Spa 6 Hours Revisited

It’s been a few months since the 2016 Spa 6 Hours classic endurance race and we’ve had time to reflect on what was an undeniably challenging weekend.

We arrived at Spa with two cars: the Guards Red 3.0 RS and our 1965 911 2-litre, which had finished as highest-placed Porsche in the 2015 6 Hours of Spa. The weather was dry and we had great expectations for a decent weekend on our favourite European circuit.

After the problems at Donington, where the RS was t-boned by another car, causing major damage to one rear corner and bending the rear suspension pickups and the 2-litre retired with a broken distributor, it was great to be back in Belgium with two healthy cars, both looking smart.

That delight was short lived. Spa is a long circuit and can afford to host big entry lists, but sadly not all of the entrants are suitably qualified to be on a race track. Despite great pace in qualifying, the 2-litre came a cropper when another driver hit the offside rear quarter, giving it a healthy dent and taking the shine off our early running.

The RS suffered another difficult weekend. We had the seat from our RSR fitted, which we had not spotted was out of date for racing. The scrutineers passed it and let us on track, but as the race progressed and we flew past third place and honed in on second, we were black-flagged for the seat.

Ultimately it’s our own fault for missing the seat date, but cloak-and-dagger officialdom is never easy to take. We ended the weekend with a class win in sportscars, lapping all of the other cars in our class, so it was not all bad news for the red RS.

As for the big event of the weekend, the 1965 911 started the 6 Hours on song and made it up to 18th overall within the first hour. The pace was perfect for another great finish, but then the gear lever snapped off going into Eau Rouge.

Mark managed to unscrew one of the passenger seat harness eye bolts, wedging it into the ball of the shifter to get back to the pits using fourth and fifth gears. We tried various attempts to fix, but had to retire the car in the end, along with some more body damage to the front wing and bumper due to other cars wandering around on the racing line. Behold the ups and downs of motorsport!

At the end of the weekend, the RS was the only car in our garage of six that had finished a race! We took our minds off it by starting preparations for 2017, when we also hope to debut our super lightweight 911R. Here’s to next year!

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