2019 FIA Lurani Trophy Round 1 – Hockenheim Historic

A three car battle for the lead in both heats had the crowds cheering the little Formula Juniors. Past Champion Bruno Weibel played dark horse on both occasions, but with some brilliant manoeuvring outflanked both Manfredo Rossi di Montelera and ex-F3000 racer Mark Shaw to take the two wins, just as Mark was working out how far he needed to keep ahead for an aggregate win! Mark and Manfredo shared a second and third each, while three times Le Mans winner Marco Werner had clutch trouble from his front row slot in Race 1 and worked his way from the back of the pack to 8th, bettering this with a good fifth in Race 2.

Current champion Colin Nursey (Lotus 18) was locked in wheel to wheel combat throughout both heats with Lurani newcomer Crispian Besley in his BMC powered Cooper T56 for Class C honours and Class D was a repeat with Sir John Chisholm ( Gemini 3A) in a race long battle in Race 1 with Ivo Göckmann in the Australian built Jolus, Daniele Salodini took Front-engined honours in the classic Taraschi but star entry was ex-hillclimber Malcolm Wishart giving the time warp Faranda its first serious race for over 30 years.

Proceedings for Hockenheim  had really started weeks before when entries closed, and it became clear that, almost for the first time, except for NĂĽrburgring, there was a vast oversubscription of entry for a Lurani round, and the carefully honed selection process would come into play, leaving all the Classic Team Lotus run cars and both Caroline Rossi and team mate Pietro Vergnano amongst those very disappointed; but yet multi Le Mans winner Marco Werner had not even entered on time and was nearly last reserve, yet by actually turning up – albeit to satisfy sponsorship and film commitments – he eventually got onto both grids, and in a front row grid slot to boot

On track, free dedicated FJ practice on Thursday evening saw 27 of the cars out including the guest F3 of Robert Retzlaff, who was running in the rolling museum single seater demonstration. Poor Günther Leidig was an early pit visitor with diff trouble, ending his track time for the weekend. Mark Shaw’s pit stop was more measured, he lapping consistently throughout, behind returnee Pierre Tonetti and in company with Andrea Guarino, Bruno Ferrari  and Retzlaff

Official qualifying was enlivened by Peter Fenichel stopping after the hairpin with gear selection problems. Manoeuvred behind the barriers,  he got out, fixed it, leapt back, rejoined the track and then had a quick pit stop to tighten his belts ! Urs Müller had a clutch problem, but up front Manfredo  and Marco Werner were significantly faster than Bruno and Marc Shaw

Manfredo led race one for the first lap, then Bruno slipped ahead, and it was Bruno leading for three laps, then Manfredo again, then Mark for a couple, and finally Bruno when it mattered!!! Tonetti held station for the rest of the race after disposing of Stephan Rey’s Lola, while a little way behind was an  exciting duel between Ivo Göckeman’s Jolus and Sir John Chisholm in the Mk 3A Gemini. Hans Hildebrink was an early spinner, and was lucky not to be hit by following cars, while David Drew in the Ausper pitted terminally on the warming up lap, with no brakes, letting Jonathan Fyda as first reserve out to join the fray

With Marco secure on the grid, and no more reserves,  Duncan rejoined the fray for Race 2.