Spa Francorchamps, Belgium
SPA SIX HOURS
1 – 3 October 2021
Come rain or shine, the Spa Six Hours always delivers!
Sunny on Friday, cloudy on Saturday, and finishing with torrential rain on Sunday – the weather got progressively worse but, as always, the Spa Six Hours meeting delivered an outstanding weekend of racing! Five Masters grids once again provided a major contribution to the event’s enduring success as it bounced back from its cancellation in 2020.
Masters Endurance Legends – Race 1
Lynn family takes the double in first Masters Endurance Legends race at Spa
Shaun and Max Lynn kept it in the family by bringing home a Lynn 1-2 in the first Masters Endurance Legends race of the Spa Six Hours weekend. Lynn’s Peugeot 908 hit the front after a safety-car restart, passing the BR Engineering BR01 of Portuguese hotshoe Rui Aguas on the Kemmel straight, and maintained his lead all through to the end. Meanwhile, son Max – racing the second of three BR01s in the field – shone by making up multiple places during his first stint before pitting early to leapfrog most of his rivals and win the P2 class in the process.
“Yes, I got Rui on the restart”, said Lynn Sr on his decisive move. “I’ve got more power than me, and he gave me the space, as the professional that he is. It was a great race in tricky conditions, and made even more special by Max taking second place!”
“Yeah, it was good fun”, said an elated Lynn Jr. “I got Kriton on the second lap, then Tandy into the Bus-Stop, and then Christophe on the Kemmel straight after the restart. I pitted early for the undercut, and it worked!”
Halted longer at the stops because of his elite-driver status, Aguas was stopped in his stride when the race was prematurely halted because of Marcus Jewell’s Porsche 996 GT3 RSR grounding to a halt at La Source with less than five minutes to go. This held the Portuguese driver in a four-car train led by Jamie Constable, who took third overall in his Pescarolo 01, ahead of Kriton Lendoudis’ Peugeot 90X, Aguas and Antoine d’Ansembourg in the Dallara-ORECA DO-05. Meanwhile, the polesitting Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2 of Christophe d’Ansembourg was beaten away by Aguas at the start, and lost places at the restart before being delayed at the stops.
“I took the first two or three laps to get the tyres up to temperature”, said Constable. “After the safety car I managed to pass Christophe, but after the stops I didn’t quite know where I was! The last five laps were very, very slippery but I held on…”
In the GT section, Nick Padmore did the early running in a Ferrari 458 GT2 shared with Christopher Stahl, leading Phil Quaife in the 458 GT3 shared with James Thorpe. After the stops, though, Marcus Graf von Oeynhausen and Oliver Mathai came through to claim a German 1-2 in their respective Audi R8 LMS Ultra and Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 cars, while Michael & Sean McInerney took their Mosler MT900R by the scruff of its neck to claim a fighting third ahead of Quaife/Thorpe and Jason Wright in another 458 GT3.
“It was a very good race”, said Mathai, as race winner Graf von Oeynhausen had to rush to his next race. “It was extremely slippery, I think someone lost some oil. In fact, I took it easy, this is my first outing in the car, so no risk. But it was great fun all the same!”
On a damp track following incessant overnight rain, d’Ansembourg’s Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2 led away from the start chased by Aguas, Shaun Lynn, Constable’s Pescarolo 01 and Tandy’s Lola B12/60, but Aguas dipped past at the start of lap 2. Behind the first five, Lendoudis and Max Lynn had moved up at the cost of Antoine d’Ansembourg who now had Keith Frieser’s Zytek 09S breathing down the Dallara-ORECA DO-05. Among the GTs, Quaife had converted pole into an initial lead of a couple of ticks, but Nick Padmore was coming through in the 458 GT3 and soon harried Quaife for the class lead. In the pits, meanwhile, Mike Furness proved unable to get his Courage LC75 going, and was the race’s first retirement before it got going properly.
At the front, Aguas took the BR Engineering BR01 P2 car to places hitherto unseen, now leading seniors d’Ansembourg and Lynn by four seconds, both dads having left behind Constable and Tandy by eight seconds. Behind them, Lynn Jr and Lendoudis swapped places, the Greek losing out to the second BR01.
On lap 3, Lynn Sr was into second place after d’Ansembourg tripped up to return just a second ahead of Constable, with Tandy having lost a spot to Lynn Jr, who was definitely the man on the move in these opening stages. In GTs, Padmore now led Quaife by three seconds, and the Ferrari 458 GT2 was now forced to defend from Marcus Graf von Oeynhausen’s Audi R8 LMS Ultra and Oliver Mathai’s Aston Martin Vantage GT3, two more of the very quick and very recent GT3 cars.
