Historic Challenge race 1
Historic Challenge race 2
More packed grids
La Source, Raidillon, Le Pouhon and Eau Rouge. When you heart is with motor
racing, these names will surely bring a twinkle to your eyes. The challenging circuit of
Spa-Francorchamps has held a special place on the racing calendar of many
formulae for decades. The famous Formula 1 drivers of the Scuderia Ferrari have
achieved great victories on the Ardennes track, in both its original and revised form,
like Alberto Ascari back in 1952 and 1953, Phil Hill in 1961 and John Surtees in 1966.
More recent are the victories of Michael Schumacher in 1996 and 1997.
A famous circuit, large grids of exciting cars with fascinating participants. When all of this is encapsulated in a
beautiful Ferrari event like the well known "Spa Ferrari Days" it should bring great crowds to the grandstands of
the Ardennes track.
Unfortunately the changeable weather is also in a well known Spa tradition. The first two days of the Spa Ferrari
Days suffered very heavy rain. The same rain is probably the reason that lots of potential visitors decided to stay
at home or not to choose their Ferrari to travel to the circuit. The usually packed Ferrari-only parking lot was only
partly filled during this years edition. Luckily on Sunday, when most races took place and the weather turned out
for the better, lots of spectators did find their way to Spa, even if the Spanish Formula 1 GP was running at the
same time (to be won by Michael Schumacher under very lucky circumstances).
Nevertheless, some interesting classic Ferrari could been found in the paddock. The oldest visiting Ferrari was
a beautiful dark green metallic 250 Europa bearing chassisnumber 0303EU. An unusal black-red livery for a 250
GT SWB, s/n 1807GT and a red 365 GTS/4 "Daytona Spider" numbered 14737. Two other classic Ferrari both
started life as different tipo's. Edmond Pery's 14 louvre 250 GT "Tour de France" replica, previously a 250 GT
Ellena s/n 0827GT and a 250 TR replica, previously a 250 GTE s/n 3981GT. The latter even practising for the
Class A club races "strictly mass-produced cars, subject to race track safety measures", until somebody
realised it didnít fulfil this criteria.
Modern Ferrari had of course the biggest share of the parking lots. The 360 Spider, that was introduced to the
Belgian public by Rubens Barrichello only during last years' Spa Ferrari Days, could now be admired in almost
the whole colour range that the Maranello factory can deliver.
|Two other 250F's, s/n 2522 of Dick Waaijenberg and s/n 2526 of Peter Heuberger had to retire. The former|
because the engine ran a main bearing, the latter because of missing a shift that had the Swiss owner ending
up in the gravel trap. On lap number five, Carlo Vögele in his Alfa Romeo 158 Alfetta tried to take the six year
older Alfa of Robert Fink at the Bus Stop chicane, but Vögele left his breaking too late and spun on the still wet
tarmac into the wall, damaging his suspension. This would even prevent the Swiss driver for starting in the
second Grid A race on the following day.
After a good start from 2nd position on the grid, the German Bernd Hahne almost easily drove to finish in first
place in the B grid, which he would repeat on Sunday afternoon. The second and third podium positions were
also occupied by Maserati drivers. Grid A winner Burkhard von Schenk finished second in his Maserati 300S,
s/n 3082 followed by American William Binnie in a similar Maserati bearing s/n 3069. The first Ferrari to figure
in the results of the Grid B (Grid A had no Ferrari at all) was Plinio Haas' well known 250 GT TdF, s/n 1401GT
which finished in fourth position.
The first race of Grid C was dominated by the two prototype Boxers, 312 P/B 0880 and 0882, the wellknown
512S, s/n 1016 of French car dealer Jean Guikas and last but certainly not least the 712 CanAm "monster".
David Franklin was entering this unique car for the third consequetive race now. The 7 litre, 12 cylinder car s/n
1010 started live as a 512S in 1970, campaigned by the Scuderia Ferrari. After being "updated" to 512M
specifications as a Berlinetta, this car was transformed again in 1971 for CanAm racing in America. Now back
to a Spider configuration, Mario Andretti finished 4th with "the monster" in Watkins Glen in 1972. These
prototypes are in a league on their owner lapping most of the other competitors in the same grid virtually
without any difficulty.
