Round 2: Silverstone 1,000 Kilometers Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire England, May 8, 1983

Round two of the World Endurance Championship brings the drivers and teams to jolly old England, and the Silverstone Circuit located in Northamptonshire.

Germany’s Stefan Bellof is set to make his debut at Silverstone which will see the 2.9 mile layout being run on for a distance of 212 laps to equate to the advertised distance.  In qualifying, the #2 Porsche for Bellof and Bell laid down the gauntlet!  An amazing time of 1:13.15 is the pole time for this 1,000 kilometer contest.  They are a full second clear of the Joest Porsche, now wearing #8, and being driven by Bob Wollek, along with Sweden’s Stefan Johansson.

There are some additional entries to take note of here at Silverstone.  First is the #21 Kremer Racing Porsche 956, sponsored by Grand Prix International, in the hands of Australians Alan Jones (1980 Formula 1 champion), and Vern Schuppan.  We also see the #47 Porsch 956, entered by Preston Henn from the United States under the banner of his business Henn’s T-Bird Swap Shop, with Newsweek sponsorship.  Preston Henn sharing the car, with British pilots Guy Edwards and Rupert Keegan.  More new entries are also here at Silverstone.

First up, we have the #35 Sehcar SH C6 for Brun Motorsport GmbH.  The car is powered by the classic Ford Cosworth DFL 4.0 liter V8, and the Swiss team has team owner Walter Brun, driving with Hans Stuck from Germany.  Then there is the thunder of the Aston Martin Nimrod.  This British bruiser is to be piloted by Ray Mallock and Mike Salmon, powered by the Tickford developed 5.4 liter two valve Double Overhead Cam V8.  Plus, we have another debutant.  The #41 EMKA C83/1.  This is another car, powered by the monstrous Aston Martin Tickford V8 that also resides in the back of the Nimrod car, and will be shared by a trio of Brits in their home race.  Car owner Steve O’Rourke will share with Tiff Needell (who drove the Canon Porsche at Monza), and Jeff Allam.

Joest Porsche has entered another car at Silverstone.  This is the modified Porsche 936, which originally was an open cockpit spyder.  Now, a coupe, this car has a similar 2.6 liter flat six turbo Porsche 935 engine to the 956’s.  With Belga sponsorship, this machine will be piloted by the Belgian trio of Marc Duez, Philippe Martin, and Jean-Michel Martin.  Also, in this 29 car grid, we see the debut of the new Group C Junior Mazda 717C for Mazdaspeed, powered by the 1300cc 13B two rotor Mazda motor, in the hands of Yojiro Terada of Japan, and Great Britain’s Pete Lovett.

29 cars will start.  It’s going to be wet out there, with rain forecast.  Here are the top qualifiers at Silverstone for the 1,000Ks.

  1. #2 Bell/Bellof                         Porsche 956        Rothman’s Porsche
  2. #8 Wollek/Johansson Porsche 956        Sorga SA
  3. #1 Ickx/Mass Porsche 956        Rothman’s Porsche
  4. #4 Alboreto/Patrese Lancia LC2            Martini Racing
  5. #5 Ghinzani/Fabi Lancia LC2            Martini Racing
  6. #11 Fitzpatrick/Hobbs Porsche 956        John Fitzpatrick Racing
  7. #12 Heyer/Merl/Schickentanz Porsche 956               Joest Racing
  8. #18 Lassig/Grohs/Plankenhorn Porsche 956               Boss-Obermaier Racing
  9. #14 Lloyd/Lammers/Boutsen Porsche 956   Canon Racing
  10. #21 Jones/Schuppan            Porsche 956             Porsche Kremer Racing
  11. #47 Henn/Edwards/Keegan Porsche 956   Henns’ T-Bird Swap Shop
  12. #35 Stuck/Brun            Sehcar SH C6 Ford  Brun Motorsport GmbH

While going over the top qualifying places, the rain stopped.  However, it seems most cars in this field are going to start on wet weather grooved tires.  The cars head through Stowe corner on the pace lap, behind the safety car.  The safety car pulls to pit lane, and away we go!  Derek Bell takes the lead, and Bob Wollek challenges.  Michele Alboreto starting the Lancia, he files through from fourth, and to the battling drivers, he says “grazie mille”, and takes the lead!  Both Lancia’s run 1-2, on wet weather Pirelli tires.

