German premier

The 23rd AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nurburgring retained its place as the premier historic racing event in Continental Europe, with a successful four-day meeting on August 10-13, for which the organisers claimed an attendance of 61,000.

The packed programme provided a mixture of FIA championship races, others for newer F2 and sportscars, and events for older cars, which seem to get by without the involvement of the world body. On top of all that a demonstration was given each day by Edwardian cars, which, as last year, proved extremely popular with the spectators.

The drawcard feature of the meeting was the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association’s annual 100-mile race. The seven previous races have drawn perhaps the best field of front-engined GP cars in each year, but once Vijay MaIlya’s Vanwall had fallen victim to engine trouble in practice, depriving prerace favourite John Harper of a drive, it was left to the second-level players to dominate the 1995 race. Jeremy Agace in his Maserati 250F snatched pole by the narrowest of margins from Burkhard von Schenk’s similar car, but did not feature when it counted, retiring early in the first day’s race when the drive-shaft let go beneath his seat. Nick Mason, a previous winner of the 100-miler, went out with a fractured oil-line near the end of the same race.

The London-based German driver von Schenk was thus able to win both legs, though it might have been a different matter had Gerry Porter in his two-litre Cooper-Climax T43 had more reliability, Porter stalked his prey for 16 laps on the first day and then decisively took the lead, but fell back after three more laps and eventually stopped, the radiator cap having come off. Porter was again chasing von Schenk on the second day when the water temperature went up again and he retired after only nine laps.

Tony Smith (Connaught B-Type) finished second to Von Schenk in both legs to fill the runner-up spot on aggregate with Paul Alexander (Cooper-Bristol) and Tony Merrick (A-Type ERA) taking the next places on combined times.

Gary Pearson (Lister-Jaguar) won the race for sportscars of the same period, staging a running battle with Mason’s T61 Maserati on both days but apparently lacking serious opposition. A race for pre-war sportscars was dominated by local Alfa Romeo drivers, led by Peter Groh with his unique Pintacuda model 1½-seater P3. Chris Drake (Maserati 8C) won the second leg but had neglected to make his compulsory pitstop, so was relegated to second.

The meeting also staged a round of the International SuperSports Cup series, Charles Agg leading a McLaren M8F 1-2-3 after Kalisch’s BRM was taken out of the lead by an errant Ginetta. Harper (March 712) fought hard in both Historic F2 rounds, but had to give best to former champion Fredy Kumschick (Lotus 69) in the first and to championship leader Bob Juggins (March 712) in the other.