Group C Talk – Round 3August 20, 2021
Group C Supercup Invitation ClassMarch 22, 2022
Back to the 80’s
After its debut with an open invitation race at Hockenheim in 2021, the Group C Supercup continues to grow. This year, two events are planned - with a new race format based on the original Supercup from the late eighties.
Translation of the original text from: Norbert Ockenga
Fotos: Berit Erlbacher
published in PITWALK Magazine #65
The poll results were clear. No new race has generated as much excitement in German auto racing as the Group C Supercup at the Hockenheim Ring last summer.
And no growth was so longed for over the winter as the expansion of the first round into a mini-race series. All the more so because the other championship for sports prototypes steeped in history - the Histo series of events run by Peter Auto and the ACO - was treating Group C ever more stepmotherly in favor of other eras.
Immediately after the baptism of fire in Hockenheim, the organizers around Fritz Gebhardt, who came up with the idea, and ex-Group C driver Frank Jelinski, who is responsible for the sporting side of things, launched a survey of all participants - in order to be able to respond precisely to the wishes of the active participants. "Doing a revival with such expensive cars is not without its difficulties," explains Jelinski. "It's hardly possible to do an endurance race with them these days, because it gets far too expensive. The cars have to go back to the track - but just like 30 years ago? The operating costs are too high for that. For the pit stops alone, you need additional mechanics. But we also wanted to make it possible for the smaller teams, where the car owner is also the driver - and the team basically consists of just him and his wife."
The result can now be experienced at the beginning of May in Hockenheim and at the newly won race in Assen in the north of the Netherlands. In southern Germany, Group C - as in 2021 - will once again form the main attraction of the Hockenheim Historic. In the process, the Jim Clark Revival moves back to its traditional date in late spring - in the immediate vicinity of Clark's fatal accident in a Formula 2 race in the Hardtwald.
In Assen, Group C replaces the DTM guest race that had been planned there in the first place. Instead of the GT3 race series, the Dutch have created the Classic GP Assen on the traditional motorcycle track in Drenthe. There, too, the Group C Supercup will form the main race - and will already take part in a demo round in the run-up to the event, which is intended to promote the new history festival in Holland.
The races will obey a different schedule in 2022: Time trials in Saturday qualifying will be shortened to half an hour because too many cars had been waiting in front of their pits too often in the one-hour qualifying session at the first round in Hockenheim. In the future, a 40-minute sprint will be run on both Saturday and Sunday - without forced pit stops and driver changes.
If a duo shares a car, one pilot drives on Saturday - and the other on Sunday. "There can't be much excitement in long races because the field pulls apart far too quickly," Jelinski notes. "This type of historic motorsport cannot be compared to a DTM Classic. The cars are much more elaborate and rarer than touring cars; accidents become more expensive - and also more dangerous. It's not so much about the drivers here - it's about enjoying the pure cars."
Solo for 2
The second race will be started in reverse order of the finish of Heat 1. Both race results will be scored together, and there will be a points system that will produce an overall winner in each of the individual vehicle classes after the second race in Assen. "And across all classes, we will also be announcing a team classification. If two drivers share a car, then this car can be the overall winner of a weekend," adds Jelinski. "That can definitely be a C2 as well. If there's a pro or gold driver behind the wheel, it ultimately doesn't matter whether he's in a C1 or a C2." And caliber drivers like Ralf Kelleners, Alex Müller or Marco Werner are expressly welcome in the Supercup - while they are currently being deliberately shooed away from the Peter Series. "But some car owners deliberately hire top-class drivers so that they can present their car at the very front of the grid." For the Supercup, therefore, the FIA classification, which staggers drivers from platinum to bronze depending on their successes and age, is not taken into account. "There's just arguments about that anyway," the Hanover native knows, "about why which driver is classified how."
The list of participants already filled up immediately after the dates were announced: The major English racing teams of Michael Lyons and Phil Stott - in which Alex Müller drives a TWR Jaguar - registered with three cars, as did Fritz Gebhardt's team from Sinsheim in Kraichgau, which was revived last year.
The organizers are expecting fields of just under 20 cars from all three generations of Group C for both Supercup rounds. A prominent contender is already taking a run-up in the background: Former Le Mans winner Stanley Dickens is negotiating with former Sauber-Mercedes Group C veteran Kenny Acheson about a start in his Le Mans-winning car. Acheson now also owns one of the former Sauber Silver Arrows.
And Dickens would also be on board for another innovation for Hockenheim 2022. "We will definitely have a big barbecue for all team members in the paddock," Gebhardt promises. "That was a cherished tradition in the past. Last year, we couldn't do it yet because of the Corona restrictions. But they've all been asking for it."
I have a stream
The Group C Supercup events will be broadcast in full length via internet streams. Both qualifying and the races can be followed live via the website of the Group C Supercup, the Hockenheim Historic and presumably also the Classic GP Assen - with commentary by Norbert Ockenga, the long-standing voice of motorsport on the Eurosport television channel, the producer of the PITCAST podcast series and the editor-in-chief of PITWALK.
2 x 25 minutes
In the run-up to the Hockenheim Historic, PITWALK TV is once again inviting contemporary witnesses from the golden era of sports car endurance racing, as well as current active members of Historic Group C, to exclusive talk shows at the Sinsheim Museum of Technology. Each round of talks revolves around a specific topic from the history of Group C or current events from Historic Motorsport. The individual episodes can be seen on the Group C Supercup website, at http://www.pitwalk.de or on the PITWALK magazine YouTube channel.
When & where?
6th – 8th May 2022
16th – 18th September 2022
A 40-minute race is held on both Saturday and Sunday.
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
• Tourenwagen Classics
• Youngtimer Touring Car Challenge
• CanAm & Sportscars
• Historic Racer Association
• GT Classics
• VFV GLPpro
• Raceclub Germany
• Historische Formel Vau Europa
• Dunlop Gentle Drivers of the 50s - 60s
Event & Sponsorship Information
Tel: +49 (0) 7261 939200
Tel.: +49 (0) 6205 950 202
Press & Media
Commpanions Werbeagentur GmbH
Tel.: +49 (0)6127 9917880
This event is not organized or affiliated with Peter Auto S.A in any manner