The first of two official test days for the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa saw plenty of track action on a sunny Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps. The #32 Team WRT Audi topped both morning and afternoon sessions, clocking lap times that came very close to the nearly five-year old GT3 lap record.
The first lap time that remained on top of the timing sheets for quite a while, was a 2’17.857, set by Nick Catsburg in the #98 ROWE Racing BMW. Quite an impressive feat, considering the GT3 lap record is a 2’17.390, set in 2017 when James Calado took pole position in the Kaspersky Ferrari.
But others would get even closer to that reference time. Eventually it was Charles Weerts in the #32 Team WRT Audi who set the fastest time before lunch, clocking a 2’17.461. The ROWE Racing BMW remained in second, with the #12 Tresor by Car Collection Audi ending up in third.
After the early skirmishes post-lunch the #777 Al Manar Racing by HRT Mercedes-AMG Silver Cup car topped the timing sheets (2’18.089), and it took an inspired lap of KCMG’s Laurens Vanthoor to put the #47 Porsche in front (2’17.747). That led to a bit of a flurry of fast times: Dries Vanthoor, in the #32 Team WRT Audi, was the first to improve on his brother’s time (2’17.490), with Matteo Cairoli in the #54 Dinamic Motorsport Porsche (2’17.535) hot on his heels. Those positions would not change until the end of the session.
In Silver Cup the #4 Haupt Racing Team Mercedes-AMG was quickest before noon, with the #777 holding on to the top Silver Cup spot all through the afternoon’s session, finishing up in 4th overall.
The best Gold Cup performances were set by the #91 Allied Racing Porsche (2’18.313 before lunch), and the #5 Haupt Racing Team Mercedes-AMG (2’18.205 in the afternoon). Both cars ended up inside the top 10 overall.
Pro-Am honours were taken by the #39 Singha Racing Team TP12 Porsche edging in front of the #188 Garage 59 McLaren. The British squad did one better after lunch, even ending up sixth overall.
Impressive performances of the #20 SPS automotive performance Mercedes-AMG drivers as well, not only by setting the fastest times of the Bronze Cup, but also by entering the top 20 overall.
Both sessions were interrupted a couple of times by cars stopping at the side of the track or getting stuck in one of the gravel traps, but none of the incidents had serious consequences.
On Wednesday it’s time for the second and last day of the official test days for the 2022 edition of the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. The morning session runs from 9 to 12, with a five-hour afternoon session between 1 and 6 pm completing the final on-track preparations for the Belgian endurance classic.
Day 1 result list: click here