Photo: Peter Auto

The Spa Classic, first run in 2011 is today one of the premiere European events for historic cars. Set in the foothills of the Ardennes, Spa-Francorchamps’ historic circuit follows the flowing contours of the landscape and is considered by the drivers as one of the most beautiful in the world.

The names of its corners go hand in hand with so many famous no-holds-barred battles and the sound of the cars as they plunge down into Eau Rouge and then roar up the Raidillon revives memories of heroes and machines of a bygone age. And, for one weekend, we get to relive this history live on track as once again, the historic racing machines from time-gone-by retake the track and do battle under the Belgian skies. 

This year, there will be five classes of sports and endurance cars taking to the track, a single grid of historic touring cars and, for the first time, two single seater classes. 

Sports and Endurance car grids

  • Group C Racing Prototypes 1982-1993

The beautiful Group C cars of 1982 and 1994 joined the classic circus in 2016 with the highlight being a trip to the Le Mans Classic. This year, we will be privileged to see them again where they will have two 45 minute test/qualifying sessions and a further two 45 minute races over the weekend.

The Group C regulations led to the production of legendary cars that wrote some of the most glorious pages in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Sports Car World Endurance Championship.

Early on, the Porsche 956s dominated despite stiff opposition from the Lancia LC2s, and then in 962 configuration came up against much tougher rivals with the arrival of Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Nissan and Mazda. Alongside the major manufacturers small constructors like Cougar, Dome, Rondeau, Spice and WM could still pull off the odd coup thanks to an intelligent interpretation of the regulations based on strict fuel consumption restrictions.

Group C was abandoned in the early 90s after a brief cohabitation with the Sport 3.5s (Peugeot 905, Jaguar XJR-14, Toyota TS010, etc) and to this day Group C is still considered as the Golden Age of endurance racing by many.

Photo: Peter Auto
  • Classic Endurance Racing 1 GT 1966-1974 & Prototypes 1966-1971
  • Classic Endurance Racing 2 GT 1975-1979 & Prototypes 1972-1981
Photo: Peter Auto
  • Sixties’ Endurance Sport Cars pre-63 & GT before 1966
Photo: Peter Auto
  • Trofeo Nastro Rosso Sport Cars & Italian GT before 1966

Due to the enormous value of some of these cars today, and that their owners, with good reason, are not all that keen on racing them in historic events where they have to share the track with many other vehicles, respect and fair play are the key words for the gentlemen drivers taking part in the Trofeo Nastro Rosso.

With rare cars such as the Henceforth, Aston Martin DB4 GTs and DB4 GT Zagatos sharing the track with their Italian rivals; Maserati 300s, Ferrari 250 GT Berlinettas and Alfa Romeo TZs, the Trofeo Nastro Rosso provides spectators with a rare opportunity to see these beautiful icons of the golden age back racing on the track.

Photo: Peter Auto

Touring cars

  • Heritage Touring Cup Touring Cars 1966-1984
Photo: Peter Auto

Single Seaters

  • Euro F2 Formula 2
  • Formula Vee Single-seater 1964-1990

For those of you unfamiliar with Formula Vee, it began in the USA in 1965 and is a single-seater formula for beginners who wish to learn the rudiments of circuit racing. The car is based on the mechanical elements of the Volkswagen Beetle. 

Formula 1 drivers like the legendary Bruce McLaren, Chris Amon, Helmut Marko, Jacky Ickx and Jean-Pierre Beltoise learned their trade at the wheel of these little machines. They are economical and easy to build (with saloon-type suspension) and are ideal for amateur drivers.

Photo: Peter Auto

 

 

Parade and demonstration laps

We will also see track icons from the Ultra GT Club such as the Jaguar XJ220, Ferrari F40 LM & GTE, McLaren F1 GTR take to the track for a non-timed session alongside their modern compatriots, a Ferrari FXXK, McLaren P1 GTR and Aston Martin Vulcan to name just a few! 

Photo: Peter Auto