Lacking a perfect braking balance in a dry race after the wet training and qualifying, Dutchman Bart Rosman got
into trouble at the Bus Stop Chicane. The always friendly mechanic & driver Rosman in his competizione SWB,
s/n 2179GT was overtaking both Francois Degand and Carlos Monteverde in their respective Daytona's s/n
16717 and s/n 15667 when entering the chicane, just to discover the drying tarmac had his rearwheels
blocking. Monteverde and Rosman both spun but luckily nobody got hurt , no cars were damaged, and
Monteverde was even able to keep his race position. The only competitor "hurt" in the incident was Degand,
who claimed his Daytona picked up a lot of mud through the spin in front of him. Or did Degand made a trip on
the grass himself somewhere else on this lap ?
|Historic Challenge Race 2|
The mechanics of Burkhard von Schenk had travelled to Germany to pick up a new camshaft overnight. They
succeeded in having the Maserati 250F back on the grid for the second race, enabling von Schenk to
consolidate his first place achieved the day before. The Sunday race displayed again a flying Fink in the Alfa,
but he could not prevent 1-2-3 victory for Maserati, William Binnie finished second in his Maserati 6CM, s/n
1532 and third position was taken by Peter Heuberger.
In the second race of Grid B, all the first 6 places were all taken by Maseratis. The best placed Ferrari was that
of Carlos Monteverde who finished 7th in his 750 Monza Spider Scaglietti, s/n 0568M nicknamed the "ice-racer"
after its period racing career in Scandinavia in which it competed in races on ice. It still retains the silver and
blue colour scheme from that sojourn, and the cracked and blemished paintwork has a marvellous patina to it..
It was no surprise to see three prototype Ferrari's occupying the Grid C podium on Sunday. But it was a
surprise though to see Christian Gläsel in his 312 P/B chassis number 0882, overtaking Franklin's 712
CanAm quickly after the start and managing to defend this position until the checkered flag dropped. The other
312 P/B brought William Binnie to the podium in his 6th race of this weekend.
|Traditionally, the Spa Ferrari Days also hosts some club races, seperated in Class A (unmodified production|
cars) and Class B (modified). The latter class was used to run a round of the Pirelli Maranello Ferrari
Challenge. This club racing series is organised by British Ferrari Owners Club and brought among others a
heavily modified F40 and F512 M "Testarossa".
What started as a very wet weekend, again turned out to provide some really exciting racing on the Belgian GP
circuit of Spa-Franchorchamps. The Shell Historic Challenge of 2001 is on it's way!
Next appointments will be Brands Hatch (GB) on 20-22th of July, Magny Cours (F) on 21-23rd of September
and the Ferrari World Finals in Monza on 19-21th of October.
Make sure you try to visit at least one of these events to witness the excitement of classic Ferrari and Maserati
racing cars in action.
|The dark red Maserati monopostoís have been competing with the rosso corsa Ferrari's ever since the Shell|
Historic Challenge opened its doors to the marque carrying theTridente of Bologna. Two of the Maserati 250Fís
entered, chassis' 2518 and 2526, raced at the Belgium GP in 1954 and 1956 and returned there this year driven
by their current owners; Italian Gigi Baulino and Swiss Peter Heuberger.
Furthermore, the very succesfull Shell Historic Challenge now almost traditionally features Kroymans 250 GTO,
4757GT that was a non-finisher in the "Spa 500km" in 1964 and 1965, but with the current owner the beautiful
Scaglietti car is running stronger every single race. A new Ferrari star in the Historic Challenge is the 312 Boxer
prototype, s/n 0880, the purchase of which enables its new owner William Binnie, to compete in all 3 classes of
the competition. He drives a Maserati 6 CM in the Grid A race, a Maserati 300 S in the Grid B race, and the 312 P
in the Grid C group, making for a busy weekend!
|More Packed Grids|
Apart from this Historic Challenge races, the Spa Ferrari Days hosted practice,
qualifying and two races for both the 360 Challenge "West" and 360 Challenge
"East" series. Another very succesfull competition where Ferrari enthusiasts can
enter a factory prepared competition version of the 360 Modena. This formula
started with the Ferrari 348, to be continued with the F355 Challenge series and
now the 360 Challenge.
|Historic Challenge Race 1|
Regular visitors to the Historic Challenge events are now accustomed to the
sight of Robert Fink sliding through corners and speeding up the straights in his
ex-Tazio Nuvolari Alfa Romeo tipo B. Needless to say this looked stunning in the
rainy sessions where Fink was showing his skill in handling the 1932 single
seater. But on the quickly drying tarmac during Saturday's first Class A race, the
Maserati's caught up on him. Burkhard von Schenk won the first race, even
though he broke a cam follower leaving the 250F, s/n 2521, running on only 5