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Rob
24th July 2015, 13:40
23 July 2015
Ferrari Pro-Am drivers on top in free practice

All 57 cars of the 2015 Total 24 Hours of Spa took to the track for the 90-minute free practice session, which saw Ferrari Pro-Am Cup drivers Toni Vilander (#52 AF Corse Ferrari) and Alessandro Pier Guidi (#47 AF Corse Ferrari) on top of the results list. Augusto Farfus (#45 BMW Sports Trophy Team BMW) was the quickest of the Pro Cup drivers and third overall, a mere two tenths of a second behind the Ferrari-duo. The#24 Team Parker Racing Audi was the fastest Am Cup car by far, managing to get eighth overall and beating their Am Cup colleagues by at least 2.5 secs.

The session saw two important incidents, with both Kevin Estre (#58 Von Ryan Racing McLaren) and Christophe Bourret (#10 Akka ASP Ferrari) damaging the back of their cars. Repairs on both machines are well underway, they could be back in action later today. Plenty of teams received warnings for not respecting the track limits, with some getting stop&go penalties as well. Most of those infractions came at the top of the Raidillon.

Rob
24th July 2015, 13:42
Ferrari still on top in Pre-Qualifying
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It was again a Pro-Am Cup Ferrari, the #47 AF Corse 458 Italia driven by Gimmi Bruni, who topped the timing sheets after the Pre-Qualifying Session for the Total 24 Hours of Spa, setting a lap time that was only two tenths off last year's pole time. This time, the competition got closer however. It was last year's winner Laurens Vanthoor who took second in the #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT R8, in front of the first of the BMW's, the #9 Roal Motorsport Z4 of Bruno Spengler. Fastest of the cars in Am Cup was again the #24 Team Parker Racing Audi.

It was a pretty hectic final session for the teams preparing for tonight's qualifying sessions. Gimmi Bruni set a 2'18.986 pretty early in the 60-minute session, and that time was never topped afterwards. There were some pretty scary moments for some of the drivers, with contact being made between the #73 MRS-GT Racing Nissan of Martin Plowman and the #8 M-Sport Bentley of Maxime Soulet at the Stavelot corner. Shortly afterwards a misunderstanding between the #9 Roal Motorsport BMW and the #111 Kessel Racing Ferrari sent the latter spinning off.

The first of two qualifying sessions will start at 20.00, with the night qualifying session starting at 21.45.

Gianmaria Bruni: "I still have to get used to the car, but Alessandro Pier Guidi gave me some good tips on how to drive the GT3-version of the Ferrari 458. It is now our task to get a good car set-up for all four drivers and to be completely prepared for the race. It has been a while since I have raced in the Total 24 Hours of Spa, so I am very much looking forward to it."

Rob
24th July 2015, 13:44
Pirelli gears up for its biggest event of the year, the Total 24 Hours of Spa
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Pirelli faces its biggest and most logistically impressive engagement in motorsport this weekend: the world-renowned Total 24 Hours of Spa, which is the highlight of the Blancpain GT Series.

In total, 9000 Pirelli tyres will be made available, transported by 21 trucks, and involving 90 Pirelli personnel on the ground – plus many more behind the scenes. As well as key motorsport staff from Italy, expertise from countries as far afield as the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Australia has been flown in: all territories where Pirelli has a key presence in major GT or stock car championships.

These people will work non-stop throughout the weekend, with Pirelli being exclusive supplier to the hugely popular Blancpain GT Series. More than 60,000 people are expected to watch the round-the-clock race this weekend, which was first held in 1924.

As always though, the biggest challenge is presented by the epic 7.004-kilometre Spa circuit itself, thanks to rapid corners and fast compressions such as Eau Rouge. One of the key characteristics of Spa is variable weather, which means that the wet weather tyres are also likely to be used over the course of the weekend.

Pirelli will supply the P Zero DHC tyre for dry conditions and Cinturato WH for wet conditions. These tyres have to work equally well throughout the huge variety of weather conditions that are typical of Spa, and on a wide range of different vehicle architectures that include both front and rear mounted engines, with different drivetrain layouts.

More than ten different brands are represented on the Blancpain GT Series, ranging in size from the Bentley Continental GT3 to the BMW Z4, presenting a radically diverse set of vehicle dynamics. In spite of this, there is just one single P Zero compound for dry conditions, and one for wet conditions.

