Under the watchful eyes of driver coaches Vincent Vosse and Bas Leinders the first three-hour Bronze and Silver test for the Total 24 Hours of Spa took place this afternoon. It gave the drivers ample opportunity to familiarize themselves with the Belgian track.
Three hours of Bronze and Silver test formed the first track action for the 2015 Total 24 Hours of Spa race week. It was the first time that such a extensive test was organised, with the aim to give the less experienced drivers - other drivers that had never driven in Spa were allowed to take to the track as well - a feel of the Belgian circuit. The test is part of a larger initiative which should increase safety during the highlight of the Blancpain Endurance Series.
With 42 cars participating in the test, drivers took the opportunity with both hands, most of them trying to maximise their track time. Eventually, the fastest time went to the #44 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin, setting a lap time of 2'21.935. The Aston Martin is now competing in Pro-Am Cup after the addition of young Australian Jonathan Venter. Second was the #99 Rowe Racing Mercedes (one of nine cars of the Pro Cup in the test) of Nico Bastian by a mere 0.019 of a second. Third was the #888 Triple Eight Racing BMW in 2'22.109, with the #24 Team Parker Racing Audi fastest of the Am Cup cars.
Wednesday sees the traditional parade at 4pm, with all cars travelling on public roads from the Francorchamps track towards the town centre. All drivers will then participate in an hour long autograph session from 5pm to 6pm, after which they will attend to the drivers briefing in the Casino of Spa. The cars will travel back to the paddock at 7.30pm. The next track session is on Thursday, with the 90-minute long free practice session starting at noon.
Bas Leinders (Bronze and Silver Test driver coach): "Together with Vincent I participated in the briefing for the drivers participating in this test, after which we studied the images in race control and did a lap of the track. I was pretty happy about the driving standards, I must admit."