A look back at the 10th edition of Spa-Classic a “volle petrole” - Peter Auto

A look back at the 10th edition of Spa-Classic a “volle petrole”

The 10th edition of Spa-Classic was eagerly-awaited if the number of spectators is anything to go by, as more than 20.000 turned up to see the 380 historic racing cars going at it hammer and tongs on the most beautiful circuit in the world. But the spectacle wasn’t only on the track; it was also in the village where 800 cars from different clubs were on show including those from the club Lotus Italia and the Lotus Club Holland which assembled 60 cars of the make on the seventieth anniversary of the founding of Lotus (1962). In a festive ambience in beautiful sunlight in the Ardennes young and old alike could take advantage of the many activities available: temporary tattoos, barbers, hook a duck, photo calls as well as popcorn and candy floss! Several boutiques were on the spot for lovers of shopping like B.R.M Chronographes with a special limited edition Spa-Classic watch, the lovely Vicomte A T-shirts and jackets as well as accessories, books and scale model cars.

Nine grids provided the on-track action with 380 historic racing cars including some exceptional names like the Aston Martin DBR9, Bentley Speed 8, BMW M3 GTR, Dallara SP1, Ford GT40 and Porsche 917 plus many more. There were daytime and nighttime races that people could watch from the new grandstand erected in the Raidillon de l’Eau Rouge giving an unbeatable unimpeded view from la Source to the top of the Raidillon itself.


Endurance Racing Legends – Race 1

Endurance Racing Legends kicked off the first day’s racing at Spa Francorchamps, which ended in a double for the Lola MG EX257s. Not quite twins but cousins as the no. 20 2004 MG EX257 driven by Christian Gläsel used to race in the American Le Mans Series, while the no. 25 Lola-MG EX257 from 2001 driven by Mike Newton competed in the LMP1 Series. Into third place came the awesome 2001 PANOZ LMP in the hands of Jake Hill. Another Panoz, no. 54, the LMP from 2001 also driven by Hill emerged victorious in the GT category followed by the superb no. 66 Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive from 2004 in the hands of German driver Dominik Roschmann and the no. 53 Aston Martin DBR9 with ex-world touring car champion Rob Huff at the wheel backed up by team-mate, Richard Meins.

Overall podium classification:

🥇 MG EX257 / 2004 / Christian GLÄSEL / n°20
🥈 Lola-MG EX257 / 2001 / Mike NEWTON / n°25
🥉 PANOZ LMP / 2001 / Jake HILL / n°19

The Greatest’s Trophy – Race 1

It looked like Vincent Gaye at the wheel of the no. 7 Ferrari 275 GTB/C had victory in the The Greatest’s Trophy’s first race sewn up. Unfortunately, he received a penalty for exceeding track limits gifting a double to the Bizzarrini 5300 GTs driven by Dirk and Leon Ebeling in no. 68 and Christian Bouriez in no. 56. While Bouriez led the dance until the last corner from Dirk Ebeling, the latter (teamed up with his father Leon Ebeling) finally pipped him by a tenth-of-a-second at the finish! Into third place on the podium came Afschin Fatemi at the wheel of his no. 158 Porsche 904/6 Carrera GTS.

Overall podium classification:

🥇 Bizzarrini 5300 GT / 1965 / Dirk et Leon EBELING /n°68
🥈 Bizzarrini 5300 GT / 1965 / Christian BOURIEZ / n°46
🥉 Porsche 904/6 Carrera GTS / 1964 / Afschin FATEMI / n°158

Group C Racing – Race 1 :

The first Group C Racing heat was dominated by Christophe d’Ansembourg who usually plays a waiting game before taking the lead. He went on to clinch victory in the very quick no. 17 Jaguar XJR-14. It was a home victory for the Belgian in front of the no. 82 Porsche 962 C crewed by Michel Lecourt and Raymond Narac followed in third place by a second Porsche 962 C, no. 21 driven by Ralf Kelleners and Ivan Vercoutere. Another Porsche no. 14 shared by Mark Sumpter and Henry Pearman finished just shy of the podium. The race was a bit of a let-down for the no. 27 Nissan R90 CK in the hands of Pierre-Alain and Erwin France who expected a podium finish, but had to be content with fifth place.