Although it is a race circuit, Spa offers several types of conditions that are seen on normal roads: a variety of asphalt, big changes in elevation and plenty of time spent at full throttle. Spa has a famous microclimate: it’s perfectly possible for it to be raining on one part of the circuit, but completely dry on another part – making it the ultimate test track for tyres.

Coping with these changing conditions is an important part of the tyre strategy, in order to minimise the effects of getting caught out. In general, the cars use one set of tyres per stint (which depending on the car is around 23 laps, or just over an hour). However, in the past, some crews, prioritising endurance over pure speed, have double-stinted the tyres. The time gained in the pits by doing this has to be offset against the time lost through degradation: all

Rob
24th July 2015, 13:49
Martin and Vanthoor ready for Superpole Shoot-out
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Two Belgian drivers Maxime Martin (#46 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS) and Laurens Vanthoor (#1 Audi Sport Team WRT) set the fastest times in qualifying for the 2015 Total 24 Hours of Spa. Both start as joint favourites in Friday's Superpole with 0.009 seconds separating them. Third overall Andrea Piccini (#11 Kessel Racing Ferrari) was the fastest driver in the Pro-Am Cup and in the Am Cup the #10 Akka ASP Ferrari starts as best, thanks to the efforts of Jean-Philippe Belloc.


Twenty-four cars were covered by the same second, with eight different brands qualifying for the Superpole, confirming the high level of competitiveness of this year's edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa.

Frantic action occurred at the start of the first qualifying session at 20.00, as drivers realised that the conditions were probably ideal for setting a fast time. Both Martin and Vanthoor needed only a couple of laps to set a scorcher, both beating last year's pole time by a considerable margin and the difference between the BMW and the Audi was only nine thousands of a second.

Other drivers were less fortunate in setting their fastest times. Some were penalised for not respecting track limits and, after repeated infringements, some cars lost their fastest times at the end of the first session and were relegated to outside of the Top-20 Super Pole places. The #8 M-Sport Bentley and the #47 AF Corse Ferrari were among them but while the latter, the fastest car in Pre-Qualifying, could not get back into the 20 cars qualified for Friday's Superpole, Maxime Soulet managed to get the Bentley back up to 16th. The #47 Ferrari will start the race from 22nd, sharing the 11th row of the grid with team-mates in the #52 AF Corse Ferrari, itself the fastest car in free practice, that finished 21st with Toni Vilander at the wheel missing the cut by the smallest of differences: 0.001 of a second.

Among the other cars outside the top-20 are the Series leaders, the #23 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN starts 27th, and both GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghinis; 40th position for the #63 car and 55th for the #19, which suffered heavy damage during the Pre-Qualifying session but was repaired in time to perform its mandatory Night Qualifying laps.

Maxime Martin (#46 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS): "The start of the first qualifying session was probably the best moment to set a good lap time, but in the overall picture of the weekend it's not that important. There is still the Superpole on Friday and a long, very long race after that."

Laurens Vanthoor (#1 Audi Sport Team WRT): "I have to admit I was a bit worried before the weekend, since we did not seem to have the pace to be in front. But after these qualifying sessions, it feels good to be on the same pace as the BMW. But as Maxime said, there is still a long way to go."

Andrea Piccini (#11 Kessel Racing Ferrari, 1st Pro-Am Cup): "I have not been at the wheel of a racing car since last year's Total 24 Hours of Spa, so I am very surprised to be able to set the third time overall. I have to say that the car was wonderful since the start of the weekend. Can we threaten the two guys in front during the Superpole? We will certainly try."

Jean-Philippe Belloc (#10 Akka ASP Ferrari, 1st Am Cup): "After some incidents during the first couple of sessions of the day, it feels very good to be able to give the mechanics and the team the reward they deserve. Being on pole in the Am Cup is nice, but everything happens during the race. But I have to say, since I won this event in 2001 a lot has changed!"

Practical information - Total 24 Hours of Spa

When: 23-26 July 2015
Tickets: from 15 €
General Entrance : 30 € (includes free entrance on Thursday and Friday)
General Entrance + paddock : 60 € (includes free entrance on Thursday and Friday)
VIP packages : from 180 €
Children aged 12 or under, accompanied by an adult, enter for free
Sales on : www.ticketmaster.be

Race Week

Friday July 24th
Super Pole 16:10-16:35

Saturday July 25th
Warm Up 09:05-09:25
Starting procedure & Grid walk 15:20-16:30
Start of the Total 24 hours of Spa 16:30

fratelliferrari
26th July 2015, 13:02
Rob, any livestreams available?

