Spa Classic 2011 – Group C and CER Qualifying
Replacing the RMU Classic the Spa Classic, organised by Peter Auto, took place for the first time this weekend. Three days of action with hundreds of classic race cars on the classic Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The fans were treated with Group C and Classic Endurance Racing as part of the extraordinary package.
Group C had a total of 25 cars taking part in the two qualifying sessions. The quickest cars on the 7,004 km Spa circuit were the two (Sauber) Mercedes-Benz C11s. Both fastest lap times were set in the first session, with Bob Berridge lapping the Belgian track in 2:05.295. Christian Gläsel was second quickest, 1.871 seconds behind the nº 31 car.
Katsu Kubota posted the third fastest time, his Nissan R90C nº 25 was second fastest in Q2, albeit 7.853 seconds slower than the fastest time in the combined classification.
The Spa Classic also saw the return of the Lancia LC2 to the Group C championship. The car, driven by Rupert Clevely, was twentieth fastest in qualifying. Modern era racers Andy Meyrick and Maxime Martin also took part, both drivers racing alongside their fathers.
Also returning to Spa were the cars in the Classic Endurance Racing series. Unlike recent years there are now two Classic Endurance Racing grids, one for GT1/Proto 1 (CER 1) and one for GT2/Proto 2 (CER 2).
After two qualifying sessions in CER 1 there were four Lola T70’s in the top four. Bernhard Thuner and Claude Nahum were quickest in the nº 18 Lola T70 Mk III. A fastest lap time of 2:33.983 in the second session was fast enough to take pole position. Dutchman David Hart was quickest in the first session, his lap time of 2:35.446 was enough to maintain second position and a front row start.
The entire top ten in CER 1 for the race will be Lola and Chevrons, with six Lola T70’s, three Chevron B16’s and a Chevron B8. A total of 38 cars.
Thuner and Nahum also took pole position for the GT1 class with their Ford GT40.
In CER 2 it was Loïc Deman in his Osella PA4 who dominated in the two qualifying sessions. The Belgian driver was the only driver to lap in the 2:25’s in both sessions and ended the two qualifying sessions over three seconds ahead of his nearest rivals. Deman’s 2:25.376, set in the second qualifying session resulted in pole position.
Behind Deman Patrice Lafarque took second place in his Lola T298 BMW, with Michel Quiniou almost two tenths further bheind in his Lola T280 DFV. Lafargue’s teammate/team-boss in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, Jacques Nicolet, was fourth in the Gulf Mirage M3.
41 cars put in a lap in the two qualifying sessions, with Michael Föveny taking the GT2 pole in his Porsche 935.