It seems the Pirelli wet tires have a sure advantage over the Dunlop wet tires.  Michele Alboreto leads the way from Piercarlo Ghinzani, Jochen Mass, Derek Bell, Bob Wollek, John Fitzpatrick, and Alan Jones.  Alan Jones, meanwhile, in the #21 Kremer Porsche has the Goodyear wet weather tires bolted on, and the Goodyear rubber is far superior to either the Pirelli or Dunlop wet weather tires.  Lap two, and Piercarlo Ghinzani makes a move for the lead around Michele Alboreto.  The scrap for third heats up.  Jochen Mass has it, and Alan Jones wants it.  Side by side stuff into Copse corner, and Alan Jones takes third away from the Rothman’s Porsche.

Piercarlo Ghinzani heads to the pits for slick tires now that it’s quit raining for the time being.  But, Bob Wollek is sent into the spin cycle!  It’s a harmless spin for Wollek, but it’s wet out there.  On lap 13, Alan Jones does take the lead away from Michele Alboreto, perhaps using the slower Group B #89 BMW M1 as a pick.  That’s the Team Castrol BMW M1 with it’s 3.5 liter straight six motor, being shared by Jens Winther of Denmark, David Mercer from England, and Germany’s Wolfgang Braun.

Lancia #4 hits the pit lane, and 19 laps in, we have a new leader.  It’s the Ickx/Mass #1 Rothman’s Porsche.  Jones has his hands full with the sister Rothman’s Porsche with Derek Bell at the controls.  Bell takes second at Copse corner and then hits the pit lane for service.  Lancia retakes the lead, with the #5 Ghinzani/Fabi car.  The pit stop exchanges seem to work like clockwork.  As soon as the Lancia dives for the lane, the Rothman’s Porsche cycles back to the lead.  As the race goes on, the track dries, and Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass, consolidate their lead in the Silverstone 1,000 kilometers.

Bob Wollek and Stefan Johansson in the Joest Porsche remain second.  But, it’s game over for Lancia.  The team forgot to remove the blanking tape from the radiators, and thus, both Lancia factory cars steam their way into retirement here at Silverstone.  Team boss Cesare Fiorio is no doubt disappointed.  Jacky Ickx pits Rothman’s Porsche #1, and Jochen Mass takes over.  Ditto for Derek Bell taking over from Stefan Bellof.  Bob Wollek takes over from Stefan Johansson.  Also, more drama.  The #11 JDavid John Fitzpatrick Porsche is in the pits without it’s left front wheel.  The rain is drizzling once more, and this catches out Jochen Mass in the #1 Rothman’s car.

Mass spins out and crashes in Club corner.  Bell and Bellof in the sister car take the lead, and have to fend off the challenge of Wollek/Johansson.  Johansson in the Joest Porsche.  Bellof in the Rothman’s Porsche.  It’s the Stefan and Stefan show!  By a margin of 35 seconds, Bell and Bellof, hold on to take the win at Silverstone!

Let’s have a look at the results sheet.

  1. #2 Bell/Bellof Porsche 956        Rothman’s Porsche
  2. #8 Wollek/Johansson Porsche 956        Sorga SA
  3. #14 Boutsen/Lammers /Lloyd Porsche 956  Canon Racing
  4. #18 Lassig/Grohs/Plankenhorn Porsche 956  Boss-Obermaier Racing
  5. #21 Jones/Schuppan Porsche 956  Porsche Kremer Racing
  6. #42 Cleare/Dron Kremer Porsche CK5  Richard Cleare
  7. #39 Mallock/Salmon Viscount Downe with Pace Petroleum Nimrod NRA C2/B Aston Martin

So, the bruiser makes it home in the top ten.  Next up, the 1,000 Kilometers at the Nurburgring.  This will be the final big league race on the Nordschleife, the 14 mile run through the forest, for some years.


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the braking zone

International racing fan for over 20 years. I follow Formula One, Indycars, sports cars, touring cars and other varied forms of racing within and outside the U.S. I am a recent college graduate and have been following the world of car racing since childhood.

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