A cocktail of historic and modern racing, this year’s Dijon Motors Cup, run in sunny October weather, was classed as a success by organiser Laurent Vallery-Masson. Amongst the seven invited foreign grids HSCC F2 was the top series, with SuperSixties and YTCC visiting from the Netherlands, while the Protos pre-90 was essentially a British Sports 2000 race with a few interlopers. Add P9 modern GT’s and Lotus Cup Europe and it is safe to say HVM would probably have preferred to have one or two extra series on board. Jan-Bart Broertjes reports…
The SuperSixties had two races. The first, billed as the ‘300 KM de Dijon + SuperSixties by NKHTGT’, in fact had none of the usual 300km cars and the SuperSixties had the grid to themselves. The low autumn sun caught out a few people in Friday’s qualifying session for this and red flags were called out for stranded cars. Fastest was Kennet Persson in his Ford GT40. The Michiel Campagne-Jasper Izaks Corvette GS was another visitor to the gravel, causing the session to be red flagged with a few minutes still to go, yet the Dutch crew still posted second fastest time.
The Saturday evening two-hour race, (or 300km) was a Lotus Elan versus Ford GT40 contest from start to finish. Bob Stevens, Philippe Vermast, Sander and Niek van Gils, Charlie and Ross Hyett all took the fight to Persson in the GT40 but, first the van Gils Elan was eliminated in an altercation with Persson, then Bob Stevens dropped back to fourth when his rear tyres gave up. The Hyetts and Vermast kept the pressure on and were only a few seconds behind the big V8 after two hours of hard racing. However, the post-race scrutineers took issue with the ignition of these cars and both were disqualified, promoting Bob Stevens to second. Next up was the GTS12 class winner Roelant de Waard in his Shelby GT350, who had swapped places several times with the Campagne/Izaks Corvette. Hemmo Vriend won the touring car class in his Ford Falcon from Ralf Wagner in his Lotus Cortina, while the Lotus Elite of Alexander Schlüchter was GTS4 winner.
Sunday’s second race was to be a short 30-minute affair, but actually turned out to be even shorter. With Persson again leading from the start, Michiel Campagne in the Corvette was lying second, harried by Stevens in the Lotus Elan, followed in close quarters by Roelant de Waard, who was under attack by Jop Rappange in the Porsche 904-6. Not far behind, Armand Adriaans in his AC Cobra had the Lotus Elans of Luc de Cock and Jos Stevens in his mirrors.
As all these battles got hotter, Frans van Maarschalkerwaart (Shelby GT350) was at the head of another train with Björn Hees (Ford Falcon), Nigel Winchester (AC Cobra) and Ralf Wagner (Lotus Cortina). Going into turn 5 the Falcon split an oil line and spun on its own oil, collecting the Cobra on the way. Both drivers were OK, and the bent cars quickly removed, while the field was circulating behind the Safety Car. The oil from the big V8 was another matter though. It was all over the track and there was no other option but to stop the race after 20 minutes. This meant the top eight remained as before. The ever improving Marc Morawietz took ninth in his Lotus Elan, while Christoph Germain finished 10th in his Jaguar E-type. Jaap van der Ende had an eventful race. First, he had a huge spin, then the Ford Falcon’s bonnet flew off. He still won the touring car division, from Ralf Wagner in his CT08 class winning Lotus Cortina and Hemmo Vriend in another CT10 Falcon.
In HSCC F2, a red flag in qualifying caused some confusion, several drivers having their best time deleted for not coming into the pits. Matthew Wrigley was worst off. All his times were scratched because his mechanic worked on the car while the reds were still out. It didn’t bother him much though, as he took just four laps to move his March 782 from the last row up to the place he would have started from, third, which is where he held station for the remainder of the race. Polesitter Matthew Watts led from start to finish in his March 772, but Manfredo Rossi kept him honest, less than a second behind at the flag. Rossi also set fastest lap in his Chevron B42. Mark Charteris (March 742) made a great start from sixth, running second after lap 1. He was still there on lap 2, then started dropping back and finally retired after nine laps. Alex Kapadia, Martin Wood and Mr. HVM, Laurent Vallery-Masson rounded out the top six, all in Marches. There were class wins for Roland Wiltschegg (Chevron B39), Luciano Arnold (Brabham BT36) and Mark Goodyear (March 75B). Finally, Victoria Huez was black flagged for being painfully slow in her March 722, not surprising as she had not completed a single lap in either free practice or qualifying.
On Sunday, Watts took the initiative from Rossi and Wrigley, but things did not go his way this time. It was all very close. On lap 3 Wrigley was in front, then on lap 4 the pack was upset by some oil on the track and Wrigley dropped to fourth. Rossi was now in the lead and put in some fast laps to pull out a small advantage. “I didn’t expect it, especially as Matthew Watts was very fast, we were all relatively compact in the first laps and all of a sudden there was oil everywhere on the circuit and we all went in all directions,” said the Italian. Alex Kapadia had moved up to second and did very well to stay ahead of the potentially faster pairing of Wrigley and Watts. After 19 laps, Rossi was first past the flag, 1.1 seconds ahead of Kapadia, with Wrigley just 0.1 and Watts a further 0.4 of a second behind. Watts did have the consolation of fastest lap. Vallery-Masson was fifth this time while Roland Wiltschegg came 6th and took another class win, as did Luciano Arnold and Mark Goodyear.
YTCC provided a mixed bag of cars as always. All three races were won at a canter by veteran Walter Hoffman in his McLaren M1C. The most entertaining scraps of the weekend were performed by Martin Glennie and Tim Joosen, who proved very equally matched in their TVR Tuscan Challenge racers.
The Protos pre-90 saw Charlie Hyett take three class wins in his Lola T87/90. It was a family affair, with brother Nick (Lola T88/90) taking three seconds and father Ross (Tiga SC87) three thirds. The class for older cars was won twice by Nik Johnson (Lola T592S) and once by Jon Harmer (Tiga SC80). Best looking car by far was Loic Esteves’ 1992 Peugeot 905, while it was nice to see a rare Chevron Sports 2000 out on track, pedalled by Erwan Huez from Luxembourg.
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