Espíritu de Montjuïc Barcelona 2019
|Group C Racing||CER1||CER2|
|2.0l Cup||Endurance Legends||Greatest Trophy|
|Touring Cup||Sixties Endurance|
Espiritu de Montjuic 5th-7th April 2019 – Event Report Jon Bunston
The 2019 Peter Auto season of historic car races got underway 5th-7th April at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit and is the 8th year of the event and run in conjunction with Escuderia Targa Iberia.
The Montmélo circuit featured all of the eight Peter Auto grids plus the local Iberian Historic Endurance championship.
With the replacement of Euro F2, addition of the Porsche 2.0l cup and Endurance Racing Legends, entries to this year’s event were up to 240, which reflects the further interest in both existing & new grids on offer to historic racers. This was evident in the established Group C, CER1 and CER2 grids which were all showing increased entries over last year’s event.
The introduction of the more modern cars within ERL gave the spectators the chance to see racing Aston Martin DBR9, Bentley Speed 8, Chrysler Viper, Ferrari 333 SP, Panoz Esperante GT1 and much more
Named after the park in Barcelona that used to host the Spanish F1 Grand Prix, the Espíritu de Montjuïc festival is an energetic combination of entertainment, historical and exotic machinery…and of course exciting racing.
The party atmosphere was in full swing in the paddocks with activities and entertainment for the crowd as well as a gathering of collector cars. The event heralds the start of spring, glorious weather and a new racing season.
Once again, both quality as well as quantity, was one of the outstanding features of the weekend, with spectators being treated to a Ferrari 250 GTO (1962), a 3.8-litre low-drag lightweight E-Type Jaguar (1963), an Alfa Romeo T33/TT3 (1972), a Lotus Esprit (1979), a Lola T600 (1981) and a Sauber C8 Kouros (1986).
Quantity was not lacking either, with 51 entries for Sixties’ Endurance including Alfa Romeos, Austin Healeys, Chevrolets, Fords, Jaguars, Lotus, MGs, Morgan, Porsches, Shelby’s, Triumphs and TVRs. Classic Endurance racing 1&2 contributed a further 75 entries to give some full and exciting grids.
Although Friday’s practice & qualifying sessions were interrupted with heavy showers, the weekend was mainly glorious sunshine enabling the race team to maximise this incredible circuit.
Group C Racing
With 21 entries which included the very strong Mercedes C11 in the hands of Kriton Lendoudis, three Silk Cut Jaguars, Tony Sinclair Spice SE90 and the very quick Peugeot 905 of Dominique Guenat this was going to be a great season opener. Missing this year were Michael and Frank Lyons but for 12 entrant this was their first visit to Barcelona in their respective cars.
Henrik Lindberg had brought his recently acquired Kouros C8 Sauber, Richard Mille in the Porsche 962C “ADA” and back into race trim as the Argo JM19C of Johannes Huber.
Fresh from last week at Paul Ricard in his Lola, Steve Tandy was expected to be on the pace in the Spice SE90C but a blown engine after first qualifying session regrettably cut short his weekend.
Qualifying for race two was badly affected by heavy rain and moving surface water, only 12 cars went out. This gave Vercoutere the opportunity to qualify is Jaguar XJR12 in what were very challenging conditions.
With a full grid and a dry & sunny start to Race 1 this had all the makings of a classic Group C race. Aguas in the C11 hooked the car up from the start and rocketed away from the rest of the pack, but with Muller in the XJR11 & Guenat in the Peugeot 905 hanging on to his tail. By the end of lap 1 the Merc was only 1.1 secs ahead.
The second place battle continued between Muller & Guenat, with the Peugeot getting the fastest lap of 1:40.1 on lap 4 and taking P2, only having to retire on lap 4. By lap 8 the Jaguar XJR11 was keeping the Merc honest with a gap of less than 0.5 secs, but on lap 9 the C11 retired with broken gear lever.
The attrition continued with Jaguar engine over revved and fell away to 4th, enabling Mike Wrigley in the #65 Spice SE89C to move into the led and win the race. With only 4 cars remaining on lap 23, the mechanics were going to have their work cut out for race two.
The #16 Porsche 962 of Zak Brown/Richard Dean was unable to make Race 2 and Vercoutere was able to substitute his broken XJR11 with the #88 XJR12. Again the C11, this time piloted by Kriton Lendoudis, was able to keep a healthy gap of 2 secs between France in the quick but difficult Nissan R90CK and the Peugeot. After pit stop and by lap 16, Lendoudis was back in the lead until the race end.
As with race 1 and a feature of the weekend, 31 & 27 were given a 1 minute penalty for pit lane speeding, which gave the race win to Guenat.
The C1 podium again saw Wrigley on the podium with 2nd place and Sinclair with 3rd
For the first of the Classic Endurance races, the 48 entry grid containing 5 GT40, 10 Chevrons, 11 Lolas, plus a Mclaren M8 and Monteverde’s Ferrari 512 was a very well turned out group of cars. Top 3 places from last year were not at the event so everything to play for.
