KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) will return to the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa on 29 July – 1 August with a works-supported entry featuring Nicky Tandy, Maxime Martin and works driver Laurens Vanthoor in the #47 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
For the second consecutive year, the Hong Kong squad will enter the blue riband event with factory support from Porsche, which has won the two most recent editions of the classic Belgian enduro. Britain’s Tandy and home hero Vanthoor were part of the victorious 2020 line-up, while fellow Belgian Martin also knows the winning feeling at Spa-Francorchamps having taken the spoils in 2016.
For the first time in 2021, KCMG will run two cars once again in its GT programme. Onboard the #18 Porsche 911 GT3 R, also in the Pro category, will be team regulars Josh Burdon, Alexandre Imperatori and Edoardo Liberati, following a strong performance at the Nürburgring 24 Hours at the beginning of June. The iconic chrome livery, calling back to KCMG’s LMP2 victory at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, used at the Nordschleife event will remain on the cars for Spa.
This year’s edition will be the 73rd running of the event, which was first held in 1924 as Belgium’s response to the hugely successful inaugural 24 Hours of Le Mans the previous season. The old 15-kilometre circuit was lined with lamps for the night running, and a fireworks display was held during Saturday night – a tradition still honoured to this day. It became a permanent fixture on the world motorsport calendar in 1964 and, since 2011, has been managed by the SRO Motorsports Group.
In 2016, the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa became part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge and this year will be the championship’s curtain raiser. KCMG is a regular entry into several of the series’ various endurance races, including the Bathurst 12 Hour, Suzuka 10 Hours and California 8 Hours.
The two cars will be in action together for the first time at the Official Test, which is set to take place on 22-23 June.
Laurens Vanthoor, Porsche works driver: “I’m very excited to join KCMG for the first time. As a Belgian, it’s always a big moment to be racing at the 24 Hours of Spa. With my countryman Maxime and the great skills of Nick, we have a cool line-up. I’m going for my third win at this event, so my goal is to achieve that.”
Nick Tandy: “The 24-hour race at Spa is one of the highlights of any driver’s season, so I’m delighted that KCMG is putting together a fully focused attack on the event and that they’ve given me the chance to be part of it. Together with Laurens, we go back as reigning winners of the event and adding another previous victor in Maxime makes me confident we have everything needed to challenge for success.”
Maxime Martin: “I’m very happy to join Porsche and KCMG for my home race. The 24 Hours of Spa is a big event in Belgium and, as a Belgian driver, it’s one of the most important of the year. I had the chance to win there in 2016, Laurens has twice and Nick won last year so we have a very strong line-up. KCMG has nothing to prove, it’s one of the best teams out there. I’m really looking forward to seeing how we start at the Official Test.”
Josh Burdon: “Having over 50 GT3 cars on a circuit like Spa-Francorchamps is mega and I love the challenge. We as a team have developed a lot this season and I feel confident in our package to fight at the front so I’m really looking forward to continuing with KCMG at the 24 Hours of Spa.”
Alexandre Imperatori: “The second highlight of our 2021 programme is just around the corner. It’s very exciting to be going back to Spa with the additional experience from last year and a very strong team to rely on. As usual it will be a massive challenge, but we have a solid preparation programme and aim to turn that into a top result.”
Edoardo Liberati: “After a great performance from the whole team at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we’re now ready to tackle another extremely demanding endurance race – the 24 Hours of Spa. I can’t wait to hit the track again for the test which will be really important, as we will be running different tyres and Balance of Performance so maximising track time and gathering data is crucial. Thanks to KCMG for their trust in me and being a great team of people who are always ready to give it 100%.”
Matt Howson, Team Manager: “We’re delighted to be going back to the 24 Hours of Spa with a very good two-car entry. Last year we fought for victory until we hit some bad luck, so we have unfinished business in 2021. Not only do we arrive with Josh, Alex and Edo fresh off the back of a fantastic run at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, but we also welcome three world-class Spa 24 winners in Laurens, Nick and Maxime to complete a formidable line-up. It’s a pleasure to have Nick back as a former KCMG driver in the World Endurance Championship as well as two of the fastest Belgian drivers on the planet at their home race. We are stronger than ever as a team and with continued support from Porsche, our expectations are high for Spa.”
Paul Ip, Team Founder: “Once again our GT programme takes us from the Nordschleife to Spa-Francorchamps for another global GT3 endurance race with Porsche. We’re very excited to once again be running two cars and that our #47 machine will feature Porsche works driver Laurens Vanthoor alongside two of the world’s finest GT drivers, Nick Tandy and Maxime Martin. KCMG was a victory contender at last year’s 24 Hours of Spa and with this line-up and the support of Porsche, we have every confidence that we can be in a similar, even not even better, position in 2021.”