GT STAR FREKE IN HISTORICS
British GT frontrunner Nathan Freke made his historic racing debut at SpaFrancorchamps last weekend after accepting an invitation to share Nick Matthews’ Austin-healey 100/4.
Freke and Matthews entered the Spa Summer Classic Three Hours last weekend in the 1954 machine. Freke, who runs the successful Century Motorsport team in both British GT and the Ginetta GT4 Supercup, helped the car run as high as sixth overall in the 71-car field before retiring when the differential broke with seven minutes to run.
“What a fantastic car, and what a great experience, I absolutely loved it,” said former British Formula Ford champion Freke. “Nick got in touch out of the blue as he wanted to test a Ginetta with Century, then we got talking and he offered me this chance.
“The Healey reminded me of a Formula Ford 1600 in the way it gripped. The videos beforehand showed it to be sideways everywhere and a real handful, but it was actually quite planted. It doesn’t have a lot of power, but the brakes were very good. The biggest difference was through the fast turns like Eau Rouge where you have to slow it down a lot more than the modern cars I’m used to.
“Historic racing is also a different mindset. You constantly think twice about moves in traffic as you’re in a near-irreplaceable car, passing another near-irreplaceable one! I’d love to do more and think Nick and I showed we can be quick considering we had the oldest car in the field in the top 10.”