With almost 70 cars on track during the Official Test Day of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the legendary track in the Belgian Ardennes was very busy during both the morning and afternoon sessions. The participants in the longest race of the 2016 Blancpain GT Series season had eight hours to prepare themselves for the event that will start in exactly three weeks' time.
During the three-hour morning session, the Audi teams proved to be quickest, with the #1 Audi Sport Team WRT lapping over seven tenths of a second quicker than #74 and #75 ISR Audis. The #74 of Giauque, Hassid, Perera and Nicolas Lapierre was fastest in Pro-Am as well. The #44 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin and the #84 Team-AMG HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG completed the top-5 overall, with the #30 Team Parker Racing Bentley setting the fastest time in the Am Cup.
That same white-and-orange Bentley created a bit of a stir at the start of the afternoon session, by setting the quickest lap of the day in 2'18.292, right before a first shower prevented the lap times from being improved. Even though the asphalt dried quite quickly, teams preferred to perform long runs to fully prepare for all aspects of the Belgian 24-hour race, which meant that the Team Parker Racing Bentley remained on top of the time sheets. However that lap time was set by pro driver Seb Morris who was practising for the British GT race next weekend.
Eventually it was another Bentley, the #7 Bentley Team M-Sport Continental, that set the second time of the afternoon session, from the #4 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT R8. Fastest of the Pro-Am cars was the #15 BMW Team Italia M6, where factory driver Martin Tomczyk will make his Spa 24 hours-debut.
With the data gathered during this Official Test Day, the teams now have three weeks to make their final preparations for the Total 24 Hours of Spa. The Bronze Test on Tuesday July 26th will be the first track action of a very exciting week of racing.
Useful information - Total 24 Hours of Spa
When: 26th – 31st July 2016
Tickets : from 15 €
General Entrance : 30 € (includes free entrance on Thursday and Friday)
General Entrance + paddock : 60 €
Children aged 12 or under, accompanied by an adult, enter for free
Sales on: www.24hoursofspa and www.ticketmaster.be
Tuesday July 26th
Bronze test 15:00 – 18:00
Wednesday July 27th
Parade Spa 16:00
Autograph session 17:00-18 :00
Thursday July 28th
Free Practice 13:20-14:50
Night Qualifying 21:45-23:45
Friday July 29th
Super Pole 17:30-18:00
Saturday July 30th
Warm Up 09:05-09:25
Starting procedure & Grid walk 15:40-16:30
Start of the Total 24 hours of Spa 16:30
Information & reservation : www.24hoursofspa.com / www.blancpain-gt-series.com
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Twitter : @24hoursofspa #SPA24H / @blancpaingt #Blancpaingt
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Blancpain - Innovation is our Tradition
Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the watch brand bearing his name is the oldest in the world. Blancpain is currently engaged to the renewal of mechanical watchmaking and to passing on exceptional expertise from one generation to the next through constant investment in human resources, production facilities and research. This approach is its strength and the expression of our long-term vision, even though it goes against the tide of a certain tendency to seek immediate profit.
From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements. Over the past ten years, the Manufacture has indeed developed no less than 35 new calibres.
Through its various models, Blancpain preserves its heritage of precision and elegance, while also displaying an innovative and occasionally provocative spirit.
Its range encompasses the sportive L-evolution line, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection, the high complication from Le Brassus collection and the Women models.
Pirelli – Official Tyre Supplier
Pirelli is a tyre manufacturer and world leader in the automotive industry. It has an exclusive relationship with over 50 racing series worldwide, including Formula One.
Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in endurance racing, and has also claimed a huge variety of class wins in GT racing all over the world. The design of the new Pirelli GT tyres meets the needs of GT racing while maintaining the performance characteristics that endurance drivers have appreciated in the past.The slick tyres used for GT racing are branded Zero: just like the slicks that have become a central feature of Formula One. The name P Zero is used in the highest categories of motorsport such as GT racing.
Total - Official Sponsor of the Total 24 Hours of Spa
Energy is vital to economic development and improved standards of living.
Wherever it is available, energy is helping to drive progress, but sustainability requires changes in the way that it is used and managed. This is the environment in which we conduct our business.
With operations in more than 130 countries, Total is a top-tier international oil company and a world-class natural gas operator, refiner, petrochemical producer, and fuel and lubricant retailer.
Our nearly 99,000 employees leverage their globally acknowledged expertise so that together they can discover, produce, refine and distribute oil and gas to provide products and services for customers worldwide.
We are also broadening our offering by developing energies that can partner oil and gas — today, solar energy and tomorrow, biomass.
As a responsible corporate citizen, we focus on ensuring that our operations consistently deliver
economic, social and environmental benefits.
SRO Motorsports Group - The architect of modern GT Racing
SRO Motorsports Group was founded by Stephane Ratel and has specialised in the promotion, support and organisation of many national and international motorsport series since 1995.
In 2016, SRO Motorsports Group promotes several championships and series, such as the Blancpain
GT Series, including the iconic Total 24 hours of Spa, the British GT Championship, the Blancpain Sports Club with the Blancpain GT Sports Club and the Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club, the Competition 102 GT4 European Series and the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
SRO Motorsports Group runs also the SRO Race Centre by MMC - a high-level technical centre at the Paul Ricard Circuit in the south of France - and Curbstone, that provides ultimate track driving opportunities on world renowned race circuits in Western Europe for supercar owners, as well as test driving facilities for race car drivers.
SRO has offices in London, Paris and Liège.