Driving a Ford GT40 to Win at the Spa Six Hours

Bruce McLaren was a fan of the GT40 for multiple reasons, all of which come to shine during a six-hour endurance race at Spa.

JD Classics

JD Classics is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to vintage racing and restorations. They have a fast pass to every Goodwood event, and while part of the team is busy developing parts such as their brand new manual transmission for classic Jaguars, their race cars often wearing the number 55 are hard at work on Europe's historic race tracks.

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At the 25th anniversary Spa Six Hours, 55 ended up on yet another Ford GT40, driven by Chris Ward and Andrew Smith.

JD Classics

On Saturday afternoon, the race got shortened to five hours due to a late start. Chris Ward got to the lead on lap 12, only to run into a safety car situation ten laps later. With the eight second lead gone, it was time for the first driver change at lap 36, after which Ward had to refuel the car himself, in the spirit of the period. Andrew Smith re-joined the race in 9th place and started to pick up the pace just as the safety car returned to the track once again. Following the third green flag, he was kept out for longer, as at Spa, there can easily be a ten minute difference between pit stops depending on your timing. Smith regained the lead on lap 73, only to pit for the last driver change straight after. 25 laps later, Ward crossed the finish line more than two and a half minutes ahead of P2.

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Needless to say, the Ford GT40s Bruce McLaren got familiar with back in the sixties were slower than any GT40 leaving JD Classics' garage today.

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