The Group C and Classic Endurance Racing series completed their races on Sunday at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The Spa Classic had a one-hour race for each of the series scheduled and fans were treated with some nice races on the classic circuit.
At 10:35 the CER 1 race took place with the nº 18 Lola T70 Mk III of Bernard Thuner and Claude Nahum on pole position. But already on the first lap it was David Hart in his Lola T70 Mk III B who moved into the lead, although he was never more than a second clear of the nº18 in second place.
Hart only briefly lost the lead to the nº 70 Lola T70 Mk III B of Pierre-Alain France due to pitstops, but Hart’s lap times were several seconds quicker and on lap 18 he passed the nº 70 Lola again. After 22 laps Hart crossed the line 3.066 seconds ahead of France with the nº 18 taking third at 4.883 seconds. The rest of the field was far behind, Olivier Cazalieres finished fourth in his Chevron B16 Mazda at 32 seconds from Hart, while only the top 8 finished on the lead lap.
Despite not converting a pole in the Proto 1 category Nahum and Thuner did manage to take the win in their Ford GT40 in the GT1 category. Dutchman John Bosch finished second in his Ferrari Daytona Gr IV, almost 44 seconds behind the Ford GT. Alfred Strebel finished third in his Chevrolet Corvette.
Group C Racing
In the Group C Racing race Bob Berridge was unable to take his Mercedes C11 to victory. From the 25 cars that took part in practice and qualifying 19 cars started the race.
Berridge started the race from pole position and managed to pull away from Christian Gläsel’s Mercedes C11. Behind them The Porsche 962 of Herve Regout and Christophe D’ Ansembourg moved up into third, but after just five laps it pulled out of the race.
Gläsel briefly took the lead in between pit stops but on lap 14 Berridge was back in the lead, now some four seconds clear of Gläsel. Unfortunately for Berridge his Mercedes didn’t go the distance and after 18 laps he retired his car with just a couple of minutes left in the race. Christian Gläsel did not have any problems and cruised to victory in his nº2 car and also set the fastest lap of the race.
Katsu Kubota eventually finished the Group C race in second place in his nº25 Nissan R90C, albeit 1 minute and 43 seconds behind Gläsel. Ferdinand de Lesseps finished in third place in the nº50 Spice SE90C, almost a full lap behind. Local heroes Maxime and Jean-Michel Martin did not finish the race, their Porsche 962C’s race came to an end after two-thirds had been completed.
After dominating in practice and qualifying Loïc Deman started the CER 2 race from pole position in his Osella PA 4. At the start Deman managed to maintain the lead, while Patrice Lafargue dropped from second to fourth and Michel Quiniou moving into second position.
On the opening lap it was the Ferrari 712 driven by Paul Knapfield that stole the show however. Having started on the 15th row on the grid Knapfield was in 13th position after lap 1, 15 seconds behind Deman. In the following laps Quiniou and Jacques Nicolet swapped positions and for several laps Deman was in front of the Gulf Mirage and the two Lola’s. On lap 6 Knapfield had moved up into fifth position, now already almost 23 seconds behind Deman.
Quiniou dropped out of the fight and retired after 8 laps and halfway the race the Osella was also added to the list of retirements. As a result the Gulf Mirage of Jacques Nicolet was in the lead and Nicolet was 20 seconds clear of the Ferrari after both cars had made a pit stop.
With Knapfield unable to close the gap to Nicolet it looked like the Frenchman could cruise to victory, but after 20 laps and less than 10 minutes to go Nicolet could also be added to the retirement list and the nº101 Ferrari 712 inherited the lead of the race. Knapfield did not encounter any problems in the remaining laps and despite Patrice Lafargue putting in faster lap times than the Ferrari Lafargue ran out of time and finished the race just 1.423 seconds behind Knapfield. Frederic Da Rocha, who started from seventh on the grid, finished the CER 2 race in third place.
In the GT2 category the Porsches 935 of Föveny, Ortelli and De Siebenthal/Martin had to fight the BMW M1’s of Traber/Enjalbert and McInerney. Föveny was unable to convert his pole position into a win, despite a good start and finished the race in third place, one lap behind the eventual race winner. Stephane Ortelli retired his Porsche 935 Moby Dick after 4 laps.
Jean Michel Martin and Marc De Siebenthal went on to win the GT2 class in their Porsche 935. After starting from fourth the Porsche was already up into second place at the end of the first lap. Föveny’s nº5 Porsche saw a comfortable lead disappear quickly in the second part of the race as it lost almost 20 seconds per lap and on lap 14 the nº75 Porsche took the lead and went on to win the race. Mr John of B eventually passed Föveny as well and secured second place in his Ferrari 512 BBLM.