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10 Years of GT3 in review: 2011

30 June 2021

The 2011 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa marked 10 years since the adoption of GT rules in 2001. This anniversary coincided with another significant change, as the expanding GT3 platform rose to become the top class at the Belgian endurance classic. 

This expanded the number of brands able to fight for the overall win. Among those to benefit was Audi with its R8 LMS, a car that is now very much part of Spa history. The brand demonstrated its commitment to the event by adding some big-name factory drivers into the mix, including Timo Scheider and Mattias Ekström. They joined Greg Franchi at Team WRT – which became Audi Sport Team WRT for the big occasion – and earned overall victory. 

It might now seem strange that the very first Audi triumph in the Ardennes came as recently as 2011; indeed, its recent success at this event is a big part of the Ingolstadt marque's fearsome reputation in GT3 racing. This was a particularly sweet victory for the young Team WRT and established the Belgian squad as a player on the international stage.

Team Schubert finished second with its BMW. Among its driver roster was Claudia Hürtgen, to date the only woman to finish on the overall podium during the GT3 era. Black Falcon was third with its Mercedes-Benz, which rain a tribute livery to the iconic 1971 car that established the now legendary AMG badge. This gave German brands a podium lockout, one of the main themes of the GT3 era. Ferrari dominated the classes with AF Corse taking the Pro-Am win, while the Gentleman Trophy (now Am Cup) went to the Sport Garage squad. 

The start of a new era for the GT3 formula coincided with the final appearance of GT4 machinery at the 24 Hours, with Bob Neville's popular RJN outfit taking victory with its Nissan. It formed part of a 63-car grid, which also included the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3 and Ford GT.

NUMBERS

• Laps: 545
• Starters: 63
• Winning margin: 2 laps
• Fastest lap: 2m20.286s (#98 Audi)

 
STATS

• Winning margin of two laps remains the biggest of the GT3 era
• Total of 13 brands represented between GT3 and GT4
• Final appearance: GT4 class, Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Ford GT
• First appearance: Christopher Haase, Black Falcon, McLaren

2011 photo gallery