Overall podium classification:

🥇 Jaguar XJR-14 / 1991 / Christophe D’ANSEMBOURG / n°17
🥈 Porsche 962 C / 1990 /de Michel LECOURT et Raymond NARAC /n°82
🥉 Porsche 962 C / 1990 / Ralf KELLENERS et Ivan VERCOUTERE / n°21

Sixties’ Endurance

Jon Minshaw‘s 3.8-litre E-Type Jaguar hit the front right from the start, but after an hour’s racing Ralf Kelleners in his Shelby Cobra 289 took a lead he was never to lose. The Sixties’ Endurance category generally provides a race full of twists and turns and this one was no exception with several safety car deployments. Numerous neutralisations punctuated the first 30 minutes due to retirements and oil on the track. The event was completely dominated by the Shelby Cobra 289s and Daytonas six of which filled the first seven places in the overall classification.

Overall podium classification:

🥇 Shelby Cobra 289 / 1964 / Urs BECK et Ralf KELLNERS / n°369
🥈 Shelby Cobra 289 / 1963 / Christophe VAN RIET et Frédéric BOUVY / n°55
🥉 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé / 1964 / Pierre-Alain FRANCE et Erwin FRANCE / n°70

Endurance Racing Legends – Race 2

Christian Glasel clinched his second victory of the meeting in no. 20 from the no. 14 Riley & Scott MK III driven by Xavier Micheron and Antoine Weil. Into third place overall came the no. 54 Panoz Esperante GTR1 in the hands of Olivier France winning the grand touring category. Mike Newton in no. 25 filled third place in the prototype category. Dominik Roschmann scored a great second place in the no. 66 Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello, a former winner of the 24 Hours of Spa. Completing the podium was the ex-British Touring Car champion Rob Huff with Richard Meins in the no. 53 Aston Martin DBR9 from 2006.

Overall podium classification:

🥇 MG EX257 / 2004 / Christian GLÄSEL / n°20
🥈 Lola-MG EX257 / 2001/ Mike NEWTON n°25
🥉 Panoz Esperante / 1997 / Olivier FRANCE / n°54

Heritage Touring Cup – Race 1

The Ford Capri RS 3100s dominated filling the first five places for most of the race. Some competitors ran into technical problems and the event was marked by a neutralisation following two collisions in the first 15 minutes. In these conditions, Maxime Guenat in his no. 50 Ford Capri RS 3100 was caught by English driver Mark Farmer in the no. 32 Ford Capri RS 3100. On the restart Farmer got the jump on Guenat and the British pairing won the race by a few seconds. Guenat was also overtaken by Yves Scemama who pipped him within sight of the chequered flag so he finally came home in third place as the two cars crossed the finishing line giving the Capri RS3100s a triple!

Overall podium classification:

🥇 Ford Capri RS 3100 / 1975/ Merk Farmer et Adrian WILLMOT / n°32
🥈 Ford Capri RS 3100 Cologne/ 1973 / Yves SCEMAMA0 /n°14
🥉 Ford Capri RS 3100 / 1975 / Maxime GUENAT / n°50


2.0L Cup

The race was dominated by British drivers with victory going to the no. 64 Porsche 911 2.0L driven by Andrew Smith-Oliver Bryant followed by no. 77 in the hands of Mark Sumpter and Andrew Jordan. Frenchman Xavier Dayraut, the reigning champion in the no. 37 Porsche, made a stunning comeback from 10th to third place overall.

Overall podium classification:

🥇 Porsche 911 2.0L / Andrew SMITH et Oliver BRYANT /n°64
🥈 Porsche 911 2.0L / Mark SUMPTER et Andrew JORDAN / n°77
🥉 Porsche 911 2.0L / Xavier DAYRAUT / n°37

The Greatest Trophy – Race 2

Vincent Bouriez clinched an easy victory in the no. 46 1965 Bizzarrini 5300 GT. A ding-dong battle raged between three cars, the no. 158 1964 Porsche,904/6 Carrera GTS in the hands of Afschin Fatemi, Yvan Mahe’s no. 37 Lister Chevrolet from 1958 and Vincent Gaye’s no. 7 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C. The race was stopped by the red flag with second place going to Fatemi by the tiniest of margins from Mahe and Gaye.

Overall podium classification:

🥇 Bizzarrini 5300 GT / 1965 / Christian BOURIEZ / n° 46
🥈 Porsche 904/6 Carrera GTS / 1964 / Afschin FATEMI / n°158
🥉 Lister Chevrolet / 1958 / Yvan MAHE / n°37

Heritage Touring Cup – Race 2

As expected the second race was dominated by the Ford Capri RS 3100s but revenge was in the air. Maxime Guenat in his no. 50 1975 Capri RS 3100 held off Mark Farmer and Adrian Willmott also Capri RS-mounted (no.32). Yves Scemama made it into a Ford Capri triple in his no. 52 Capri RS 3100 Cologne from 1973. Guy Fabrice Mestrot and Eric Sechaud in their no. 47 Ford Escort I RS 1600 and Olivier Breittmayer in his no. 22 BMW 3.0 CSL put on great performances with no. 22 finishing in fifth place. Victory in Group A went to Jean-Lou Rihon and Nick Padmore in their BMW 635 CSi carrying the number 114. Padmore is a former Classic Formula 1 champion. Pierre-Alain Thibaut former general manager of Spa-Francorchamps took part at the wheel of a Ford Mustang 289 shared with Christian Dumolin.