The Ferrari topped qualifying, closely followed by the Chevron B19’s of Furiani & Bianco and David Hart’s Lola 70 less than a second off.
Despite getting fastest lap of 1:52.675 the Ferrari 512 could only hold the led to lap 3, before the rest of the 1 hour race became a battle between #134 Lola T70 HART and RODARRO’s beautiful #12 Porsche 917. The latter took the lead in lap 20 and held on with a gap of 3.16 secs
After a dry qualifying session GUENAT took pole in his Lola 286 with a lead of 1.8 secs over Goff/Fox in their Lola 292, followed as expected by Scemama (TOJ SC304),Patrice & Paul Lefarge Lola T298’s and Fletcher in Chevron B26.
The grid this year saw the Lola 600 return, this time in the hands of Yves Scemama, Eggimann in the very quick Cheetah G601, as well as Meiners in a Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo, a hat trick of TOJ SC 303,304,206 and a BMW M1 Procar driven by Sebastien Glaser.
It was a dry race for the impressive 30 car grid assembled and #50 Guenat in the Lola kept the first corner and lead over #52 Scemama to the flag with a 27.5sec lead. However a 30 sec penalty for pit lane speeding moved him to 3rd place, giving Scemama in the TOJSC304 the win and 2nd place went to #80 Fletcher Chevron B26
Endurance Racing Legends
After being created in 2018, this was the first visit to Barcelona for the Endurance racing Legends series. With a very pleasing start of season entry list of 21 cars, this brought an added twist to the weekend. The Bentley Speed 8 of Shaun Lynn, was attracting great paddock interest , with the rest of the grid exceptionally well turned out and prepared.
The Invitation class included Corvette Z06R’s of Lips and Seiler, Porsche 996 GT3 Cup and the stunning Ferrari 458 GTE 2011of Lindberg/Kok
The Proto A class were represented by Lecourt / Narac in a Ferrari 333 SP 1996 and Micheron in a Lola B98/10 1999, both as good looking as they are quick.
Race 1 pole was the Aston Martin DBR9 of Lendoudis/Aguas which was quickly overtaken lap 1 by the #33 Ferrari and dropped to 9th by the end of the race. With the Ferrari building a strong lead the Bentley was quickly closing the gap and had moved to 2nd place by lap 4 and ultimately bringing the 24 sec gap down to 0.3 sec by lap 9. It also set fastest lap of 1:41.021. Lynn continued to lead from lap 10 to conclusion finishing with a gap of 15.52 secs over the Ferrari, with Micheron in 3rd.
With the Bentley not starting race 2, based on race 1 it was going to be down to Micheron and Narac/Lecourt to fight for the honours. However from pole the #009 Aston Martin kept the lead until finally being overtaken by the Ferrari on lap 4. With Micheron retiring also on lap 4, Lendoudis get up the pressure and was rewarded with 2nd place only 20.8 seconds behind. 3rd place went to Seiler/Wiget in the #23 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 R 2010.
2.0 litre Cup
First time to Barcelona for 2.0 litre Cup for Porsche 911 and the 24 entries reflected the high hopes for this series.
Despite the very wet conditions during free practice on Friday, many of the cars went out as forecast for the weekend had been rain. Luckily qualifying on Saturday was dry and sunny and this reflected in the top 3 positions being taken by the elite drivers. With less than 0.6 sec covering the first 3, it was #64 Smith/Bryant taking pole, followed by #99 Watson/Kirkaldy & #77 Sumpter.
With Watson not starting, it was dominated by Smith/Bryant & Sumpter who changed positions several times during the race before finally on lap 19 Sumpter was able to take the lead. Continually harried by #64 the gap was down to 0.2 sec over the next 16 laps, before finally Smith/Bryant took the lead to the flag at lap 37 with a gap of 1.67 secs.
3rd place finally went to #35 Xavier Dayraut in the GTL class, who had battled with #72 Cook/Stanley for the final podium place.
Heritage Touring Cup
With 35 entries, which included 8 Capris, 9 Escorts & 12 BMW’s this was a fantastic opening event for any Heritage Touring Car fan…or anyone who grew up in the 70’s. These iconic vehicles were the motoring industry ‘s aspirational must have’s and look as good now as they did then. The preparation was second to none.
Last year’s winner Lopez as not here, so Steve Dance in his Capri 2600RS would be looking to better his 2nd place and in a dry qualifying he split the pack of three BMW 3.0 CSL(Trauber,Van Riet & Fermenich) to sit behind pole.
The Saturday 1hr race was therefore finely set and from the lights #116 Dance was all over the very quick #25 Traber and by lap 3 he had pulled out in front. Game on, and everyone was expecting a mammoth tussle. However on lap 5 a major leak forced the Capri back to the pits where it was considered terminal.
This allowed Traber’s BMW to lead for the rest of the race, finishing with a 12 sec gap over #40 Erlich in the black BMW 3.0 CSL
#51 Thierry de LATRE DU BOSQUEAU Escort 1600 RS 1975 took the honours for Ford, but it was an exciting spectator event by any standards, despite 6 cars were issued penalties for pit lane infringements.
