Balfe toasts brilliant podium double at Spa

Shaun Balfe (left) and Andy Wolfe celebrate second place in the Historic Touring Car Championship EMN-180920-113252002
Shaun Balfe (left) and Andy Wolfe celebrate second place in the Historic Touring Car Championship EMN-180920-113252002

Fulbeck racing driver Shaun Balfe recorded a podium double at the famous Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium last weekend.

Balfe remained a relative newcomer to the Classic and Historic racing circuit as he headed to the Continent, but took second place in the Historic

Balfe in the Lotus Elan cockpit as darkness falls at Spa EMN-180920-113303002

Balfe in the Lotus Elan cockpit as darkness falls at Spa EMN-180920-113303002

Touring Car race and then a class win in the prestigious Six-Hour Classic GT race.

Having only previously raced his Lotus Cortina at Donington Park, Balfe shared the driving duties with Andy Wolfe, who built the car for him.

In qualifying, Wolfe went out first and set the fourth-quickest time, despite slower conditions than practice, giving him a second-row start.

Balfe was on the outside for the first corner and lost two places, but he quickly regained fifth from Carlos Monteverde and then closed in on Richard Dutton.

“I knew if I could stay with Richard we would get the advantage when we stopped for the driver change,” Balfe said.

Wolfe took over after 10 laps and three laps later he moved into third place.

A lap later it was second, but the leading Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA of Oliver Hart remained dominant and Balfe/Wolfe settled for a solid second place, 13.3 seconds behind the winner.

“The Alfa’s were about three seconds a lap quicker, so we couldn’t have done better than second,” Balfe added.

With only a couple of hours break before the Six-Hour GT race and a handful of laps completed in the Lotus Elan, Balfe sat on class pole on a grid containing well over 100 cars as the race went on into the early evening and as the light faded.

Balfe said: “I was in the car for around two hours, but only dropped three places overall in my whole stint, so I was pretty pleased with that.”

He hand over to Pittard for the second stint, with around a 90-second lead in class and 12th overall.

The class lead continued to grow, and with Stirling in for the final stint, they took the class win by more than a lap, and finished seventh overall.

The Balfe racing team return to the British GT Championship at Donington Park, with Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson stepping up from GT4 to drive the GT3 McLaren 650S usually raced by Balfe and Rob Bell.

Adam Balon and Ben Barnicoat join the team with another McLaren GT4 570S for the first time.