29 July 2017

Bentley leads at midnight

Bentley leads at midnight
At midnight, with seven and a half hours completed in the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the #8 Bentley Team M-Sport is leading from the #2 Audi Sport Team WRT Audi and the #63 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini. Different pit stop sequences lead to several lead changes, with cars from six different brands in the top seven, all on the lead lap.

Great on- and off-track entertainment ensured that the thousands of spectators had a splendid time during what was a balmy Saturday evening at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Temperatures stayed above the 20 degrees until midnight and the Music Festival and the traditional fireworks added to the joy.

There was plenty of on-track action, too, with the #55 Kaspersky Motorsport Ferrari and the #63 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini closely matched in the battle for the lead for most of the evening. The BOP for the race seems to be working well as cars from various other brands remain in the mix, too: with the two Italian GT cars, the Bentley, the #2 Audi Sport Team WRT Audi, the #88 Team AKKA ASP and #4 HTP Mercedes entries and the #98 ROWE Racing BMW, there are six different brands in the top seven, all on the lead lap, with positions frequently changing due to different pit stop sequences.

A major retirement just after the six-hour mark was the #84 Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport Mercedes: Jimmy Eriksson crashed out at the top of the Raidillon while running in third place. Race control activated a full course yellow, followed by a safety car intervention. Previously, some brief neutralisations were called for relatively minor incidents.

With consistently fast lap times, the #16 Black Falcon Mercedes has taken the lead in the Pro-Am class. The #18 Black Falcon Mercedes is currently second in class, closely followed by the erstwhile class leader, the #97 Oman Racing with TF Sport Aston Martin. Competition in the Pro-Am class remains fierce.

With the #888 Kessel Racing entry in the lead and the #488 Rinaldi Racing machine in second, Ferrari teams hold a 1-2 in the Am class standings. Next up is the #26 Saintéloc Audi. In the National class, the #56 RMS Porsche stopped on track during the evening, which gave the #991 Speedlover Porsche a 14 lap lead.