6 Horas de Barcelona: Victory For The Chateaux Sport BMW

Images: Tchaul Photographies

At the end of six hours of closely contested racing on Sunday afternoon in front of several thousand spectators, victory went to the Chateaux family in their BMW 635 CSI followed by the Wasserman Racing team’s BMW 323i driven by Eric Wassermann and Thierry Mathez, and the TVR Tuscan Challenge crewed by Christophe Laberty and Sébastien Mathieu.

Paul Mathieu and Jean-Baptiste Chateaux scored a superb victory in their BMW 635 CSI on the Montmelo circuit near Barcelona

The Chateaux Sport Auto team, a pillar of the endurance races organised by V de V Sports, had been hoping for this victory for a long time. The Chateaux family’s BMW 635 CSI has been a regular front-runner and has missed out on victory by a whisker on several occasions.

Christophe Laberty and Sébastien Mathieu's TVR Tuscan Challenge finished on the podium on its very first outing in a VHC endurance race

But things finally went their way in the Catalonian round run on the Montmelo circuit, which was on the V de V Sports calendar for the first time, and they found themselves on the topmost step of the podium!

The Porsche 944 S2 driven by Christian Noret/Jacques Colibet/Philippe Vigneron finished a worthy fourth

After starting from fifth place, the Bavarian coupe took the lead of the race on lap 6, a place it retained until the chequered flag. Paul and his two sons, Mathieu and Jean-Baptiste, relayed one another at the wheel of their BMW 635 CSI, which showed flawless reliability throughout the six hours of racing.

The Porsche 944 Turbo crewed by Hugo Mézard/Emilien Chayia/Antoine Doquin saw the chequered flag in fifth spot

When they crossed the finishing line, they were two laps ahead of another BMW, the Wasserman Racing team’s 323i driven by Eric Wassermann and Thierry Mathez who won the Saloon Car category.

Part of the decoration

The TVR Tuscan Challenge of Christophe Laberty and Sébastien Mathieu clinched pole position and shot into the lead right from the start where it stayed until lap 5. But the TVR, which suffered a fuel leak shortly before the starting procedure, was refuelled inside its garage (forbidden by the regulations) and was handed a one-minute Stop and Go penalty.

A moment at the pits

In the end, the GBF team on their first outing in a VHC endurance race finished in a very encouraging third place overall, which bodes well for the 2 Tours d’Horloge.

During the driver's briefing

Classified in fourth and seventh places at the finish, the Christian Noret/Jacques Colibet/Philippe Vigneron Porsche 944 S2 and the Jaguar E-Type driven by Jean-Paul Petit and Xavier Cazabon, both entered by the Cudini Racing Team, put on a great team performance and also won their category.

The Skoal Bandit team’s Porsche 944 Turbo entrusted to Hugo Mezard/Emilien Chayia/Antoine Doquin came home fifth, scoring a category victory against the 964 run by Vintage Motor Sport in the hands of Mickaël Desmaele/Jean Obeniche.

When a Datsun chases a Porsche

The Escuderia Barcelona Catalonia team’s Porsche 911 2.0 piloted by Carlos Beltran/Luis Portal/Pablo Tarrero finished eighth overall and first in its category. This performance was rewarded by the Paco Godia Prize presented to the three drivers by Paco’s daughter. Godia had won the 1968 6 Hora de Barcelona in his Ford GT40!

Christian Noret/Jacques Colibet/Philippe Vigneron's Porsche 944 flying past

The Lola T492 run by Wassermann Racing and driven by Eric Baumard and Olivier Huez was first in its category and was the only Proto S2000 to see the chequered flag. For a long while, it was among the front-runners until it ran into several mechanical glitches (brakes, exhaust, alternator).

The Ford GT40 run by the Hyracing team did not complete the race as it had some mechanical problems

Finally, it crossed the finishing line in ninth place in front of the Porsche 911 entered by the Flatsix Le Mans outfit for Christophe Gaultier/Stéphane Deshayes/Mickael Bossuet, the last classified finisher in the race after being forced to retire 20 minutes from the end due to a blown valve.

Racing & Classic team's Lola T598 in blue also retired

Several teams had to retire during the race starting with the Racing & Classic team’s Lola T598 of Valerio Leone/Marco Coppini on lap two (blown cylinder head gasket).

The Lola overtaking the BMW 325i

The following fell by the wayside too: the Ford GT40 run by the Hyracing team for a driver line-up comprising Olivier Muytjens and Brice Pineau joined for this race by Eric Van de Vyver (transmission), the Jordi Fanlo/Manel Vilanova/Antonio Cubero BMW 325 i (engine), the Team PSM squad’s Porsche 944 Turbo (Turbo), the Escuderia Barcelona’s Datsun 240 Z crewed by Ralf Schnitzler/Tim Müller/Marc Mayoral (gearbox) and the Porsche Turbo Cup run by Classic Auto Sport Racing for the trio Dimitri Bouic/Gilles Boyer/Boris Bouic (engine).

The race winning BMW 635 CSI leaving the pit lane

Overall, the participants were delighted with this new event on the V de V Sports calendar. Most of them were racing on the Montmelo circuit for the first time, which helped them prepare for the 2 Tours d’Horloge, an event that’s unique in the world and runs over 24 hours non-stop. It will be held on the Paul Ricard circuit on 3rd-5th November this year.

Time to celebrate
All these competitors will meet up again in the 2 Tours d'Horloge between 3rd & 5th November on the Paul Ricard circuit for the 24 hours non-stop VHC race


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