A field of 60 cars will aim to conquer the world’s most competitive GT race later this month when the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa stages its eagerly anticipated 73rd edition.
This ultra-competitive on-track battle will play out in front of fans following the recent confirmation that public will be welcomed back to the twice-around-the-clock event, which makes a popular return to its traditional summer slot on 29 July–1 August.
The 2021 grid features each of the nine brands competing full-time in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup and is led by 13-car entries from both Mercedes-AMG and reigning overall winner Porsche. Audi, Lamborghini and Ferrari all remain strong, while BMW will target a record-extending 25th win with its outgoing M6 GT3. Competitive crews representing British marques Aston Martin, McLaren and Bentley complete a star-studded field.
This year’s entry list features 26 Pro cars, a record 17 entrants in the Silver Cup, 14 Pro-Am crews and a trio of Am Cup challengers. The race represents the third round of the Endurance Cup and the opening stop on the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli tour. Audi, Mercedes-AMG, Lamborghini and Porsche have already committed to the global series and will each nominate up to six entries to score points towards the manufacturers’ championship.
With preparations very nearly complete, on-track activity will get underway at Spa-Francorchamps in less than two weeks’ time. These are the contenders who will hope to be celebrating on the afternoon of Sunday 1 August.
ASTON MARTIN (VANTAGE AMR GT3)
- British marque represented by expanded three-car line-up from Garage 59
- Brand targets first overall win since 1948, strong prospects for class honours
- 3 Entries: 1 Pro | 1 Silver Cup | 1 Pro-Am
Aston Martin enters this year’s race with a legitimate shot at glory in three classes. The iconic marque will be represented by a trio of cars, each run by accomplished British outfit Garage 59. The full-season Pro-Am entry is among the leading contenders for victory after finishing third last year, while the Silver Cup crew can also run at the head of its class. What’s more, the team has added a one-off Pro entry that features a trio of Aston Martin works drivers, giving the brand real hope of securing its first overall win since 1948.
AUDI (R8 LMS GT3)
- Ingolstadt marque maintains commitment with quartet of factory-backed Audi Sport cars
- Competitive line-ups to challenge for Silver Cup honours
- 9 Entries: 5 Pro | 4 Silver Cup
The most successful brand of the past decade, Audi can always be relied upon to send strong crews into battle at Spa. Its factory-backed efforts remain unchanged from 2020, with two Audi Sport cars set to be run by Team WRT and one each from Attempto Racing and Saintéloc Racing. The latter will field an additional Pro crew, while all three teams will be present in the Silver Cup. Team WRT has committed a pair of cars to the highly competitive class, while Attempto and Saintéloc each have one.
BENTLEY (CONTINENTAL GT3)
- French squad CMR flies Bentley flag in the Ardennes
- Reigning Am Cup winner shifts attention to Silver Cup assault
- 1 Silver Cup entry
The popular Bentley brand remains part of the world’s biggest GT3 race thanks to CMR. The French outfit will field its #107 Continental in the Silver Cup this term as it seeks to secure back-to-back class triumphs in the Ardennes. Charly Bourachot’s team will draw upon the success of last year’s programme, which brought Bentley its maiden win at the event with victory in the Am Cup.
BMW (M6 GT3)
- Bavarian marque targets 25th overall win and farewell victory for long-serving M6 GT3
- Boutsen Ginion flies Belgian flag in Pro-Am, extra Am Cup car from Walkenhorst Motorsport
- 4 Entries: 2 Pro | 1 Pro-Am | 1 Am Cup
The most successful brand in TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa history has every chance of securing a record-extending 25th overall triumph this year. A pair of Pro cars will be deployed by 2018 winner Walkenhorst Motorsport and feature some of the marque’s top factory talent. BMW has further representation from Pro-Am squad Boutsen Ginion Racing, which will fly the Belgian flag with its #10 machine, while Walkenhorst Motorsport will add a one-off Am Cup challenger for the big race.
