The 2017 Jaguar Classic Challenge season concluded at the historic Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium during the Six Hours of Spa race last weekend, with father and son pairing, Graeme and James Dodd, taking their third victory of the five-race season in their 1963 E-type.
A strong 33-car entry competed in the Belgian event, all pre-1966 Appendix K specification Jaguars. Andy Newall and Rhea Sautter put their 1961 E-type on pole during qualifying, more than two seconds ahead of Chris Milner and Nigel Greensall’s car. The Dodds started third, with Marcus Oeynhausen lined up alongside them on the second row of the grid.
The start was frenetic as Oeynhausen drove straight into the lead and started pulling away, setting the fastest lap of the race on lap two. His leading E-type looked set to dominate, before succumbing to a gearbox issue and falling back through the field. That left Sautter, Graeme Dodd and Nick Riley battling for the top spot before the pit-stop window opened.
Once all drivers had conducted their mandatory stops, some with driver changes, James Dodd came out ahead in first place by a comfortable 16 seconds and pulled away consistently lap after lap before taking the chequered flag a more than a minute ahead of the field. Second was the pole-sitting E-type of Newall and Sautter, followed by Niklas and Lukas Halusa’s E-type in third.
Race winner James Dodd said: “The race was a great success and the car fortunately stayed strong. Dad had a good start and kept up the pace until the pit-stops. When I took over, we had such a big lead that I could back off and save the car. It’s our first season racing the E-type and overall it has gone very well; we’re delighted.”
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