At the start of lap 4, Aguas led Lynn Sr by 7 seconds but soon the safety car was out, negating all existing gaps, as Felix Haas’ McLaren MP4-12 GT3 took a trip across the travel – but when the German managed to return to the track under his own steam, green-flag racing resumed on lap 5, just as the pit window opened. At the restart, Lynn got a run on Aguas to take command, while Constable, Tandy and Lendoudis jumped d’Ansembourg Sr at Les Combes.
On the next tour, Lynn Jr and Tandy were the first to make their mandatory stop, allowing the d’Ansembourgs to move up to fifth and sixth places. Next time around, Aguas, Lendoudis, d’Ansembourg (A.) and Frieser followed suit, promoting Constable and David Brise in the Lola B09/80 shared with Alan Purbrick to a momentary second and third. In GTs, Padmore’s lead over Quaife had increased to some 15 seconds, but with Count von Oeynhausen now in second place, 11 seconds down on the leading Ferrari 458 GT2. Mathai was still fourth ahead of Ben Clucas in the Porsche 996 GT3 RSR shared with Marcus Jewell.
On lap 8, Lynn Sr, Constable, Brise and d’Ansembourg (C.) were the last of the stoppers, with Padmore making it in only seconds before the pit window closed. With Aguas held in the pits longer because of his elite-driver status, Shaun Lynn now led son Max by 22 seconds, with Constable and Lendoudis a further 10 seconds behind, and in a fight of their own. Tandy was sixth ahead of the younger d’Ansembourg, but Antoine’s father had been held up during the stops and now languished in 14th place. In seventh, but again lapping considerably quicker than anyone else, was Aguas, leaving Frieser, Purbrick and Xavier Micheron’s Riley & Scott MkIIIC well in his wake. In fact, such was the pace of the Portuguese star that he back up to fifth on lap 11 and eyeing up Lendoudis and Constable right ahead of them.
In GTs, the GT3 cars of Graf von Oeynhausen and Mathai had relieved the Ferrari 458 GT2 now driven by Christopher Stahl from its early lead. In fact, Stahl had also dropped behind Sean McInerney in the Mosler MT900R started by brother Michael, with James Thorpe – having taken over from Quaife – and Marcus Jewell now in fourth and fifth in the GT section, ahead of Jason Wright’s 458 GT3.
But then, with less than five minutes remaining, the red flag was out – Jewell had stopped at La Source. This handed Shaun Lynn the win ahead of Max Lynn who in the proces stook P2 class honours, while it interrupted the four-car battle between Constable, Lendoudis, Aguas and d’Ansembourg Jr. Tandy was seventh ahead of Frieser, Micheron and Purbrick. Marcus Graf von Oeynhausen prevailed in the GTs, leading home Mathai, McInerney, Thorpe and Wright.
Masters Endurance Legends – Race 2
Lynn Sr doubles up with dominant win in Spa’s second Masters Endurance Legends race
In his silent but strong diesel-engined Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, Shaun Lynn virtually led from lights to flag in the second Masters Endurance Legends race, comfortably dealing with challenges from Portuguese elite driver Rui Aguas as well as his son Max whose BR Engineering BR01s finished second and third at a rain-soaked Spa.
“The weather was awful”, said Lynn Sr. “It was torrential, especially the last few laps. I’ve never driven this car in these conditions! It was a bit of a lonely race, though, but I knew Rui was coming for me…”
As the condtions steadily worsened, Lynn Sr did well to maintain a 30-second gap to Aguas towards the line whereas the Portuguese pro had homed in on the Peugeot in the first part of the race to momentarily take the lead ahead of the mandatory stops.
“I actually asked for the race to be stopped!”, said Aguas. “I was aquaplaning on the straights… I slowed down but Shaun didn’t – he was on a mission!”
“I was at half speed in those final laps”, Max Lynn concurred. “I didn’t even try to defend from Rui – pros in these conditions are so much faster, and an overall podium in a P2 car in these conditions is more than I could ask for.”
In fourth, Jamie Constable’s Pescarolo 01 survived contact with Kriton Lendoudis in the Peugeot 90X, the Greek coming off worse, as Constable set off on a comeback race from a position on the edge of the top-ten.
Marcus Graf von Oeynhausen performed miracles by hauling his Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3 car up to fifth overall, passing the David Brise/Alan Purbrick Lola B09/80 right at the end. His countryman Oliver Mathai was seventh overall in his Aston Martin Vantage V12 to complete a German GT3 1-2 clean sweep. When the Phil Quaife/James Thorpe Ferrari 430 GT2 faltered in the closing stages, Michael & Sean McInerney picked up third in the GT section with their Mosler MT900R.
