Group C Racing at Spa-Francorchamps
The Spa-Francorchamps circuit was full of classic cars during the RMU Classic 2010 on May 21-23. Historic F1 cars were joined by historic sportscars for a nice weekend of racing on the classic Belgian circuit. Milo Kol and Gabriel Portos went to Belgium for Planetlemans. One of the highlights of the weekend was the Group C Racing season opener. Twenty-two Group C cars were entered, including two Mercedes-Benz (Sauber) C11s and three Nissans.
On Friday the Group C cars had two qualifying sessions for the two one-hour races on Saturday and Sunday. Nathan Kinch in the #14 Spice Chevrolet SP92 (GTP) car was quickest in the first qualifying session, ahead of Christian Glasel’s C11 and the #5 Spice Pontiac SE89 of Stefano Rosina and Giorgio Mondini. In the second session Glasel set the fastest time, ahead of the C11 of Aaron Hsu and the Spice-Pontiac of Rosina/Mondini.
Unfortunately the C11s were unable to win at Spa. Christian Glasel retired from race 1 after just 5 laps, while Aaron Hsu stopped after 14 laps. The race on Saturday saw the #5 Spice-Pontiac take the lead on the opening lap, with Kinch having a disastrous start of the race. By lap 7 though the #31 Mercedes-Benz C11 had moved into the lead, before retiring after 14 laps. Nathan Kinch took the lead on lap 15, but he hit trouble again and soon after the #30 Spice SE89 of Paul Livesey overtook Kinch. Livesey stayed out of trouble and won after one hour of racing. Richard Eyre in a Jaguar XJR16 finished 2nd and Paul Whight’s Aston Martin AMR1 finished 3rd. Kinch set the fastest lap of the race in 2:11.271.
On Sunday seventeen cars started. Christian Glasel’s C11 was set to start from pole position, but a problem on Saturday meant the car was not ready for the race. At the start Hsu and Whight were first and second, Whighth led after the first lap, but Hsu’s Mercedes-Benz C11 regained the lead soon after. He would lead the race until lap 14. After a pit stop the #101 Spice CE88C of Duncan McKay and Robin Ward moved into the lead, but when the #101 made its pit stop it was the C11 back in the lead again. Very quick lap times by Aaron Hsu meant the C11 lapped the entire field before taking the chequered flag. Hsu’s fastest lap time (2:14.202) was 6.5 seconds quicker than the fastest lap time of his nearest rival, David Mercer in a Spice SE90. Steve Tandy finished in third place in the #116 Porsche 962C. The #101 Spice was given a five-minute penalty and dropped from fourth to sixth.
The next race of the Group C Racing series will be at Le Mans with twenty-seven cars currently on the entry list. See here.
A gallery of the Group C and Orwell Supersports Cup cars can be found in our gallery.