FIA Lurani Trophy Round 3; Dijon l’Age d’Or – 9th – 11th June 2017

This year, it was back to Dijon in June, after a change to October last year. We were rewarded with a very hot and sunny weekend in Dijon with temperatures in the 30s.

In qualifying, Manfredo Rossi put his name on top of the list with an impressive gap of 1.4 seconds from Philipp Buhofer and Pete Morton. 37 cars took part to qualify for 35 places on the grid.

Unfortunately Stephane Rey failed to take part in the qualifying due to a gear box problem and Christoph Burkhardt on his return to FJ after 4 years of absence had problems with his engine. One of the pistons disintegrated due to a lean running engine. I sourced the spot on the track with the Jolus and leaned the car into the barrier to warn others.  This resulted in a bent front chassis, suspension and some extras. Under the continuing assistance of Peter Knoefel using a car jack and various pieces of wood the chassis was straightened and a reinforcement plate was welded into place by  Sam Kendall of Kendall Adams.

On a personal note I would like to thank the Swiss road assistance for helping to get the car back (there is no downhill with 30 cm toe out) Peter as crew chief, and Manfredo for setting his Kendall Adams Crew free.  Sam and his Crew for making one piece of the car again, Iain for not to be named assistance and Daniele and crew for not only providing the best Mojitos at late night, but also by assisting in suspension set up under flood light. Needless to say, the Jolus was back on track for Race one. The spirit of the Formula Junior family persists!

Race 1. Manfredo led from the start followed by Philipp Buhofer and Pierre Tonetti. Unfortunately an incident between Mark Pangborn and Tom De Gres brought out the safety car which allowed Manfredo to increase his lead at the restart. In the end it was an Italian podium of Rossi, Tonetti and Tommaso Gelmini. Caroline seemed to enjoy Dijon just as much as Manfredo, having closed the laptime gap to Manfredo considerably. Further down the grid a great scrap took place between Robin Longdon’s Lola  and Alex Morton’s Condor, with Robin coming out ahead.  Stephane Rey started from the back of the grid and worked his way well through the field. John Lord on his return to Lurani  took the win in class C2 in his Lotus 18. Also Jim Timms in his Cooper T59 finished his first Lurani round aged 81. A chance for all of us in the future! I have yet to ask him for his diet.

On Saturday Robin and Noel Woodfords motorhome‘s provided shade and cooling for a FJHRA  lunch time with wine, beer, cheese and pate organised by Sue Longdon, Sharon Woodford and Penny after the race.

Race 2. Unfortunately Christian Traber Lola was unable to start thus allowing reserve Peter Barclay from Australia to start in his F3 car. Manfredo took the lead from the start followed by Pierre Tonetti and Philipp  Buhofer and Pete Morton. The safety car then had a second outing after Philipp spun. Mark Pangborn had to pull out of the race, the damage to the car had turned out to have spread further than anticipated. In the end it was Manfredo coming in before Pierre and Pete separated by 1/10th of a second. Bruno Weibel held up the drum brake honour in his Lotus 20 to finish 5thoverall with Noel coming second in class even though he took some alternative lines on a few occasions. John Lord took Class C2 honours again and Daniele secured yet another Class A victory.

We left Dijon with three championship contenders at equal points!

by Ivo Gockmann and Penny and Grant Wilson.