“A fantastic race!” said Graf von Oeynhausen, still unaware where he ended up in the overall standings. “We love it so much that GT3 cars are allowed into the Masters Endurance Legends. So I was fifth overall? Wow! And Oliver? Seventh overall? That’s a great result.”
As the end of a very busy Spa Six Hours meeting approached, the second Masters Endurance Legends race was the last of the Masters grids to get going on the Sunday. The field was given the green flag immediately, upon which Frieser spun his Zytek 09S into the Raidillon while Antoine d’Ansembourg hit the wall in his Dallara-ORECA DO-05.
At the front, Shaun Lynn led his son Max by a whopping seven seconds after a storming opening lap, with Constable trailing another four seconds, chased by Aguas, Lendoudis, Tandy and d’Ansembourg Sr. In GTs, Graf von Oeynhausen led Quaife and McInerney. On lap 2, Lynn Sr’s lead was up to ten seconds while Lynn Sr now had BR01 stablemate Rui Aguas to worry about, the Portuguese having swept past Constable, who after contact with Lendoudis was swamped by Tandy, David Brise in a rapidly climbing Lola B09/80, and Quaife in the Ferrari 430 GT2 that had dislodged Graf von Oeynhausen’s Audi R8 LMS Ultra from the GT class lead. Lendoudis’ Peugeot 90X was soon into the pits to have its damage inspected. Another to lose ground was d’Ansembourg Sr, the Lola-Aston DBR1-2 having spun at Stavelot.
On lap 3, as Aguas continued to make progress, now at the cost of Lynn (M.), Tandy settled down into a solid fourth, with Goodwood track instructor Brise in an equally unchallenged fifth, as the wet-weather drivers were proving their skills.
As the pit window opened, Aguas had whittled down Lynn Sr’s lead to 4 seconds, with Lynn Jr still third ahead of Tandy who was the first to pit, followed by Constable. As the quicker hands of their pairing, Brise and Quaife continued, with Graf von Oeynhausen holding a creditable eighth overall, ahead of Chris Perkins in the third BR01. Michael McInerney was tenth overall and third of the GTs in the Mosler MT900R.
After eight laps, Aguas’ pace was such was that Lynn Sr was forced to give way, but the Portuguese driver still had his longer elite-driver pitstop to deal with – plus an additional 5-second time penalty for exceeding track limits. As soon he lost the lead, Shaun Lynn was into the pits for his stop, along with his son, Count von Oeynhausen, Brise and Oliver Mathai in the Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3. Perkins (handing over to Jason McInulty) and Quaife (swapping places with James Thorpe) soon followed suit.
On lap 9, Aguas was among the last of the stoppers, joined by Xavier Micheron in the Riley & Scott MkIIIC. The Portuguese driver rejoined in third place just as Steve Tandy came in for an unscheduled second stop, gearbox issues costing him a shot at a podium finish. At the front, Lynn Sr led Lynn Jr by 32 seconds, but Aguas was a lot closer than he was in Saturday’s race – just 36 seconds down on the leader, and a mere four seconds adrift of P2. The three were in a class of their own, as David Purbrick in the Lola started by Brise was two minutes down on Lynn Sr, but Graf van Oeynhausen was closing fast as he tried to maintain his GT-section-winning pace over Thorpe in the Ferrari 430 GT2.
On lap 11, Aguas jumped Lynn Jr for second place while Constable continued a comeback race that saw move into fifth past the two leading GT cars of Thorpe and Graf von Oeynhausen. Meanwhile in eighth, Mathai was homing in on Thorpe’s second place in the GTs, while Ron Maydon had hauled his P3 Ligier JSP3-15 into ninth overall ahead of Micheron completing the top-ten.
As the final minutes ticked away, the rain intensifying with every lap, Lynn (S.) looked into control as he maintained his 30-second lead over Aguas to take a comfortable win, while Lynn (M.) was safe in third, now from Constable who had passed Purdrick – in fact, the latter was under serious threat from the fastest GT cars, which no longer included Thorpe’s Ferrari, as that retired to the pits with just three minutes remaining. On the final lap, Graf von Oeynhausen underlined the dominance of his GT-class performance by removing Purdrick from fifth overall, with Mathai taking second in the GT section. Completing the top-ten were Maydon, Micheron and the Perkins/McInulty BR01 while in 11th overall Michael & Sean McInerney notched up another third in GTs in their Mosler MT900R, following up on their podium finish on Saturday.
Masters Gentlemen Drivers
Jordan/Alderslade take resounding Masters Gentlemen Drivers win at Spa
Andrew Jordan and Roy Alderslade dominated from start to finish to claim a resounding win in the 90-minute Masters Gentlemen Drivers enduro at the Spa Six Hours meeting. Their Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé led away from pole and never looked back once Jordan had Sam Hancock’s challenge covered, the latter sharing a similar Cobra Daytona Coupé with Nikolaus Ditting.
