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Spa 3h: Win for the Shelby Cobra of the home aces

- Three-hour of pure classic car racing in Ardennes

- Christophe Van Riet/Fred Bouvy repeat 2021 triumph

- Lotus wins Performance Index

Christophe Van Riet/Frédéric "Fred" Bouvy in a Shelby Cobra drove to a convincing victory in the 6th edition of the 3 Hours of Spa, repeating the feat achieved in the last edition of the longest race of the Historic Endurance season.

On Saturday evening in the Ardennes, sixty-nine exceptional classic cars lined up on the starting grid for the longest race of the Spa Summer Classic programme. The No. 1 Shelby Cobra of the "home racers" quickly pulled away from the Lotus Elan of Graham Wilson/David Pittard, who started from second, but lost several places in the first part of the race. Spa-Francorchamps Circuit specialists Christophe Van Riet and Fred Bouvy were closely pursued by the Porsche 911 3.0 RS of the Danish team of Lars Rolner/Pierre-Alain Thibaut. However, the Belgians from Gipimotor only lost the lead in the first round of pit stops. With sharp driving and a strong pace, the Belgian duo were the only ones able to complete 58 laps on one of the most demanding tracks in the world.

While it soon became apparent at the top of the race that it would be very difficult to dethrone the Belgian duo under normal race conditions, the fight for second place was naturally more exciting. As the race progressed, however, the Anglo-German duo of Andy Newall and Rhea Sautter gradually managed to impose their Jaguar E-Type on the Porsche driven by the Danish Lars Rolner and the 1992 Belgian Touring Car Champion, Pierre-Alain Thibaut. With this result, the 911 3.0 S duo, who even led the race, achieved a flawless triumph in the H-1976 class.

Michael and Kallum Gray were the fourth to take the chequered flag, but the British duo in the Jaguar E-Type had reason to smile, as with this result they climbed the final step of the podium in the competitive H-1965 class.

The "Top-5" was completed with another car driven by a female racer, in this case the Porsche 911 3.0 RS that also came from the Kingdom of Denmark to be driven by Annette Rolner and Michael Holden, and that at the end of the race celebrated the second place of the H-1976. The podium in this category was completed by the Porsche 911 3.0 RS of the French pair Cyrille Prevel/Patrice Chapon.

After Friday's close qualifying session, a very lively race was expected on the "toboggan des Ardennes" in the H-1971 category. However, life was soon made easier for the famous 'Paris Match' Alfa Romeo 2000 GTAm of the French-speaking Grégoire Colinet/Guillaume Colinet when the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA of German pair Peter Praller/Gilbert Wurth DNF on lap two and the Ford Mustang 302 Boss of Belgian trio Emiel de Weerdt/Luc Branckaert/Bjorn Kabergs stopped two laps later. The Alfa Romeo 2000 GTAm of German duo Bjorn Ebsen/Volker Hichert was second at the flag, while fellow Germans Ralf Schnitzer/Torsten Tim Mueller took the Datsun 240Z to a surprising third place.

Lotus wins Index of Performance

The competition promoted by Race Ready, which stands out for its "Gentleman Driver" spirit and which is based on the "No Crashing, No Cheating, No Complaining" concept, once again rewarded the winner of the Performance Index with an example of the prestigious Swiss watchmaker Cuervo y Sobrinos.

Victory in the Index of Performance, which values the best performance according to age, cylinder capacity and type of car, was once again won by a car from the British Lotus brand. Driving an agile Elan 26 R, Bruce White/Steve Monk beat Andy Newall/Rhea Sautter (Jaguar E-Type) and Bjorn Ebsen/Volker Hichert (Alfa Romeo 2000 GTAm) by a narrow margin.

For Diogo Ferrão, CEO of Race Ready, this weekend "had a very positive balance. It is great to return to this huge stage of world motorsport in an event that is gaining its tradition. It was the first time that a car of the same model repeated the victory in a race where there are always many fights throughout the long and impressive field. Despite the fun fights, everyone had an excellent behaviour in terms of track behaviour."

The next Historic Endurance race will be the first this year in Portugal. More than 40 teams from 5 different nationalities are already registered for the race which is part of the Algarve Summer Classic programme and will be held in a month's time, on the weekend of 30 and 31 July, at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.


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