EVENT:// Spa Six Hours 2010 - Historic racing at its best

Friday morning September 24th. It’s still dark when I grab a quick coffee before heading to the Belgian Ardennes. I'm travelling with Spa6 veteran and photographer Albert who will arrange interviews and introduce me to this wonderfull world of historic racing Nirvana.

After we picked up our mate Joop it’s a zero pitstop strategy to Francorchamps. We're off for a weekend stuffed with the sound of roaring engines, the smell of racing fluids, meeting new friends and watching stunning historic racing cars screaming down the legendary circuit. This weekend the Spa-Francorchamps circuit is THE place to be for enthusiasts of historic racing.

This track is probably one of the finest in the world, but when the paddocks and tracks are the realm of the most mythical racing cars ever built – it is unmistakably ‘the best’ place to be.

As we park our car in the grim garage beneath the F1 building, the excitement starts when we hear the Top Hat Masters series pre-66 touring cars qualifying.

Spa Six Hours 2010/IMG_7960 [small]

We were going for our second coffee of the day, but somehow we never made it to the Brasserie. The sights and sounds of the GT40s, (Shelby) Mustangs, Porsches, Coopers, big Healeys, Cobras, TR4s, MGBs, E-types, Bizzarinnis, Chevrons, Lolas to name a few; made us forget all about thirst.

 

Incredible array of historic races

If you have never been to the Spa Six Hours before, the hectic atmosphere will probably confuse and overwhelm you; It is a three day tight schedule of the most incredible array of historic races you can imagine. Albeit twelve races in total (check out the roadbook.be website for the timing schedule >>). Paddocks, garages and pitlanes are all accessible and there is stuff going on everywhere you look. Cars thundering down the track, engines being warmed up, driver changes, tuning, preparation and emergency repairs; all happening all around you. Better watch out!

All these sights, sounds and smells almost makes you feel like you are part of a racing team decades back in time. It’s fabulous.
Spa Six Hours 2010/IMG_8211 [large]

Driving a pre 1965 racecar with the wrong tires

"The weather is the one thing we have no control over" said one of the drivers. He drove his qualification on Friday as well as his race on Sunday in very wet conditions. A spell of bad luck because after the showers for most of the Friday, Saturday was mostly dries. Actually the first race day wasn’t half bad – that is until the clouds decided to have a real party at the end of the six hours endurance race. The rain came down in buckets. Imagine how scary that must be: Driving a pre 1965 racecar with the wrong tires on a challenging racetrack in total darkness with the spray of the car that was there seconds ago rendering the light of your headlamps useless.
Spa Six Hours 2010/IMG_8018 [small]But these wet and dry and wet again conditions are also part of the Spa Six Hours experience. The "Indian summer" like conditions of the previous editions are actually quite uncommon.

Spa six is spectacular

I suppose this is the moment where I start summing up who won which race and what happened to the yellow Triumph when it came into the pit quite early in the race; but I’m not. I'm not because you’ve probably read it somewhere else or you can read it here »
I am going to tell you that the Spa Six Hours is spectacular – and is spectacular because of the competitors, the teams, the friendliness, the hospitality, the stunning cars, the blood sweat and tears that go in preparation, the passion for historic racing: "the camaraderie" as Roger Wills so strikenly puts it. And that exactly is the thing I’ve tried to capture in the 2010 Spa Six Hours video. Enjoy

Words, photography, video: MG Robin