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Spirit of Montjuic Revival 2012 – Report and Photos

Report and photos by Peter Falkner

The Spirit of Montjuic Classic Revival 2012 took place April 20-22 at the Circuit de Catalunya, outside Barcelona, Spain. This interesting circuit in the hills 30 minutes from downtown Barcelona has hosted the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix since 1991.

This event sought to resurrect the spirit of the original Montjuic street circuit located on the Montjuic mountain overlooking Barcelona. The challenging 2.35 mile track hosted the Spanish Motorcycle Grand Prix from 1950 to 1968 and the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix starting in 1969 and is considered one of the best Formula 1 tracks of all time. A tragic accident during the 1975 race resulting in the death of five spectators meant the end of racing on the ‘Magic Mountain’.

The organizers rolled out many enjoyable events for fans of all ages. These included bumper cars, slot track racing, RC control car races, concours of notable road and racing machines and an impressive collection of Ferrari road cars to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Ferrari F40. For movie buffs the original Porsche 917 driven by Steve McQueen for his Le Mans movie was there in all its original glory. The fans witnessed several laps by the Ferrari parade and it was a big hit to see F40s, F50s and Enzos giving it full beans on the front straight.

The Spirit of Montjuic 2012 brought the Masters Historic Racing program to the Circuit de Catalunya to portray the past glories of sportscar racing of the 1950s, 60s and 70s in the best possible way. The racing for the weekend consisted of five Masters historic classes, The Renault Clio Cup of Spain and classic motorcycle races. For the purpose of this report we will focus on racing of the four wheel persuasion.

Spirit of Montjuic Classic Revival 2012 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)

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Spirit of Montjuic Classic Revival 2012 – Race Results

Masters Historic Racing Classes
Grand Prix Masters -1966-1985 F1 cars
Pre 66 Touring Cars
Gentlemen Drivers – Pre 1966 GT cars and pre 1963 sports cars
World Sportscar Masters – sports prototype or GT between 1962 and 1974
CanAm Interserie Challenge – 2-3 liter sports prototypes 1971-1978 or cars from the Canadian-American Challenge cup run from 1966-1974

World Sportscar Masters

Friday’s cool pine scented air gurgles in velocity stacks as the World Sports Car Masters bring their machinery up to temperature. The pit lane light goes green releasing Lola T70s, Chevron B8s, B16s and Ford GT40s on to the Circuit de Catalunya.

Qualifications are led by the formidable Lola T70s, The Voyazides/Hadfield T70 (6) taking pole with the David Hart Lola (33) 3.9 seconds back and Steve Tandy’s Lola (21) adrift by 4 seconds. Lola T70s took 6 of the top 7 spots. Further back in the field some great racing, a Ford Escort RS, Corvette, McLaren M1B, Ford Capri and McLarenM1A all separated by less than 1 second.

The timed 1 hour race included a mandatory 60 second stop for each car. Driver changes are optional but the car must remain stationary for one minute. The Voyazides/Hadfield Lola T70 (6) never looked threatened and set the fastest lap of the race on the last lap! Steve Tandy brought his T70 (21) home 2nd and Philip Hall broke the T70 podium stranglehold with his Lola T212 (44).

1st – Voyazides/Hadfield Lola T70 MK3B (6)
2nd – Steve Tandy Lola T70 MK3B (21)
3rd – Philip Hall Lola T212 (44)
4th – Jason Wright Lola T70 MK3B (3)
5th – Charles Allison Chevron B8 (32)
6th – Jolly/Farthing Cooper Monaco T61M (16)

Gentlemen Drivers

The Gentlemen Drivers field always promises great racing and iconic cars. The 19 car field included AC Cobras, Jaguar E types, Porsche 911s and Austin Healeys. AC Cobras are a particular favorite with teams, nearly half the field being Cobras. Qualifying saw Cobras lock up 6 of the first 7 spots with a Jaguar E Type squeezing into 4th on the grid.

The suitably sinister black Cobra of Voyazides/Hadfield (2) took pole, the Hart/Hugenholtz Cobra (5) 2nd just 0.263 seconds back and followed by the Monteverde/Pearson Cobra (87) 0.538 behind.

