From the humble MGB and Rover SD1 to the mega-expensive Ford GT40s and Ferrari 250s, the Spa-Classic has them all racing flat out. Here are our best images from the weekend
You’ll know all about the Le Mans Classic and if you’re in the UK you’ve probably been to the Silverstone Classic numerous times. But there’s an event that’s more charming than both but which is about a fifth of the size – the Spa-Classic, which takes place every May.
As a relative young event, Belgium’s Spa-Classic hasn’t yet gained huge momentum; the 2015 weekend was the fifth so far. As a result it’s more relaxed than the two rivals above; the grids are much smaller and the racing is interspersed with club runs and displays.
Classic & Performance Car was there this year to catch up on the action and to take a nose around the 1500 or so cars on display across the club stands and various grids (there were around 250 cars taking part in the racing). We’ll be back for more next year, but in the meantime, if you didn’t get to the Spa-Classic this year, here’s what you missed. There weren’t many crashes over the weekend, which reduced down time massively. But an early casualty was the Group 3 DeTomaso Pantera of Francois Hebrard and Jean Bacon, which crashed in qualifying. The Classic Endurance Racing grid was chock full of amazing machinery, but one of the highlights was the Porsche 935 K3 of Henrik Lindberg, which was guaranteed to light up on the over-run into every corner. The mouse that roared: the Morris Mini Cooper S of Daniel Frodin and Linus Projtz overtakes the Lotus Cortina of Marie-Claude Firmenich in the Under-2-litre Touring Car Class. There was a strong turn out of Group C cars for the weekend including no fewer than four Porsche 962s. But it was Steve Tandy who took gold, in his Spice SE 90. The Trofeo Nastro Rosso grid of Italian sportscars featured such delights as the Ferrari 250GT Breadvan of Martin and Lukas Halusa, an array of 275GTBs plus this beautiful pair of Ferrari 250GT SWBs of Christian Dumolin (white) and Ben Gill (red). Arguably the most evocative of all the grids was the Heritage Touring Cup, dominated by Fords and BMWs of various flavours. There were also plenty of Rover SD1s, including Richard Postins’ TWR-prepared Vitesse. If BMW coupes are your thing, the Spa-Classic was the place for you. Alongside numerous 3.0 CSLs and two-door ‘02s were two 635 CSIs. This is Richard Hope and Simon Mason’s 635, trying to hold off race winner Chris Ward in his Broadspeed Capri RS3100. The Ford Escort 1600 RS of Christophe van Riet and Raphael de Borman was going great guns. Here, Tim Summers tries to get past in his Rover SD1 Vitesse. There was no racing through the night but there was track action after dark on the Saturday evening. Here, evo and Octane contributor Richard Meaden’s attempts to take gold were thwarted by Broadspeed Capri driver Chris Ward. The Classic Endurance Racers category was so popular that it was split into two groups (1966-1971 GTs plus 1966-1971 prototypes and 1975-1979 GTs plus prototypes 1972-1979). This is Conrad Ulrich’s GT40. The well-known Ford GT40 Roadster of Rui Silva and Joaquim Jorge looked as beautiful as ever. It’s 50 years old this year, having debuted in the 1965 Le Mans 24 Hours. There was a good showing of Chevrons over the weekend, including this pair of BMW-engined B8s. here, the B8 of Pierre de Thoisy and Pierre Aviron-Violet holds off the the B8 of John Emberson and Bill Wykeham. It’s Richard Meaden in action once again, this time chasing the MGB of Jean-Michel Godet and Nicolas Berthy. Meaden and Grant Tromans would go on to win the Sixties Endurance race. Up against Meaden were the Morgan SLR of John Emerson and Bill Wykeham along with the Lotus Elite of Patrick Hello and Fabrice Perruchot. The Sixties Endurance grid was one of the biggest, with no fewer than 38 cars battling it out. Here, Nicolas Chambon takes on the Lotus Elite of Gilles Couraudon and Maxime Gransart in his Shelby Cobra. The Sixties Endurance grid encompassed a huge array of machinery, including familiar machinery like this 1964 Porsche 911 shared by Lee Maxted-Page and Mark Sumpter, the Austin Healey 3000 Mk1 of Jeremy Garamond and Julien Lemeille along with the Triumph TR3 driven by Stephane Guyot-Sionnest and Amaury Latham.Words and images: Richard Dredge