AUSSIE TEAMS and drivers will again tackle the annual Spa 24 Hour endurance race this weekend at the legendary Belgian circuit.
The around-the-clock epic includes plenty of Aussie influence once again, as well as a host of teams and drivers with success at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 hour.
Defending B12hr champions Shane van Gisbergen and Jonathon Webb will both be in action – though they’ll be driving for different teams and in different brands of car.
Van Gisbergen, fresh from a Supercars win at Queensland Raceway last weekend, will re-unite with the Garage 59 McLaren Squad while Webb will join Queensland-based Lago Racing to steer their Reiter Engineering prepared Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX.
The Lago outfit (pictured) is the only all-Aussie team amongst the 65-car field and includes owner / driver Lago, Steve Owen and David Russell in the squad. The team had intended to contest last year’s Spa classic, however a hefty crash whilst racing a Porsche Carrera Cup car the month prior the race derailed their plans at the time.
In a promising start to their weekend, the JBS Lamborghini Gallardo topped the pre-event ‘Bronze’ test for Bronze and Silver-rated Spa rookies. their 2m21.85s just over 0.4s faster than an AF Corse Ferrari. David Russell banked the time in the three-hour session.
Meanwhile, fellow Aussie Matt Simmons leads the No. 22 Nissan GT Academy / Team RJN Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 team and Liam Talbot will race a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 for Kessel Racing.
The Spa24 field is arguably the strongest GT3 field yet assembled and a host of former Bathurst 12 Hour competitors will feature on the grid this weekend.
Former winners Bernd Schneider and Maro Engel combine in a Black Falcon / AMG supported Mercedes-AMG GT, while double winner Christoper Mies heads up a Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS with Bathurst regular Markus Winkelhock amongst his co-drivers.
After their podium on the mountain this year, Bentley Team M-Sport will look to add a Spa victory to their successes with the likes of Steven Kane, Matt Bell, Maxime Soulet, Guy Smith and Wolfgang Riep amongst their driving squad.
Four AF Corse Ferrari’s include B12hr regulars Michele Rugolo and Matt Griffin in their 488 GT3s while former 12-hour runners-up HTP Motorsport will operate a multi-car AMG GT squad that includes Maximilian Buhk, Thomas Jaeger and Maximilian Gotz.
Much like the recent regualtions announced for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, the Spa 24 includes a Pro Cup plus Pro/Am and Am trophies amongst it’s ranks of GT3 vehicles.
Click here to see the full entry list at the Spa24 website.
Official practice gets underway tonight, Australian time, with the race commencing late Saturday night.