Bumper grids for Masters Historic racing at Spa-Francorchamps

Massive entries for the Masters Historic Racing classes at the Spa Six Hours meeting this weekend are set to provide thrilling racing.

Five Masters grids qualified , Friday, with the highlight being a superb entry of GP Masters historic Formula 1 cars. Headed by Steve Hartley’s Arrows A4, the stunning 28-car field highlighted the popularity of the GP Masters class and the attraction of the Spa circuit. Behind Hartley was the similar car of Rowland Kinch, just over two seconds adrift, with Christophe D’Ansembourg’s Williams FW07C third fastest. The entry includes the Lotus 92/5 of prolific racer Roger Wills, Richard Meins in his Williams FW07C and Chris Locke’s stunning Lotus 79. With Hesketh, McLaren, Shadow and Brabham represented on the grid, the GP Masters entry is a snapshot of Formula 1 in period.

A whopping 78 cars qualified for the Top Hat touring car and GT grid, headed by French veteran racer Claude Boissy in his Ford Escort, chased by the Porsche 911 RSR of Mark Bates, while John Bussell hauled Ian McCallum’s Aston Martin DB5 to third quickest. Other highlights in the entry include rally hero John Haugland (Lotus Cortina), a plethora of spectacular Ford Capris recreating memories of the late 1970s Spa 24 Hours, Bert Smeets in the ex-TWR Rover Vitesse and even a Renault 4CV for John Arnold!

Fifty-six WSM cars took to the track for their qualifying session, which was headed by Olly Bryant’s Lola T70 Mk3B, just four-tenths quicker than the similar car of Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield, while Dutchman David Hart’s T70 rounded out the top three. The father-and-son Hancocks, Anthony and Ollie, were fourth fastest in their Lola T212, while Manfredo Rossi di Montelera chased hard to be sixth quickest in his Abarth Osella PA1.

A mouth-watering grid of 65 Pre-66 Gentlemen Drivers GT cars was dominated by AC Cobras, with Rob Hall’s car topping the times ahead of the Daytona Coupes of Ludovic Caron and Christian Glaesel, while Marcus Von Oyenhausen’s Jaguar E-type was hustled to fourth quickest by German sports car star Frank Stippler. The Bizzarrini of Roger Wills/Joe Twyman was seventh quickest, while the Lotus XI of Philip Walker/Danny Wright humbled many more powerful cars to be eighth fastest.

The Masters Sports-Prototype grid, running with the Canadian American Challenge Cup, was headed by the stunning McLaren F1-GTR of Christian Glaesel, shared with Ralf Kelleners.  Carlos Monteverde/Gary Pearson (Lola T292) headed the Proto 70s, while Roger Wills was the fastest of the Group C drivers in the 20-car entry.