In the final half hour, Andrew Haddon’s Lotus Elan nipped passed Ditting and looked set for a stunning second place overall, but in the second part of the race Phil Keen stormed through the field in the Jaguar E-type started by Lee Mowle to not just steal third overall from Ditting on the penultimate lap but also second from Haddon on the final lap. Haddon still brought home an equally shattering CLP class victory, well ahead of the Elans of Graham Wilson/David Pittard in ninth overall and Sander van Gils in 12th overall.
Despite taking a couple of penalties for exceeding track limits, Manfredo Rossi shone to take an exceptional fifth overall in his Porsche 911, as the C1-class-winning car proved ultimately suited to the track’s slippry conditions. The Italian stayed on the lead lap to win from the Sean McInerney/Phil Quaife TVR Grantura that slipped past the Mark & James Bates 911 on the final lap.
Chris Clarkson and David Smithies led the C2 class all the way to the chequered flag, beating their Austin Healey 3000 rivals Mark Pangborn and Harvey Woods.
As in the Masters Pre-66 Touring Car race the hour before, the field left the starting grid while under safety-car conditions, given the slippery surface of the Spa-Francorchamps track, but as the rain had increased in intensity, this time they were given a full two laps to get acquainted with the treacherous circumstances.
On lap 3, though, Andrew Jordan doing the opening stint in Roy Alderslade’s pole-sitting Cobra Daytona Coupé stormed off to a six-second lead over Sam Hancock’s similar car, the latter’s co-driver Nikolaus Ditting also having opted for the second stint. Third was Nigel Greensall, running a similar plan with John Spiers in the TVR Griffith, while the lightweight cars of Andrew Haddon (Lotus Elan) and Andrew Smith (sharing a Porsche 904 with Olly Bryant) proved ideal for the conditions.
The E-types of Lee Mowle and Laurent Jaspers were up next, with Chris Clarkson showing his wet-weather skill with ninth overall in his C2-class Austin Healey 3000. Sander van Gils in another Elan was fighting Ron Maydon’s Ginetta G4R for ninth – until the Ginetta headed for the pits to drop down to 20th overall. Profiting from more lightweight prowess, the C1-class top trio of Mark Bates (Porsche 911), Sean McInerney (TVR Grantura) and Manfredo Rossi (in another 911) had leadfrogged the invitational Alfa Romeo TZ2 of Alex Furiani. In the meantime, two Elans had disappeared from the back: the examples of Belgian Luc De Cock and German duo Christian & Alexis Graf von Wedel.
At the front, seven seconds separated Jordan and Hancock at the end of lap 4, as the leader settled down from his opening blast. The pair had dropped Greensall by 20 seconds, and the TVR was rapidly falling into Haddon’s clutches, and on lap 8, the leading Lotus Elan was up into third.
Haddon’s wasn’t the only nippy machine putting the circumstances to good use. Sliding and drifting while extracting the most from his Porsche 911’s superior traction, Mark Bates was now up into a stunning fifth overall while tagging along class rivals McInerney and Rossi. This demoted Mowle and Jaspers to eighth and ninth respectively, still chased as they were by Clarkson’s Healey. In 11th overall, Van Gils was a steady second in the CLP class, as Smith’s Porsche 904 had fallen away by the wayside. Furiani’s TZ2 was 12th ahead of Mark Pangborn in the second Big Healey.
At the 30-minute mark, with one hour still to run, Jordan had eeked out a 10-second lead over Hancock, with Haddon and Greensall giving chase a further 45 seconds behind. Bates, McInerney and Rossi still formed a three-car C1-class train that had left the E-types of Mowle and Jaspers some 25 seconds behind.
However, the race’s excitement took a hit when a 23.2-second time penalty was issued out to Hancock, the second-placed driver one of six cars that had been caught overtaking during the initial safety-car laps. Other slammed by the penalty were Jaspers, his countryman Guy Mortreu in another E-type, Dean DeSantis’ Porsche 911 in 14th overall and Stuart Tizzard in the Elan now 18th overall. The sixth car punished was Clarkson’s Healey and this put Pangborn right back in contention, as his Healey had been trailing Clarkson’s example by exactly 23 seconds!
