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Spa Summer Classic 2012 – Report and Photos

Porsche 934_Audrey van Ham
Porsche 934_Audrey van Ham

Report and photos by Marcel Hundscheid

The Belgian Roadbook organisation produced the 2012 Spa Summer Classic during the weekend of June 15th, 16th and 17th. Participants and spectators were treated with some vast grids featuring historic single seaters, sports cars, GT’s and touring cars. Weather conditions during the event changed from autumn like grey and rainy on Friday and Saturday to nice and warm on Sunday, typically for the Spa region. Eleven different grids were presented featuring club racing from France and the UK as national historic championships from both Belgium and the Netherlands.

Belgian Historic Cup
The BRAVO (Belgian Racing Automobile Vintage Organisation) has been existing for over thirty years. Since 2008 BRAVO set up a national historic championship known as Belgian Historic Cup, featuring events for historic cars in Belgium. The Belgian Historic Cup is divided into four different categories:

Class 1 / HTP Historics (cars built up until end 1976, entirely original or with an adaptation according tot FIA homologation)
Class 2 / National Historics (cars up until end 1976)
Class 3 / Classics (cars built op until end 1976, according to appendix K)
Class 5 / Guests

Belgian driver Jan van Elderen scored a perfect weekend winning both races on Saturday and Sunday in his 1978 Porsche 911RS. In the end he dominated both races without any threat from his fellow competitors. On Saturday Dirk van Rompuy finished second in a 1977 2.4 Opel Kadett GTE, followed by his brother Tom van Rompuy in a 1977 2.0 Opel Kadett GTE. Jeremy Knight scored a second place on Sunday in his 1978 Morgan +8, Bert Smeets finished third in his 1970 Dodge Challenger.

Formula Ford Historic and F3 1000cc Historic
A combined grid of historic Formula Fords and Historic 1000 cc F3 cars brought no less than 51 cars to the Ardennes. The historic Formula Ford Challenge France was established in 2003 presenting Formula Ford cars between 1967 and 1981. The tiny cars are still in their original configuration as no technical changes are allowed, using a Ford 1600 Kent engine from that particular period. Cars from the very first generation of Formula 3 are gathered in the Historic F3 1000cc Trophy. The serie is open to every F3 1000cc built between 1.1.1964 and 31.12.1970. Some strong battles were fought in the Formula Ford Historic but it was Pierre-Alain Lombardi from France winning both races on Saturday and Sunday in his 1978 Lola T540. In F3 1000cc Historic it was Paul McMorran scoring victory on Saturday in a 1973 Crossle 25F. On Sunday it was Thiery Galo crossing the finish line first in a 1971 Merlyn Mk 20A.

Spa Ardennes Challenge – Asavé Challenge GT Tourisme – Crosslé Challenge
Longest race of the event was presented in three combined grids, featuring a ninety minute race on Sunday seeing sixty one cars on the entry list. The Spa Ardennes Challenge is open to a great variety of cars such as Ford GT40, Aston Martin DB4 and DB5, Porsche 911, Ford Escort, Sunbeam Tiger etc. The French Challenge Asavé GT/Tourisme Historique was established in 2002 and is open to GT’s and touring cars between 1947 and 1976. The Crosslé Challenge is open to Crosslé build sports cars. Swiss driver Kaspar Huggenburg scored an overall victory in the event in a 1966 Crosslé 9S. Second place was claimed by Briton’s Cal Hatherwood and Geoff McConville in a same car. German drivers Georg Nolte and Frank Stippler finished third in a splendid looking 1965 Ford GT40.

Trophée Formule Ford Kent / Formule Zetec
If you own a Formula Ford built before 1993 you can participate in the French Trophée Formule Ford Kent. As France doesn’t have a national championship for Formula Ford the idea was created to offer drivers a series open to Formula Ford Zetec cars, powered by the Ford Duratec 1600 engine. Manuel Beguinot drove two lonely races as no other driver could get near his 1989 Van Diemen. The French driver scored two victories as he dominated both races. Second places were scored by Jo Zosso from Switzerland in a Tattuus and Benoit Cosi in a 1990 Van Diemen. Michel Paganin scored two consecutive third places in his 1990 Van Diemen.

