Van de Vyver Series – Dijon & Nogaro
The Van de Vyver Historic and Modern Challenge events stopped off at Nogaro last weekend (September 18-19): first, a quick look back to the Modern Challenge race at the previous meeting at Dijon-Prénois (August 28-29) – writes Pascal Thebault.

A line-up of fifty five cars filled the grid for the four hours + five minutes Modern Challenge race.

Two Norma M20s fought for the victory, the chequered flag finally falling for Haezebrouck / Vassal, followed a few seconds later by Baillet / Herbeth.

Third place went to the GT3-R of the Germans Kierdorf / Ganz, another Norma was fourth, with the Radical SR3 of Gerard Larrousse / Olivier in fifth position, followed by Dove / Greaves (Lucchini SP 208), and then Michel Neugarten sharing a 911.

The ultra fast Bicknell - #4 above - of Pashley / Greensall was (again) on pole position (Greensall’s third from four races), and took an early lead, but an electrical problem under the dashboard lost them 26 laps: they returned to the track and drove flat out… only to have the alternator fail.

Dijon Result
1. Haezebrouck / Vassal (Norma M20)
2. Baillet / Herbeth (Norma M20)
3. Kierdorf / Ganz (Porsche GT3 R)
4. Arezina / Rouede (Norma M20)
5. Larrousse / Olivier (Radical SR3)
6. Dove / Greaves (Lucchini SP 208)
7. Richard / Neugarten (Porsche 996 RS)
8. Chapon / Da Rocha (Radical SR3)
9. Moreau / Langin (Porsche 964 RSR)
10. Dupont / Giavedoni (Caterham)
11. Perrier / Rautureau (CVO) …

The 3 Hours of Nogaro - September 19

The Bicknell was fastest in qualifying last weekend (Greensall again – four from five), followed by the fastest of the Normas, then Yann Goudy in the CvO. Greensall and Pashley had a wire vibrate off the coil, causing a misfire, but having been quickest early on in the 60 minute session, Greensall had to go out right at the end to try and re-take pole, which he managed by eight-tenths.

Qualifying Times
1 C3 1 GREENSALL Nigel - PASHLEY Mark Bicknell 1:29.047
2 CN 1 VIGUE Michel - PELLEFIGUE Henri Norma M20 1:29.820
3 C3 2 GOUDY Yann - RAUTUREAU Romain CVO 1:30.354
4 CN 2 BAILLET Christophe - HERBETH Jean Louis Norma M20 1:31.033
5 CN 3 HAEZEBROUCK Philippe - LE ROCH Jean François Norma M20 1:31.220
6 CN 4 SNAIDERO Mario - IBANEZ José Norma M20 1:31.523
7 CN 5 HOTTINGUER Philippe - FILHOL Alain Norma M20 1:33.149
8 CN 6 TREMBLAYE Gilles - PAPIN Philippe Norma M20 1:34.231
9 GT3 1 RICHARD Jean Paul - PERRIER Thierry Porsche 996 RS 1:34.671
10… C3 3 DEMIGNEUX Christian - OLLIVIER Claude Radical SR3 1:34.847
…19 GT3 2 LLOYD Allen - WAINWRIGHT Gerry Jaguar XK8 1:39.136
20 GT3 3 LLOYD Peter - VAN de VYVER Eric Porsche 996 RSR 1:39.250

Locals Michel Vigue and Henri Pellefigue (literally: “fig peeler”) work at the Nogaro Circuit as instructors. They don’t have a budget for a full season, and typically only race ‘at home’. But having been familiar with Nogaro since its construction in the 1960s, they’re very quick.

The opening period of the race saw a great battle at the front, Greensall leading from the locals’ Norma and Goudy in the CvO, but the latter crashed in traffic. The Bicknell dropped out of the top ten at its first stop for fuel and a driver change, but was back up to third after the others had stopped. Greensall hopped in for the last stint – but the input shaft to the gearbox failed: that didn’t stop the British driver pushing it a kilometer and a half back to the pits.

So victory went to the two, very happy, local drivers (below), in front of all the Van de Vyver regulars.

Second and third were Mario Snadeiro / Jose Ibanez (Norma M20) and Brian Casey / Tony Holdich (RSR Racing Radical SR3). Casey and Holdich had managed to eke their fuel out so that they made just one stop, at half way, but the Radical ran out half a lap from the chequered flag (still classified third).

dailysportscar.comThe GT class brought a surprise, with the victory of the humble #21 Caterham of Munier / Tironneau (eighth overall), on the same lap as the following Porsche GT3 RSR of Lloyd / Van de Vyver.

Just a trivial detail: the Caterhams were driven away from FFSA GT in ’99, thanks to the phenomenal performances of Philippe Gache.

More trivia: the Bicknell is currently the only one in the world, and was built in 1995. Designer and constructor Rob Bicknell has had a lot of interest from potential purchasers, so two new chassis should appear in 2005, with the existing car being put up for sale.

The next rounds will be the 3 Hours of Lédenon (October 9 and 10) and a 12 hour race at Magny-Cours in early November.

1. Vigue-Pellefigue / Norma M20
2. Snaidero-Ibanez / Norma M20
3. Casey-Holdich / Radical SR3
4. Arezina-Rouede / Norma M20
5. Filhol-Hottinguer / Norma M20
6. Roy-Chauvière / Norma M20
7. Louail-Georget / EMA
8. Munier-Tironneau / Caterham
9. Polfliet-Bernigaud / Radical SR3
10. Lloyd-Van de Vyver / Porsche 996 GT3 RSR
… (38 classifieds)

Points Standings
1. Hottinguer (Norma M20): 121 points
2. Haezebrouk (Norma M20): 106
3. Primat (Norma M20): 103
4. Dupont (Caterham): 82
5. Ollivier (Radical SR3): 75
6. Giavedoni (Caterham): 74
7. Arezina, Rouede: 69
8. Le Roch (Norma M20): 65


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