AvD Oldtimer Nurburgring
8th August 2009 - 9th August 2009
With the clouds on the deck causing low visibility the Oldtimer organizers were very worried. 100,000 spectators were getting restless with no racing going on. Having cancelled all the morning practice because of the fog things did improve a bit after lunch but not enough for one McClaren M8 driver in the Orwell Supersports race who pulled out of his race muttering “this is only a hobby”. The Historic Grand Prix cars were sent out at 10 second intervals for 2 parade laps. Things were going downhill fast.
At one point it was suggested that the Group C Racing guys should also do some parade laps but that is not what they were there for. Enlisting the very experienced and welcome returnee David Mercer as passenger in the Clerk of the Course’s road Porsche a reconnaissance of the circuit was carried out. With all the drivers called together David delivered his view of the problem, which centered around visibility at the last chicane.
It was decided to neutralise that part of the circuit with yellow flags and to then go racing. Admittedly there were only 14 cars but heading the pack was Rob Sherrard in his Mercedes C9 so the natives were very happy. 25 minutes later so was Rob with his first win in Group C, and from pole too. Some say that when the Australian national anthem was played on the podium a tear was shead.
Maybe so but it is certain that the round of applause from the watching crowd was both loud and appreciative. Further delays on Sunday morning put the pressure on many as there were ferries to be caught and flights to miss but eventually, in now sunny conditions, the grid formed up. Once again the Mercedes motored off into the distance but behind many good battles were brewing up, not least the very committed run by Paul Livesey in his C2 Spice.
Following a disappointing first race Paul really got his head down and charged through to a highly creditable P2 at the flag and he was clearly very happy with this result stating “I can’t wait for the next race!” Unfortunately the wait will be longer that we all wish as this was the last meeting this year. It was great to see the European contingent turning out with Henrick Lindburg in his 962, Claus Bjerglund in his C1 Spice and Eric Rickenbacher in his rare Cheetah all joining the merry throng. We hope to see them all next year along with the rest of the guys. Another very welcome returnee was Nathan Kinch in his C2 Spice.
We can all expect to see more of him, and of father Larry, next year. It is probable that he will be in something rather fast. There has been solid support from a core of racers this year who have ensured that the series continues on with excellent racing and camaraderie. With more cars out there we can have the best historic series anywhere. It just needs support.