Sole Marc VDS BMW still taking on three WRT Audis

27 July 2014 Sole Marc VDS BMW still taking on three WRT Audis

All through the night of the 66th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa the battle for the lead raged on. Depending on the pitstops, the #77 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS BMW and the #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi took the lead of the race, with the #3 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi not far behind after 15 hours of racing.

When the #3 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi took its drive-through penalty for having pitted during the red flag-period on Saturday evening, the order at the top of the rankings was established for the rest of the night. The #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT led the race, with the #77 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS BMW more or less a minute behind. With the Audi having its regular pitstops around quarter to the hour every hour, the BMW could briefly take first place, up until the Marc VDS had to perform their pitstop, around quarter past the hour every hour. That meant that at 4.30 am, after 12 hours of racing, the #1 Audi was leading, from the #77 BMW and the #3 Audi.

Among the retirements during the night were both the ART Grand Prix McLaren, and the #66 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS BMW. The latter had Jörg Müller at the wheel when the car hit a rabbit, damaging the car’s radiator of the car beyond repair.

There was one safety car period during the night, when the #44 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin went off track in Turn 17. That brings the total of safety car interventions to six, for a total of 218 minutes.

Pro-Am

In Pro-Am category the #90 Scuderia Villorba Corse Ferrari dominated the race all through the night. Its lead was small, with the #53 AF Corse Ferrari and #79 Ecurie Ecosse BMW not far behind. However, both cars encountered some setbacks, promoting the #12 TDS Racing BMW to second in class. Just before the 15-hour mark, and on his outlap after a pitstop, Henry Hassid went off in turn 11. The #12 BMW had to be towed and did not seem to be able restart. That meant that the #52 AF Corse Ferrari, with V8 Supercars-champion Craig Lowndes in its line-up, in second in class, closely followed by the #53 sister car.

Gentlemen Trophy

The fight in Gentlemen Trophy was as close as it gets, with the #42 Sport Garage Ferrari and #51 AF Corse Ferrari driving on the same lap all through the night. It was the Sport Garage Ferrari who was leading at the half-way point, but after fifteen hours of racing, the AF Corse 458 Italia was in first position. The #228 Delahaye Racing Porsche was third, but had lost contact with the leaders during the morning, and was four laps behind with nine hours of racing to go. 

Provisional points standings after 12 hours:

Pro Cup Drivers Top 3:
1 Andy Meyrick/Guy Smith/Steven Kane 57pts; 2 Edward Sandström/Stephane Ortelli/Grégory Guilvert 55 pts; 3 Gregoire Demoustier/Alvaro Parente/Laurents Vanthoor 49 pts.

Pro Cup Teams Top 3:
1 ART Grand Prix 69pts; 2 M-Sport Bentley 68pts; 3 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT 64pts.

Pro-Am Cup Drivers Top 3:
1 Andrea Rizzoli/Stefano Gai/Francesco Castellacci 67pts; 2 Andrew Smith/Alasdair McCaig/Oliver Bryant 47pts; 3 Stefano Comandini/Eugenio Amos 41pts.

Pro-Am Cup Teams Top 3:
1 Scuderia Villorba Corse 67pts; 2 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN 54pts; 3 TDS Racing 52pts

Gentlemen Trophy Drivers Top 3:
1 Alexander Mattschull 76 pts; 2 Franck Schmickler 75pts; 3 Peter Mann/Francisco Guedes 72pts

Gentlemen Trophy Teams Top 3:
1 GT Corse by Rinaldi 81pts; 2 AF Corse 72pts; 3 Sport Garage 45pts;

Kings Cup standings after 12 hours:

1. Ferrari 2. Audi 3. BMW

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Blancpain

Over 275 years of tradition in motion :

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 nine years, the Manufacture has indeed developed no less than 32 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.

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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.

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Total

With operations in more than 130 countries, Total is a top-tier international oil company and a world-class natural gas operator, refiner and petrochemical producer. Our 97,000 employees leverage their acknowledged expertise to discover, produce, refine and convert oil and gas to provide products and services for customers worldwide. We are also broadening our offer by developing energies that can partner oil and gas — today, solar energy and tomorrow, biomass.

In Belgium, our Group possesses a long history as an energy supplier and is mainly active in the chemical and refining sectors, together with marketing and service activities, employing some 4500 people. As the market leader, Total Belgium is known to respond to its clients’ needs, and brings innovative solutions through its products and services. Total helps its clients to reduce consumption in a better and more efficient way, through a varied range of products like the Excellium fuel, the Fuel Economy lubricants, fuel oil and wood pellets for heating, aviation fuel, super, diesel, LPG, asphalt, lubricants…

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SRO Motorsports Group

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 2014, SRO promotes several championships and series, such as the Blancpain GT Series with the Blancpain Sprint Series and the Blancpain Endurance Series, including the iconic Total 24 hours of Spa, the Cooper Tires British F3 Championship, the Avon Tyres British GT Championship and has various franchise agreements including the GT4 European Series.

SRO has offices in London, Paris and Liège.
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