Today a new trophy for the Total 24 Hours of Spa was unveiled during the drivers’ briefing for the highlight of the Blancpain Endurance Series. The trophy, offered by SRO Motorsports Group to the RACB, reflects the 90th anniversary of the Belgian endurance classic and bears the names of all the previous winners of the prestigious event.
Stephane Ratel was the driving force behind the creation of a new trophy for the Total 24 Hours of Spa. In the year of the 90th anniversary of the event – and the 50th of the modern version of the endurance classic - the CEO and founder of the SRO Motorsports Group wanted to create a distinctive trophy that reflects the race’s rich history. 1924 was not only the year of the first 24 hours of Spa – then called ‘Grand Prix de Spa’ – but it was also the period in which the Art Deco movement was immensely popular. After a quest in several antique shops Stephane Ratel found a trophy that was created in the mid 20s and therefore has the same age as the 24 hours itself.
The current trophy – which from now on will be the annual prize for the victors of the Total 24 Hours of Spa – is set in a base which has the names of all the winners in the rich history of the event. Every new winner will have the honour to add his or her name to a list which already includes some of the most prestigious names in motorsports’ history, like Luigi Chinetti, Mike Hawthorn, Jacky Ickx, Eric van de Poele, Bernd Schneider and many others. The SRO Motorsports Group hopes that in the years to come this trophy will see some great drivers and teams add their names to the trophy.
The unveiling of the new trophy was not the only good reason to be in Spa today. Moments after all drivers participating in the 66th running of the Total 24 Hours of Spa had a group picture taken at the famous Raidillon corner they drove their racing cars over public roads from the track to the town centre of Spa, where they were greeted by thousands of enthusiastic fans, eager to admire cars and drivers participating in the endurance classic. The Total stage was the centre of feverish excitement, providing drivers with an opportunity to introduce themselves to the public and in return the drivers signed thousands of autographs.
Tomorrow will see the first on track action at the 7,004 km long track in the Belgian Ardennes, when at 11.55 the 61 cars for the 2014 Total 24 Hours of Spa will participate in the free practice session. On Thursday evening the pre-qualifying and qualifying session will determine the 20 quickest cars that will be able to participate in the Superpole on Friday.