Overall podium classification:

🥇 Ford Capri RS 3100 / 1975 / Maxime GUENAT / n°50
🥈 Ford Capri RS 3100 / 1975 / Mark FARMER et Adrian WILLMOTT /n° 32
🥉 Ford Capri RS 3100 Cologne / 1973 / Yves SCEMAMA / n°52

Group C Racing – Race 2

The second Group C Racing heat was almost a carbon copy of the first. Belgian driver Christophe d’Ausembourg in the no. 17 Jaguar XJR-14 waited for the right moment, took the lead and cruised home to victory. Into second came Michel Lecourt and Raymond Narac in their no. 82 Porsche 962 C and third place went to Canadian Cal Meeker in the no. 3 Spice SE90P. Éric Van de Poele teamed up with Éric de Seynes in the no. 110 1990 Spice SE89C. Van de Poele is an ex-Formula 1 driver who holds the record for the number of victories in the 24 Hours of Spa. And let’s not forget ex-touring car world champion, Rob Huff, who dialled in some stunning times in his no. 6 1987 Jaguar XJR 8.

Overall podium classification:

🥇 Jaguar XJR-14 /1991 de Christophe d’AUSEMBOURG / n°17
🥈 Porsche 962 / 1990 de Michel LECOURT et Raymond NARAC / n°82
🥉 Spice SE90P / 1990 de Scoot SPORT et de Cal MEEKER / n°3

Classic Endurance Racing – Race 2

A race full of twists! If Maxime Guenat in his no. 50 Lola T286 led the race for a long time he was given a penalty for jumping the start after a neutralisation like Yves Scemama at the wheel of his no. 52 TOJ SC304. They overtook the competitors in front of them a tad too quickly before the green flag was waved! The result was a 30-second penalty that gifted victory to the no. 600 Lola T600 in the hands of Philippe Scemama from Guenat and Yves Scemama (nos 50 and 52). There was a great scrap in the GT category with Nicky Pastorelli coming out on top in his no. 34 Ferrari 512 BBLM. Into second came Sébastien Glaser at the wheel of his no. 59 BMW M1 Procar, while Alexander Rittweger confirmed the stunning form of the Ferrari 512 BBLMs by clinching third place in no. 24.

Overall podium classification:

🥇 Lola T600 / 1981 / Philippe SCEMAMA et Laurent FORT / n°600
🥈 Lola T286 / 1976 / Maxime GUENAT / n°50
🥉 TOJ SC304 / 1976 / d’Yves SCEMAMA /n°52

Fifties Legends

The second-last race of Spa-Classic 2022 was marked by an intense head-to-head battle whose outcome was decided after a passage through the pit lane due to a penalty! Victory in this race went to the no. 160 1957 Lotus XI driven by Guillaume Peeters. Eugène Deleplanque finished second at the wheel of his no. 7 TVR Grantura MK III. Completing the podium was the no. 39 Elva Mk V in the hands of Louis Zurstrassen in third place.

Overall podium classification:

🥇 Lotus XI / 1957 / Guillaume PEETERS / n°160
🥈 TVR Grantura MK III / 1963 / Eugène DELEPLANQUE / n°7
🥉 Elva Mk V / 1959 / Louis ZURSTRASSEN / n°39

Classic Endurance Racing 2

The first part of the race could be summed up as a battle between Lola T70s until Alexander Furiani in his no. 1 Chevron B19 from 1971 went pedal to the metal and took the lead. Tony Seiler’s no. 7 Lola MK III B saw the flag in second place followed in third by Serge Kriknoff’s no. 16 Lola T212. The Ford GT40s scored a double in the GTA category led by Swiss driver Philippe Scemama in no. 40 followed by Christophe Delachaux and Éric Helary (former winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans) also at the wheel of a Ford GT40 (no. 87). The race results were announced later on in the evening to round off a superb Spa-Classic 2022!

Overall podium classification:

🥇 Chevron B19 / 1971 / Alexander FURIANI / n°1
🥈 Lola T70 MK III B / 1969 / Toni SEILER / n°7
🥉 Lola T212 / 1991 / Serge KRIKNOFF / n°16

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