Scotland’s Finlay Hutchison enjoyed a highly productive two-day test outing at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps last week as preparations ramp-up for next month’s TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa – and the Sainteloc Racing driver’s team-mates for the big race are now confirmed too.
The Dundee 21-year-old will share the No.26 Audi R8 LMS GT3 car in the annual twice-round-the-clock spectacular with vastly experienced former DTM drivers Jamie Green and Adrien Tambay, a fantastic line-up in the ‘Pro’ class for the endurance classic.
Not only will the upcoming race, which takes place on Saturday, 31st July, and Sunday, 1st August, be the third round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup, it will also mark the first round of the three-event Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli.
Last week’s officially timed test days at Spa, Hutchison’s first track mileage since race two of the GT World Challenge campaign at Paul Ricard in France last month, delivered a real mix of weather for the drivers to contend with.
On Tuesday, 22nd June, heavy rain ensured a full day of wet running for the huge entry of 61 cars and the No.26 Sainteloc Audi was 19th in the Pro class in session one and then an improved 12th in Pro in session two. Similarly, during a full day of dry running on Wednesday, 23rd June, the team-mates were 19th in session one and 12th again in the final session of the test.
“It all went quite well to be honest”, said the Scotsman, who is backed by Hutchison Technologies, Evoson and In-Home Displays, “We were close to the full factory cars with our pace and it was really useful to have a day of wet running and a dry day as well. Hopefully everything we learnt will stand us in good stead when we get back to Spa a few weeks from now for the race.
“It’s obviously fantastic to be teaming-up with Jamie [Green] and Adrien [Tambay], they’re both incredible drivers with a lot of experience and success in DTM over the years. I’m really looking forward to the 24 hour, we’ve got a lot of potential to fight for a good result there.”
British racer Green was part of the fabric of the DTM [Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters] for well over 15 years, first with Mercedes-AMG and then with Audi Sport from 2013. Winning multiple races during his tenure, Green was Vice-Champion in 2015.
Frenchman Tambay, son of two-time Formula One Grand Prix winner Patrick Tambay, also competed in DTM over a five year period with Audi – becoming a podium finisher in his third season – before switching to endurance racing.
During the first two races of the GT World Challenge season, where he has competed alongside Frederic Vervisch and Markus Winkelhock, Hutchison was fifth in the Pro class during round one at Monza in Italy and then in the top 10 during the six-hour second round at Paul Ricard in France.
This year’s TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, the 73rd staging of the big race, will begin with testing on Wednesday, 28th July, ahead of pre-qualifying and final qualifying on Thursday, 29th July. The race itself will get underway on Saturday, 31st July, concluding 24 hours later on Sunday, 1st August.
Source. Marc Orme/Photo. SRO Motorsports Group