As the pit window opened, Hancock was the first to come in for a driver change, followed by Haddon, Mortreu (handing over to Didier Forrier) and Graham Wilson who would leave David Pittard in charge. Next up were McInerney, making space for Phil Quaife, Jaspers (driving solo) and Mowle, handing over to Phil Keen. On lap 12, Greensall swapped around with Spiers, with Rossi joining the TVR in the pits. Meanwhile, Guy Peeters in the sole A-class Lotus XI, handed over to Guillaume Peeters. One lap later, Jordan used the final opportunity to swap with Alderslade, with Van Gils, Clarkson (handing over to David Smithies) and DeSantis (handing over David Hinton) coming in on lap 13 as well. Right at the front, though, it looked like Mark Bates had missed the window – or hadn’t he? Either way, it was close!
On lap 14, with 36 minutes remaining, everyone had done their stop, and now Alderslade led Ditting by 38 seconds, the second Cobra Daytona Coupé having served its penalty at the stops. Haddon was still third, a full minute down, but lapping faster. Spiers was fourth, 45 seconds down on the Elan, while Rossi had pipped the Bateses at the stops – but the Italian was subsequently hit with a 10-second time penalty for exceeding track limits one time too many. This meant that Italian had some work to do as he held a 7-second lead over James Bates. Phil Keen was seventh and flying, having just passed Phil Quaife in the Grantura that was now third in the C1 class. Furiani and Jaspers were next, ahead of Van Gils who for the moment controlled second place in the CLP class but had to fear the arrival of David Pittard, who in turn was about to jump the C2-class fight between Smithies (still in the lead) and Harvey Woods (having taken over from Pangborn).
At one-hour point, Alderslade was running away from Ditting, now leading by 48 seconds, while the German was under increasing threat from Haddon who was just ten seconds away. Rossi had vaulted Spiers, who now had to defend from Bates (J.) but it wouldn’t take long before Keen would catch and pass both. There was no change with Quaife, Furiani and Jaspers behind them, but Van Gils was about to fall prey to Pittard. In C2, Smithies proved to have the legs on Woods, as he further secured his class lead while remaining in 13th overall. It certainly helped that Clarkson and Smithies’ safety-car penalty was revoked. In fact, the Pangborn/Woods Healey was one of four cars under investigation for missing the pit window, along with the Bates/Bates Porsche, the Tizzard/McCarthy Elan (up for its second penalty!) and Hans-Georg Haussener in the sole B1-class Alfa Romeo Giulietta SV.
On lap 16, the Cobra Daytona Coupé 1-2 was gone, Haddon moving ahead of Ditting, both of them well over a minute behind the all-conquering Jordan/Alderslade snake. The mercurial Keen had cut clean through the C1-class leaders to be fourth, but a minute in arrears of Ditting. This meant that Rossi, Spiers and Bates (J.) were now fifth, sixth and seventh. Further back, Pittard had indeed passed Van Gils for second in CLP class.
With Alderslade still lapping comfortably faster than Haddon, nothing seemed to stand in the way of a resounding win for the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé duo. As the final minutes ticked away, Alderslade reeled off the laps to a winning margin of well over one-and-a-half minute – not on Haddon, though! Right at the end, not just Ditting but Haddon too was forced to succumb to Keen’s late charge to hand second overall to the Mowle/Keen combo.
In fifth overall, Rossi survived the scare of another penalty for exceeding track limits to still take the C1 class win. The Greensall/Spiers TVR was sixth, leading home the McInerney/Quaife Grantura that pipped the Bates/Bates 911 at the last gasp, as the latter two cars filled the remaining C1 top spots. In ninth, the Graham Wilson/David Pittard took a distant second in the CLP class, ahead of Sander van Gils who finished 12th overall. Chris Clarkson and David Smithies cornered the C2 class win with their Austin Healey 3000, the pair fending off the similarly equipped pairing of Mark Pangborn/Harvey Woods.
Masters Racing Legends – Race 1
Constable wins as Williams pair falter in first Masters Historic Formula One race at Spa
Jamie Constable took the spoils in the first Masters Historic Formula One race at the Spa Six Hours, as he profited from the demise of both his Williams rivals, first Christophe d’Ansembourg dropping out from the lead and then Mike Cantillon’s similar FW07C grounding to a halt to hand victory to Constable’s Tyrrell 011.
“I was lucky, wasn’t I?” said Constable. “I overtook just one car, and the rest was given to me!”
For almost the entire race, Constable was harried by Steve Brooks in the Lotus 91, but having just set fastest lap of the race, Brooks spun two laps from the end to hand second place overall to pre-78 class winner Nick Padmore in the Lotus 77. Despite a time penalty for exceeding track limits, Brooks still salvaged third ahead of Mark Hazell, who took post-82 class honours in his Williams FW08.
“I did fastest of the race, so yeah, that was good!” said Brooks. “But I spun right at the end, at La Source. I knew I had a five-second time penalty but I was still trying to have a go at Jamie… But it’s great to be out here again!”