The 43 entries were down from last year as drivers have moved to new series and the 2 hour race was always going to be dominated by some of the 13 Shelby Cobras that had been entered. A wet qualifying confirmed that with top 6 positions taken up with the Cobras’ 5th spot however had been taken by Sandy Watson’s 1957 Lotus 11 1500, which was just dancing around the track and puddles.
As expected the wet race was dominated by the Cobras, with #31 Firmenich pulling out a lead of 6 secs by lap 4 over #75 Hart. On lap 20 #53 France was able to pass and take second slot, before finally moving to the front on lap 23. France was able to maintain the lead until Hart passed on lap 31 until the race conclusion lap 51.
#22 Thierry de LATRE DU BOSQUEAU/Christophe VAN RIET had steadily moved into second place after overtaking France on lap 41, with #12 Gill moving into 3rd from lap 35.
However a steward’s decision excluded #75 Hart and #12 Caron from the results. In addition there were a further 11 cars issued with penalties
Now in it’s second year, the Greatest’s Trophy is a grid that includes cars that raced in endurance in the 1950-1960s. As these cars are now so valuable, the series works with strict ethical & driving rules to reduce risks & damage to the minimum. So it was very pleasing to see the 16 entries, 4 of which had been brought by the Vogele family.
With a wet qualifying session lap times were well down, but dominated by the JAGUAR Type E 3.8L Lightweight 1963 of Lukas & Martin Halusa.
In a dry Race 1, the E-Type again dominated, leading from start to finish, followed by # 156 Monteverde/Pearson FERRARI 250 GTO 1962 and in 3rd place 58 Yves Vogele PORSCHE 904/6 1964.
Race 2 saw #46 Bouriez’s Bizzarrini 5300 GT 1965 take podium, followed by #17 Halusa in the Jaguar and #41 Guzen in the 1966 FERRARI 275 GTB4.
GROUP C RACING
- WRIGLEY – SPICE SE89C 1989
- SINCLAIR – SPICE SE90C 1990
- VERCOUTERE/MÜLLER – JAGUAR XJR11 1989
Fastest Lap GUENAT 1:40.152
- GUENAT – PEUGEOT 905 EV1B 1993
- LENDOUDIS – MERCEDES BENZ C11 1989
- WRIGLEY – SPICE SE89C 1989
Fastest Lap GUENAT 1:40.458
CLASSIC ENDURANCE RACING 1
- RODDARO – PORSCHE 917 1969
- HART – LOLA T70 Mk III B 1969
- FURIANI/O’CONNELL – CHEVRON B 19 1971
Fastest Lap MONTEVERDE 1:52.675
CLASSIC ENDURANCE RACING 2
- SCEMAMA – TOJ SC 304 1976
- FLETCHER – CHEVRON B26 1974
- GUENAT – LOLA T 286 1976
Fastest Lap GUENAT 1:46.033
2.0 litre Cup
- SMITH / BRYANT – Porsche 911
- SUMPTER – Porsche 911
- DAYRAUT – Porsche 911
Fastest Lap SMITH 2:13.894
ENDURANCE RACING LEGENDS
- LYNN – BENTLEY Speed 8 2003
- LECOURT/NARAC -FERRARI 333 SP 1996
- MICHERON – LOLA B98/10 1999
Fastest Lap LYNN 1:41.021
- NARAC/LECOURT – FERRARI 333 SP 1996
- AGUAS /LENDOUDIS – ASTON MARTIN DBR9 2007
- SEILER/WIGET – CHEVROLET Corvette Z06 R 2010
Fastest Lap LECOURT 1:41.112
HERITAGE TOURING CUP
- TRABER – BMW 3.0 CSL 1975
- ERLICH – BMW 3.0 CSL 1975
- LATRE DU BOSQUEAU – FORD Escort 1600 RS 1975
Fastest Lap ERLICH 1:58.130
THE GREATEST’S TROPHY
- HALUSA/HALUSA – JAGUAR Type E 3.8L Lightweight 1963
- MONTEVERDE/PEARSON – FERRARI 250 GTO 1962
- VÖGELE – PORSCHE 904/6 1964
Fastest Lap HALUSA 2:09.996
- BOURIEZ – BIZZARRINI 5300 GT 1965
- HALUSA/HALUSA – JAGUAR Type E 3.8L Lightweight 1963
- GIJZEN – FERRARI 275 GTB4 1966
Fastest Lap HALUSA 2:10.74
- LATRE DU BOSQUEAU/VAN RIET – SHELBY COBRA 289 1964
- GILL – SHELBY COBRA 289 1965
- FRANCE-FRANCE – SHELBY COBRA 289 1964
Fastest Lap HART 2:05.141
- HART/HART – FORD GT40
- MACEDO/SILVA – FORD GT40 ROADSTER
- VON DER LIEKE/KELLENERS – DE TOMASO PANTERRA
Fastest Lap NOLTE 2:01.848
- HART/HART – FORD GT40
- MACEDO/SILVA – SHELBY COBRA
- BASTOS REZERDE/PAIS DO MARAL – PORSCHE 911 3.0RS
Fastest Lap HART 2:00.776