1. GPX Martini Racing has the only crew made up entirely of TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa winners. The Porsche squad has reunited the same three drivers that scored its maiden victory at the event in 2019: Kevin Estre, Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen.
2. Raffaele Marciello conquered Super Pole in 2020 and 2021, while his fellow Mercedes-AMG factory ace Maro Engel secured top spot in 2019. Should the German marque continue this run, it will become the first brand to secure four straight pole positions during the GT era.
3. The new Gold Cup category has attracted a 15-car grid for its first appearance at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. Among the entrants are five winners from other classes: AF Corse, Barwell Motorsport, Haupt Racing Team, Team WRT and Walkenhorst Motorsport.
4. There will be six female competitors on the grid in 2022. Sarah Bovy, Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting and Doriane Pin will share the #83 Iron Dames Ferrari, making them the first all-female crew at the event since 1997. Elsewhere, Samantha Tan will drive a BMW for her own team and Reema Juffali forms part of the #20 SPS Mercedes-AMG line-up.
5. McLaren achieved its best-ever result at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa by finishing seventh overall last year. The #38 JOTA entry will lead the British marque’s hopes of glory this year, with returning drivers Rob Bell and Ollie Wilkinson joined by Marvin Kirchhöfer.
6. A record eight cars finished on the lead lap at the 2020 edition, including representatives from Porsche, Audi, Ferrari and Mercedes-AMG. At last year’s event, only the top-three finishers (Ferrari, Audi and Aston Martin) were on the lead lap. The largest winning margin of the GT era was eight laps in 2003.
7. Looking at the average starting position for the winner during the GT era, the theoretical ‘best place to qualify’ is ninth. However, no car has started from P9 and gone on to win during this period. Last season’s victorious Iron Lynx Ferrari started the race from 13th on the grid, while Phoenix Racing won the 2012 edition from 29th with its Audi.
8. Audi has finished on the overall podium 10 times since the start of the GT3 era in 2011, including wins in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2017. Its ‘worst’ result during this period was fourth in 2019.
9. At the 2021 edition, Aston Martin earned its first overall podium in 13 years year thanks to a brilliant performance from the Garage 59 crew of Thiim/Sørensen/Gunn, who matched the result scored by Gigawave Motorsport in 2008. Aston’s last overall win in the Ardennes came in 1948 with its 2-Litre Sports model.
10. A total of 15 drivers entered in this TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa have a parent who previously competed in the race. They include Maxime Martin, whose father Jean-Michel won the event four times, and Sean Walkinshaw, whose late father Tom was a two-time winner. By Sunday afternoon the number will have grown to 16: Brenton Grove will contest the race alongside dad Stephen, who is set to make his TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa debut.
11. There are 16 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa winners on the 2022 grid. They include three double winners: Andrea Bertolini (2006 & 2008), Markus Winkelhock (2014 & 2017) and Laurens Vanthoor (2014 & 2020). Bertolini joins Earl Bamber (2020) as one of two overall winners competing outside the Pro class.
12. Iron Lynx won the 2021 edition to end a 17-year gap between Ferrari victories. Five other active brands have previously won the race: Audi, Aston Martin, BMW, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche.
13. Marco Mapelli set the fastest racing lap of the GT3 era – a 2m18.146s – during the 2020 edition. This year, the Swiss-Italian ace will share the #6 Orange1 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini with long-time co-driver Andrea Caldarelli and South Africa’s Jordan Pepper.
14. The Silver Cup has attracted a record 18-car field this year. The class joined the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa programme in 2018 and has seen Lamborghini and Mercedes-AMG each claim two wins. Six brands will compete for victory in 2022.
15. A total of 19 brands have won the race since it was first staged in 1924, while eight have been victorious since GT rules were introduced in 2001. There have been five winners during the GT3 era: Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche.
16. With 24 overall wins BMW is the most successful brand in TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa history. Its first victory came in 1965 with the 1800 TI/SA, while the most recent was in 2018 when the Walkenhorst Motorsport squad triumphed with its M6 GT3. This year, the Bavarian marque will make its first start with the new M4 GT3.
17. This year’s TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa programme will feature a support race celebrating 30 years of SRO Motorsports Group. GT Anniversary 2022 is set to bring some incredible cars back to Spa-Francorchamps, including winning machinery from the GT1, GT2 and GT3 categories.
18. The entry list for this year’s race includes 36 different nationalities. Though it is still subject to change, Germany looks set to be the best represented nation on the grid, followed by France, Great Britain, Italy and Belgium.
19. Lorenzo Patrese will make his TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa debut this year at the age of 16. He will do so four years after his father, former grand prix ace Riccardo, who came out of retirement to make his first appearance in the Ardennes classic at the age of 64.
20. With a 66-car field confirmed, this will be the second-largest GT grid at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. The only bigger entry was in 2019 when a record 72 cars took the start
21. 2022 will mark the 74th edition of the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, which was staged for the very first time on 20/21 July 1924. This will be the 59th year in succession that it has run following a 10-year hiatus between 1954 and 1963.
22. The #107 CMR Bentley will carry an unmistakable ‘art car’ livery at this year’s race. The French squad’s entry has been designed by Jean Boghossian, a Brussels-based artist who uses fire and smoke to create his work.
23. Excepting any last-minute changes, a total of 235 drivers will participate in this year’s TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. The most common names on the entry list are Nicholas and Michael, which in their various spellings account for more than 10 percent of the grid.
24. The record number of laps completed at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa stands at 589, which was set in 2006 by the winning Maserati MC12 and the second-place Aston Martin DBR9. Last year’s race ran for 556 laps, a distance of 3,894.22 kilometres, making it the ‘longest’ 24 Hours since 2013.
Scheduled for 28-31 July, the 2022 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa will see a full line-up of on- and off-track entertainment following reduced activities at the previous two editions. Attendees can enjoy the official Fan Zone, located at the bottom of Raidillon.
The Saturday evening concert will make an immensely popular return, with major names from the European music scene taking the event deep into the night. Fans can also see the stars and their cars in person at the annual parade to Spa town centre, which takes on Wednesday evening and is free to attend.
First staged in 1924 and running continuously since 1964, the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa combines a unique sense of history with the unparalleled sporting challenge presented by modern-day Spa-Francorchamps. Since adopting GT rules in 2001 the race has firmly established itself as a key fixture on the international motorsport calendar and today represents the marquee event of both Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS and the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli.
Source. SRO Motorsports Group