Warren Briggs (McLaren M29) and Ken Tyrrell (Tyrrell 011) warred over what would eventually become fifth for the Kiwi and sixth for the American, with Georg Hallau (Theodore N183) beating Felix Haas (Lotus 92) to second place in the post-82 class.
For the sixth race on a very busy Spa Six Hours Saturday, the track had fully dried after the surface still proved damp in the morning, on the back of overnight rain. On the grid, Lukas Halusa in the McLaren M23 was missing due to an engine issue, a shame after a brilliant qualifying performance that would have seen him line up third. Another non-starter was Thomas Steinke’s Alfa Romeo 182, a withdrawal before qualifying already.
At the start, Cantillon initially maintained his lead but the Irishman was soon usurped by teammate d’Ansembourg, with Constable in third, while Padmore – now in the sole pre-78 car in the field – saw Brooks fly past for fourth. Werner was sixth ahead of Hazell in the post-82 class-leading Williams FW08, while Ken Tyrrell’s Tyrrell 011 and Warren Briggs’ McLaren M29 separated Hazell from his nearest class pursuer, Georg Hallau in the Theodore N183.
After three laps, d’Ansembourg’s lead over Cantillon had increased to two seconds, but one lap later, the Belgian was gone, his Williams limping into the pits, stuck in gear. So now Cantillon was back in the lead, a second ahead of Constable who in turn had Brooks snapping at the Tyrrell’s gearbox, as Padmore kept a close watch three seconds further back. Hazell was fifth, as Marco Werner had dropped down to seventh before the German too was seen visiting the pits, his Lotus 91’s ignition playing up. Some ten seconds in arrears of Hazell, Tyrrell and Briggs were having a private battle for fifth.
On lap 7, as he recorded fastest lap of the race so far, Cantillon increased his lead over Constable to two seconds, as Brooks was handed a 5-second time penalty for exceeding track limits one time too many. For the moment, this virtually promoted Padmore into third overall.
On the next lap, however, Cantillon disappeared from the leaderboard, right at the moment that Steve Brooks beat the Irishman’s fastest lap of the race – and on the back of that, Brooks lost it at La Source to hand second place to Padmore. It soon appeared that Cantillon had pulled off at Les Combes, handing Constable a 5-second lead over Padmore, with Brooks now a eight seconds adrift in third, with his time penalty still waiting to be applied.
As Constable cruised to victory, six seconds ahead of Padmore, Brooks had more than enough in hand over Hazell to keep his spot on the podium, while Briggs ended the fight with Tyrrell in his favour to claim fifth. Hallau took second in the pre-82 class, ahead of Felix Haas in the Lotus 92, with Paul Tattersall in the Ensign N179 finishing ninth.
Masters Racing Legends – Race 2
Cantillon charges to the front to win second Masters Historic Formula One race at Spa
Mike Cantillon came from the back of the grid to claim victory in the second Masters Historic Formula One race at the Spa Six Hours meeting. Spinning and still winning, the Irishman was chased home by pre-78 class winner Lukas Halusa whose McLaren M23 also started from the back.
“It was very eventful from start to finish!” said a jubilant Cantillon. “And then at the end I hit the oil in the Bus-Stop chicane but I had a comfortable lead by then. I’m glad we finished!”
“It was a game of attrition”, said Halusa. “Lots of people spinning… I was lucky that I was in the race before this one, so I knew where the grip was, and was one of the few not to spin.”
In third, Steve Brooks (Lotus 91) survived the mayhem in the opening laps to pip Christophe d’Ansembourg (Williams FW07C) to third right at the end. Ken Tyrrell in the Tyrrell 011 survived to take fifth from Mark Hazell who won the post-82 class in his Williams FW08.
“Two cars spun in front of me, and then another one!” said Brooks about the hectic opening stages. “Very tricky conditions out there – there were cars everywhere!”
Nick Padmore led early on but was forced to retire with a broken throttle on his Lotus 77, while Saturday’s winner Jamie Constable (Tyrrell 011) was marred by a damaged wheel and could only finish seventh.
By the time of the start, a steady drizzle had made track conditions even more treacherous, as the rain was now mixing with all the oil left behind from Saturday night’s Spa Six Hours endurance race. A safety-car start was deemed the safe way to go, with Mark Hazell’s Williams FW08 leading away the reversed grid for the top-four from Saturday, followed by Steve Brooks in the Lotus 91, Nick Padmore in the Lotus 77 and Saturday’s winner Jamie Constable in the Tyrrell 011. Meanwhile, after an overnight engine replacement, Lukas Halusa’s McLaren M23 returned to action from the back of the grid, having missed race one.
