A highly competitive field of 56 cars representing 11 world-leading automotive brands will chase glory at this year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa (22-25 October).
The 72nd edition of the twice-around-the-clock classic will be the first to take place during the autumn months, adding a new dimension to the familiar challenge posed by the undulating 7km Spa-Francorchamps layout. Indeed, competitors will need to contend with considerably cooler temperatures and significantly more night running at GT3 racing’s gold standard event.
The Total 24 Hours of Spa represents the marquee event for GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS and Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli, attracting the highest calibre of competitors to test themselves at the iconic Belgian circuit. A 28-strong contingent will field full-pro crews, bringing together some of the world’s most accomplished teams and drivers to compete for the coveted overall victory.
A further 28 cars will look to earn class honours in the Ardennes, with the battle for glory set to be fierce in the Silver Cup, Pro-Am and Am Cup categories. What’s more, with Spa allowing each full-season Intercontinental GT Challenge manufacturer to nominate up to six cars, a record 39 entrants will be eligible to score points towards the global championship at this year’s race. These are the hopefuls looking to write their names in history by conquering a unique autumn edition.
ASTON MARTIN (VANTAGE AMR GT3)
- Two-car effort from British squad Garage 59
- Spa favourite Maxime Martin added to crack Pro-Am line-up
- 2 entries: 1 Silver Cup | 1 Pro-Am
Aston Martin’s long association with the Total 24 Hours of Spa stretches back to its outright victory at the 1948 race. In 2020 it will be represented by Garage 59, which will compete in the Pro-Am class with its #188 Vantage AMR GT3 and chase Silver Cup glory with the sister #159 machine. Both have taken class victories in the GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup this term, while #188 line-up will be bolstered by 2016 race winner and Aston factory star Maxime Martin.
AUDI (R8 LMS GT3)
- Typically strong Audi Sport presence in the Ardennes
- Overall and class contenders represent Ingolstadt marque
- 8 entries: 5 Pro | 2 Silver Cup | 1 Am Cup
Audi will make a typically strong bid for glory this year. Regular representatives Audi Sport Team WRT and Audi Sport Team Sainteloc are joined by Audi Sport Team Attempto, which makes its first appearance in the Ardennes as a factory-blessed effort. The same trio will add four extra cars to the grid. There will be two from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, one fielding a full-pro crew and the other chasing Silver Cup honours. Attempto Racing will deploy its full-season Silver Cup car, while an additional R8 LMS will compete in the Am Cup for Sainteloc Racing.
BENTLEY (CONTINENTAL GT3)
- New squads K-PAX and CMR join long-serving Team Parker Racing
- British brand strengthens roster to chase coveted overall win
- 5 entries: 3 Pro | 1 Silver Cup | 1 Pro-Am
Bentley will renew its pursuit of victory at Spa with a strengthened effort. Two cars will run in the colours of American squad K-PAX Racing, while French outfit CMR will also deploy a pair of Continental GT3s, one featuring an all-pro crew and another contending for Pro-Am glory. Team Parker Racing completes the British marque’s roster, with its Bentley Motorsport Academy line-up vying for Silver Cup honours.
BMW (M6 GT3)
- Two-car effort for factory-supported Walkenhorst Motorsport
- Boutsen-Ginion Racing adds stunning Pro-Am ‘art car’
- 3 entries: 2 Pro | 1 Pro-Am
Spa’s most successful brand will have every chance of taking a record-extending 25th overall win this term. Fresh from a one-two finish at the Indianapolis 8 Hour, Walkenhorst Motorsport will field a pair of full-factory line-ups as it looks to repeat its 2018 victory. There is also significant interest in the #10 Boutsen Ginion Racing machine, which will compete for Pro-Am honours with a stunning ‘art car’ livery designed by Peter Halley.
FERRARI (488 GT3)
- Serious push for overall glory with three full-pro crews
- Significant Pro-Am firepower for Italian marque
- 6 entries: 3 Pro | 3 Pro-Am
Ferrari’s bid for overall honours looks stronger than ever, with full-season Endurance Cup contenders AF Corse and SMP Racing joined in the Ardennes by a stellar HubAuto crew. As ever, there is also significant Ferrari firepower in the Pro-Am ranks. AF Corse, Sky Tempesta Racing and Rinaldi Racing are all serious contenders for victory in a class that has been a very happy hunting ground for the Maranello brand.
