In it’s 4th edition yet, the Spa Classic keeps attracting the spectators. For the 4th consecutive year, the number of visitors to the Spa Classic increased, reaching about 15000 people this year. Without any doubt, the fabulous weather helped the organization to reach this number of folks, but ofcourse no-one is coming to an event like this just because of the sun. It is obvious that the 8 race-grids with over 350 race-cars was the most important reason for this fabulous attendance.
The most important grids for the Porsche aficionado’s where the Sixties Endurance Race, the CER 1 and CER 2, three grids each having a significant number of Porsches in it, and not just some Porsches. In the Sixties Endurance races you could admire the wonderfull Porsches 904 of Carlo and Peter Vögele from Switzerland, the 904 from the french Jean Marc Bussolini and the always present German Ashmin Fatemi who’ll be at the AvD Nurburgring Oldtimer GP without any doubt too. In the same grid, quite a lot of early Porsches 911, among them my favorite driver the sympathic Gaby von Oppenheim in her 1965 2.0l Porsche 911 too. 4 Porsches ended in the top 10. Fatemi took 4th place in the 904, immediately preceding Carlo and Peter Vögele in another 904.Pascal Pandelaar took the next place in his Porsche 911 and the Porsche succes continued with Jean Marc Bussolini’s 904.
In the CER1 a bunch of different Porsches at the start, among them the fabulous Porsches RSR’s, in both 2.8 and 3.0 liter versions, a Porsche 908/2 and a Porsche 908/3 and the Porsche 906 Carrera 6. They competed against Ford GT40’s, Lola T70’s, BMW M1’s , Ferrari Daytona’s and other cars that made race history. In the end, the podium was completely taken by Lola’s. First Porsche overall ended 7th, good enough for Didier Denat to put him self on the 2nd place in the GT1 class, preceded by a Ford GT40. Unfortunately, both the 908’s had to abandon the race.
CER2 had a 1976 Porsche 934 and some 1978 Porsches 935. Marc de SIEBENTHAL/Jean MARTIN gained a class victory in GT2, however unable to bring enough resistance to the more powerfull Lola’s and Sauber in the same race but in Proto2 class.
For many, the most spectacular race grid was the group C, with about 10 Porsches 956C and Porsche 962’s all together. The car attracting the most attention in this series was probably the Mazda 767B, which is known because of the deafening sound it produces. In this series my personal favorite was the Rothmans Porsche 956C, in this race piloted by Andy Prill from the UK. Race was won by Gareth EVANS/Bob BERRIDGE in the 1989 MERCEDES C11. First Porsche in the Group C race was Russell KEMPNICH in the 1984 PORSCHE 956C (12) taking 6th position..
In the mean time, while the cars where hunting each other on the tracks, you could experience the atmosphere in the paddocks. Mechanics preparing cars for the next race, talk with pilots about the cars and races and ofcourse walk through the little village formed by some exhibitors selling books, watches, memorabilia.
Near the pit-lane, Bonhams occupied a few boxes to present the cars that were to be auctioned on Sunday. One of the stars of the auction, without any doubt, was the custom made Porsche 930/935 Turbo. A one-off, very spectacular looking Porsche and the first realisation of the Porsche Exclusive department. The car was hammered for 230.000 Euro, commission not included.
Text : Tim Havermans
Pictures : Tim Havermans