Results > 1st-2nd October 2011 - Dijon
An Indian summer in Dijon sees Roland Fischer and Juerg Tobler share the wins
HSCC Open Wheel Race
Circuit Dijon Prenois October 1st & 2nd 2011
A total of 36 entries were received by HSCC, of these twenty two were one litre F3s, the balance was made up of five historic Formula Fords, the twin cam of Jon Waggitt and Anthony Goddard’s Junior; the remaining cars were ‘winged and slicked’, four Formula Atlantics and a sole Formula Ford 2000.
Michel Renavand managed to break a wrist at Charade, and was obliged to withdraw his Tecno, we wish him a speedy recovery. Sadly Friday’s testing accounted for two more entries, Rene Ligonet and Ferdinand Gustafson both suffered mechanical woes and took no further part in the proceedings; particularly galling for Ferdi having made the long trip down from Sweden.
Qualifying took place on Saturday morning in perfect conditions and saw Roland Fischer in a class of his own, the Tecno ending almost two seconds clear of Francois Derossi’s Chevron, which only took in half the session after a front upright drama. Fischer’s pace can be judged by the fact that he qualified ahead of Thornton’s Formula Atlantic Titan. Third fastest F3 was Messer in the Vesey closely followed by the Chevron pairing of Tobler and Tizzard all in the 1.33s, in the 1.34s were Slotine (running in his new engine!), Max Blees and Jim Chapman. Following a couple Formula Fords came a bunch of six closely matched F3 cars headed by the misfiring Brabham BT28 of Tim Kary, Angelo Delea in the sole side-draught car was next with compatriot Widmer’s Brabham just behind. Klaus Bergs was having a good run in his BT28 to best the similar car of Leif Bosson who had the familiar March of Andrew Thorpe running him close; the Tecno pair of Froude and O’Nion were continuing their season long contest and headed the final three F3s who were suffering a variety of problems; welcome returnee Robert Retzlaff had chronic overheating, Philippe Bonny gear selection problems and Jens Hauge a misfire.
Without exception all the drivers loved the Dijon circuit, it remains un-molested, no chicanes have been introduced since it last hosted the French Grand Prix all those years ago, they may have improved the run off in places, but it has retained its essential character, long may it stay that way.
Race one took place under a blazing sun and saw the five ‘Winged and Slicked’ cars disappear up the road, such was their performance advantage, behind them Roland Fischer took command of ‘the rest’ building up a secure lead before the Safety Car came out on lap seven. Behind Fischer an enormous battle was taking place involving (in no particular order) Derossi, Tizzard, Messer, Chapman, Tobler, the twin cam of Waggitt as well as the FFords of Dix and Mansell. Further back Kary was still mis-firing but ahead of Widmer, Bergs and Bosson. The pit straight is ideally suited to slipstreaming and for the first five laps it was almost impossible to judge positions as people dived out of the slipstream to make a pass only to be re-taken as they went out of sight over the hill into the first corner; sometimes three or four cars abreast. Sadly it all went wrong on lap seven when Maurice Slotine lost it under braking for turn one and collected Jim Chapman’s Lotus 59; Chapman was out on the spot having lost the nearside rear corner whilst Slotine retired to the pit with a broken bolt in his rear suspension. All this excitement brought the safety car and with it came another retirement; O’Nion backed off having seen the waved yellows, unfortunately Hauge was unsighted and hopped over the nearside rear wheel of the Tecno prompting Hauge’s retirement and minor damage to the Tecno.
The re-start saw Fischer build up a comfortable cushion of six seconds to take the F3 victory from Tizzard and Derossi; Messer, Tobler and Blees all finished within a quarter of a second having spent the last seven laps of the race harassing Waggitt’s Twin Cam. Kary was next up after a lonely run, Widmer, Bergs and Bosson had run in close company throughout to lead home Bonny who had spent the first laps fighting with O’Nion and Froude, before he escaped to lead home both Retzlaff (still overheating) and Thorpe. Delea had been running strongly but problems caused him to drop back coming home the final finisher.
Before the second race, Slotine’s Merlyn was sorted, Retzlaff disconnected his oil cooler in an effort to reduce water temperatures, O’Nion’s Tecno had its tracking re-set and some of the F3 paddocks finest brains attempted to solve Hauge’s distributor problems. Kary had found two broken valve spring retainers which were replaced from Roland Fischer’s spares.
Hauge and Chapman failed to take the start and after dramas Bergs started from the pit lane and then retired on lap one. Derossi led the F3s through on lap one ahead of Fischer who was ahead next time through, behind them Tobler, Messer and Tizzard were having an entertaining battle. On lap six Fischer came through trailing smoke and we had lost Derossi, he eventually arrived in the pits for the indomitable Filoche to check the car over, Francois having spun twice on that lap; it appeared that Roland had a split oil line which caused his retirement and Francois’ spins. Whilst all this was happening Messer had made a move on Tobler in the downhill left hander which didn’t go to plan and resulted in a spin and trip through the dust, the result dropped Messer well back and left Tobler as lead F3 ahead of Tizzard. Tobler hung on to take the victory assisted by Tizzard having throttle problems, Blees had an excellent run to take third ahead of Kary whose Brabham was now working properly; next up was Slotine who had come through from the back of the grid and just pipped the recovering Messer. Widmer had a good run to seventh ahead of Bosson, Delea had his Brabham going properly leading home a disappointed Derossi who pipped Bonny on the run to the line; Retzlaff had his temperatures more to his liking and once again O’Nion won his battle with Froude beating home Andrew Thorpe.
The HSCC’s Graeme White found three trophies for the One Litre cars and after frantic calculations it was adjudged that Stuart Tizzard had taken the overall win ahead of Juerg Tobler and Max Blees. Roland Fischer was naturally disappointed to retire in the second race, but he had still done enough to take the European Championship from Francois Derossi.
All in all a fantastic weekend, as usual excellent company, excellent racing, the cacophony of sound as the F3’s screamed through, pity it can’t be bottled!
Next round Silverstone on October 22nd for the end of season jollities, please make every effort to attend the Classic Racing Car Drivers Meeting.