Rob
26th July 2015, 20:58
Rob, any livestreams available?

so sorry my friend for late reply. I was out all day for family meal. I totally forgot about posting streams. Gimmi won the Pro AM class. Will watch the race, what i missed of it later.

Nova
27th July 2015, 06:16
Gimmi won? Great to hear..would love to watch this one.

Rob
27th July 2015, 16:07
Gimmi won? Great to hear..would love to watch this one.

didnt win overall, won his class, Pro AM

Rob
27th July 2015, 16:34
Emotional maiden win for BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS

In their sixth attempt at the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the Belgian BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS finally took their first win on home soil. The #46 BMW Z4 driven by Nick Catsburg, Markus Palttala and Lucas Luhr completed 536 laps, taking fastest lap for good measure, crossing the line a lap ahead of the #2 Audi Sport Team WRT in a typically eventful race in changeable weather. Third was the #5 Audi Sport Team Phoenix, which claimed the last podium spot one hour from the end when the #99 Rowe Racing Mercedes was pushed into the box with a broken alternator. All other candidates for the win lost time due to technical problems or completely fell by the wayside after an incident, especially during the tricky conditions of the early hours.

In Pro-Am, the #47 AF Corse Ferrari of Bruni, Pier Guidi, Lémeret and Lathouras moved up during the night to eventually take an emphatic class win and fifth overall to boot. The sister car, the #51 AF Corse Ferrari of Guedes, Rigon, Cameron and Griffin finished two laps down in second, but that was more than enough for Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin to wrap up the 2015 Pro-Am Cup drivers' title in the Blancpain Endurance Series. AF Corse did the same in the teams' classification.

The Am Cup was dominated by the #24 Team Parker Racing Audi, which led almost from start. Loggie, Westwood, McLeod and Simonsen crossed the line with a two lap advantage over a very consistent #56 Attempto Racing Porsche and the #111 Kessel Racing Ferrari.



The 67th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa commenced in torrential conditions, with cautious polesitter Frank Stippler in the #2 Audi Sport Team WRT immediately losing out to the pair of Von Ryan McLarens. It was not long before the first incident caused a safety car intervention and after a second, much longer neutralisation of the race, varying strategic choices meant that the positions at the front changed almost continuously.

Only when darkness fell over the Ardennes track did it become clear that the #99 Rowe Racing Mercedes had made the best of the circumstances and was leading the race, helped by the fact that last year's winner Laurens Vanthoor made mistake when in front and lost over five laps while the necessary repairs were performed on the #1 Audi Sport Team WRT.
Not that the drivers of the Rowe Racing SLS could get comfortable however. After eight hours of racing, the top-6 was occupied by cars from six different manufacturers, and at one point during the night, all six were separated by just 50 seconds.

At dawn, the #99 Rowe Racing Mercedes was still leading, but the competition had thinned considerably. Only the two BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS cars and the #2 Audi Sport Team WRT were still in realistic contention, and when the SLS had a lengthy pitstop to change brake discs and pads, the #45 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS BMW took the lead.

The leading car of the Belgian squad had enjoyed an incident-free race up until then, but in the 18th hour an engine problem caused a spectacular locking of wheels on the #45 at Bruxelles Corner. Although Dirk Werner managed to keep the car out of the guard rails, he was unable to get the car back to the pits. For a while, things looked bleak for the Belgian squad, but the sister car soon stepped up to the plate to take the lead away from the #2 Audi Sport Team WRT. The #46 car of Catsburg, Palttala and Luhr – which had been outside the top-30 after a wrong tyre gamble in the opening hours – had lost ground due to a drive-through penalty for overtaking under yellow flags, but some blindingly quick stints (Catsburg set the fastest lap of the race at sunrise on Sunday morning) propelled the car into the lead with 5,5 hours to go.
After fending off a spirited attack from Nico Bastian after a pitstop, the #46 held on to the lead until the end, eventually beating the #2 Audi Sport Team WRT of Ortelli, Stippler and Müller by one and the #5 Audi Sport Team Phoenix of Mamerow, Mies and Thiim by two laps.

There were tears meanwhile in the Rowe Racing box, because an almost certain podium finish slipped through their fingers with an hour to go. The fact that - thanks to the points scored after six and twelve hours - Nico Bastian and Stef Dusseldorp are now second in the drivers rankings in the Blancpain Endurance Series (nine points behind Ortelli and Stippler) was of little or no consolation.

