This spectacular event celebrated its 30th anniversary traditionally on the last weekend of September at the legendary Spa Francorchamps circuit.
For me it is the end of the season for historic motorsport every year but one of the best every year.
Large starting fields with spectacular racing cars are always there. Especially the six-hour race on Saturday is worth every trip there. It starts at 4 pm and lasts until deep darkness at 10 pm. This time, the starting field again included an armada of Ford GT40s that set the pace from the very beginning.
But the circuit of Spa Francorchamps with its notorious sections like Eau Rouge, Blanchimont or Les Chombes, almost idyllically embedded in the beautiful Ardennes landscape, is a real challenge for the drivers and the race cars. To master all this at racing speed in absolute darkness is impressive.
For me as a photographer, it is always exciting to walk the course and to look for and find new perspectives. There is motor sport with historic and classic racing cars, which is also characterised by the idea of competition. Nobody drives there just for fun, they drive fast and always at the limit. The thought of winning the race or at least being victorious in one’s own racing class inspires all the drivers. This will to win on the part of all participants always makes this event worthwhile.
The famous traditional race track in Belgium has a lot to offer the drivers and requires a fair amount of courage in some places.
From the La Source hairpin, the track goes downhill past the old pit area into the Eau Rouge depression, a slight left-hand bend. There, the car is pushed hard into the springs before a slight right-hand bend leads steeply uphill. Here the driver of a racing car sees only the sky for a few seconds and then, after a slight left turn on the crest of the hill, turns into the long straight Kemel.
This is an important key point, because whoever drives faster through Eau Rouge will then have an easy time overtaking on the long uphill straight. Especially with the historic racing cars, I think there is a big difference between high speed and grip and maybe also courage in the many curves. This creates exciting battles for positions in the races.
As always, the FIA Masters series were at the start of the Spa Six Hours. The Masters Racing Legends, the Formula 1 racing cars from 1966 – 1985 were at the start as well as the Master Sporstcars and the Masters Endurance Legends. These three racing series were the fastest of the weekend. In addition, the Pre 66 GT race cars and the Gentlemans Trophy were also present.
One of my favourite races is always the Historic Grand Prix Car association with the Grand Prix cars up to and including 1961, both front-engined and mid-engined.
The anniversary event of the Spa Six Hours was, as always, a feast for all the senses. For me, it remains one of the best meetings for historic motorsport in continental Europe.
You can read the results and everything you need to know about this event on the website at www.spasixhours.com.
You should definitely not miss the Spa Six Hours next year.
Until then you may have a look at the pictures here. Find out more about our photographer Ralph Lüker.