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24 h Spa-Francorchamps

Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

Date: 21/7/1973 to: 22/7/1973
Track length: 14.100 m
Attendance: 100.000
Entries accepted: unknown
Starters: 60
Finishers: 27

Pole position: Stuck in 3.49,1 = 221,876 kmh
Fastest lap: Amon in 3.49,4 = 221,586 kmh

Distance: 24 hours
Average speed: 184,290 kmh
Weather: cloudy, rainy, cool
Ruleset: Group 2/70
Car info: 1973 Cars

Pictures

This years’ edition of Spa was more interesting than 1972 - but alas, far more tragic too. The winged BMWs were favourite, Muir’s Alpina car sandwiched between the works cars after practice. After the second Alpina car came the leading Capri (Mass/Fitzpatrick) followed by the second car of Heyer/Koinigg. Most BMWs had 3.3 engines for reliability reasons. Only a Spanish Escort tried to withhold Alfa Romeo for division 1 victory.

After the start, a BMW quartet took the lead, the two-litre class was lead by Alfa Romeo, Group 1 by Opel. Most cars drove on intermediates since the weather looked unpredictable. Only Muir raced full tempo, the others seemed to hold back just a little. Amon came in to change a defective front wheel bearing.

Then - drama at eleven. Roger Dubos, fiancé of “Christine”, led a sister car with Ballot-Lena when Hans-Peter Joisten overtook them at high speed. But Joisten was a tick too fast, touched the barriers and was thrown back at the track, just in front of Dubos, who braked but was rammed by Ballot-Lena, crashing into Joistens car. A freak accident which took the lives of Joisten and Dubos instantly. The second Alpina car was withdrawn immediately.

A little later Larini crashed at les Combes and was badly injured. He died later from his injuries. The remaining three Autodelta entries were understandably withdrawn too.
It was not over yet. Shortly after Larini, Raymond Raus was badly injured after a crash in the very same corner.

Half past one in the night, the rain started, sending cars spinning off one after the other. Fear set in; apart from the withdrawals, some drivers simply quit.
Heyer/Koinigg had to give up early in the morning; Stuck/Amon retired with burnt valves. When Mass came in, the same defect as the other cars was found; but this time, one cylinder was put out of order and the car could continue on five cylinders. Flat tires were the main problem for the leading BMW but eight laps in front of the Capri gave room for repairs to the damaged body and electrics.

The works BMW of Hezemans/Quester won this tragic race, the 5-cylinder Capri was second, a group 1 Commodore third, an inconsolable “Christine” with Nève and Vermeulen was classified seventh. But no one really cared.


