Dijon-Prenois (France), Achel (Belgium) – Although only a small number of FFR-FOR drivers travelled to the capital of Burgundy, to participate in the Historic Tour Dijon event at the Dijon-Prenois race track, they left quite an impression.
After the qualifying session on Friday, the FFR-FOR Formula Ford 1600 and Zetecs drivers started in their first race on Saturday morning as part of a grid of no less than 37 classic Formula Fords. This included drivers from Belgium, France, Germany, Monaco, Spain and Switzerland, in cars dating from 1970 till 1992.
In the race the Zetecs of Eric Heudicourt (#84) and Maxime Libreton (#15) were quick to take the lead. A large group of FF1600s, including those of FFR-FOR drivers Dieter Häckel and Mattthew Dean, was in hot pursuit and never lost sight of the race leaders. However, due to several incidents the safety car had to come out twice, and with time running out, the organisers decided to bring all cars in after only five laps and arrange for the remaining 7 laps to be driven on Sunday morning.
The Formula Opels and FF2000s had their 1st race on Saturday afternoon, in a field that also included classic F3 and Formula Renault single seaters. With their superior performance four F3s quickly pulled away, with the Formula Opels from Marvin Brandl (#126) and Jochen Thissen (#128) mixing it with the remaining F3s and crossing the finish line as 5th and 6th respectively. Alan Williamson in his Formula Opel crossed the line just ahead of Philip Menzner’s FF2000 and Georges Tomsen’s Formula Opel, making them 13th, 14th and 15th. Andreas Menzner in his FF2000 crossed the line as 21st, after starting as last car on the grid, due to mechanical problems in the qualification.
At 8:35 on Sunday morning it was still chilly when the FF1600s and Zetec went back on the track for the remaining 7 laps of their 1st race. Initially it was a close fought race between the Zetecs of Eric Heudicourt (#84) and Maxime Libreton (#15), but after Heudicourt slid off the track, Libreton took 1st place. FFR-FOR drivers Dieter Häckel (#147) finished 10th in his FF1600, with Matthew Dean (#145) as 13th, but winning the podium in the pre-90 class. Julian Labitzke (#188) in his Zetec crossed the line as 18th, while Georges Tomsen (#18) and Gerhard Hauschulte (#141) finished as 22nd and 27th respectively.
The FF1600s and Zetecs were out again at 14:30 for Race 2, which after another safety car situation, was won by by Maxime Libreton in his Zetec. In the Pre-90 Class Matthew Dean won the podium after crossing the line as 15th, together with Georges Tomsen (22nd) and Gerhard Hauschulte (23rd) . Rookie Julian Labitzke in his Zetec crossed the line as 16th, but this made him the 2nd best Zetec driver in race 2.
Race 2 for the Formula Opels and FF2000s was pretty much a repeat of race 1 with Marvin Brandl and Jochen Thissen juggling for position with the F3s, finishing impressively as 3rd and 4th. initially Alan Williamson was in position to take another FOL-FF2000 podium, but after a spin in the ‘Gauche de la Bretelle’, it was Philip Menzner in his FF2000 who took 3rd place in the ‘Invité’ class after finishing as 9th, beating his father Andreas in his FF2000 (14th), Georges Tomsen in his Formula Opel (18th) and Alan Williamson who crossed the line as 22nd.
Next stop for the FFR-FOR drivers will be the ‘Pinksterraces’ event at the Zandvoort F1 track, on 4 and 5 June.