SPA-Classic: A record event

Throughout the weekend the glorious sounds of historic racing cars resounded all round the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit. On the track and off, Spa-Classic fulfilled all its promises setting new records for spectators, more than 20 000.

After a slight fall in numbers last year, Peter Auto and its partners, in particular EFG and Zenith as well as the Bonhams auction house, mobilised their efforts to broke the record attendance of 20 000 spectators set in 2015.

On Friday, Spa-Francorchamps lived up to its reputation as it was raining when the entrants arrived at the Belgian circuit. The clouds vanished on Saturday and Sunday.

Eight grids totalling just over 300 cars ensured the on-track spectacle. Endurance fans got their full dose of thrills with the Sixties’ Endurance, the Trofeo Nastro Rosso, CER 1 and 2 and Group C Racing. Five Peter Auto grids assembled a large number of prototypes and GTs that had raced in the Spa 1000 km in the past: Ford GT 40s, Jaguar Type Es, Shelby Cobras, Ferrari 250 LMs, Porsche 962s, etc. There was also a scattering of more recent models like an Audi R8 from the 2001 Le Mans 24 Hours and a Maserati MC12 that raced in the 2005 Spa 24 Hours.

Single-seaters made their comeback this year with the new Euro F2 Classic grid which attracted 19 cars that were responsible for the glory days of the European Championship between 1967 and 1978, as well as a field of 50 Formula Vees!

While practice and racing never let up spectators could leave the trackside for a few minutes – or even a few hours – to admire the 1400 collector cars on display. On Sunday, the 180 crews in the Youngtimer Rally joined up.

Sunday Spa-Classic hosted an auction by Bonhams for the fourth time in its history. The star of the show was the perennially popular 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster, which achieved an astonishing €1,127,000 against a pre-sale estimate of €600,000-800,000.