Spa Classic 2017: Tough competition on the Belgian Rollercoaster
Last weekend, the Spa-Francorchamps circuit hosted the historic Spa Classic 2017. Famous for its rain, curves and constant up and downhill stretches, the racetrack has been dubbed the “Belgian Rollercoaster”. With 300 cars on the racetrack and 20,000 spectators, this year’s event was a great success.
As is traditional, the Spa Classic 2017 featured GTs and racecars from the 1960s to the early 2000s, including a legendary Maserati MC12 and a celebrated Group C car: the Sauber Mercedes C11 once driven by Michael Schumacher. Several day and night-time training runs and qualifiers were held during the weekend in addition to the 14 races.
Spectators were able to watch as classic cars that normally live a cozy life in collections competed against each other on the racetrack. The Sixties Endurance grid for example featured Jaguar E-Types, as well as an armada of Shelby Cobras and Mustangs and early Porsche 911s. Glorious Italian cars of the 1960s could be seen on the Trofeo Nastro Rosso grid, with models including a Ferrari 275 GTB/C, a Bizzarini 5300 GT and a Maserati T61.
The Heritage Touring Cup at the Spa Classic 2017 celebrated “youngtimers” of the ‘70s and ‘80s. These included souped-up Volvo 240Ts, Ford Escorts and Ford Capris. After a successful appearance at Tour Auto 2017, some BMW 3.0 CSLs also impressed in Belgium. This particular BMW is becoming a valuable collector’s item. According to Hagerty, prices have risen significantly since mid-2016. As you can see in the video, however, the drivers didn’t seem to be thinking about the value of their precious cars once the racing began:
Over the years, the Spa Classic has also become an important meeting for car clubs. In 2017, they brought 1,400 classics to be admired by spectators. Organizer Peter Auto also held a “youngtimer” rally on Sunday for 180 cars, while Bonhams sold several interesting classic cars at its auction.
For more information, please visit the Spa Classic website.
All pics courtesy of and © Julien Mahiels.