2003 Miles of Spa – Reports Three & Four

Sunday Morning

It's rather unusual but no major incidents really happened during the night. This means that the reliability of the Silhouettes has surprised everybody. Except for the Audi, out after the accident yesterday evening, and the #10 Pino BMW (engine), no frontrunners met significant problems overnight.

This has kept the race alive, with only 1 lap between the leading Jaguar and the Duller BMW. The stops will now determinate the race. The Vosse BMW runs longer stints and should only stop once more (as this is written) and the Jaguar still has two stops to do. Another endurance race to be decided in the box...

The third spot on the podium is a fight among three BMWs. So, we have a nice race, good weather and thanks to the organizers, good food too.

The Standings At 11.00

1. #9 Jaguar 381 laps
2. #2 Duller BMW -1lap
3. #55 Belgium Racing BMW -15 laps
4. #8 KS BMW -17 laps
5. #6 Lupant BMW -18 laps
6. #38SSR Honda Civic - 20 laps (1st in -2000 cc)
7. #75 CE BMW - 25 laps
8. #11 Pino BMW - 27 laps
9. #33 Duller BMW -29 laps
10. #21 Wilmi Honda Integra -44 laps

14. #84 A+ Toyota Yaris (1st in -1600 cc) - 58 l

Final Report

At 12.00, the race seems to find its final destination. The #2 BMW starts to have engine problems, producing a low 5-cylinder sound instead of the regular 6-cylinder hum. On top of this the car hits one of the little Yaris, causing some front left damage and the loss of six more laps. The Jaguar is now leading by over seven laps and still turning like a Swiss watch. What a car, what a performance…

Right behind the leading duo, three BMWs are still in an intense battle for third. Two regular Belcar squads (#55 & #8) are leading the Lupant BMW, but nothing is decided yet.

A bizarre moment in this race is avoided when the #2 BMW leaves its pit box and the #9 Jaguar (neighbour box) is entering at the very same moment. Only the last second reaction of David Sterckx prevents a very stupid crash between the two leading cars.

The #9 Jaguar has a broken starter motor and has to be pushed out of the pitlane, causing the crew to get nervous as every stop could now mean the end of the race. Once the car is on the track this isn’t a problem anymore, but stopping is a great risk. But no more worries, because after 2003 miles the #9 Jaguar crosses the line, winning this great race.

Further down everybody seems to be a winner. Real amateur squads running a Peugeot 205 or a VW Lupo are as delighted as the MI crew. Endurance is great entertainment with professional teams racing, but also deserves its chance in a gentlemen’s championship. Let’s come back for the 2004 miles next year!

Result

1. #9 Jaguar X-Type Sterckx-Thiry-Dermont-Heydens 464 laps
2. #2 Duller BMW M3 Vosse-Peter-Wolf-Quester Sr - 5
3. #55 BR BMW M3 Meynaert-Mathieu-Voets-Verhoeven - 18
4. #8 KS BMW STW Van Bellingen-Leysens-Haugg - 19
5. #6 Lupant BMW Silh. Slaus-Stelandre-Radermecker - 20
6. #38 SSR Honda Civic R Green-Schmitt-Halsmer-Hein (-2000 cc) - 24
7. #11 Pino BMW Silh. Corbisier-Nef-Delobe-Lemeret - 31
8. #75 CH BMW M3 Heck-Thelen-Vannerum-Haddouche - 33
9. #33 Duller BMW M3 De Thoisy-Du Poix-Hazebrouck - 35
10. #21 Wimi Honda Integra Galand-Raxhon-Wilders-Menage - 53

13. #84 A+ Yaris Van de Plas-Meert-Liard (-1600 cc) - 68

Driver Quotes

Vosse: “We had several little problems and incidents during this race. Probably, we lost the race due to these incidents. I believe that our car is faster but we lacked preparation. But second overall isn’t too bad at all. MI (Jaguar) is a really professional team with lots of experience and they deserve to win. But I’m somewhat surprised by the speed and reliability of the Silhouettes, as is almost everybody.”

Claude Bourgoignie (#69 BMW M5): “The car was built in 1982 and raced for several years in several championships in Belgium. It won the 24 hours of Mettet in ’85 and last raced in 1999. Myself, I drove my last modern race in 1991, so I had a little break too… My friends and I just drive for fun and it’s great to see the car finish!”

Verhoeven (#55 BMW): “Third is wonderful, we have had a great season as we are actually second in TA in Belcar and we finished on the podium here. I think this race has all the possibilities to grow and the organizers should promote it even more. Touring is back…”

© JF Lemmens & Joost Custers

dailysportscar.com

 

Contents Copyright © dailysportscar.com. All Rights Reserved.