The final round of the Motor Racing Legends Pre-War Sports Car Series 2004, held at Spa September 17–18, was narrowly won by Hubert Fabri and Adrian Stoop in their 1933 Alfa Romeo 8c Monza. Victory came only after a nail-biting battle with the similar 8c Monza owned by Bill Ainscough and ably driven by James Baxter. “We had three or four exchanges with the other Monza,” said Baxter who, having never tackled Spa before, had learnt the circuit by bicycle the previous day. “I’d get him under braking at the Bus Stop and then he’d pull away on the straights. It’s the best view you’ll ever get of an 8c Monza dancing around under power—right up its backside in a race.”
In 3rd place overall, and clocking up a class win, was the 1934 Talbot Alpine Sports of Desmond and Gareth Burnett. In the early stages of the one-hour, two-driver race the Talbot had been dicing for the lead, and outright winner Hubert Fabri cited his car’s superior power as the deciding factor in his eventual victory. Fabri was quick to compliment the Talbot drivers: “We had the power advantage but through the twisty bits the Talbot handled better—and the drivers are better than me,” he claimed with due modesty, reflecting the gentlemanly spirit of this series.
Other class winners were Chris Chilcott and Sam Stretton in their 1926 Frazer Nash Fast Tourer, and Norman Barr’s 1929 Stutz Blackhawk, driven by John Guyatt and Colin Warrington. The pair finished just ahead of George and Bill Holman’s huge 1928 Stutz Black Hawk, all the way from the U.S., whose distinctively deep engine note could be heard reverberating up the hill from Eau Rouge.
“Power proved a definite advantage in this race,” said series organizer Duncan Wiltshire of Motor Racing Legends. “Speed through Eau Rouge is critical, because whatever you’re doing at the top of that corner dictates the speed you’ll be pulling all the way up to Les Combes.”
This was the final round of the 2004 Motor Racing Legends Pre-War series which has this year held events at the Nürburgring, Assen and Spa. Next year, this European series for “proper” historic sports cars, running in road trim with wings and lights, will run an extended series of five events at major European circuits, with at least one round in the U.K.
Further information can be found at www.motorracinglegends.com or contact Duncan Wiltshire at Motor Racing Legends, Hillstone Barns, Brook Street, Hargrave, Northamptonshire, NN9 6BP, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1933 624002; fax +44 (0)1933 624003; e-mail [email protected]