Division 1 and 2
Pos Pos in class # Team / Entrant
Car- Engine
Drivers, Nationality Engine
vol. (cc)
Engine
Type
Group Distance,
time
Qualifying position Qualifying time Fastest lap Reason out,
remarks
1 1 10 BMW Motorsport
BMW 3.0 CSL
Toine Hezemans, NL
Dieter Quester, A
3303 L6 Div. 2 313 laps, 4423 km 3 3.52,5    
2 2 1 Ford Köln
Ford Capri RS 2600 LW
Jochen Mass, D
John Fitzpatrick, GB
2983 V6 Div. 2 298 laps, 4208 km 5 3.57,6    
3 3 32 Marabout Racing
Opel Commodore GS/E Gr. 1
René Tricot, B
Jean-Louis Haxhe, B
2784 L6 Div. 2 290 laps, 4092 km 16 4.31,4    
4 4 16 Racing Team Biral
BMW 3.0 Si Gr. 1
Serge Laurent, B
Noël Van Assche ("Pedro"), B
2985 L6 Div. 2 286 laps, 4057 km 25 4.38,8    
5 5 27 Opel Gulf Racing Team
Opel Commodore GS/E Gr. 1
Dany Wauters, B
Francis Polak, B
2784 L6 Div. 2 286 laps, 4046 km 20 4.35,2    
6 6 31 DNRT Marlboro Team
Opel Commodore GS/E Gr. 1
Jim Vermeulen, NL
Jelle Hingst, NL
(Rien Frankenhout, NL)
2784 L6 Div. 2 279 laps, 3938 km 17 4.33,3    
7 7 28 Opel Gulf Racing Team
Opel Commodore GS/E Gr. 1
Christine Beckers ("Christine"), B
Patrick Nève, B
Huub Vermeulen, NL
(Liane Engeman, NL)
2784 L6 Div. 2 275 laps, 3873 km 18 4.34,7   Engeman pregnant!
8 8 35  
Ford Capri 3000 GXL Gr. 1
Francois Goldstein, B
Claude De Wael, B
2993 V6 Div. 2 274 laps, 3866 km 32 4.48,0    
9 1 62  
Toyota Celica GT
Ove Andersson, S
Freddy Kottulinsky, S
1958 L4 Div. 1 274 laps, 3865 km 19 4.34,7    
10 2 58 Promoteam-GB Entreprises
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV Gr. 1
Roland Imbert, F
Joost Byttebier, B
1962 L4 Div. 1 273 laps, 3854 km 39 4.55,5    
11 9 24 Research Consultants Ltd.
Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Mike Crabtree, GB
Jonathan Buncombe, GB
Terry Sanger, GB
5736 V8 Div. 2 3784 km 11 4.16,0    
12 3 66 Audi-NSU France
Audi 100 coupé S
Daniel Dupré, F
Jean-Claude Boucher, F
1871 L4 Div. 1 3754 km 41 4.57,5    
13 10 7  
Ford Capri 3000 GXL Gr. 1
Jeremy Walton, GB
Nigel Clarkson, GB
2993 V6 Div. 2 3739 km 43 4.58,7    
14 4 79 DNRT Marlboro Team
Opel Manta 19 SR
Loek Vermeulen, NL
Aloys Mattijssen, NL
1900 L4 Div. 1 3727 km 35 4.51,5    
15 5 59 Promoteam-GB Entreprises
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV Gr. 1
Eric Mandron, B
Edgar Gillessen, B
1962 L4 Div. 1 3727 km 49 5.01,8    
16 6 60 Promoteam-GB Entreprises
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV Gr. 1
Eddy Joosen, B
Etienne Stalpaert, B
1962 L4 Div. 1 3885 km 40 4.56,5   Accident
17 7 57  
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV Gr. 1
Peter Brown, AUS
Ray Gulson, AUS
1962 L4 Div. 1 3674 km 59 5.13,1    
18 8 91  
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV Gr. 1
Lucien Guitteny, F
A. Soulard, F
1962 L4 Div. 1 3584 km 47 5.00,8    
19 9 61 Euro Oil Racing Team
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV Gr. 1
J. Beckers ("James"), B
Claude Crespin, B
1962 L4 Div. 1 3581 km 45 5.00,4    
20 10 72 Simca Racing Team
Simca Rallye 2
Remy Marquet, B
John Vanderheyden, B
1294 L4 Div. 1 3527 km 54 5.08,2    
21 11 73 Simca Racing Team
Simca Rallye 2
Jean-Louis Goblet, B
Robert Laine, B
1294 L4 Div. 1 3499 km 55 5.08,5    
22 12 74 Simca Racing Team
Simca Rallye 2
Jean-Marie Herman, B
Jacky Delhaes, B
1294 L4 Div. 1 3483 km 60 5.18,2    
23 13 80  
Vauxhall Firenza SL
Dennis Thorne, GB
Holman “Les” Blackburn, GB
1975 L4 Div. 1 3459 km 51 5.05,6    
24 14 77 Racing Team Sigma
Renault R 12 Gordini
Paul Delbrouck, B
Jean Degey, B
1565 L4 Div. 1 3403 km 58 5.10,0    
25 15 90 Trivellato
Fiat 128 coupé 1300
Angelino Lepri, I
Germano Prenol ("Willer"), I
1290 L4 Div. 1 3390 km 56 5.09,0    
26 16 75 Racing Team Sigma
Renault R 12 Gordini
"Geronimo", B
Jeannot Sauvage, B
1565 L4 Div. 1 3304 km 57 5.09,5    
27 11 8  
Chrysler Hemicuda Gr.1
Yves Deprez, B
Pierre-Yves Bertinchamps, B
7000 V8 Div. 2 3162 km 15 4.30,3    
DNF   78 Scuderia Brescia Corse
Ford Escort RS 1600 Broadspeed
José Maria de Uriarte, E
Rafael Barrios, E
Emilio Rodriguez Zapico, E
1840 L4 Div. 1   12 4.17,0   Starter/Ignition
DNF   65  
Ford Escort TC
Ken Coffey, GB
Ted Worswick, GB
1594 L4 Div. 1   50 5.02,9   Engine
DNF   30 Opel Gulf Racing Team
Opel Commodore GS/E Gr. 1
Bernard De Dryver, B
Bernard De St. Hubert, B
2784 L6 Div. 2   23 4.36,5   Head gasket
