Motor Racing Legends return to the Sensational Six Hours
The incredible atmosphere, for which the Spa Six Hours meeting has been long-famous, was back with a vengeance last weekend as the first of three qualifying sessions for Motor Racing Legends got underway. The Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy, Stirling Moss Trophy, and Jaguar Classic Challenge joined together other on track, with pole eventually going to Rob Smith and Chris Ward in their Lister Jaguar.
In the Historic Touring Car Challenge, Tony Dron Trophy and U2TC, Ric Wood and BTCC driver, Jake Hill, were on dominant form in Ric’s Nissan R32 taking pole by 2.65 seconds to Paul Mensley and Matt Ellis in Paul’s Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500.
Father and son duo, Justin & Ben Maeers headed the spoils for the Pre-War Sports Car race in their ‘Invitation’ Parker GN ahead of the second chain-driven duo, Fred Wakeman and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards Frazer Nash TT rep.
After the Smith/Ward Lister Knobbly ran aground on the opening lap of the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy, Stirling Moss and Jaguar Classic Challenge, the DK Engineering James Cottingham/Harvey Stanley Tojeiro Jaguar lead the charge to win a magnificent race, marred only by a lengthy safety car period. Michael Gans was in hot pursuit in his Lotus XV to finish second ahead of Nicky Pastorelli and Hanz Hugenholtz’s Lister Costin. Fred Wakeman and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards pipped the Steve Brooks/Martin O’Connell Jaguar D-type for RAC Woodcote Trophy honours, with local driver Rudi Friedrichs, third in his Jaguar C-type. Fourth overall, Rhea Sautter and Andy Newall’s Jaguar E-type won the Jaguar Classic Challenge race to Marcus Oeynhausen-Sierstorpff and Mark Russell in third. The grid was the largest at the meeting (save for the feature Six Hour race) and glistened with jewels from the finest European car collections.
Motor Racing Legends Pre-War Sports Cars enjoyed the headline slot ahead of the big Six Hour Race on Saturday afternoon – a grid oozing quality with many historically significant pre-War machines participating, including the ex-Nuvolari Alfa Romeo 8C. The Maeers-piloted GN fought hammer and tong with the Wakeman/Blakeney-Edwards Frazer Nash for the duration, trading places numerous times lap by lap. The Frazer Nash TT Replica won by three-tenths of a second, the Maeers GN heading the ‘Special Sports Cars’ standings. Michael Birch and Gareth Burnett were second in their glorious Talbot AV105. Another father and son duo, Clive and Stuart Morley had a fabulous race-long battle with Richard Pilkington in his Talbot T26 to take the third spot on the podium. The Pre-War Sports Car grid certainly drew some attention and was one of the highlights of the weekend.
After a late call up to the programme, competitors in the Historic Touring Car Challenge rallied to put on two fabulous two-driver 30-minute races. The first in dry but greasy conditions on Saturday, the second was on the Sunday in the wet; with both throwing up gripping contests. Race 1 saw a Nissan Skyline 1-2 for Ric Wood Motorsport with Ric and Jake Hill winning, 24 seconds ahead of team-mate Simon Garrard. Belgium driver, Christian Van Riet was the first of seven BMW’s home, third overall in his E30 M3.
Come Sunday, the rains had arrived, and the race was a thriller with Garrard relishing the conditions to win after a great opening half scrap with his teammates, however, a blown turbo saw the Wood/Hill Skyline R32 coast over the line for fourth. Paul Mensley and Matt Ellis redeemed themselves from a misdemeanour on Saturday to take second to Lukas Halusa’s stunning BMW Italia CSL.
Marcus Jewell and Ben Clucas won the U2TC with the Ford Lotus Cortina, impressively taming the twitchy Cortina in difficult conditions.
Results and Gallery Images from the weekend are all available on the website, and a full race report will be published very soon.
View results from the MRL races at Spa Six Hours here