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John Tordoff and Andrew Jordan Win Spa 3 Hours

  • Seven different cars led the race

  • Three British manufacturers in the Top-3

  • Lotus wins again the Index of Performance

Night was already descending over the Belgian Ardennes as John Tordoff and Andrew Jordan, behind the wheel of a Lotus Elan, quietly crossed the finish line of the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps to celebrate a well-deserved victory in the 3 Hours of Spa. This race, the fourth and longest of the Iberian Historic Endurance season, marked the culmination of a summer weekend in the province of Liege, where the region's infamous bad weather conditions were conspicuously absent.

Once again, the extensive grid of the Iberian Historic Endurance provided an excellent race on the “plus beau circuit du Monde," bringing together over 150 drivers from twelve different countries for a magnificent clash between Touring and Grand Touring cars dating back to 1976.

As Saturday afternoon drew to a close, the qualifying session showcased the Ginetta G4R (H-1965) of the Danish duo Palle Pedersen and Nicolai Kjaergaard, securing the pole position. They were joined in the front row by the Porsche 911 3.0 RS (H-1976) of their compatriot Lars Rolner and local driver Pierre-Alain Thibaut. The second row of the grid featured the TVR Griffith 200 driven by Britons Harry Barton and Oliver Reuben (H-1965) and the pink Porsche 911 3.0 RS (H-1976) piloted by Danish duo Annette Rolner and Michael Holden. The third row consisted of the Shelby Cobra Daytona driven by Brice Pineau, Oliver Muytjens, and Grégoire Audi, as well as the Jaguar Type-E steered by Rhea Sautter and Andrew Newall.

The first hour of the race was a tough one, taking the Ginetta (abandoned) but still setting the best lap of the race, and the fastest TVR Griffith 200 (a long pit stop), catapulting the two Rolner family Porsche's into the lead. However, a safety-car brought the field together for the remaining two hours of the race.

Luck was not on the Rolner family's side, and as the clock ticked down to the halfway point of the race, the pink Porsche 'stalled' in the second sector of the track, while the car bearing Martini Racing colours would sink down the standings seven laps later after having completed six laps at the top of the standings. Between these two misfortunes, the Jaguar E-Type of Sautter and Newall moved into the race lead by two laps.

By the end of the second hour, the Shelby Cobra of Charlie Allison and Peter Thompson was taking the lead, chased by the Ford Shelby Mustang 350 GT of the Devis family, who would retire with two laps to go, and the Shelby Cobra of Jacques Catelein, Kurt Dujardin and Marc Duez - the former rally driver who made a name for himself in the circuits by winning the 24 Hours of Nurburgring and the 24 Hours of Spa. As the two Cobra cars made their final pit stops, the Lotus Elan of Alexis, Christian and Lando Graf von Wedel moved into first place, a position it held for just three laps.

Running quietly but consistently in the top six, the Lotus Elan, driven by John Tordoff (father of former BTCC driver Sam Tordoff) and Andrew Jordan, the 2013 BTCC champion, made its presence known in the final ten laps. This nimble British car proved impervious to troubles and showcased remarkable pace in the latter stages of the race. With half an hour remaining, the duo surged into the lead and never relinquished their position, securing victory and succeeding the previous two years' winners, Christophe Van Riet and Fred Bouvet, who encountered problems with their ‘new' Chevrolet Corvette during the practice session.

During the penultimate lap, the impressive E-Type driven by Sautter and Newall triumphed over the Graf von Wedel clan's Elan in the battle for second place, resulting in a podium occupied by British manufacturers and competitors in the H-1965 class.

Justice for H-1976 and surprise for H-1965

Justice was served in the H-1976 class as Rolner and Thibaut showcased their customary speed and celebrated a well-deserved victory. Making an impressive debut on the challenging seven-kilometer circuit, Portuguese drivers Bruno Santos and Cláudio Vieira secured an excellent second place in their Porsche 911 3.0 RS, not that far behind the winning car. Joining them on the H-1976 podium was a Ford Escort RS2000 representing the western end of Europe. Portuguese trio Ricardo Pereira, Fernando Gaspar, and newcomer André Pardal delivered an almost flawless performance, earning a deserving third position.

In a surprising turn of events, the trio of Eric Douart, Guy Chriqui, and Eric Parsinski claimed victory in the H-1971 class. Driving a BMW 2800 CS, these Frenchmen steadily climbed the rankings throughout the race, overtaking the leading Alfa Romeo GTAm driven by Volker Hichert and Bjorn Ebsen from Germany. Completing the podium in the H-1971 class were the experienced Portuguese-German duo of José Carvalhosa and Christian Oldendorff.

Father and son conquer the Index of Performance

The victory in the Index of Performance classification was not only achieved by Jos Stevens and Bob Stevens, who had reasons to celebrate as they topped the standings. Surpassing Nigel Adams and Lyndon Griffin in their Lotus Elan S1, as well as Volker Hichert and Bjorn Ebsen in their Alfa Romeo GTAm, the Dutch father and son duo took home a coveted "Latin soul and Swiss heart" watch from the prestigious watchmaker Cuervo y Sobrinos.

Diogo Ferrão, CEO of Race Ready, expressed immense satisfaction with the event at Spa, stating, "This race once again proved to be one of the highlights on our calendar, with a large number of participants and a fantastic atmosphere of healthy competition both on the track and in the pits. The battles on the track were always intriguing for both the spectators and the drivers.”

Following this thrilling race at the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit, the Historic Endurance series is now taking a well-deserved summer break. It will return in full force with the traditional race on the Estoril Classics program, which has already established itself as one of the world's premier classic racing events, on October 7th and 8th.


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