DNF   3 Ford Köln
Ford Capri RS 2600 LW
Hans Heyer, D
Helmut Koinigg, A
2983 V6 Div. 2 ca. 180 laps 6 4.00,7   Valve gear
DNF   11 BMW Motorsport
BMW 3.0 CSL
Hans-Joachim Stuck, D
Chris Amon, NZ
3303 L6 Div. 2   1 3.49,1 3.49,4 Valve
DNF   26 Opel Gulf Racing Team
Opel Commodore GS/E Gr. 1
Roger Berndtson, B
Jean-Louis Ravenel, F
2784 L6 Div. 2   21 4.35,4   Accident
DNF   68  
BMW 2002
Jean-Paul Rieu, B
Roger Vanderschrick, B
1990 L4 Div. 1   53 5.07,6   Piston ring
DNF   5 Pepsi-Cola
Ford Capri RS 2600
Jaime Mesia, E
Alberto Ruiz Giménez, E
2983? V6 Div. 2   10 4.14,1   Engine
DNF   51 Autodelta S.p.A.
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTAm
Spartaco Dini ("Paco"), I
Walter Dona, I
1999 L4 Div. 1   14 4.25,2   Withdrawn
DNF   52 Autodelta-Jolly Club
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV Gr. 1
Philippe Toussaint, B
Michel Noé, B
1962 L4 Div. 1   37 4.52,3   Withdrawn
DNF   53 Autodelta S.p.A.
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV Gr. 1
Umberto Grano, I
Vincenzo Cazzago ("Pooky"), I
1962 L4 Div. 1   30 4.47,5   Withdrawn
DNF   82  
BMW 2002
Raymond Raus, B
Jean-Marie Detrin, B
1990 L4 Div. 1   42 4.58,1   Accident
DNF   15 BMW-Alpina
BMW 3.0 CSL
Alain Peltier, B
Harald Menzel, D
3303 L6 Div. 2 ca. 105 4 3.54,8   Withdrawn
DNF   50 Autodelta S.p.A.
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTAm
Massimo Larini, I
Carlo Facetti, I
1999 L4 Div. 1 ca. 110 13 4.18,6   Fatal accident (Larini)
DNF   71  
BMW 2002
Heinrich Hirth, D
Günther Mohrs, D
1990 L4 Div. 1   33 4.48,8   Engine
DNF   29 Opel Gulf Racing Team
Opel Commodore GS/E Gr. 1
Huub Vermeulen, NL
Fred Frankenhout, NL
2784 L6 Div. 2   22 4.35,5   Accident, following Dubos/Joisten collision
DNF   55 Autodelta S.p.A.
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV Gr. 1
Roger Dubos, F
Jacques Berger, B
1962 L4 Div. 1   29 4.47,2   Fatal accident (Dubos)
DNF   56 Autodelta S.p.A.
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV Gr. 1
Claude Ballot-Léna, F
Jean-Claude Lagniez, F
1962 L4 Div. 1   31 4.47,6   Accident, following Dubos/Joisten collision
DNF   96 Simca Racing Team
Simca Rallye 2
Simon, B
? Roman Feitler, L
1294 L4 Div. 1   61 5.10,4 (?)   1st reserve, accident
DNF   81  
BMW 2002
Jean-Jacques Feider, B
Francois Haid, B
1990 L4 Div. 1   38 4.53,7   Head gasket
DNF   6 Wisharts Garages
Ford Capri 3000 GXL Gr. 1
Gordon Spice, GB
John Hine, GB
2993 V6 Div. 2   27 4.46,4   Engine
DNF   21 BMW-Alpina/Malcolm Gartlan
BMW 3.0 CSL
Hans-Peter Joisten, D
Brian Muir, AUS
3303 L6 Div. 2 ca. 100 2 3.52,3   Fatal accident (Joisten)
DNF   64 Norman Reeves Ltd.
Ford Escort RS 1600
Yvette Fontaine, B
Frans Lubin, NL
1996 L4 Div. 1   28 4.46,9   Engine
DNF   9  
BMW 3.0 CSi Gr. 1
Francy Lacroix, B
Henri Sonveau, B
2985 L6     36 4.51,6   Rear axle
DNF   86  
BMW 2002
Fred Helsen, B
Rudy Host ("MacIntosh"), B
1990 L4 Div. 1   34 4.49,4   Disqualified
DNF   89 East Belgian Racing Team
Fiat 128
Emmanuel Remion, B
Maurice Lenaif ("Alix"), B
1290 L4 Div. 1   52 5.06,6   Piston
DNF   20 BMW-Alpina
BMW 3.0 CSL
Walter Brun, CH
Cox Kocher, CH
3303 L6 Div. 2   9 4.08,3   Valve
DNF   69  
BMW 2002
Nicolas Koob, L
John Lagodny, L
1990 L4 Div. 1   26 4.42,9   Valve
DNF   76 Racing Team Sigma
Renault R 12 Gordini
Charles Van Stalle ("Chavan"), B
Charles Naveau, B
1565 L4 Div. 1   44 4.59,9   Piston
DNF   93  
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV Gr. 1
Jean-Pierre Magalhaes, B
Pierre Rubens, B
1962 L4 Div. 1   48 5.01,1   Engine
DNF   22 Précision Liegeoise
BMW 3.0 CSL
Hughes de Fierlant, B
Vincent Gaye, B
3303 L6 Div. 2   7 4.04,4   Valve
DNF   23 A.G. Rivers Racing Ltd.
Chevrolet Camaro Z28
James Hunt, GB
Richard Lloyd, GB
5736 V8 Div. 2   24 4.38,1   Clutch
DNF   17 Luigi/Racing Team Marabout
BMW 3.0 CSL
Jean Xhenceval, B
Willy Braillard, B
3303 L6 Div. 2   8 4.07,7   Piston
DNQ/DSQ      
Ford Capri 3000 GXL Gr. 1
Richard Jones, GB
George "Welly" Potter, GB
2993? V6 Div. 2   61     Illegal start, car was not qualified
DNS   88  
Fiat 128 coupé 1300
Fernand Néri, B
Fernand "Fifi" Néri Jr, B
1290 L4 Div. 1   (46) (5.00,6)    
DNQ   63 Toyota AG Schweiz
Toyota Celica GT
D. Walker, GB
Richard Scott, GB
1588 L4 Div. 1          

Remarks: King's cup: Alfa Romeo