Spa Six Hours

Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare was called to mind as the consistent, reliable Simon Hadfield and Leo Voyazides won their second successive Spa Six Hours aboard the Greek’s Ford GT40 in the event’s 21st edition on September 21. “We stuck to our plan and the race came to us,” said five-time winner Hadfield, after a golden seven days that began with his astonishing Goodwood TT Celebration success.

Six or seven of the 10 GT40 teams in the record 106-car entry could have claimed victory in the Belgian classic, had variables – most notably the refuelling lottery – favoured them. Christian Gläsel, seeking his third win, this time partnered by 1999 Indy 500 winner Kenny Bräck and brother-in-law Olivier Ellerbrock, had the quickest car. They lost it after leaving Bräck out during a safety car interlude, then Ellerbrock later spun.

Third in 2012 with Allard Kalff, Michiel Campagne added 1988 Le Mans victor Jan Lammers to his Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport replica’s crew and went one better. The thunderous beast beat the GT40 of double winner Shaun Lynn, Andrew Haddon and David Clark into third place. Philip Walker/Mike Jordan (leading when Walker explored the gravel) and Richard Meins/Chris Lillingston-Price sandwiched Gläsel’s car as GT40s filled five of the top six places.

GT honours went to the amazingly fleet Lotus Elan of Andy Wolfe, Graham Wilson and Ollie Stirling, which survived a late biff from a Morgan and outran the Jaguar E-types and Shelby GT350s. Wilson’s car was promoted to seventh overall when Wolfe – then in Jason Wright’s Squadra Kenny Rogers GT40 – lost a front wheel on his final lap. The Ford Mustang of Christian Dumolin/Christophe van Riet/Stephan Meyers claimed the Touring Car prize.

Michael Lyons is untouchable in Historic F1 at present and the young GT racer bagged another brace of victories in the Hesketh 308E with which he opened his FIA Masters Championship campaign. Voyazides/Hadfield also won the FIA Masters Sports Car counter in the former’s Lola T70 Mk3B.

Other big winners included Richard Shaw/Jackie Oliver (BMW 1800, U2TC) and David Hart/Alexander van der Lof (Ferrari 250 GT Drogo, Pre-63 GT), while Jason Minshaw (Brabham BT4) and Miles Griffiths (Cooper T51) took HGPCA honours. Chris Ward topped both elements of the Stirling Moss and RAC Woodcote Trophies, taking over John Young’s Lister-Jaguar after opening for Andrew Smith in a Cooper-Jaguar.

Marcus Pye