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2019 Hungaroring Classic
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A recurring success
When first held, two years ago, the Hungaroring Classic was the first major historic racing meeting behind the 'iron curtain.' It was no surprise that the Peter Auto organised event attracted a lot of local interest and those that could not make it to the track in person could even watch the proceedings on a big screen in the city centre. After a one-year hiatus, we were back at the Hungaroring for the second edition. Once again, we were joined by an impressive crowd and a stunning 780 local club cars that ranged from a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL and a Lamborghini Espada to a Citroen BX. The action on the tight and undulating circuit was provided by the familiar Peter Auto grids that included fan favourites like Group C Racing, Classic Endurance Racing and the Greatest's Trophy.
In constantly changing conditions, we were at the Hungaroring throughout the weekend with this class-by-class, 190-shot gallery as the result.

Long distance racing
The longest race of the weekend was the two-hour, Sixties' Endurance event that concluded running on Saturday afternoon. This was particularly affected by the changing weather conditions with qualifying being run in very damp conditions, followed by a brief shower during the race itself. Fastest during the slippery qualifying was Patrick Blakeney Edwards in the AC Shelby Cobra that he shared with owner Richard Cooke. In the race, however, it was the Cobra that was started from second place by Andrew Smith that grabbed an early lead. Despite a late spin by co-driver James Cottingham, this lead was never challenged. The first non-Cobra across the line was the Porsche 904 shared by Michiel van Duijvendijk and Pascal Pandelaar, who finished sixth overall.
The 2.0L Cup for early, short wheelbase Porsche 911s was the second longest race of the weekend at 90 minutes. Despite its length, it was closely disputed with eventual winners Andrew Smith and Oliver Bryant not taking over the lead until the last minutes of the race.

Group C
Complicated and accordingly very expensive to run, it is often difficult to get a decent grid for the ever popular Group C cars. The Hungaroring Classic proved to be no exception with only nine examples of the formidable prototype racers entered. Unfortunately one Kremer Porsche 962 CK6 suffered an engine failure in qualifying while another Porsche 962C failed to make the start of the second race despite finishing race one second overall. The second qualifying session did provide quite a spectacle as despite the rain most cars did take to the track. The incredible levels of downforce generated by the ground effect aerodynamics resulted in spectacular 'rooster tails'. Also worth viewing was the second race, which saw three cars fight for the lead until the dying seconds. Eventually it was Pierre-Alain France who snatched the lead from the Michiel Campagne and Allard Kalff driven Spice in the last laps with the Nissan he shared with his son Erwin. Campagne was then also overtaken by the hard charging Mike Wrigley, who had won the opening race but just missed on back-to-back victories in his Spice.

Classic Endurance Racing
A set fixture during the Peter Auto weekends for many years have been the Classic Endurance Racing (CER) grids. In the earlier CER1 field, the front row was, perhaps not surprisingly, for the compact and nimble Chevron B19s of Maurizio Bianco and Alexander Furiani respectively. Almost defying physics, it was however Claudio Roddaro in his mighty Porsche 917 K that once again proved the class of the field. Even a late rain shower had little effect on the result. What makes this victory particularly impressive is that the Gulf-liveried Porsche had been trucked around Europe during the previous three weeks to participate in two concours d'elegance and the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The CER2 race was equally interesting with pole sitter Maxime Guenat finally claiming his first victory of the season in his Lola T286. He had been the fastest man at each of the previous rounds but mechanical failures had prevented the young Swiss racer from converting his impressive pace into a much deserved victory until this weekend. In the GT2 class, Oliver Mathai 'stole' the third podium position by turning the turbo-boost of his Porsche 924 GTR to eleven on the final lap. This turned out to be sufficient to make up the seven-second deficit he had to the Porsche 934 shared by Andrea Cabianca and Maurizio Fratti.

Final thoughts
Attracting a startling 45,000 visitors over three days, the second Hungaroring Classic was once again a great success. They were treated to spectacular racing with some stellar drives that were also shown on screens around the Hungaroring thanks to a complete Formula 1 standard television crew. Thanks to the local organisers, there was also sufficient entertainment off the track.

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