An action packed Spa Six Hours weekend under a blue sky
Over 600 classic race cars on a track in a single weekend ? Not very usual. The Spa Six Hours is one of those events that succeeds in bringing this number of cars to the Spa Francorchamps race track. 12 different race series on the track that’s considered the most beautiful and demanding on the planet by most of the drivers. The practice day on Thursday was a bit cloudy, somewhat foggy and even got some drizzle. However, weather conditions were quite different during the remaining of the action-packed weekend : a blue sky and sun were the part of the visitors, that did not really show up in large numbers. Even though the Vintage Village and the paddocks seemed pretty crowded, the grandstands remained rather empty for the complete weekend.
This year, the number of Porsches entered in the different series during the weekend wasn’t that overwhelming either. There were only cars from Stuttgart in the Spa Six Hours Endurance, the Historic Sports Car Club, the Masters Endurance Legends and the FIA Masters Historic Sportscar Championship race. Unfortunately no Porsche 356 or derivaties or the more sporty Porsche 550 or Porsche 718 in the Woodcote & Stirling Moss Trophy by Motor Racing Legends. Even the Masters Gentlemen Drivers had no Porsche among the entries. That despite the fact that all models that competed in a round of the World Endurance Series pre-1966 are eligible.
But, that small number of Porsches didn’t spoil the fun for the classic sportscar racing passionates. In the Masters Endurance Legends, the Porsche 997 GT3 RSR with M. Rossi Di Monetelera at the wheel finished in 12th position. This very car won the LM GT2 Class in the 2007 Le Mans 24H with Patrick Long, Raymond Narac and Richard Lietz at the wheel.
The 2 Porsches in the Historic Sports Car Club had absolutely no chance to end high in the rankings against far more powerful cars. Tony and Aston Blake finished 9th after some good racing in the 1st race of the weekend on Saturday. John Williams crossed the line in the middle of the pack in 30rd position in the Porsche 911 SC. In the Sunday race, John Williams. in the number 30 had to bow heads again for the number 71 Porsche with Tony and Aston Blake, that finished 13th.
2 Porsches on the entry list published before the Masters Historic Sportscar Championship. However, only the Porsche 911 RSR from Juan Pablo Briones and Horn Klaus showed up at the event. Finishing the race in 27th position was good enough for a class win in the Pescarolo class. However honesty forces us to tell that they were the only competitors in the class that allows GT cars over 2000c, conforming to a specification prior to 31/12/1974
Ofcourse the 6 Hours endurance race, starting at 15:55 PM on Saturday is the main attraction. May of the particpating teams consider the Spa Six Hours as the jewel on the crown . Whatever is going on, they will do their uttermost best to be part of the Spa Six Hours. Just as last years, the race was completely dominated by the powerful Ford GT 40’s, of which no less than 18 were at the start. The best Porsche after the night qualifying session on Friday was the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS with Afshin Fatemi and Ralf Kelleners. They fought a fearce battle against much stronger opponents and seemed to finish good. However, in an endurance race you never know what happens. Even though these classic cars are race prepared, there’s a lot that can go wrong when you push your car to the limits. A broken gasket with loose of oil pressure forced Ralf Kelleners to go back to the pits. End of the race for the only Porsche 904 in the Spa Six Hours Endurance race. The trio Stephen Winter / Robbert Williams and Robin Ellis finished in 42nd position WINTER Stephen (GB) WILLIAMS Robert (GB) ELLIS Robin (GB). A good result for the Porsche bearing number 42, as they only started in 72nd positin.
The Porsches in the Spa Six Hours 2018
Pictures by Vintage Race Photography