Spa 24hr: M Sport Bentley charges through the order at the half way point

After difficult start, both Continental GT3 make great progressAt the half way point, Car #7 sits in P15 and Car #8 in P29Drivers report cars are running well in the cool night air

As the Total 24 Hours of Spa reaches the half-way point, 12 hours in to the race, the two Continental G3 racecars of M-Sport Bentley sit P15 and P26 after continuing to recover well from an unfortunate start. More importantly, Car #7 sits P9 in class, meaning that the car scores a vital championship point at this intermediate stage.

With Car #8 sustaining damage to its steering in a second lap incident, and Car #7 suffering a burst brake line caused by debris from racing incidents between other cars, at the end of three hours the two cars were in P55 and P50 respectively. Nine hours later, however, superb teamwork has combined with excellent race pace to move the cars through the field at an impressive rate. Car #7 has made up a total of 35 places, with #Car #8 moving forwards by 29 places.

The race resumed following an hour-long red flag at 22:30 CEST (local time), with the famous Spa-Francorchamps track in full darkness. Since the restarts, the two Continental GT3s have run flawlessly, while the pit crew has delivered efficient and fast pit stops to match the commitment of the drivers. In the cooler temperatures of the night, the drivers have been able to push themselves and the cars harder, running double stints and maintaining excellent pace.

Guy Smith:

“We’re in better shape than we were six hours ago, but we’re still not where we want to be. Fortunately there’s still a lot of racing to be done! The cars are really working well and we’re pushing hard in these conditions that suit both us as drivers and the cars themselves. I had a really good two hour stint, which now gives me more time to rest and recover ready to get back in to the car as the morning breaks.”

Duncan Tappy:

“I actually had a really enjoyable stint, but it’s frustrating as without the issue at the start we would be competing so much further up the order as we’ve got the speed. Jérôme (D’Ambrosio) drove a superb stint before I got in the car, and Antoine (Leclerc) has picked up where I left off, so our pace has been consistently good.”

Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush:

“Six hours ago I said that we had a mountain to climb. We’ve definitely made some good progress but there’s a long way to go yet. The whole team has raised their game after our tough start and there’s an extra determination to do as well as we can. We’ll keep our heads down, focus on our strategy and push for speed while preserving the cars, which still have 12 hours of hard racing to do.”