My Racing At The Nürburgring Classic 2024

In April, a dear friend surprised me with a spontaneous phone call in the evening: His call only lasted 20 seconds. He asked me, what would you like for your Elva Mk7, with which you won the evening race of the Oldtimer Grand Prix (“my Racing at the Ring”) last year. I literally said to him: “Slow down a bit. I was just getting the car ready for the season. He replied, “I didn’t ask you if you wanted slow or fast, but what would you like for it? I named a sum of money and he replied that it would be in my account the next morning and hung up.

My Racing At The Nürburgring Classic 2024

5 weeks prior to Nürburgring Classic I bougth another vintage open two seater sports racing car in Belgium. An Elva Mk8 from 1965 with a great history file (Stirling Moss did drive it in 1966). It did win the SCAA US championship in 1966. Only 12 examples of this model had been originally build in period.

With the 2 litre BMW engine (M10 block) 4cyl and dry sump lubrication, the MK8 has the same engine as its predecessor, the MK 7S. Power is also transmitted via a Hewland five-speed gearbox. The wheelbase and vehicle width are slightly larger, the chassis is a little more modern and the wheels are wider. However, at 550 kg, the MK8 is also heavier than the MK7S.


The last owner had driven the Mk8 in its last race in 2022.He promised that the car was in perfect condition and ready to race. As soon as I saw the car, I realized that it would need a lot of work. The tanks were not validated, the harnesses and the fire extinguishing system were no longer operational. Everything gave the impression that it had only been used and then put away without any care or maintenance. On dismantling, this impression was unfortunately confirmed: a cracked clutch, a broken release bearing, worn-out drive shafts, damaged wheel bolts without threads, broken gear wheels, a broken uniball joint on the rear axle and much more. In addition, the vehicle documents had been expired for years.

Our aim was to at least get the car ready to start by May 24 at so that we could carry out a first test run in the German Championship race for cars built up to 1965 at the Nürburgring Classic. My mechanic Alexander Pleimes from AP Historic Racing had worked around 120 hours by then, but was only able to fix around 60% of the problems. We wanted to tackle further repairs after this test.

After more than 3 weeks of waiting time unfortunately, my German tire supplier didn’t deliver the tires on time. We need to run the old „Dunlop Racing“ in our series. Three days before the start of the event, we ordered them by express from England, and they arrived a few hours before the event. So the car arrived at the race track without us being able to balance the wheels or prepare a suspension set-up.

On the morning of the first training session, the suspension was roughly adjusted in the pit at the racetrack. Three wheels could be balanced on site, the fourth could not be removed due to a damaged wheel bolt. We also had a small scorch in an electrical cable, which we were able to repair in a rudimentary way. Despite these problems, we went into the first qualifying session with the new tires in pouring rain. The car was absolutely undriveable and uncontrollable for me, and there were four spins, which were minor. I ended up 22nd on the grid, the furthest back I’ve ever been.

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The second qualifying session took place in the afternoon on an almost dry track. The car was a little better to drive, but the front axle was still unstable, especially when braking from higher speeds. After 20 minutes, we had over a liter of oil on the aluminum plate under the engine, which slowly spread into the interior. Nevertheless, I finished P4 on the grid.


Until the first race the next day, we tried to adjust the front axle better and find the reason for the oil loss. The exact cause remained unclear, so we tightened all possible lines and connections. My concern was that the oil could get onto the tires during the race.

The next day, I started the race surrounded by the V8 big bangers: two Shelby Cobras (including a Daytona Coupé) and a powerful TVR Griffith. I made up a place right at the start and was in P3. I started to chase the Cobra and the TVR

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After some laps I was able to overtake them. First test, first start, first overall win! A real surprise for me, even though the toughest opponents (Ford GT40 and two excellent Lotus 23s) were not there this time.

In the second race the following day, I started from pole position.

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But got a drive-through penalty for leaving the starting line. After I came out of the pit lane, the Cobra was ahead of me again. Nevertheless, I was also able to finish the second race again as overall winner.


I would really like to thank Alex Pleimes and his team at AP Historic Racing for the incredible job they have done in just five weeks.

Now we are fully committed to make the car more reliable and safe.

Keep the wheels spinning!

Some video impressions from on- and offboard:


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most of the photos and videos with credit to: Stefan Gerhauser


Gran Premio de Europa