After a long summer break, the HVM Historic Tour 2023 season has resumed for a final sprint of three rounds. Find out more about the Classic Racing Team, our driving school’s competitive section, competing in the Formula Ford Historic Challenge (category A).
After a break of more than two months and a mixed start to the HVM Historic Tour 2023 season for our drivers, our team headed to the Croix-en-Ternois for the Motors Festival. The event marked the track’s 50th anniversary and was expected to attract large crowds, giving our team extra motivation to get their second part to the season off to a flying start.
In a weekend with a special format (where drivers raced three times instead of the usual two), our man in form was Jean-François Comte. Absent from Dijon and Albi at the start of the season, the first driver to have joined our team to be still active enjoyed his best weekend of the season, and indeed, one of the best since his Historic Tour debut.
The first two races of the weekend saw Jean-François take two solid fourth places, before the consecration in race 3 with a finish on the box. Jean-François, who is accustomed to the midfield, scored a total of 96 points over the weekend alone at Croix-en-Ternois: a better record than some of the championship’s leading lights, such as last year’s class champion Eric Lecluse.
A podium finish is all well and good. But our drivers are hungry for success and don’t intend to be satisfied with a finish on the box! In the final sprint of this HVM Historic Tour 2023 season, the participants find themselves on the Magny-Cours circuit, Nicolas Leblond’s favorite. The Dulon LD4 driver proved his love of the Nivernais track in the best possible way.
On the former Formula 1 circuit, the battle was fierce right from qualifying: Nicolas took second place, just 112 thousandths behind class poleman Michel Ghio. A very small gap in this category. Unfortunately for our driver, he didn’t see the chequered flag in the first race, and was forced to retire. Andreas Kunz (P7) and Jean-François Comte (P8) put an end to a difficult race for our team, but one which served as a learning experience for the following day.
It’s 12:05 when the lights go out for the second race of the weekend. Starting from the penultimate row, Nicolas’ watchword was simple: have fun without putting pressure on himself. The Dulon driver was to do even better, as he pulled off the race of his life by overtaking the rest of the field to win on his favourite circuit!
A victory as sensational as it was unexpected, the first of the season for the Classic Racing Team. Jean-François improved on his performance of the previous day by finishing sixth, while Andreas was forced to retire. A second race full of lessons, and finally, a success that put a smile on the face of the entire team, from drivers to mechanics.
After an excellent result at Magny-Cours, the HVM Historic Tour 2023 season moved to the Val de Vienne circuit in Le Vigeant. In mid-October, the drivers will once again have to contend with the rain. Who will come out on top in these difficult conditions?
For this final round of the season, it was Nicolas and Andreas wearing the Classic Racing Team colors. In a wet qualifying session, Nicolas takes P4, while Andreas signs P9. All was still to play for in the first race, and while the other grids benefited from dry conditions, rain fell on the Val de Vienne circuit for the first race of the Formula Ford Historic Challenge.
No problem for Nicolas, at ease in these conditions: aboard his Dulon, he climbed to second place to take his second podium in two races! Andreas, for his part, was trapped by the conditions and didn’t see the chequered flag.
Unfortunately for our drivers, the second race was not to spare them, despite the mild conditions. After an excellent start, Nicolas led the A category and managed his race, before a mechanical problem finally put an end to his hopes of victory, a few laps from the finish. Our driver had an excellent end to the season, but was not rewarded in Val de Vienne. With the previous day’s damage, Andreas couldn’t take the start, which ended his season a bit earlier than expected.
Over the season as a whole, the Classic Racing Team can congratulate itself on yet another triumph, with a total of five podium finishes (one for Jean-François, four for Nicolas). The latter finished fourth in the championship, admittedly one place below his target, but with a great deal of promise and an impressive build-up of power.
Andreas, who took part in every round of the HVM Historic Tour 2023, showed a level of progress and mentality beyond reproach for a beginner. His pace, which improved throughout the championship, bodes well for the future.
The Classic Racing Team looks forward to seeing you in 2024 for the next season of the French Historic Tour, which kicks off on May 3, 4 and 5 in Dijon!