Spa Six Hours 2018 - Serge Libens - Jean André Collard

Just a few more days of waiting, and one of the highlights of the classic car season starts. Indeed, the Spa Six Hours weekend belongs to the best historic race weekends you can imagine.  The 6 hours endurance race, the flagship race of the weekend, begins Saturday September 28th at 4pm. The checquered flag will fall down at 10pm. That promises to be another 6 hours of excitement, petrol, speed ,action and smoking rubber. But ofcourse, there is much more. The Spa Six Hours weekend starts on Wednesday with track-sessions for the preWar cars. Thursday, the track is open for untimed open practices. From Friday on, the qualifying sessions of the different race series are scheduled.

Spa 6 Hours 2016 / Mark Bates / Porsche 911 RSR / Masters 70s Celebration
Spa 6 Hours 2016 / Mark Bates / Porsche 911 RSR / Masters 70s Celebration

The Spa Six Hours 2019 program

For sure, next to the 6 Hours endurance race, much more race action will be the part of the spectators. The schedule contains 12 different race series, that includes the 6 hours endurance race.  The next information is all based on the entry-lists that can be found at the website of the Spa Six Hours.  The FIA Masters Historic Sports car race has 37 cars on the entry-list. Among them, you can find 3 Porsche 911 RSRs. Ofcourse we’d hoped for a Porsche 906 or Porsche 910 just as a few weeks ago in the AvD Oldtimer GP.  Unfortunately that’s not the case, but be assured that the other cars will bring some great action too.  In the Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT cars,  the start grid has 38 cars, 2 of them are Porsche 911s. 

Spa 6 Hours 2018 - Afschin Fatemi and Ralf Kelleners in the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS
Spa 6 Hours 2018 – Afschin Fatemi and Ralf Kelleners in the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS

The Masters Pre-66 Touring cars race is the race you’ll have to watch when you are into Mini Coopers. Approximately have of the field in this series are Minis. In the Aston Martin Endurance Legends, spectators have the opportunity to see fairly modern racers on the track. With the Audi R8 GT3 LMS Ultra, and the Lola B12/60, you can find even 2 cars that were still active on the European race-circuits in 2012.  You’ll be impressed by the speed in this series compared to the classic races. On the other hand, even though these are the classics of the future, we still believe the Aston Martin Endurance Legends race does not belong on the schedule in an historic event.

Spa Six Hours 2018- Van Duijvendijk / Pandelaar - Porcshe 911
Spa Six Hours 2018- Van Duijvendijk / Pandelaar – Porsche 911

The Historic Grand Prix Cars Association brings back the battle of racing from the late 30’s to the mid 60s. It replays the inter-marque battles between cars with supercharged and naturally-aspirated engines at the birth of the Formula One World Championship in 1950, and its subsequent 2.5-litre era. We notice an entry list with over 50 cars, so that promises some true racing. Unfortunately we don’t see any Porsche 550 Spyder or Porsche 718 in the Woodcote & Stirling Moss Trophy. Most of the entries are British cars like Jaguar, Lotus, Lister and so on.  For the Belgians with an interest in policits : our former prime minister Guy Verhofstadt will start in this race in his 1959  Elva Sportracer MkIII.

Same story in the Pre-War Sports car race, the series for all sports car built before 1941. Obviously no Porsches involved here either. This is the series where you can see the Bentleys at work.  A fairly strong and divers grid in the Historic Sports Car Club with 55 cars at the start.  2 normal Porsche 911s and a true racer, the 1974 Porsche 911 RSR 3.0. Combine these cars with the presence of both Lotus Elans ,Cobras, Lolas and Chevrons, and you realize the diversity of the race.

Spa Six Hours 2017
Spa Six Hours 2017

The Jaguar Challenge obviously has no Porsches on the grid.  28 Jaguars will start, 25 of them are Jaguar E types. My personal eye-catcher of the series is definitely the 1955 Jaguar D-Type. the last series is the Historic Motor Racing News U2TC & Historic Touring Car Challenge with Tony Dron Trophy. 49 cars are on the entry list that holds a wide diversity of cars. From a 1989 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 to a 1963 Ford Lotus Cortina . In the FIA Historic Master Formula 1, there will be no less than 20 F1 cars on the start grid. Useless to say, that you won’t have that opportunity a lot…

The 6 hours endurance race

The main race of the weekend is the 6 Hours endurance race. With over 100 cars at the start, spectacle and action will be your part. You can find 15 Ford GT40s on the entry list. Obviously they’re the favorites, who’ll start lapping the slower opponents soon.  We’re anxious to see how the 8 Porsche 911s and the Porsche 904 (Afshin Fatemi) will perform.  The Ford GT40 will be in the spotlight again on Sunday.

At  13.20hrs, the Ford GT40 – Le Mans ’69 Revival will give the general public the opportunity to relive a fabulous moment in motorsport history. In 1969,  at the start of the Le Mans 24H, Jacky Ickx walked to his car. That was a serious contrast with the others. All of his opponents crossed the track as quick as possible to get in their cars. That was the way Ickx wanted to object against this way of starting a race. He considered that too dangerous. You’ll all know the result of the race. Exactly 24 hours after the start, Jacky Ickx  won the race in a sprint. 

All pictures shown in this article are from previous editions. You’ll find a picture gallery in our  report of the Spa Six Hours edition of last year. More information on the event and tickets at the website of the organization of the Spa Six Hours

Pictures by Vintage Race Photography