JD Classics 1974 Ford Cologne Capri Winning Streak With Victory At Spa Classic
JD Classics’ Ford Cologne Capri has chalked up another comprehensive victory following a dominant season of racing in 2014. In the past twelve months, it has conquered its rivals at the Silverstone Classic and Donington Historic Festival.
As the 1974 Cologne Capri Works arrived at a warm and dry Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, its drivers Chris Ward and Andrew Smith prepared for qualifying in the Heritage Touring Cup. Of a field of 38 strong contenders, the JD Classics Capri qualified second, sitting just behind the Rover Vitesse of Tim Summers and Richard Meaden.
But the work wasn't over, with the night time practice session looming. Complete with an all-new lighting system, and never having run in the dark before, the Ford Cologne Capri showed just how dominant it can be, recording a lap that was six seconds quicker than any other in the field.
The following day was the first of two hour-long Heritage Touring Cup races, with driver Andrew Smith sitting on the grid behind the wheel of the Ford. At lights out, the JD Classics car’s searing pace was immediately obvious as the Rover ahead struggled to maintain its lead. By the time the cars were approaching the notoriously tricky Eau Rouge corner on lap one, the Ford Cologne Capri was in the lead.
And once in front, the Capri’s consistently quick lap times allowed it to pull out a lead that made it uncatchable. As the gap to second place lengthened, the JD Classics team called the Capri in for a pit stop, with time to give the car a once-over and allow Chris Ward to step in to the driver’s seat. By the time the chequered flag had fallen, the Capri had claimed fastest lap of the race and was 40 seconds ahead of second place – the Ford Capri of Steve Dance.
Later the same day, the JD Classics Capri headed out for the second of the Heritage Touring Cup races – an hour-long sprint in the dark, kicking off at 10pm.
Sitting on pole, the Capri extended its lead from the very first lap, but dropped to second as the team performed a pit stop and driver change with the safety car out. Nevertheless, the first-place Capri of Steve Dance couldn’t hold the lead for long, and before the out lap was through, the JD Classics Capri was back in the lead. Free to extend its lead once again, the Capri crossed the finish line 30 seconds ahead of its closest rival, showing no signs of interrupting its impressive winning streak.
JD Classics founder, Derek Hood, said: “The race results of our Ford Cologne Capri Works are a testament to the world-class engineers, drivers and support crew that make up our Competition Department. Its track record is seriously impressive and we believe there’s plenty more to come from this fantastic car.”