DSC caught up with a very busy Nic Minassian at Spa last weekend to chat not just about matters arising at DragonSpeed (where the ex Peugeot factory driver is now Sporting Director), but also about his other major venture, at the helm of the new Masters Endurance Series which had its Preview event during the Spa 6 Hours even from September 15-17.
“It went very well, and there is a huge amount of interest in the full Series,” said Nic.
How much interest? That question saw a wry smile from Minassian:
“I’ve had interest from owners and teams who have, between them, a total of 186 eligible cars!”
That figure covers cars from 1995-2011 in LMP1, LMP900, LMP2, LMP675, SR1 and SR2 prototypes plus GT1, GTS, GT2, GTE, N-GT, GT3 and one-make racers with the Spa entry already giving a moth-watering insight into the breadth of machinery available.
Minassian himself drove a Peugeot 908X, one of a number of ex factory cars obtained by a consortium involving Bob Berridge. Two of the Peugeots were on site at Spa for the race meeting and DSC is aware of real interest in at least two of the collection of V12 or V8 engined Peugeots changing hands imminently.
Also on site and (briefly) running was the ex factory run Creation prepped by Berridge’s Chamberlain Synergy outfit. That newly restored car though suffered a clutch issue in first practice – It will return!
“While this is a full Series for next year the reality is that we expect to be taking entries on a race by race basis with a ceiling of around 40 cars per race,” said Minassian. With cars featuring expensive engine hours that could be a very smart move, and the rolling entry will surely keep up interest levels too in a Series that has already attracted the attention of interested parties for beyond the regular historic racing community.
The races will be relatively short in format “40-45 minutes each with two races per event, and a 45 minute practice and equally session.” Again designed to reduce running costs.
Cars are allowed 2 sets of tyres per meeting though this is an area that is causing some minor issues – the variety of cars involved makes it difficult to source a single tyre supplier and, in the case of the newer LMP2s in particular, there are current spec Dunlop and Michelin LMP2 tyres commercially available that could stack the competitive deck in their direction.
With the calendar set to be confirmed relatively soon, the Series linked to the well-established Masters Historic package, the potential venues include a number of significant circuits including Barcelona, Zandvoort, Paul Ricard, Nürburgring, Donington Park and the major historic festivals at Spa (6 Hours) and Silverstone (Classic).
All the signs are that this is a Series that a lot of people have been waiting for!
You can see a DSC Gallery of the cars involved in the Preview event HERE >>