on lap 9 Bailly made an error and dropped to third behind the other two. They finished the race in that order surely Bailly pondering what could have been

Race 2
1st 84 Clark John Welsh Jeremy Jaguar
2nd 27 Ziegler Stefan Hancock Sam Jaguar
3rd 10 Bailly Andre Jaguar
4th 24 Clubb Mark Jaguar
5th 72 Boot Jamie Jaguar

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Jaguar E-Type Challenge
Jaguar E-Type Challenge
Jaguar E-Type Challenge
Jaguar E-Type Challenge
Jaguar E-Type Challenge
Jaguar E-Type Challenge

For complete race results, visit Grand Prix de L’Age D’Or 2012 Results.

The combination of beautiful setting, challenging track and Burgundian hospitality make the Grand Prix de L’Age D’Or a must for any historic racing lover.

Grand Prix de L’Age D’Or Photo Gallery

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Show Comments (3)

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  1. Superb and thorough report. Really enjoyed the pictures and how the gallery was on a separate page.

  2. Being the organiser of the Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or, thank you very much to Peter Falkner & Sports Car Digest for this report. Great pictures as well ! Best regards, Louis Quiniou.