150 days before the start of the 70th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, organiser SRO Motorsports Group has released the 2018 timetable. From July 23rd until July 29th, the fans will be immersed in the rich history of the race and given ample opportunity to admire the modern-day contenders in the Belgian endurance classic.
It is a well-known fact that the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the highlight of the Blancpain GT Series and the Intercontinental GT Challenge, provides racing fans with almost a full week of action on one of the most beautiful racing tracks in the world.
Monday, July 23rd & Tuesday, July 24th
Race week begins on Monday with paddock setup, followed on Tuesday by administrative and technical checks of the cars entered in the endurance classic. Some of those cars will take to the track on Tuesday (24 July) during the now traditional three-hour Bronze test, which allows amateur drivers to familiarise themselves with the Belgian circuit. On both days, track access is free.
Wednesday, July 25th
On Wednesday, the traditional parade from the circuit to the centre of Spa will start a couple of hours later than usual. With all the racing cars of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, and plenty of those competing in the support races as well, now leaving the track at 6 pm, more fans will be able to line the road to Spa to cheer them on. The fans will have the occasion to see the drivers and their racing machines from up close in the Spa town centre, and enjoy a free concert at the same time. And when the cars return to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit at 9.30 PM, everybody will get a first taste of what it is like to drive these impressive racing machines at dusk.
Thursday, July 26th
Thursday sees the first track action, with the Free Practice and Pre Qualifying sessions for the Total 24 Hours of Spa. After the first pit walk and autograph session in the late afternoon, the all-important qualifying sessions start. The qualifying format has been altered slightly, adopting the new Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup rules. In order for each driver to be guaranteed to play a role in qualifying, the qualifying results will be determined by the average of the times of all drivers sharing a car. Each driver will have a designated new set of tyres for their 15-minute qualifying session. At the end of the fourth qualifying session, the twenty fastest cars (on average) will advance to Friday’s Superpole. And in order to give all drivers plenty of opportunity to drive in the night, there will also be a 90-minute night practice session on Thursday evening, after qualifying. This session is mandatory for all drivers.
Friday, July 27th
Friday evening holds plenty of entertainment as well, as shortly after the end of Super Pole, which will determine the starting grid for the 24-hour race, an impressive track walk and autograph session will be organised for the general public. Racing cars that made the history of the Total 24 Hours of Spa will be placed all along the seven kilometres of the Ardennes circuit, for everyone to admire. Access to this unique track walk is included in the two-day practice pass or the weekend general entrance pass.
In between the sessions for the 70th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the track will still be buzzing with action. With the Formula Renault Eurocup, FIA Formula 3 European Championship, Lamborghini Super Trofeo and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux there will be no fewer than nine support races before the start of the 24-hour race on Saturday afternoon.
Saturday, July 28th
Five of those support races will take place on Friday, the remaining four on Saturday. The latter will be followed by another autograph session and pit walk in the early afternoon, and spectacular parade laps of some of the most impressive GT cars, both historic and modern.
At 4.30 PM the 70th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa will get underway.
For those who might want a break from racing, the Fan Zone at the bottom of the Raidillon will be the epicentre of the off-track entertainment during the whole weekend, with plenty of activities for the whole family. Simulators, racing cars, drink and food stands, official merchandise shops: you can find everything in the Fan Zone.
And the Total 24 Hours of Spa would not be complete without its traditional Saturday evening concert in the Fan Zone, start from 18:00. The names of the artists will be announced in due course – expect some thrilling entertainment!
Sunday, July 29th
The final day of the 70th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa is all about the battle for the prestigious win. Last year’s edition – with six cars finishing on the leading lap – showed that such a fight will probably last until the chequered flag is shown, at 4.30 PM on Sunday afternoon.
Source. SRO Motorsports Group