Superb collection of vintage racing machinery to go on display as part of 70th edition Total 24 Hours of Spa celebrations
Fans attending the Total 24 Hours of Spa will enjoy a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with several superb examples of motorsport history on Friday evening, when a selection of historic racing machines will be displayed on the iconic Belgian circuit.
The event will form part of the celebrations to mark the 70th running of the endurance classic and will begin on Friday at 19.50, less than an hour after the fastest drivers at this year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa have contested the SuperPole session.
A collection of significant cars from the race’s long history will be on display at one of the venue’s most iconic locations, the descent towards Eau Rouge, and will be open to anyone holding a practice or weekend ticket.
The cars all come from the touring car era of the 24 Hours, with a decorated example of Porsche racing machinery among the leading lights.
This, however, is not just any Porsche. The 911 that will be displayed at Spa clinched victory at the 24 Hours in 1967, making it the first of the Stuttgart marque’s six winners at the event. Indeed, this model would go on to secure three consecutive wins between 1967 and 1969, each with a different set of drivers.
There will also be two race-winning Ford Capri machines on the Spa circuit. The RS 2600 that will be displayed triumphed in 1971 with Dieter Glemser and Alex Soler-Roig at the wheel, clinching the first of Ford’s six wins at the 24 Hours.
The other Capri on display is a III 3.0S that holds the notable distinction of being the first winner on Spa’s current 7km layout. It was victorious in 1979 and secured back-to-back wins by triumphing again in 1980, with brothers Philippe and Jean-Michel Martin at the wheel on both occasions.
The most modern winner featured in the display was the final car to triumph in the 20th century and the first to do so for Peugeot. The French marque’s 306 GTi not only clinched victory in 1999, it did so from pole position with Frédéric Bouvy, Emmanuel Collard and Anthony Beltoise at the wheel.
The same model triumphed in 2000, with Bouvy once again part of the line-up, to secure the final win of the touring car era and the first of the new millennium.
Not all of the significant cars on display are former winners, however. The Mercedes-AMG 300SEL finished as runner-up in 1971, behind the winning Capri, and will be featured in its striking red race livery.
Another eye-catching machine is the Peugeot 806 that contested the 1995 race with Pascal Witmeur, Eric Bachelart and Philip Verellen.
This unconventional car – which bears much closer resemblance to a minivan – was an unlikely star of the 24 Hours. It qualified 12th on the 47-car grid, but was unable to finish due to an engine problem.
Also among the line-up is a Vauxhall Magnum, one of a quartet that contested the 24 Hours in 1977. The best of them finished as runner-up, while the car on display took ninth place thanks to Michel de Deyne, Jean-Charles Goris and Dirk Desoet.
These and many more will take their place on the Spa circuit, returning to the track on which they once raced. Indeed, the cars will be present at the Raidillon Chalet throughout the weekend, giving fans another chance to catch a glimpse of racing history.
With such a significant group of machines on display, the 70th edition promises to be a great celebration of Spa’s past as well as a thrilling modern GT3 contest.
List of Cars
Volkswagen 1500 S (1965)
NSU 1000 TTS (1967)
Porsche 911 (1967)
Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA (1969)
Mercedes-AMG 300SEL (1971)
Ford Capri RS 2600 (1971)
Mazda RX3 (1972)
Ford Escort RS 1600 (1972)
BMW 3.0 CSL (1973)
Renault 12 Gordini (1973)
Toyota Celica GT (1973)
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV (1974)
Zastava 101P (1976)
Vauxhall Magnum (1977)
Ford Capri III 3.0S (1980)
Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV6 (1985)
Toyota Corolla (1988)
Peugeot 806 (1995)
Peugeot 306 GTi (1999)