The green flag was waved after a single lap behind the safety car, and almost immediately Felix Haas in the Lotus 92 was the race’s first casualty. At the front, Padmore quickly adapted to the conditions to power past Hazell, the former multiple FIA Masters Historic Formula One champion setting purple sectors to lead by a massive 9 seconds from Jamie Constable who in the second part of the lap had too nipped past Hazell. Also from the back of the grid, Cantillon in the Williams FW07C was already up into fourth, with Halusa following suit, while d’Ansembourg in the second FW07C that retired from Saturday’s race was chasing Ken Tyrrell’s 011 for sixth.
On lap 3, however, it was all change – Cantillon was into the lead, as Padmore’s early charge came to a halt through a broken throttle cable. Meanwhile, Constable’s race looked over too, a damaged front wheel taking the Tyrrell 011 out of the equasion. And that wasn’t all, as Warren Briggs went missing as well, his McLaren M29 stopping at Rivage. The result was that Halusa was suddenly up into second, 8 seconds adrift, with d’Ansembourg in third – so after four laps, the three that started from the back of the grid were the top three! Fourth was Brooks, with Ken Tyrrell holding his own against Hazell in fifth and sixth, with Georg Hallau’s Theodore N183 now seventh and Paul Tattersall’s Ensign N179 in eighth.
On lap 6, Cantillon had increased his lead over Halusa to 11 seconds, with d’Ansembourg now 42 seconds behind, nine ahead of Brooks, but the Lotus 91 was closing rapidly on the Belgian. Then, as the clock wound down, Cantillon survived a late spin to still beat Halusa by four seconds, the Austrian in the process also claiming pre-78 class honours. In a close fight for third, Brooks pipped d’Ansembourg right at the end, with Ken Tyrrell taking fifth ahead of post-82 class winner Hazell. Constable, who got going again after his earlier mishap, salvaged seventh ahead of Tattersall, while Hallau failed to complete the final lap.
Pre-66 Touring Cars
Dutton prevails in thrilling four-way fight for Masters Pre-66 Touring Car win at Spa
Richard Dutton came out on top in a thrilling four-way battle for the lead that lasted the entire 60 minutes of the Masters Pre-66 Touring Car race at the Spa Six Hours meeting. Fighting two other Lotus Cortinas occupied by Marcus Jewell/Ben Clucas and David Dickenson as well as the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA of long-time leader Alex Furiani, Dutton held off Clucas by the tiniest of margins, with Furiani ending up in third.
“It was fantastic”, Dutton beamed. “That was one of the best races ever! A really great battle with the two Cortinas and the Alfa, just brilliant!”
“Yeah, it was a really fun race!” said an equally buoyant Clucas. “It was a great fight with the four of us. I led for half a lap but then Richard got back past…”
The German had led until three-quarters distance but in the end had to succumb to the two Cortinas, as Clucas hit the front on the penultimate lap only to see Dutton come back flying past to take the win. Roy Alderslade was involved in the early lead fight but his Cortina steadily dropped back in the second part of the race until it was passed by the Graham Wilson/David Pittard Cortina.
“It’s a new car, with a fresh set-up!” Furiani explained. “I had never driven it in the wet before, and I was not too comfortable with the grip at the end.”
The Rory & Roderick Jack GTA took seventh after Tim Meinrenken was penalised for missing the pit window with his Cortina. Delayed in his GTA, Niko Ditting was ninth ahead of the Ford Falcon of Richard McAlpine and Chris Keen, that in the treacherous conditions proved quite a handful.
A safety-car start saw the field being released with 52 minutes remaining on the clock. As Alex Furiani in the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA took command, a legion of Cortinas chased the German down, Dutton passing Jewell for second, with David Dickenson in fourth ahead of Roy Alderslade and Graham Wilson, the latter taking a careful approach from his starting position on pole. In fact, Dutton nipped into the lead at the end of lap 2 but Furiani was having none of that and retook first position on the straight.
Behind Wilson, Germans Niko Ditting in another GTA and Timm Meinrenken in another Cortina followed suit while in ninth and eleventh respectively, the big American V8s of James Thorpe and Richard McAlpine were struggling to cope with the treacherous conditions while battling with Roderick Jack’s GTA and the sole THB-class BMW 1800 ti of Eric Douart.
After four laps, Furiani had eased away from Dutton, leading the quickest of the Cortina by three seconds. Meanwhile, Dickenson and Alderslade had progressed past Jewell, who was now at the back of the Cortina train, with a healthy gap of 20 seconds to Ditting in the second German GTA.
