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C.E.R. - Silverstone 2011

9-10 September 2011
C.E.R. - Silverstone 2011
12/09/2011 -

After two months of a summer break, the Classic Endurance Racing returned on the track on the occasion of the six-hours of Silverstone for the fourth meeting of the season. As it has always happened in this English appointment, we saw an unusual number of cars on the track to demonstrate what makes the owner’s of vintage cars be so keen of the racing events in the Anglo-Saxon countries. Among more remarkable new entries there was a beautiful Toj Sc302, one of the most interesting car wanted by Jorg Obermoser, who distinguished himself at the end of the seventies in the World Endurance and Interseries Championship, and finally taken to the track by Wilkins-Catlow.

Due to a variable and unforeseeable weather, the two qualifying sessions offered a chance to highlight the drivers who were usually in reserve positions, and at the same time damaged the most reliable drivers: thus a very fast O’Connell has taken his first pole just preceding by over a second the Toj, the new entry, and the crew made by Lauwers-Regout in the Lola T296. Meantime, Da Rocha, Knapfield, Lafargue, Scemama and Quiniou had to be content with the reserve positions between the fourth and seventh row.

The difficult weather conditions became more complicate in the minutes before the start of the race, with rain showers alternating on various sections of the track. The British drivers were less worried as they knew how to live well with the climate of their country and argued that it would be difficult it came to rain, just when all others gazed thoughtfully at the sky. Among them, there were also Nahun and Pierre Nicolet, already out of the race after parking their cars at the trackside during practice: for once they had to settle with the role of spectators. What happened after a while proved, however, that even the British drivers may be wrong from time to time: while cars were running the formation lap, a brief but intense rain fell in the area of the new starting: O’Connell took immediately the lead while behind him Deman at the wheel of the Osella PA4 impetuously took away the second position to the Lola driven by Lauwers-Regout. Behind the first two drivers, thanks to Busst’s immediate retirement, unexpectedly arrived Wills and Lacroix, whose drive clean and precise well suited to wet asphalt. On the contrary, the protagonists of this championship had little luck, with Quiniou who had a spin. Da Rocha, in the effort of not running into him, prematurely finished his race in the sand banks, and Knapfield, after a spin, realized that with the 712 in these conditions he could only park in the pit lane. A little farther on, even Scemama didn’t smile, whose Sauber was forced into the pits for a problem of plugs, while Lafargue after a good start, an error obliged him to a furious recovery. Ahead of all, O’Connell began a flight that ended under the checkered flag with a deserved win, while the fight for the other two steps of podium was renewed from mid-race, thanks to the track that was drying which favoured most talented drivers. Guenat, after being protagonist of a fine duel with Lauwers-Regout, anticipated the mandatory pit-stop more than his rivals, taking a certain advantage and finding himself third little after the mid-race; but Osella with Deman seemed this year really unlucky and after few laps from the end the Belgian had to park his car with the engine on fire. Behind the first two drivers, Wills ended on the podium at his debut in CER, while the fourth place was gained by Lacroix, after a very strong race. On the contrary, the debut of Toj appeared difficult: he was sixth on the finishing line after a spin in the final stages that made it useless the good recovery that had taken the car up to the fourth place. A look at the other classes with the unquestionable victory of Watson in P1, before Bernard Thuner in the Lola T70, who was able in the last laps to control the return of Olivier Cazalieres at the wheel of a Chevron B16 Mazda. In GT2 continued the winning streak of victories of the McInerneys in the BMW M1, before Foveny-Roitmayer with their Porsche 935, while in GT1 Ball gained an easy win, followed by the usual group of Porsche 911 cars among them the Porsche driven by Bernard Moreau stood out, even if its performance was disappointing in the first part of the season.





article by Marco Zanello
Photo Giacomo Zanello - Marco Zanello

Vai Alla Gallery  Photogallery " Classic Endurance Racing - Silverstone 2011

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