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Spa Six Hours 2012 – Race Preview

By Marcel Hundscheid

Jaguar D-Type at Spa Six HoursThe Spa Six Hours, one of the highlights on the European historic motorsports calendar, will celebrate its twentieth anniversary during the weekend of September 21-23, 2012.

Vincent Collard and Alain Defalle had an idea to organise a six hours endurance race for historic touring cars and GTs, built before 1965. Nowadays the event is much more than just a race, without doubt it’s a true race meeting starting on Friday morning. The highlight is the six hour race, starting on Saturday afternoon 16.00 p.m. As we take a closer look on the provisional entry list for the 2012 race, over 110 cars are already entered. Four-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Emanuele Pirro is one of the many drivers trying to take overall victory on Saturday evening. The Italian will team up with Briton Shaun Lynn in a Ford GT40. For the first time in the history of the event, a Ferrari 250 GT SWB Comp, will participate, driven by Britons Clive Joy and Kilian Konig.

The event, hosted by the Roadbook Organisation, offers more than the six hour race — much, much more with twelve different races. On Friday qualifying practices are carried out by all the participants and different categories. Racing will start on Saturday morning with the Formula Junior, an open wheel formula racing class with its roots in 1958. The Masters Prototype Challenge will bring former Group C cars to Spa-Francorchamps. Group C was launched in 1982 by the FIA and thanks to Masters Historic Racing, the magic of the Le Mans 24 Hours as well as the legendary 1000 km races will be recreated.

Grand Prix cars from the 1920s through to the 1960s are gathered into the Historic Grand Prix Car Association, originally founded in 1979. Iconic grand prix cars such as the Brabham BT11 and BT21, Cooper Bristol, different Coopers and Lotus cars as well as the Maserati 250F. Beautiful sports cars built before 1960 such as the Jaguar D-Type, Cooper Bobtail, Lister and Jaguar Knobbly, Lotus 15 just to name a few racing against each other in the 61-minute race. The Motor Racing Legends Woodcote Trophy and Sir Stirling Moss Trophy is notably supported by the British Royal Automobile Club. The Sir Stirling Moss Trophy insists on respecting the spirit of this era. Cars entered for this event do so upon invitation only.

Historic Roadsports, ’70s Roadsports, Historic Touring Cars, cars from the Guards Trophy and E-Type Challenge and all the closed wheel categories from the British Historic Sports Car Club participate in two thirty-minute races on Saturday and Sunday. The glory days from the European Touring Car Championship between 1963 and 1965 will relive as the Lotus Cortina, BMW 1800, Alfa Romeo and many more types fill the grid, hosted by the Historic Motor Racing News U2TC championship. A single sixty one-minute race will decide what car crossed the finish line first on the legendary Ardennes track. The British Grand Prix Masters will bring iconic Formula 1 cars to Spa built between 1968 and 1978. The immaculate sound of the 3-litre engines will take you back 40 years in the history of Formula 1.

Classic Le Mans prototypes built before 1974 are gathered into the Masters Sports Cars, featuring cars as the Lola T70, Ferrari 512, Abarth Osella PA1, different Chevrons and Ford GT40. A single sixty one-minute race on Sunday will bring the audience back to an epoch-making era. A large field of GTs and touring cars built before 1975 compete within the Top Hat Masters. A great variety of cars, built between the 1940s and 1970s, both touring and GTs fill the grid for a single race. Last race of the weekend is presented by the Masters Gentlemen Drivers in a 100 minute-race. open to GT cars from the sixties.

Ticket sales for the Spa Six Hours 2012 have started online. There is free entrance for kids under twelve years. For the three days, from Friday morning through to Sunday evening, the entrance fee amounts to € 25,00 per person. The entry fee entitles general entry, grandstands and outside terraces, inside paddocks and access to the Village Paddock. For more information, visit Spa Six Hours.

[Source: Marcel Hundscheid]