As Furiani, Dutton and Dickenson swapped purple sector times, they began separating themselves from Alderslade and Jewell, the former having dropped ten seconds on Dickenson. Further back, Jack’s GTA had moved in front of Thorpe’s Mustang while both had cleared Wilson’s Cortina. Douart was closing on Wilson while leaving McAlpine’s Falcon behind, the big car proving quite a handful on this surface. But it was still going, something that couldn’t be said of the James Thorpe/Phil Quaife Mustang – the Falcon’s class rival had stopped after five laps.
As the pit window opened, Furiani, Dutton and Dickenson were covered by just two seconds, with Alderslade and Jewell 16 and 21 seconds away from the leader respectively. Would some of the quicker relief drivers turn the static leaderboard around? Jewell was the first to play his ace card, as he came in to hand over to Ben Clucas, and soon enough, Wilson did the same for his young hotshoe David Pittard, who was given a Cortina that trailed the leader by one minute and 15 seconds. McAlpine was in too, handing over to Chris Keen.
On the next tour, Furiani and Dickenson came in for their mandatory stop, leaving Dutton out in front for the moment. They were joined in the pits by Ditting, Rory Jack (handing over to Roderick) and Douart. Dutton then proceeded to stop on the cusp of the pit window closing, while Meinrenken appeared to miss it as the German pitted from what now third place.
With all stops done and dusted, Furiani was still in the lead, 1.7 seconds ahead of Dutton, but Clucas was homing in on them rapidly, Dickenson and Alderslade having succumbed to to him already. Meanwhile, Pittard had cleared Ditting, Meinrenken and Jack, but was now facing the challenge of closing a 30-second gap to Alderslade. Further down the road, Douart was back into the pits, the Frenchman retiring his BMW from tenth due to a broken alternator.
With 15 minutes to go, the four-way battle up front became even more intensely poised, Furiani now having to stave off a three-pronged Cortina attack. In fifth, Alderslade had been left behind by 20 seconds but still had 23 ticks in hand over Pittard. Behind them, Meinrenken was under investigation for his pitstop infringement (and subsequently handed a 23.2-second time penalty), while Ditting’s GTA was in and out of the pits for a second time, in the process giving up a place to Roderick Jack. In tenth, Keen was valiantly plugging on in the Falcon.
On lap 12, Furiani still looked in charge, but on the next lap Dutton pushed into the lead – though again it was only momentarily, as the German regained top spot on the Kemmel straight. Clucas and Dickenson weren’t far away either, the two now in striking distance of the two warring leaders, as the top four cars were now effectively nose-to-tail. In fact, on lap 14, it was Dutton who led but now with Clucas chasing, as Furiani was demoted to third!
With less than five minutes to go, Pittard had now usurped Alderslade but a 37-second deficit to the four leaders was too much for him to ask. The battle at the front still raged, though, as now Clucas hit the front, the top-four now covered by less than 1.5 seconds.
It was all to play for on the final lap, now with Dutton back up into the lead. In the end, he hung on the claim victory just three tenths from Clucas, with long-time leader Furiani a further four seconds adrift. Dickenson was hit by a five-second time penalty for exceeding track limits but was still fourth, 21 seconds ahead of the Wilson/Pittard Cortina. Alderslade, Meinrenken, and the GTAs of Rory & Roderick Jack and Nikolaus Ditting were up next, but when Meinrenken’s time penalty was applied, his and the Jacks’ finishing positions were switched around. The McAlpine/Keen Falcon completed the top-ten.
Masters Sports Car Legends
Rossi inherits win amidst Bradshaw drama in Masters Historic Sports Car race at Spa
Manfredo Rossi inherited victory in the one-hour Masters Historic Sports Car race at Spa when Tom Bradshaw saw his imperious lead disappear as the engine of his Chevron B19 began cutting out two laps from the end, leaving the Italian’s Abarth Osella PA1 to sweep past on the final your.
Bradshaw had looked set for another impressive win, having taken over the helm from Oliver Bryant’s pole-sitting Lola T70 Mk3B on lap 5. On a treacherously slippery Ardennes circuit, Rossi equally usurped Bryant as well as Olivier Hart’s similar T70 Mk3B, before both closed-top prototypes were forced to retire. This left Michael Gans to take the final podium spot in his Lola T290. The Robert Beebee/Steve Brooks T70 Mk3B, Robin Ward’s T70 Mk3 and Alex Furiani’s Chevron B19 were up next.
In 11th overall, David Forsbrey’s Chevron B8 cornered the Bonnier-class win from Andrew & Mark Owen’s similar machine, while in 14th overall, Kurt Ecke and Klaus Horn took Pescarolo class honours in their Porsche 911 RSR. In the Hulme class, the Chris Jolly/Steve Farthing Cooper Monaco T61M stayed out of reach from the Richard McAlpine/Chris Keen McLaren M1B.