HONDA (NSX GT3 EVO)
- One-car factory effort with impressive driver roster
- Japanese brand looks to follow up excellent 2019 showing
- 1 entry in Pro
Honda will tackle the Total 24 Hours of Spa with its full-season Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli entry. The accomplished crew of Dane Cameron, Mario Farnbacher and Renger van der Zande stood on the podium at the Indianapolis 8 Hour and will hope to build upon Honda’s fine run at last year’s race, when the new NSX GT3 Evo finished a fine sixth in its maiden outing at Spa.
LAMBORGHINI (HURACAN GT3 EVO)
- Italian marque chases first Spa win with trio of full-pro crews
- Brand represented in all four classes
- 8 entries: 3 Pro | 2 Silver Cup | 2 Pro-Am | 1 Am Cup
Lamborghini’s push for a maiden Spa win will rely upon two full-pro crews from Emil Frey Racing and another from reigning GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS champions Orange1 FFF Racing. Barwell Motorsport will hunt its third straight class victory with Silver Cup and Pro-Am entries, while Orange1 FFF Racing will run additional cars in the same categories. Raton Racing adds a final Am Cup entry to bring Lamborghini’s 2020 total to eight.
LEXUS (RC F GT3)
- Tech1 Racing continues to represent Japanese brand
- New Silver Cup programme feature trio of fast young Frenchmen
- 1 entry in Silver Cup
For the second year in succession Lexus will rely upon French outfit Tech1 Racing at the Total 24 Hours of Spa. The Toulouse squad has switched programmes this term, moving to the Silver Cup with young chargers Thomas Neubauer, Aurélien Panis and Timothé Buret. Having shown themselves to be among the quickest in their class, the Tech1 crew will be a major factor if they can run cleanly in the #15 RC F GT3.
MCLAREN (720S GT3)
- Famed supercar brand returns to Spa with new 720S
- Optimum Motorsport pins hopes on crew on all-British crew of Bell/Osborne/Wilkinson
- 1 entry in Pro
McLaren returns to the Total 24 Hours of Spa with a new machine and a new representative in Optimum Motorsport. They are led by the experienced Rob Bell, who first ran the 24 Hours for McLaren in 2011, while fellow factory ace Joe Osborne also brings considerable knowledge of long-distance racing. With development driver Ollie Wilkinson completing the crew, Optimum can target a strong showing with its 720S.
MERCEDES-AMG (AMG GT3)
- German brand represented by 10 cars
- Leading overall and class contenders among Mercedes-AMG ranks
- 10 entries: 2 Pro | 4 Silver Cup | 4 Pro-Am
An impressive 10-car Mercedes-AMG line-up features a pair of potential winners in the #4 HRT squad and AKKA ASP’s title-contending #88 crew. The brand will also lead the Pro-Am and Silver Cup categories for entries, with four cars present in each. AKKA ASP will field cars in both, competing against RAM Racing, JP Motorsport and SPS Automotive Performance for Pro-Am honours. In the Silver Cup, the French squad will be joined by HTP Motorsport, HRT and Madpanda Motorsport.
PORSCHE (911 GT3 R)
- Total of 11 Porsche crews, more than any other brand
- Representation in all four classes
- 11 entries: 8 Pro | 1 Silver Cup | 1 Pro-Am | 1 Am Cup
Porsche has signalled its determination to secure back-to-back victories by confirming eight full-pro crews. Last year’s winning line-up of Kevin Estre, Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen shifts to the KCMG squad, while there is plenty more factory talent spread between GPX Racing, Dinamic Motorsport, ROWE Racing and Frikadelli Racing. The Dinamic squad adds an extra Silver Cup car, while Spa stalwart Herberth Motorsport will deploy 911 GT3-R entries in the Pro-Am and Am Cup classes.
The first Total 24 Hours of Spa track activity of 2020 takes place on Tuesday 20 October, followed by a packed Thursday that features free practice, pre-qualifying and qualifying, The latter sets grid positions 21 through 56, while Friday evening’s Super Pole shootout will establish the first 10 rows and decide this year’s pole-sitter. Pre-qualifying also signals the start of free-to-view coverage from the circuit, which continues for the remainder of the event on the Total 24 Hours of Spa website and Facebook page, as well as the GT World YouTube channel. Further information on how to watch and international television plans will be shared ahead of the race.
This year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa will get underway at 15.30 on Saturday 24 October, having made the one-off move away from its traditional July date. It will conclude the following day at 14.30, with the end of Central European Summer Time meaning that clocks will move back by one hour at 03.00 on Sunday morning. The 2020 edition represents the 20th staged as a GT race, as well as the 10th since the highly successful GT3 rules platform was first introduced in 2011.
Source. SRO Motorsports Group