Race

Under the late afternoon Catalan sun the Cobras got right to it. The van der Lof Cobra (95) vaulted from 5th on the grid to lead the first two laps. By lap 3 the number (2) Cobra regained its footing and the lead. For the next 20 laps the racing was close. The order at the front held steady, (2),(95) and (5) until on lap 23 the van der Lof Cobra (95) bowed out with an overheating engine. After 120 minutes of punishment 14 of the original 19 starters made it home.

1st – Voyazides/Hadfield AC Cobra (2)
2nd – Hart/Hugenholtz AC Cobra (5)
3rd – Bailly/Bailly AC Cobra (101)
4th – Beltramelli Lotus Elan S1 (69)
5th – Tice/Conoley Marcos 1800GT (19)
6th – Henderson/henderson AC Cobra (17)

GP Masters

The Gp Masters have two 25 minute races over the weekend which keeps the crews of these high-strung machines very busy. For the fans, the unforgettable wail of Cosworth racing engines creates a pleasant pounding in the ears and heart alike.

Right from the green pit light releasing the cars on to the circuit, the beautiful Parmalat liveried Brabham BT49C of Joaquin Folch seemed to have the circuit well in hand, the Brabham (4) comfortably took pole followed by Bill Coombs Tyrrell 009 (33) and the Lotus 80 (10) of Manfredo Rossi di Montelera. The Williams FW07/C (37), the main rival of the Brabham in period qualified fourth with Christophe D’Ansembourg at the wheel.

Race 1

A dry sunny track provided Folch with all the encouragement needed. By lap 5,the Brabham was over 5 seconds clear of Coombs Tyrrell. The D’Ansembourg Williams FW07C had inherited 3rd on the grid from the garage bound Lotus 80 and held on to it for the remainder of the race. Despite few changes at the front, there was some good racing mid-field. Turn ten at the end of the back straight was the favored spot for tire smoking, late braking passes.

1st – Joaquin Folch Brabham BT49C (4)
2nd – Bill Coombs Tyrrell 009 (33)
3rd – Christophe D’Ansembourg Williams FW07/C (37)
4th – Philip Hall Arrows A3-3 (29)
5th – Simon Fish Ensign N180 (14)
6th – Andrew Beamont Lotus 76/1 (11)

Race 2

After overnight gearbox rebuilds and brake pad replacements the grid forms up under cool grey skies. The cooler air helped push lap times down, most notably the D’Ansembourg Williams FW07/C ripping 2.5 seconds off his best lap time from race 1. However, the Folch Brabham BT49C continued to hold court lowering it’s best time by half a second and never seeing the back of another car.

1st – Joaquin Folch Brabham BT49C (4)
2nd – Bill Coombs Tyrrell 009 (33)
3rd – Christophe D’Ansembourg Williams FW07/C (37)
4th – Philip Hall Arrows A3-3 (29)
5th – Simon Fish Ensign N180 (14)
6th – Mark Higson March 761 (77)

CanAm Interserie Challenge

This invitation only series offers spectators the chance to see Non Turbo European Sports Prototypes from the 70s mixed in with cars that took part in the CanAm series from 1966 to 1974. Some of these CanAm cars can have truly epic engines of 8 or more liters! As the CanAm series organiser Peter Schleifer would say “a series for cars with more grunt than grip”. The organizers may invite other historically significant cars to keep the racing fresh.

In qualifying it was in fact the invitational cars that held sway. The Cosworth powered Spice SE88C (111) driven by Mike Donovan bested two invited Porsche 962s by 1.3 seconds and 2.1 seconds. Further down the order it was a Lola tribute, 4th through 8th Lola T280s, T292s and T310s.

Race 1

The Spice screamed off opening a nearly 10 second lead by the end of lap 3. The Voyazides Lola T280 (2) could only hold off the charging 962C (16) of Steve Tandy for a couple of laps and the second 962 (17) driven by D’Ansembourg slipped by several laps later. Voyazides grimly held on through 14 furious laps and reclaimed the spot to get on the podium.

1st – Mike Donovan Spice SE88C (111)
2nd – Steve Tandy Porsche 962C (16)
3rd – Leo Voyazides Lola T280 (2)
4th – Christophe D’Ansembourg Porsche 962
5th – Michele Liguori Lola T296 (67)
6th – Carlos Monteverde/Gary Pearson Lola T292 (87)

Race 2

The plot of race 2 had a similar storyline but with fewer protagonists. Technical problems kept the D’Ansembourg Porsche 962, Schleifer Lola T310 and the Monteverde/Pearson Lola T292 under cover in their garages.

