CFFC Race 4 Spa 5 - 7 August 2005

Just before the practice I evaluate my chances with the photografer for this event, collegue and friend Mark Dineen. Since Zolder my car has a restored nose with slight changes in lining and much improved laquer, which makes it stand out better. Also note the new Weller wheels.


In the first qualifying I constantly drove together with Felix Haas. Where I could outrun him on the acceleration and sheer speed, he was a bit more precise on braking. Since my last visit at Spa, in 2003, my car has improved a lot and where then I had no problem taking Eau Rouge flat it was now quite hairy. I tried three times, the first time I cut across Raidillon, the second time was prefect and I closed a gap to Felix of 50 m with enough speed to pass him, and the third time I ended up on the exit of the pit. My best time was 8th in 2:51.36, just behind Chris Stones who managed a 2:51.30 and Felix.

In the second qualifying I was sure that I could better my time. None of the fast laps in the first session was trouble free. There were always slower cars to overtake etc. But good times only come with good preparation. As my right mirror was lose I was distracted in the first laps and before I could get back in my rhythm the practice was over. I actually thought my last lap could be the quickest but I found that the flag is not shown at the point where you are timed and as I braked right after the flag - we had to enter the pit just before Eau Rouge - my time not faster.

It turned that I had lost a place as Matthew Dean had improved himself considerably. So my place at the grid was a respectable 9th out of FF1600 cars.

1 Hanno Hess van Diemen RF88 2:48.029
2 Chris Whittingham Reynard FF88 2:48.118
3 Matthew Dean Reynard FF88 2:48.945
4 Jaap Blijleven Reynard FF88 2:49.392
5 Alan Crocker Ray FF71 2:50.065
6 Chris Stones van Diemen RF86 2:50.170
7 Nigel Lingwood van Diemen RF80 2:50.202
8 Felix Haas van Diemen RF87 2:50.840
9 Ed Waalewijn van Diemen RF82 2:51.300
10 Dietrich Wöllhardt Barney 71 2:51.775
11 Roel Mulder van Diemen RF88 2:52.078
12 Paul McMorran Crossle 25F/74 2:53.062
13 Helmut Hess van Diemen RF87 2:53.119
14 Dave Manning Royale RP 16 2:53.566
15 Onno Zuidema van Diemen RF87 2:54.979
16 Stephen Collyer Dulon MP 15 2:55.013
17 Rebecca Dean van Diemen RF87 2:57.420
18 Hans Nijssen van Diemen RF88 3:00.274
19 Roberto Kraft Swift 88 3:00.513
20 Hugo Wilmars van Diemen RF82 3:00.740
21 Nils Leuber Vaney 71/2 3:00.776
22 Paul Hubbard Merlyn Mk20 3:00.923
23 Günther Boehm Swift 88 3:04.164
24 Giovanni Romagnio Nomad 78 3:05.283
25 Thomas Rohmer van Diemen RF87 3:08.794
26 Povl Barfod Titan Mk6 3:09.881
27 Geoff Dean van Diemen RF86 3:11.174

Race day

Race started wet but the track was drying quickly before the start of the race. So I waited till the last minute to make up my mind on what set-up to race. As I rightly assumed that although dry the track did not dry quick enough but it would only be damp, I chose a mild wet set-up: tire pressure up and stabilisers loser.

On the warm-up I found the car was handling very strange: steering felt strange and it pulled to the left, so I drove into the pit, where you just can see me on the picture below next to the start.

In the pit I found that everything was still connected and nothing had fallen off so I thought I give it a go. When Reinier wanted to push start me we found out that a sticking brake was the problem. I got on the track one lap behind and fould that I could ease the problem by setting the brake balance to the front - not ideal on a wet track. I could not brake very hard so I had to nurse the car under braking. It toke me a couple of laps to get away from a group of backmarkers, but there was nothing else to be done than bringing the car back home in one piece.