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Racing drivers face torrential Spa conditions!

By GSR Admin Team on May 12, 2017

Racing drivers face torrential Spa conditions!

The Formula 2 class championship is nearing closer to the end of the season week by week. But, not without controversy. The conditions in which the 1964 Formula 2 Grand Prix was completed were hardly in favor of the majority of drivers. The track was rittled with standing water holes that could be seen fit for a cattle farm, hiding on some of the circuits most treacherous bends. Eau Rouge, for example, displayed a stream across the pavement at the bottom and another parallel to the cornering crest. These played a deciding roll in the outcome of the race within the first few laps.

The F2 Belgian GP grid was to be considered paltry, with only 6 drivers making it to the green flag. Clyde Yellow, a long time veteran of the "continental circus," was experiencing electronic issues in the practice session. He was breaking up badly and would decide to retire before the session had ended. Perhaps this decision and or failure was influenced by the weather creating poor track conditions as well. Clyde was rewarded in his test efforts by receiving last place points. When ask if he would be in attendance for his home GP next week at Monza he responded, "Momma Mia." (Yes)

The green was set to fly at 9 o'clock sharp. However, many drivers waited until the last minute to put their cars on the grid. The heavy downfall of rain obviously causing pre-race jitters. Not only did it affect the men, but also the machines. The MissionBULLITT Honda team was having issues getting their new car to fire, but with persistence, managed to make it to the grid under power. The flagman took his place along the side of the track and with a swift, elegant motion raised it. It dropped and the 210 horsepower beasts were on their way, except for the Honda team who was dead in the water. A control failure prevented the car from leaving the line with the rest, but would set off in only a few more moments.

The drag race to the first corner was intense with Colton Roberts (Z7) shooting up the middle from P5 to take the hole-shot in front of arch nemesis Jason Ryu (GRD) in the Alfa, and Team 4II0's Smokez. Josh Alessandro (Blonde) would run wide and let Brandon Kenney (BCK) up the inside of turn one. The race up Eau Rouge would remain just as ruthless as the race had started with BCK splashing through the watering hole on the inside, throwing his car into a broad slide. He recovered without losing much time on the leaders, but allowing Blonde to catch as he rejoined the track. The two met without contact upon the rejoin, but it still caused Blonde, in the First Capital Ferrari, to veer off track and lock it up before nipping the wall. He would escape undamaged and continue the race.

Things at the front remained relatively unchanged until three-quarters of the way through the first lap where Smokez had a trip through the mud and slid into the wall. BCK and GRD got around and he proceeded to tuck in behind them. By this time Colton had been able to put a little distance on the opponents by staying clear of the accidents, allowing him to run clean and set the fast lap. GRD would also pull away at a slightly slower, but more consistent pace. Blonde was the next man to play the catch up game with BCK and Smokez. Blonde said, "I was able to catch up to BCK and Smokez," who appeared to present the best racing of the day, "drag racing between every corner. Then Smokez had a nasty spin in the puddle at the Eau Rouge exit, then the next lap BCK did the same thing, giving me P3." The race order would remain unchanged for the remainder of the race and with nothing too dramatic happening other than the 3rd Eau Rouge spin in two laps by the leader, Colton, who was able to recover only losing nine seconds. The end result was the series points leader taking checkers by 17 seconds over 2nd place and second in the points GRD. The gap to 3rd was 44 seconds, with Blonde bringing home his second podium of the season. 

All drivers finished the race with no serious injuries occurring. The same can not be said for the end of an event such as this, for we don't all make it through each racing season. Some teams lose funding (Equipo Nacional Mexicano, we hear they're pay drivers anyway) and some lose more. The events conducted in the Vintage Formula seasons are conducted in order to recreate what can not be recreated with today's standard in racing safety, to honor racing heroes of days past who are no longer with us, these races are a celebration of those lives that were lived behind the wheel of these cars.

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