As part of the Bosch Hockenheim Historic - the Jim Clark Revival - from 27-29 August 2021, the spectacular Group C booming birds from the Eighties and early Nineties will return to Germany. Not without reason is this period considered the golden age of endurance racing. Despite strong competition from the Lancia LC2, Porsche dominated the races very early on with the 956 and the 962. However, with the participation of Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Nissan and Mazda, the competition then became fiercer. Many of them also took part in the IMSA championship, since the GTP class had similar regulations. The KW Group C Supercup is the highlight of the event at the end of August at the Hockenheimring and many motorsport fans are already looking forward to it. Fritz Gebhardt, the initiator of the KW Group C Supercup, was more than happy to oblige, Rainer Selzer from RS65photos and answer the following questions.
1. Mr. Gebhardt, what prompted or motivated you to establish the KW Group C Supercup?
We were at the 2019 Group C Racing as part of the Monza Historic organized by Peter Auto and were very impressed on site by the quality of the cars. This prompted us to brain storm in a larger group after our return about organizing such a race along the lines of the Super Cup of the eighties and nineties. After Patrick Peter expressed no interest in the German market, we went deeper into planning. During test drives at the Hockenheimring in 2020, those responsible for the circuit were also very impressed with the Group C cars and we went into detail with the question of where we could organize such a race. The answer was found quickly and was called: Bosch Hockenheim Historic - the Jim Clark Revival. In the next step an organizing committee was founded, consisting of Jochen Nerpel (GF Hockenheimring), Wolfgang Huter (organizer BHH), the Baden Motorsport Club and me, as organizer of the Group C race. In addition, Zoe Copas of the English Group C Ltd. - under whose Group C regulations everything runs - was included for the administrative handling of the event.
2. Are there already further events planned for the KW Group C Supercup in 2022?
We want to wait and see how the race in Hockenheim develops and what the response from the teams is like. What is clear and already apparent is the great response from the spectators and fans.
3. Gebhardt Motorsport was at the start of the FHR Spring Classic on May 8th at the Hockenheimring with the newly built C88 - piloted by Michael Lyons. I would like to know more about the construction of the C88.
In 2018 we learned that the Gebhardt C 88 was for sale. However, since no buyer was found at the Bonhams auction, we made an offer directly to the owner and the C88 passed into our possession. Officially, the car should be in good condition and the engine had been freshly overhauled. Officially!!
Unfortunately, the reality was a bit different. The engine was over-revved and the rest was in a very desolate condition. Therefore we decided to start a complete restoration process, which included the following steps:
Completely overhaul the engine, renew the monocoque and body, x-ray all safety related parts, make new tanks and make new steering gears, completely overhaul the transmission, make new windshields and new wiring harness.... The complete rebuild was done with the identical parts from 1987, which were all newly hand made. The rebuild time for the Gebhardt C 88 Audi (5 cylinder Trans Am engine, built in 1987, group C2), which already had a carbon body back then, was 30 months including 3 test drives and a race entry at the Monza Historic 2019.
4. You have bought back many of your earlier cars, which are currently being rebuilt by the Gebhardt Motorsport Team. Which cars are these and can they be seen and heard at the Bosch Hockenheim Historic in August?
We have bought back the following cars in addition to the Gebhardt C88 and they are currently being restored: Gebhardt JC 843 (Ford Cosworth 3.3 liter engine, built 1984, Group C 2) - the 1986 Le Mans winner - used by ADA and the Gebhardt JC 853 (Ford Cosworth, 3.3 liter engine, built 1985, Group C 2), which was used in the legendary Labatts colors.
The C 88 and the JC 853 will certainly start in Hockenheim, whether the JC 843 will be finished is still questionable.
Thank you very much, Mr. Gebhardt, for the interview. All the best and good luck with the KW Group C Supercup!
36 years ago, in July 1985, the spectacular Group C / IMSA cars had been seen and heard for the last time at the 1000 km race at the Hockenheimring. Take the opportunity and be there live for the return to the traditional race track in Baden. Tickets for the event can be purchased now at the following link:
27th, 28th and 29th August 2021
One 45-minute race on each day, with pit stops for two drivers per car directly after the lunch break.
Class 1a = Group C1 and IMSA-GTP (Year of construction 1987 to 1990)
Class 1b = Group C1 and IMSA-GTP (Year of construction 1982 to 1986)
Class 2a = Group C2, Junior, IMSA (Year of construction 1986 to 1990)
Class 2b = Group C2, Junior, IMSA Light (Year of construction 1982 to 1985)
Class 3a = Group C, IMSA, Japanese Group C (Year of construction 1991 to 1993)
Class 3b = Special invitation from the organiser
The Bosch Hockenheim Historic - The Jim Clark Revival is an established motorsport event for vintage and young timers that draws large visitor numbers from Germany and throughout Europe to the traditional racing track in Baden each year. With twelve spectacular racing series & more than 500 participants bringing the magic of past racing days back to the time-honoured Motodrom, which has served as the stage for countless memorable racing battles.• Group C Supercup
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