With the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa about to get underway, now is the ideal time to brush up on a few key facts and figures concerning the big race. We’ve compiled the ideal number – 24, of course – to whet your appetite for the Belgian endurance classic.
1 –– This year's race will represent round one of the 2021 Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli season. It will be the first time that the globe-trotting championship has kicked off at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, having previously launched at the LiquiMoly Bathurst 12 Hour.
2 –– In 1971 the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL established the AMG brand's reputation by winning its class and finishing P2 overall. This year, the #50 HubAuto Mercedes-AMG will run in a special tribute livery to the 'Red Pig'.
3 –– This year, Team WRT will target a third overall win at its home event. The Belgian outfit has two factory-supported Audi Sport crews and a pair of Silver Cup cars entered in this year's race.
4 –– A record four Silver Cup crews secured a spot in Super Pole at this year's TotalEnergies 24 Hours, while Ricardo Feller (#14 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini) set the fastest lap lap in Qualifying and ultimately took fourth on the final grid.
5 –– The winning margin at Spa's first two GT editions, 2001 and 2002, was five laps. Last year, the victorious ROWE Racing Porsche triumphed with a gap of +4.687 over its closest rival. The last time that only one car finished on the lead lap was 2015.
6 –– Ferrari machinery has taken six Pro-Am victories in the past decade, including five in a row between 2011 and 2015. The Italian marque is represented by four cars in the class this year, with a number of past winners among the drivers.
7 –– The modern Spa-Francorchamps circuit measures a shade over 7km and was first used for the 24 Hours in 1979. Prior to this, the track was more than twice its current length.
8 –– Porsche has amassed eight overall wins at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. The German marque has the most Pro cars (seven) and is the only brand with representation in all four classes.
9 –– The gap of nine months from last year's rescheduled TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa to this edition is the shortest between two between races. The longest break was 11 years between 1953 and 1964, since when the event has been run annually.
10 –– The #10 BMW fielded by Belgian squad Boutsen Ginion carries a livery inspired by the iconic comic strip character Michel Vaillant. The team will once again chase Pro-Am victory in this year's race.
11 –– This will be the 11th TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa since the move to GT3 rules. A field of 58 cars, all conforming to the same set of regulations, are set to take the start on Saturday afternoon.
12 –– Points are awarded to the top nine runners in each category after six and 12 hours of the race on a basis of 12, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. As ever, full points are awarded to the top-10 at the chequered flag using the standard 25-18-15 format.
13 –– A total of 13 past winners feature on this year's entry list, four of whom have triumphed twice: Andrea Bertolini (2006 & 2008), Romain Dumas (2003 & 2010), Markus Winkelhock (2014 & 2017) and Laurens Vanthoor (2014 & 2020). The latter is part of the only car to feature three winners, the #47 KCMG Porsche, which also includes Maxime Martin and Nick Tandy.
14 –– A total of 38 teams from 14 different nations and territories will compete in this year's race. Germany is the best-represented on the grid, with 12 squads making the trip across the border for the event.
15 –– Maxime Martin will contest his home event for the 15th time this year. He will be one of nine Belgian drivers will on the grid, of whom John Wartique is the only debutant.
16 –– The 2021 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa will be the 16th edition contested by Andrea Bertolini, making the Ferrari driver the most experienced man on the grid. Bertolini has amassed four wins – two overall and two in Pro-Am – during his long and distinguished career. The record-holder is Marc Duez, who has amassed an incredible 33 participations.
17 –– This year's TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa will feature the biggest Silver Cup grid since the class was introduced in 2018. A field of 17 cars will chase class victory, including 2020 winner HRT with its #5 Mercedes-AMG
18 –– Last year, Orange1 FFF Racing driver Marco Mapelli established a new record lap time for the GT3 era by posting a 2m18.146s at the wheel of the #63 Lamborghini.
19 –– No active driver can trace their TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa history back further than Romain Dumas. The two-time winner made his debut 19 years ago, finishing third overall in a Porsche 911 GT3-RS.
20 –– This year's TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa marks the 20-year anniversary of the race's first GT edition. While none of the drivers competing in 2001 remain active competitors, several are involved as team members.
21 –– The youngest line-up on this year's grid will be the #30 Team WRT Audi of Goethe/Colapinto/Pull. The latter is the eldest member of the trio at just 21 years of age, while both of his crewmates are 18.
22 –– The #22 GPX Racing Porsche leads the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS standings ahead of this year's 24 Hours. The Dubai-based squad conquered the event in 2019, while driver Earl Bamber is the reigning winner having triumphed last year for ROWE Racing.
23 –– The venue’s original 15km circuit was created in 1920, formed by a triangle that used routes 23, 32 and 440 to connect Spa-Francorchamps to Malmédy and Stavelot. Just four years later, the 24 Hours was staged for the first time.
24 –– With a record of 24 overall wins BMW is the most successful brand in TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa history. The Bavarian manufacturer will target yet another triumph this year, which will mark the final appearance of its successful M6 GT3 model in the event.