Rowe Racing was not the only squad to suffer heartbreak in the final hour of the race. The #9 Roal Motorsport BMW of Timo Glock, Bruno Spengler and Alex Zanardi, which had been set for a convincing top-10 finish, were also forced to stop with a smoking engine.

Pro-Am: win for Ferrari, title for AF Corse, Cameron and Griffin

The fight for the win in the Pro-Am Cup was no less exciting than the one in the Pro Cup. The AF Corse Ferrari cars which had shown so well in practice and qualifying started the race as the big favourites, but the BMW teams were determined not to make it easy for them. When the #52 AF Corse Ferrari of Toni Vilander lost it’s brakes at Bruxelles in the early stages, the BMW chances increased, but at the end of 24 hours, the AF Corse machines still managed to finish first and second. After a quiet start, the #47 Ferrari of Gimmi Bruni, Alessandro Pier Guidi, Pasin Lathouras and Stéphane Lémeret was able to stretch its lead out to two laps, even crossing the line in fourth overall. It also made Lémeret the first of the Belgian drivers in the Ardennes endurance classic.

But despite missing out on the win, it was all smiles for the drivers in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari as well. With the help of Francisco Guedes and Davide Rigon, Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron not only took second in class, but also managed to wrap up the Pro-Am Cup drivers title of the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series with one race to spare. After leading outright early on, third went to the best of the BMW cars, the #79 Ecurie Ecosse BMW driven by British quartet Modell, McCaig, Bryant and Sims.

Am Cup: faultless race for Team Parker Racing

It is a rare thing that a car leads its class from start to finish, but that is exactly what the #24 Team Parker Racing Audi (almost) did. Despite being hit a couple of times by other cars and a puncture in the latter stages, the Audi R8 LMS ultra of Ian Loggie, Jules Westwood, Callum McLeod and Benny Simonsen never looked like being headed in the Am Cup, beating the #56 Attempto Racing Porsche by two laps and finishing 14th outright. Ferrari honour was upheld by the #111 Kessel Racing Ferrari, which took third place in the final hour of the race.

Coupe du Roi: Audi takes it again

That Am Cup win of the Team Parker Racing R8 helped Audi in claiming a second consecutive win of the Coupe du Roi, rewarding the brand that set the best performances in the three classes of the Total 24 Hours of Spa combined. Audi beat Ferrari by just four points.


Driver quotes

Markus Palttala (#46 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS): "This win means everything to the Marc VDS Team. This is what we've been working for all this time. This is the sixth time I started for Marc VDS here, and we've come really close before. Although this is a win for BMW, I am a Marc VDS driver. And we've won this one for Marc van der Straten.'

Frank Stippler (#2 Audi Sport Team WRT): "It was kind of planned to have a cautious start, but we had some unlucky moments with the safety cars. After two or three hours we were already a lap down. But thanks to some good strategic decisions by Team WRT we came back strong. It's a big honour to drive for this team."

Christopher Mies (#5 Audi Sport Team Phoenix): "I was not concerned about the car, because we knew it would be reliable. The weather was a bit different this time, though. We started P11 and I could not see anything due to the spray. You do not want to do any mistakes in those conditions. We made some strategic mistakes in the beginning, but we still managed to be on the podium."

Stéphane Lémeret (#47 AF Corse Ferrari, 1st Pro Cup): "This must have been my best 24 hours ever. It was really incredible to drive for AF Corse, my favourite international racing team. I am really proud of this. I have to think my team-mates, especially Pasin. He did not know me beforehand, but he was confident enough to give me the opportunity to live this wonderful experience with him. It's really great."

Duncan Cameron (#51 AF Corse Ferrari, 2015 Pro-Am Cup champion): "This title is unbelievable. When we came here, we did not think we could win the championship, we only thought we could do ourselves some good, because there was little in it when we came here. Our engineers did a really good job with the strategy and by leading after six hours and being in second after twelve, there was even more to play for."

Julian Westwood (#24 Team Parker Racing Audi, 1st Am Cup): "This is the biggest result on the international stage for Team Parker Racing. Stuart Parker was the most emotional I've ever seen, to be fair. We finished second last year, we won this year, we're over the moon. And the team is absolutely ecstatic."


Next race : 4 - 6 September Algarve (Sprint)

Nova
30th July 2015, 16:26
I was able to watch an hour replay show of this race..I loved that we did so well.
I will watch as much of a 24 race as they will televise lol....

Rob
31st July 2015, 18:41
I was able to watch an hour replay show of this race..I loved that we did so well.
I will watch as much of a 24 race as they will televise lol....

:thumb:clap