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Spa Classic 2017

As I arrive at the 7th edition of the Spa-Classic event I am greeted by low menacing clouds, heavy rain and a dramatic backdrop for a weekend of historic racing.

With 14 races, 8 grids and more than 300 cars competing on what is most driver’s favourite circuit this historic racing event is the place to be during the weekend.

Time to head out onto the track. As I work hard to keep my equipment dry the race-car tyres out on track are working equally hard to disperse water from beneath them and by doing so create dramatic scenes of cars delicately dancing under a blanket of heavy spray. Perfect for moody shots.

Wet, and worn out I return back to the paddock from a day out on the hilly circuit (I covered 17km by foot) but am satisfied with the dramatic photos I was able to take. Day two and three are dry and sunny which I am grateful for.

The public and drivers share their passion for cars in an open and friendly atmosphere. There are plenty of touring cars on display reminding us of the heyday of the Spa 24 hours when the race was still reserved for large scale production cars.

Participating categories include Sixties Endurance, Classic Endurance Racing, Heritage Touring Cup, Trofeo Nastro Rosso and Group C. Single seaters also made a comeback with the Euro F2 Classic races as the first single seater series at the event followed by 50+ Formula Vee’s.

A special treat was the night race for touring cars on Saturday, throwing the spectators back into endurance races of a bygone era.

As the weekend draws to a close, I leave with sore legs but more importantly with the smell, sound and sight of classic racing engraved into my mind for a long time to come!

 

Out of Hibernation

The last snow has melted, you have put your winter jacket back in the wardrobe and are desperately looking for your sunglasses. Spring has arrived and the sun beats down on your face. Those of you living in an area with cold winters will know exactly what time it is. Yes indeed, it is time to uncover your beloved car and bring it out of hybernation.

I have been doing this ritual for years now and uncovering my car after a long winter still remains a very special moment.  As I lift the heavy soft cover from one corner of the car I can not hide my excitement.  Like a surgeon I meticulously insert the battery which has been charging in the cellar over the winter and connect it. I open the driver door, get in and let the door fall shut. Ah, very satisfying to hear that typical Porsche ‘clunk’ again. Key in my left hand, I insert it and hesitate… will it start, I wonder? I turn the key and without a moment’s hesitation my car jumps to life emitting its beautiful air cooled flat six sound. My mind tells me off for doubting that she would start, after all she has started first time round every year since I have been doing this.

As I let her tick over I take in the smell and feel of its interior. There is something very satisfying about the purity of older cars that modern ones just can’t offer anymore.

Once everything is up to temperature it is time to take her out into that spring sunshine. Let the new season begin. I hope you enjoy bringing your car out and stretching its legs after a long winter sleep just as much as I do.

Jochen