Campbell among 12-strong Porsche line-up to tackle the Spa 24 Hours
With ten customer teams, twelve 911 GT3 R and a total of 40 racing drivers, seven of which are works drivers, Porsche is represented by an impressive line-up at the Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race. Hardly any other manufacturer will have more racing cars on the grid of the endurance classic this coming weekend. The legendary event on the 7.004-kilometre “Ardennes rollercoaster” is considered one of the most important GT3 events in the world and counts towards two of this season’s championships: the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup and the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC). Porsche is aiming for a hat trick on the Belgian Grand Prix circuit. In 2019, works drivers Michael Christensen (Denmark), Kévin Estre (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) claimed outright victory in the 911 GT3 R fielded by GPX Racing. Last year, another factory driver trio, Nick Tandy (Great Britain), Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), won the highlight of the GT3 season, that time with the Rowe Racing squad.
It is a century-old motor racing tradition. The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps has been one of the greatest challenges for drivers from all around the world since 1921. As early as 1924 – just three years after the opening – the first 24-hour race was held in the eastern-most corner of Belgium not far from the German border. At that time, the racetrack measured 14.863 kilometres and ran between the towns of Malmedy, Francorchamps and Stavelot. In 1979, a shorter version was introduced. At 7.004 kilometres and with 21 corners, the storied Grand Prix circuit is still the longest on the Formula 1 calendar. Thanks to the spectacularly steep section Raidillon/Eau Rouge and the downhill passage with the infamous Blanchimont lefthander, the circuit continues to live up to its reputation as the ‘Ardennes rollercoaster’. The tight La Source hairpin at the end of the start-finish straight is one of the slowest corners of the GT3 season.
In the long and illustrious history of this endurance classic, Porsche has so far notched up eight overall victories, the last two in succession. For the Spa-Francorchamps event, drivers and vehicles can earn points towards the IGTC and the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup after 6, 12 and 24 hours. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, only a limited number of spectators are allowed to attend the 24-hour race.
An overview of the Porsche teams and drivers
The twelve 911 GT3 R fielded by the Porsche customer teams will tackle the Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race in four different class groups. Seven 911 racing cars – each helmed by three drivers – will fight for overall victory in the 25-strong Pro division. Dinamic Motorsport and KCMG each campaign two of the 500+PS Weissach-developed rear-wheel-drive vehicles. The 2019 Spa winner GPX Racing fields one car. For the first time, Rutronik Racing runs a 911 GT3 R with another Porsche entered by Schnabl Engineering. The team known from the Nürburgring-Nordschleife decided at short notice to contest its debut race at the endurance classic. The vehicles fielded by GPX and Schnabl Engineering, the No. 47 car from KCMG and Dinamic No. 54 entry as well as the Porsche of Huber Motorsport and Herberth Motorsport from the Am and Pro-Am classes can also earn points for the manufacturer’s classification of the IGTC.
In the Silver Cup, Allied Racing flies the flag for the sports car manufacturer. In this class, four drivers are permitted per racing car and their FIA status must be no more than ‘Silver’. Simply put, this class is reserved for semi-professionals. With 17 entries expected, this class is the second largest in the starting field.
Fourteen vehicles contest the Pro-Am class. Aside from Herberth Motorsport, ano-ther newcomer campaigns a 911 GT3 R in the long-distance classic: the EBM Giga Racing belongs to Will Bamber and his brother Earl, who claimed overall victory twice at Le Mans in the 919 Hybrid as a Porsche works driver. To be eligible to contest the Pro-Am category, at least two drivers must have “Bronze” status, share the wheel for at least eight hours and spend at least 60 minutes in the cockpit per race quarter.
In the Am Cup reserved exclusively for privateers, Porsche is represented by Huber Motorsport and Hägeli by T2 Racing. In this category, too, four drivers share each cockpit, of which at least three must hold “Bronze” status and the fourth must have no higher than “Silver” status.