Leo Voyazides, after having a strong first race, parked his Lola T280 (2) on the first lap when the middle pedal went to the floor. The leading Spice SE88C (111) of Mike Donovan improved his best lap time by over one second as he again led home the Tandy 962C (16).

1st – Mike Donovan Spice SE88C (111)
2nd – Steve Tandy Porsche 962C (16)
3rd – Michele Liguori Lola T296 (67)
4th – Robert Blain Chevron B31-36 (187)
5th – Rick Carlino GRD (11)
6th – Marcus T. Mussa McLaren M1B (88)

Pre-1966 Touring Cars

Cars that everybody can recognize and relate to fight it out in some very close and exciting racing. Mini Cooper Ss mix it up with Ford Falcons, Mustang Shelbys and Ford Lotus Cortinas all in their original FIA pre-1966 specifications.

Top positions in qualifying went to the Ford Falcons with their over 4000cc engines but the Mini Coopers with engines 1/3 the size give good account of themselves and were certainly entertaining to watch. The excellent weight distribution and low center of gravity make the Minis mad drifting and sliding machines!

Race

With rain threatening, the field heads out on to a noticeably cold track. The Ford Falcons of Voyazides (2) and Melling-Minshaw (88) lead the pack over the line with a group of Ford Lotus Cortinas snarling at their heels. A very light misty rain falls intermittently but seems to have little effect on speeds, The winning Falcon of Leo Voazides posting a best lap time within 0.062 seconds of his best qualifying time. Jose Beltramelli pushes his Ford Lotus Cortina hard to wrestle 2nd place from the Melling-Minshaw Falcon.

1st – Leo Voyazides Ford Falcon (2)
2nd – Jose Beltramelli Ford Lotus Cortina (69)
3rd – Melling-Minshaw Ford Falcon (88)
4th – Christian Devereux Austin Mini Cooper S (67)
5th – Stephen Jones Morris Mini Cooper S (92)
6th – Pochciol-Pochciol Ford Lotus Cortina Mk 1 (82)

Copa Clio Espana – Renault Clio Cup Spain

This one model series runs 15 national championships and an International Cup. Large grids, young ambitious drivers and identical cars makes for some very close racing.

The close racing means the top 10 qualifiers are separated by just over 1 second. The Clio Cup also sees multiple car teams and the 6 cars that top the grid come from just 2 teams. The top runner was Oscar Nogues of the RMS Engineering S.R.L. Team with an average speed of 132.1 km/h. In perspective, the winning Gentlemen Drivers AC Cobra lap time is 5 seconds slower than the Clio. These cars are quick in the right hands.

Races

The races are 20 minute and 40 minute sprints leaving not much room for getting it wrong. Nevertheless on the road to victory lots of paint is exchanged and lessons learned. The top of the order in Race 1 reflects the qualifications with the exception of second place qualifier Jordi Palomeras of Nicolas Milan Competition who exits the stage after just one lap.
Race 2 follows the form set in Race 1, the Nicolas Milan Competition team putting 4 cars in the top 6 while ceding the top 2 podium steps to the RMS Engineering SRL team.

Race 1

1st – Marc Guillot/Nicolas Milan Competition (11)
2nd – Oscar Nogues/RMS Engineering SRL (46)
3rd – Simone Di Luca/ RMS Engineering SRL (53)
4th – Nicolas Milan/ Nicolas Milan Competition (2)
5th – Rafael Villanueva/ Nicolas Milan Competition (18)
6th – Daniel Mesalles/Autotec (12)

Race 2

1st – Oscar Nogues/RMS Engineering SRL (46)
2nd –Simone Di Luca/ RMS Engineering SRL (53)
3rd –Rafael Villanueva/ Nicolas Milan Competition (18)
4th – Jordi Palomeras/ Nicolas Milan Competition (1)
5th –Marc Guillot/ Nicolas Milan Competition (11)
6th –Nicolas Milan/ Nicolas Milan Competition (2)

For more information, visit www.espiritudemontjuic.com.

[Source: Peter Falkner]

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