Wednesday 6 July 2011

New Era for Spa 24 Hours as GT3 Comes to the Fore

History in the Making

New Era for Spa 24 Hours as GT3 Comes to the Fore

The historic 24 Hours of Spa is one of the world’s longest running endurance events, tracing its roots back to the first race held in the Ardennes in 1924. This year the Total 24 Hours of Spa is the Blue Riband event for the world’s newest international GT series, the Blancpain Endurance Series and a new era begins when the GT3 class cars will be fighting for overall honours for the first time.

Large Entry Unveiled for 2011 Total 24 Hours of Spa

Up to 70 cars are expected to line up on the grid for the 63rd running of the event that was first staged in 1924. While GT3 cars have been competed at the 24 Hours of Spa in recent years 2011 will be the first time that GT3 has been the main class and teams and drivers running GT3 spec cars will be fighting for overall honours for the first time at this historic event held at the world famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the magnificent setting of the Ardennes forest.

The GT3 Pro Cup will feature at least 18 cars with Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Ford, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes and Porsche represented in the top class. The Pro-Am Cup will be the largest group on the 2011 grid, with 31 cars entered for the race at the end of July. Like the Pro Cup class the variety of manufacturers is even more varied with Alpina and Corvette joining the marques that are represented on the Pro Cup grid. The GT3 grid will be completed by 10 cars in the Gentlemen Trophy and Cup classes.

In the GT4 Cup 6 cars will battle it out for class honours with representatives from Lotus, Nissan, BMW, Aston Martin and Porsche.

The driver line ups include former F1, Indy car drivers and 24 Hour of Le Mans winners including Johnny Herbert, Mark Blundell, Eddie Cheever, Olivier Panis and Stephane Johansson. Previous winners of the 24 Hours of Spa lining up to take the start of the 2011 event will include reigning FIA GT1 World Champion Michael Bartels, 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Marcel Fässler, 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Stephane Ortelli and fourteen times FIA GT race winner Mike Hezemans. Four times Spa 24 winner Jean-Michel Martin and three time winner Marc Duez will race together in the Marc VDS Ford Mustang.

Stephane Ratel, CEO of The SRO Motorsports Group said: “The Total 24 Hours of Spa has been the blue riband event on the GT calendar for many years and continues to attract the top teams and drivers from across the globe and this year we will see more cars and more drivers than ever before with 70 cars and 250 drivers.

“The large entry includes both quality and quantity with the German makes - Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche - Italian duo Ferrari-Lamborghini and English entries Aston-Martin/McLaren. In total we will have 12 makes, which 7 or 8 of them can win the race. I don’t know any competition in the world with so many teams/makes who are potential winners. The Spa 24 Hours is the most important race of the Blancpain Endurance Series.

“With the mix of different weights, race engines, evolution of standard engines, consumption, we had to find the right balance so we decided that all cars must enter the pit after 65 minutes. For 10 years SRO has not been directly involved in the organisation of this event. Now with the collaboration of SRO and the RACB we hope to enhance the race and to work to promote the race to the public to encourage more to come and watch this event so that they enjoy both the race and the other exciting entertainment around the circuit.”

Jean-François CHAUMONT, Event Director Total 24 Hours of Spa said: “With several partners and promotions last year we managed to extend our number of spectators by 15,000 with a total of 45,000. We want to continue this year with this positive evolution with our final goal to achieve the total number of 100.000 spectators during 4 days, which was the case 10 or 15 years ago. The evolution in the organisation is also to form one team with SRO-RACB Events. A special mention to the circuit organisation which has made new changes to parts of the circuit that will change both the safety and sporting aspects. I wish to add that we receive a full support from the circuit for the Spa 24 Hours.”

The 2011 Total 24 Hours of Spa, which is Round 3 of the Blancpain Endurance Series will take place on the 30/31 July at the world famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. As well as the running of the world’s second oldest 24 hour endurance race, there is a full support programme with races by the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo, Cooper Tires British F3 International Series and the Championnat de France F4. Off track there will be plenty of all night entertainment, with the highlight being a concert by world renowned DJ Bob Sinclar. The event will get underway in traditional style on Wednesday 27 July when the race cars will gather in the heart of Spa, returning to the circuit along the main road.

For further information visit or

CLICK HERE for the provisional entry list and press kit in English (entry list on page 12)

CLICK HERE for the provisional entry list and press kit in French (entry list on page 12)

CLICK HERE for the provisional entry list and press kit in Dutch (entry list on page 12)

Jeff Carter

Media Delegate


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