Porsche supports its customer teams with engineers and advisors as well as seven works drivers: Kévin Estre and Richard Lietz race for Rutronik, Matt Campbell (Australia) and Mathieu Jaminet (France) fly the colours for GPX Racing. Belgium’s Laurens Vanthoor helms KCMG’s No. 47 car, with Frenchman Romain Dumas driving for Dinamic Motorsport and his compatriot Frédéric Makowiecki for Schnabl Engineering. Moreover, Porsche test driver Lars Kern from Germany provides reinforcement for the Allied Racing squad.
Schnabl Engineering (Porsche 911 GT3 R #3)
Michael Christensen (Denmark), Frédéric Makowiecki (France), Dennis Olsen (Norway)
KCMG (Porsche 911 GT3 R #18)
Josh Burdon (Australia), Alexandre Imperatori (Switzerland), Edoardo Liberati (Italy)
Rutronik Racing (Porsche 911 GT3 R #21)
Kévin Estre (France), Richard Lietz (Austria), Sven Müller (Germany)
GPX Racing (Porsche 911 GT3 R #22)
Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Matt Campbell (Australia), Mathieu Jaminet (France)
KCMG (Porsche 911 GT3 R #47)
Maxime Martin (Belgium), Nick Tandy (Great Britain), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium)
Dinamic Motorsport (Porsche 911 GT3 R #54)
Klaus Bachler (Austria), Matteo Cairoli (Italy), Christian Engelhart (Germany)
Dinamic Motorsport (Porsche 911 GT3 R #56)
Romain Dumas (France), Mikkel O. Pedersen (Denmark), Andrea Rizzoli (Italy)
Silver Cup class
Team Allied Racing (Porsche 911 GT3 R #222)
Julien Apotheloz (Switzerland), Bastian Buus (Denmark), Lars Kern (Germany)
Pro-Am Cup class
EBM Giga Racing (Porsche 911 GT3 R #61)
Will Bamber, Reid Harker (both New Zealand), Adrian Henry D’Silva (Malaysia), Carlos Rivas (Luxembourg)
Herberth Motorsport (Porsche 911 GT3 R #911)
Daniel Allemann (Switzerland), Antares Au (Great Britain), Alfred Renauer, Robert Renauer (both Germany)
Huber Motorsport (Porsche 911 GT3 R #23)
Ivan Jacoma, Nicolas Leutwiler (both Switzerland), Nico Menzel, Jacob Schell (both Germany)
Hägeli by T2 Racing (Porsche 911 GT3 R #166)
Marc Basseng, Dennis Busch (both Germany), Pieder Decurtins (Switzerland), Manuel Lauck (Germany)
Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race – all outright victories with Porsche
2020 Tandy / Bamber / Vanthoor (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
2019 Lietz / Christensen / Estre (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
2010 Dumas / J. Bergmeister / Ragginger / Henzler (Porsche 911 GT3 RSR)
2003 Ortelli / Lieb / Dumas (Porsche 911 GT3 RSR)
1993 C. Fittipaldi / Jarier / Alzen (Porsche 911 RSR)
1969 Chasseuil / Ballot-Léna (Porsche 911)
1968 Kremer / H. Kelleners / Kauhsen (Porsche 911)
1967 Gaban / Van Assche (Porsche 911)
The schedule (all times CEST)
Friday, 30 July
7:50 – 8:20 pm: Super Pole
Saturday, 31 July
4:30 pm: Start Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race
Sunday, 1 August
4:30 pm: Finish Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race
Live streaming of the event
The Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours takes off on 31 July at 4:30 pm. A free live stream of the classic is available on the website http://www.intercontinentalgtchallenge.com
Matt Campbell (GPX Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 R #22): “There’s no doubt that we’re well-positioned with our GPX Racing team – we underlined this with our strong performance at the last GT World Challenge Europe race in Le Castellet. We’re leading the championship so we’re heading to the Spa 24 Hours feeling very confident. The team won there in 2019, so they know how to do it. There’s definitely only one goal for us in Belgium – victory!”
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