The fast, flowing Dijon-Prenois circuit in France brought the 2005 European historic season to a close. Paul Lawrence reports
Photography by Fritz Frey, Polychrono
Dijon’s meeting, which wrapped up the European historic racing season, was topped by Formula Junior wins for Urs Eberhardt and Robert Goodwin as Richard Piper clinched the Orwell Supersports title.
Coming at the end of a hectic season, the PM Organisation’s event suffered somewhat from the rigours of previous weeks and entries were generally down.
But despite clashing races at Oulton Park and Monza — as well as a destructive Spa weekend only two weeks earlier — the Formula Junior pack delivered as usual, with over 20 cars on the grid for the final two races in the Lurani Trophy season.
Eberhardt, now in his 20th season in his Lotus 27, qualified well down in the damp and mist, but come the dry of Saturday’s race he was instantly on a charge and swept to the front as a fine battle raged for second place. Goodwin eventually wrestled his Lotus 22 to the fore of the six-car train as Erwin van Gelder and Bruno Schaffner (both in Lotus 20/22s) completed the top four.
Eberhardt was quickly into his stride in the second race: the Swiss was soon up to second behind the flying Goodwin, only to spin it all away on the fifth lap. Goodwin claimed a fine victory as he just kept clear of another big scrap raging for second. This time Marcus Mussa (Brabham BT2) pipped Schaffner and Gianpaolo Benedini (Branca).
Before Dijon, little separated Richard Piper’s McLaren M8F and Kiwi Ross Maxwell’s Chevron B19 in the Orwell Supersports Cup.
The opening race began in confusion as fog delayed the start. When the sun suddenly broke through there was a rush to the grid, but Peter Hoffmann (McLaren M8F) was caught out and had to start from the pit lane. That was one hurdle out of the way for Piper, who duly went clear of Peter Schleifer (March 707) as Silvio Kalb (March 76S) and John Burton (Chevron B26) headed the 2-litre cars. Hoffmann’s charge took him to fifth.
Maxwell’s title hopes took a hit when he was kept back in fourth in his class, which was won by the Chevron B19 of Mike Catlow.
Piper went into the second race knowing that the title was within reach and he duly kept Schleifer at arm’s length to secure the crown.
Hoffmann, starting from his proper grid position this time, claimed third from Kalb and Burton. Maxwell did all he could, but third in class (Catlow won again) was not enough.
Leo Voyazides and Andy Bacon won the pre-65 FIA Touring Car encounter in the former’s Ford Falcon as Dieter Karl Anton claimed the title in his Alfa Romeo GTA. Meanwhile, the absence of Hans-Jörg Malsbanden in his Chevrolet Corvette allowed Bo Warmenius to wrap up the pre-65 GT crown. Pre-76 titles fell to Patrick Gerling (Corvette) and Ford Escort driver Helmut Stein.
The European F2 series concluded with a victory for Philip Harper’s Ralt RT1, while Peter Studer (Lotus 59) headed the 1600cc pack. A combined 1-litre F3/FF1600 grid provided a great victory for Guernsey pensioner Dave Lowe (Lotus 69) after a cracking battle with the Crosslé 32F of Irish charger James Hagan, though Hagan turned the tables on Sunday.
A 180-minute Endurance race on Saturday was won by Andrew and James Schryver, who went five laps clear in Andrew’s Chevron B8.