Ahead of this year’s 70th edition Total 24 Hours of Spa, SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO Stéphane Ratel discusses the importance of the Belgian endurance classic to the past, present and future of the organisation.
Former European Le Mans Series LMGTE Champion Alex MacDowall sustained a harsh blow to his 2018 title ambitions at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on Sunday, 22nd July, when gearbox problems during round three of the season resulted in a very frustrating retirement.
The Ligier JS P3s won their category in the Red Bull Ring 4 Hours and monopolised the podium in the third round of the 2018 European Le Mans Series. Victory went to the #15 RLR Msport Ligier JS P3 followed by the #7 Ligier JS P3 entered by Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen in second place and the #13 Ligier JS P3 run by Inter Europol Competition in third. In the LM P2 category, the #22 United Autosports Ligier JS P217 finished third.
Four Porsche 911 GT3 R race cars will contest the 70th running of the 24 Hours of Spa. Regarded as one of Europe’s major long-distance classics alongside the 24-hour races of Le Mans and the Nürburgring, Spa marks round two of the Intercontinental GT Challenge and the fourth race of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. Porsche supports four customer teams with works drivers and engineers at the race on 28-29 July. Tackling the event are the two Porsche teams from the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, Manthey-Racing and Herberth Motorsport, as well as the KÜS Team75 Bernhard and Black Swan Racing squads. Six current works drivers as well as the former factory driver and the current head of Porsche Customer Racing, Marc Lieb, form the driver crews in the four ca. 500 hp customer racers. For the marathon race in Belgium, 68 cars from 13 marques are entered. In addition to the 64 vehicles that comply with the FIA GT3 regulations, four other vehicles are registered, including three Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
On paper, the famous Ardennes circuit played into the hands of the BMWs, given their strong points (acceleration and high-speed corners). But, as we witnessed in the previous rounds, races are not won or lost on paper and the GT4 European Series pecking order is defined by many factors, such as weather, Balance of Performance, driver adaptability and, last but not least, penalties.
Third and last ELMS race for the TDS Racing French driver line-up made of Loïc Duval, François Perrodo and Matthieu Vaxivière. Entered for the season in the WEC championship, they entered three ELMS races this season to get some additional driving. Next stop Silverstone 6 Hours. The car will then go overseas, and therefore will not compete in other ELMS races this year.
RLR MSport returned to the top step of the podium in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring (21-22 July).
Many of motor racing’s brightest stars came out to play on the third and final day of the 2018 Silverstone Classic to bring another memorable festival weekend to a shimmering conclusion.
Phoenix Racing and CMR were victorious in the two GT4 European Series races at Spa-Francorchamps today. Nicolaj Møller-Madsen and Milan Dontje won the opening race in the morning before Stéphane Tribaudini and Pierre-Alexandre Jean gave the Alpine A110 GT4 its first international victory in the second race of the weekend. Class victories in the two races went to Racing One and Bullitt Racing in Pro-Am and TFT Racing and Muehlner Motorsport in the Am category. The fourth round of the 2018 GT4 European Series was part of the SRO Speedweek.
United Autosports recorded its best European Le Mans Series LMP2 finish of the
KARIM OJJEH EXTENDS BLANCPAIN GT SPORTS CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AFTER SUBLIME MAIN RACE VICTORY AT SPA
Having topped every Saturday session, Karim Ojjeh (#2 Boutsen Ginion BMW M6 GT3) rounded off a stunning SRO Speedweek with the Blancpain GT Sports Club Main Race victory at Spa-Francorchamps and extended his championship lead. Meanwhile, Klaus Dieter Frers (#3 Artega Rennsport Ferrari 488 GT3) made it seven wins from eight races in the Iron Cup.
Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka of KCMG wrapped up a perfect weekend in the Am Cup of Blancpain GT Series Asia, taking two class wins to leave them just two more victories away from the title. For the other five Audi R8 LMS customer teams, the double header at the Fuji International Speedway in Japan was a challenging one, with only four points-scoring finishes across rounds seven and eight.
Patric Niederhauser and Nico Bastian came through from eighth on the grid to lead home a GruppeM Racing Mercedes-AMG one-two in Blancpain GT Series Asia’s second race at Fuji earlier today. Victory for Niederhauser, his third of the season, also helped the Swiss replace Dennis Lind and Martin Kodric at the top of the Drivers’ standings.
Looking to maintain momentum in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) made gains throughout the Lime Rock Park race weekend to race in podium contention until the closing moments of the Northeast GP on Saturday, taking fourth at the finish.
Paul Miller Racing celebrated a special win Saturday evening at Lime Rock Park, celebrating victory in front of their home crowd, also extending their championship points lead in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The No. 48 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 claimed its second victory and sixth podium in seven races, extending their championship lead from three to ten points.
Shortly after the race’s final pit stops with just over an hour to go, Joey Hand was 12 seconds down to the race leader. But in the spirit of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s “never say die” attitude, Hand charged to the front, passing the leading Corvette with 13 minutes left and taking his and Dirk Mueller’s No. 66 Ford GT to an overall win in the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park today.
Porsche clinched a podium spot at round seven of the IMSA SportsCar Championship in Lakeville. The Mid-Ohio winners Laurens Vanthoor from Belgium and New Zealander Earl Bamber finished third in the GTLM class with the Porsche 911 RSR. Driving the sister car, Patrick Pilet from France and Britain’s Nick Tandy, the winners of this year’s Sebring 12-hour race, took the flag in fifth place after two hours and 40 minutes. Vanthoor and Bamber had been running in second place over a long stretch and managed to gradually close the gap to the leader. However, two mistakes cost the 510-hp sports car with the starting number 912 valuable time and one position. In the overall classification, Porsche still ranks third in the manufacturer’s category.
Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen scored their third straight runner-up finish in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Saturday with a second-place overall finish at the Northeast Grand Prix.
BMW Team RLL finished the Northeast Grand Prix, at Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Connecticut in the seventh and eighth positions in the GTLM class.