Spa Classic 13-15 May 2016: In the heart of Europe

spa_2016_A4Spa-Classic, created in 2011, has gone from strength to strength and today it is among the major European events for historic cars. In 2015, the fifth Spa-Classic fulfilled all its promises by setting new records, both in terms of crowd figures and entries, as 20 000 spectators and 1 500 historic cars assembled for the occasion at what was one of the most prestigious meetings of the season thanks to the majestic setting and the quality of the cars on the track.

The Spa-Francorchamps circuit follows the up-and-down contours of the Ardennes foothills. The names of its corners go hand in hand with so many famous no-holds-barred battles and their history calls to mind glory and victory. The legendary unpredictable weather is part of a decor and an ambience unlike any other for an exceptional event that can only increase in stature. The sound of the cars as they plunge down into the Eau Rouge and then roar up the Raidillon calls to mind heroes and machines of a bygone age.

Homage to this ‘temple’ of endurance, which hosts the famous Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours for Touring Cars, is paid by the Heritage Touring Cup by Peter Auto.

The ultimate accolade is conferred on the event by the reunion of the historic clubs for makes of which numbers increase every year.

Touring car

The Touring Car grids top the bill for the fourth year running and they will provide one of the weekend’s high points. In the same way that Le Mans is the temple of Endurance racing for prototypes and Grand Touring cars, since its early days Spa-Francorchamps has been the centre of Touring Car racing with its famous 24-Hour-race, which is the favorite playing field for the majority of manufacturers and some of the best-known drivers in the world, as the ultimate highlight.

During this long period of Touring Car racing a number of manufacturers won with their flagship makes. BMW has been one of the most loyal entrants: over three decades the Bavarian manufacturer raced a whole string of models ranging from the T1 800 Ti in the 60s to the famous M3 in the 90s. The German make holds the record for the number of victories (21) in the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours. It had several rivals over its reign and was beaten by the Alfa Romeo GTAs and GTVs, Mercedes-Benz 300 SEs, Ford Mustangs and the Capri RSs, Porsche 911s, Mazda RX-7s and Jaguar XJSs.

GRIDS by Peter Auto

> Classic Endurance Racing 1 – GT 1966 -1974 & Protos 1966-1971

> Classic Endurance Racing 2 – GT 1975-1979 & Protos 1972-1981

> Heritage Touring Cup – Touring Cars 1966-1984

> Sixties’ Endurance – Sports cars pre-1963 & GTs pre-1966

> Trofeo Nastro Rosso – Pre-1966 Italian Sports & GT cars + some handpicked models

> Group C Racing – Protos 1982-1993 (see page 39)

Clubs

Once again a large number of car clubs is expected. After around 1000 owners in the previous editions, this year’s aim is to attract more collectors’ cars. They will be able to have eight runs on the track during the weekend.

THE EXHIBITORS’ VILLAGE AND ENTERTAINMENT

The Exhibitors’ Village will remain in the heart of the paddock near Eau Rouge. It will provide artists, clothing manufacturers, bookshops and other boutiques with an environment in which to display their wares to a crowd of enthusiasts. To keep the families happy Spa-Classic will put on numerous forms of entertainment adapted to all ages: apprenticeship and giving toddlers their first taste of driving, plus slot racing. All this will take place in a festive ambiance with music provided by an itinerant orchestra.

Source. Patricia Raes/Spa Classic

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