FERRARI (488 GT3)
- Iron Lynx leads overall assault with two-car effort
- Best represented Pro-Am marque with four competitive crews
- 7 Entries: 2 Pro | 1 Silver Cup | 4 Pro-Am
Ferrari will go in search of its first overall win at Spa since 2004 with a pair of factory line-ups at Iron Lynx. Led by 2012 winner Andrea Piccini, the Cesena-based squad has realistic hopes of securing victory in its maiden appearance. Ferrari machinery also remains popular among the class contenders. Rinaldi Racing will tackle the Silver Cup, while a quartet of 488 GT3 entries will run in Pro-Am. Multiple class winner AF Corse will field two cars, while Sky Tempesta Racing and Kessel Racing will also chase victory at this year’s race.
LAMBORGHINI (HURACAN GT3 EVO)
- Italian marque in strong position to compete for maiden overall win
- Leading squads target more Silver Cup and Pro-Am glory
- 8 entries: 3 Pro | 3 Silver Cup | 2 Pro-Am
Lamborghini continues to pursue its maiden overall win at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. The #63 Orange1 FFF Racing crew offers its best shot yet, while Emil Frey Racing adds further firepower with its two-car entry. The brand has enjoyed plenty of class success and Emil Frey Racing’s #14 machine is the early favourite in the Silver Cup, where it will compete against both Grasser Racing and VS Racing. Barwell Motorsport has taken a class victory three years running and will defend its 2020 Pro-Am win, contending with the #19 Orange1 FFF Racing entry.
MCLAREN (720S GT3)
- Leading sportscar squad JOTA to chase maiden overall win for McLaren
- Inception Racing targeting Pro-Am honours in the Ardennes
- 2 Entries: 1 Pro | 1 Pro-Am
A pair of McLaren crews will contest this year’s TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, both of which look capable of contending at the front of their respective classes. Accomplished international sportscar outfit JOTA will target overall honours and can call upon a trio of factory drivers in its #38 machine. Inception Racing will chase the Pro-Am win and should be a factor at the front after showing impressive speed in its previous outings.
MERCEDES-AMG (AMG GT3)
- Strong line-ups to contend for victory in three classes
- Best-represented brand in Silver Cup
- 13 entries: 4 Pro | 6 Silver Cup | 3 Pro-Am
With 13 cars competing, the Mercedes-AMG contingent at this year’s race will only be matched by Porsche. The German manufacturer has four crews in the fight for overall victory: two from AKKA ASP and one each from HRT and HubAuto. It will also be the best-represented Silver Cup brand with six cars, which are spread across AKKA ASP, HRT, Madpanda Motorsport, SPS Automotive Performance, Toksport WRT and Winward Racing. A trio of Pro-Am crews from GetSpeed, RAM Racing and SPS bolster its challenge even further.
PORSCHE (911 GT3-R)
- Stuttgart marque targeting third overall victory in succession
- Best represented brand among Pro runners with eight cars
- 13 entries: 8 Pro | 1 Silver Cup I 2 Pro-Am | 2 Am Cup
A 13-car Porsche entry completes the 2021 grid. Eight of those crews will run for overall victory, ensuring that Porsche is represented by more Pro cars than any other brand. Its pursuit of a third successive win features two-car efforts from Dinamic Motorsport, KCMG and Frikadelli Racing, complemented by cars from Rutronik Racing and 2019 winner GPX Racing. Porsche will be further represented by Allied Racing in Silver Cup, a duo of Pro-Am cars from Herberth Motorsport and newcomer EBM Giga Racing, as well as Am Cup entries by Huber Motorsport and Hägeli by T2 Racing.
The first TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa track activity of 2021 will be the Bronze Test on Tuesday 27 July, followed by a packed Thursday that features Practice, Pre-Qualifying, Night Practice and Qualifying. The latter sets grid positions 21 through 60, while Friday evening’s Super Pole shootout will establish the first 10 rows and decide this year’s pole-sitter. A host of high-level support series will also take their turn on the 7km circuit, while the new Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series will see real-world drivers tackle a virtual race in the on-site Fanatec Esports Arena.
With the build-up complete, all focus will shift to the biggest race on the calendar: the 73rd TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, which will make the initial plunge into Eau Rouge at 16:30 on Saturday 31 July and conclude at the same time on Sunday 1 August. The race will once again enjoy extensive live coverage via a host of online options, allowing fans to experience the action via free-to-view, non-geo-blocked streams featuring either French or English commentary. These will be available through the usual variety of platforms, including the event’s official website and Facebook page and on the GT World YouTube channels.
Source. SRO Motorsports Group