Fearless driving in the rain brings 42nd Oldtimer Grand Prix alive

| 19 Aug 2014

Hundreds of classic racers headed to the Eifel forest and campaigned at the busy Nürburgring from 8-10 August for the 42nd running of the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix.

Both the old (Nordschleife) and new tracks were lapped constantly from 8am to 9pm by packed grids in 13 different races, from the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship to the 24 Avd Historic Marathon and Nürburgring Trophy. 

Typical 'Ring weather spiced up the epic tarmac battles, but an unexpectedly sunny Saturday brought the highest speeds during the first of two races in the Masters F1 category. Winner of Race 1, Britton Steve Hartley (Arrow A4) achieved an impressive fastest lap at 166,079 Km/h and finished ahead of rival Simon Fish (Ensign N180).

While weather conditions deteriorated on Sunday, a third place on Race 2 (fastest lap at 131,236 Km/h for young Michael Lyons, Hesketh 308E), secured a combined victory for Hartley.

In the year of the Maserati centennial, trident cars were out in force. No fewer than nine Maseratis battled for victory in Race 6, for Historic Grand Prix Cars built before 1961. 

In spite of Maserati 250F drivers Joaquín Folch and Guillermo Fierro (9th), no one could match the tremendous performance of Phillip Walker who won both races, averaging 131.800kph for his best laps.

Although not at the front, Julia de Baldanza drove the best-looking Maserati A6GCM.  

Another highlight was the Historic Marathon on the Nordschleife, a 12-lap race (at 21km a lap) made trickier by a spate of showers.

Germans Marcus von Oeynhausen and Frank Stippler took the chequer in their Jaguar E-type, which outpaced both a Ford GT40 and a Porsche 911 being driven by Walter Röhrl and Armin Zumtobel.

Not everything at the 'Ring was about racing. Club meetings, a Coys auction and marque shows occupied the vast paddock with more exotic machinery than fans could dream of.

A walk in the paddock revealed some exotic gems, such as 1954 Maserati A6G by Zagato, 1961 Porsche 356 by D'Ieteren, several '20s Mercedes-Benzes SSK, 1958 Ferrari 250TR or brand new Porsches 918 Hybrid.

The Porsche Museum celebrated the 40 anniversary of the 911 Turbo and Jaguar Heritage brought a few D-Types from its museum, but McLaren stole the limelight with a rarely seen 1970 ex-Denny Hulme M14, which finished second at the South Africa Grand Prix and secured third places at Great Britain, Germany and Mexico.