Classic Sports Car Club Swinging Sixties
In 2001 the Classic Sports Car Club was established by enthusiast racers who wanted to offer low budget racing. The series welcomes sports cars, touring cars and GT’s from the sixties. The Classic Sports Car Club travels throughout Europe and ran on the Daytona race track in the USA. Briton Luke Woss scored two crushing victories in a Chevrolet Corvette. Mark Campbell from the UK claimed second place in a Triumph TR5, David Thomas finished third in a Ford Capri Mk.1 during Saturday’s race, on Sunday he finished third. Second place on Sunday was claimed by Christian Marx in a Triump TR4.

Classic Sports Cars Inter Series Cup
Part of the in 2001 established Classic Sports Car Club is the Inter Series Cup, open to five different categories. Mentioned above is the Swinging Sixties category, Tin Tops are open to original cars from the Mini Cooper S to the quite modern Honda Civic Type R. Owners of a Future Classic, cars from the 70s and 80s are welcome as well as Magnificient Sevens (Caterhams, Lotus, Seven, Westfield, Dax etc). Fifth and final category are Deutsche Marques, if it’s German from 1990 or later then these cars are also welcome. Three Caterhams really set the pace on Saturday as well as on Sunday. In the end Briton James Sharrock claimed victory winning both races in his Caterham CSR. Jonathan Gibbs scored a second and third place in a Caterham C400. Anthony Bennet drove his Caterham R300 to a third and second place during the weekend.

Sports 2000
The Sports 2000 Racing Car Club is open to Sports 2000 owners running cars powered by Duratec and Pinto engines. Besides these cars historic Sports 2000 are allowed as cars have to be built before December 31st 1982, using a standard Ford 2000cc engine. Patrick Sherrington drove to lonely races as no one couldn’t match his performace driving a MCR-Duractec. The Briton won both races on Saturday and Sunday. Fellow country man Paul Tickner finished second in both races driving a Carbir CS2. Peter Williams (MCR-Duratec) and David Croft (Gun TS11) both scored third places.

Monoposto Racing Club – F3 Cup
The Monoposto Racing Club and MSV F3 Cup combined their entries to a large field of single seater cars. The Monoposto Racing Club is open to a.o. Anson SA4, Dallara F300, Dallara F393, Jamun M97Z, Jedi Mk6, Mygale Novis, OMS 2000M, Ralt RT3, Ray GR2002, Reynard 903, Swift SC97Z,Vauxhall and Lotus monopostos, owned by amateur drivers. In the F3 Cup drivers of modern Dallara’s, Lola etc. Drivers from the F3 Cup were fastest during both races. Alex Lynn claimed two victories in a Dallara F302, in front of Aaron Steele (Dallara F304). Robbie Watts (Dallara F306) and Chris Needham (Dallara F302) finished third respectively on Saturday and Sunday.

Trophée Maxi 1000 – Groupe 1 – Trophée Lotus
Three combined grid of the French Tophée Maxi 1000, Group 1 and Trophée Lotus brought no less than 67 cars to Spa. The Trophée Maxi 1000 is open to small 1000cc cars as Groupe 1 features a lot of different European brands and types between 1968 and 1975. Trophée Lotus is open to different types from the Lotus brand. A single sixty one minute race was held on Saturday won by Florent Lenisa in a Lotus Seven. Pierre Buffet finished second (Lotus Seven), Philippe Gaso finished third.

Historic Racing Drivers Club
Owners of a Pre ’60 Touring Car or Grand Touring Car found their way to the mythic Ardennes track. Michael Withaker dominated the single race in a 1965 splendid TVR Griffiths, finishing way up in front of Guillaume and Gregoire Colinet in a 1970 Alfa Romeo 2000 GTAm. Historic ace Andy Newall finished third in a 1963 MGB Roadster Works.

The Dutch Championship for Touring and GT cars from the period 1947 to 1965 appeared during two races. Belgian driver Christophe van Riet drove his 1965 Lotus Elan to victory on Saturday, as Rob Bergmans did the same on Sunday in a 1965 Iso Rivolta.

Just like former editions of the Spa Summer Classic, it was an event not to be missed, especially for fans of historic motorsports. We’re looking forward to the forthcoming 20th anniversary of the legendary Spa 6 Hours, as usual organised by the Roadbook organisation in September.

Spa Summer Classic 2012 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)

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[Source: Marcel Hundscheid]