Spa 6 hours 2014

The weekend of September 20th was marked in many vintage car enthusiasts all over Europe. Car nuts were looking forward to the weekend for an obvious reason : one of the most heroic vintage car track races one can imagine. A 6hour long endurance race on one of the most beautiful and most demanding race-tracks worldwide. A dream come true for many, to conquer the famous corners like Eau Rouge, Radaillon and Les Combes. The Spa 6 hours weekend was on.

During 3 days, the legendary race-track of Spa Francorchamps was the middle point of the European car scene once again.Over 600 cars entered and thousands of people from all over Europe made it to Spa, to be part of the vintage car party with the 6hours endurance race as apotheosis. Traditionally Friday is the day all the 12 different race series have their training and qualifying runs and pilots who haven’t been driving the track before can get used to it.

2014 Spa 6h / Tania Mann / Porsche 904
2014 Spa 6h / Tania Mann / Porsche 904

Most important day of the weekend is Saturday. From early morning the roaring engines of the competitors made clear things were getting real serious : this was race day, and it started under a light fog, that soon disappeared for a bright sky and a lovely autumn sun : a true Indian summer day which was great for the races and competitors who all looked out for the start of the event of the weekend : the 6hour endurance race, starting at 4pm which makes it a race that continues after sunset, making it more difficult for the pilots and crew. It was extremely interesting to see Porsche 910-026 on the track in the FIA Masters Historics Sport Car Championship. This ex factory racer ran the 1000km of the Nürburgring in 1967 with Gerard Mitter and Lucien Bianchi at the wheel. Now one of the pilots was the London-based Australian Tania Mann.After the friday qualifications it was obvious the race would be dominated by the Ford GT40s, a dominance that continued in the race too.

The race started under a bright sun, but after about 1,5 hour, the weather conditions changed dramatically and a huge thunderstorm with tons of water falling from the air, changing the race-track in a pool in just 15 minutes, but without major consequences. The race continued until a 2nd thunderstorm made the track near impossible to drive, with some crashes and the safety car on the track as a result. Luckily only material damage, none of the pilots got hurt. In the end , after a heavy 3rd thunderstorm, the race was even abandoned 10 minutes early as a security measure. Too much water on the track, making it irresponsible to continue the race. Car #15, the Ford GT40 of the Portuguese Ferrao and the Brit Stretton took 1st place.

One of the great things of the race is the diversity of cars that participate. Ferrari, Ford, Maserati, Aston Martin, and of course Porsche !!! The Porsche 904 of Duel Motorsport from the Netherlands which ran very good at the Zandvoort Historics just a few weeks ago, had to cope with some problems during the 6 hours, forcing them to an early leave of the range. Bad luck for these dutch guys, and thumbs up for the next race you compete in.

2014 Spa 6h / Sarah Bennet-Baggs / Porsche 911
2014 Spa 6h / Sarah Bennet-Baggs / Porsche 911

The lovely Sarah Bennet-Baggs who was racing the Pink Porsche 911 in the Historic Sport Car Club race, entered her Austin-Healey 100M in the 6hours.. The team had to cope with a broken head gasket, but they managed to have the car fixed and re-entered the race, with a 79th place as a result.

Gaby von Oppenheim finished 50th in her well-known early Porsche 911, with the typical green stripes making the car easy to recognize. The Bates brothers from EB-Motorsports crossed the line in 19th position in the Porsche 911.

Despite an early checkered flag because of the heavy rain, we can only make one decision. We’ll be back in 2015