Record Fanatec GT2 grid for CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa support debut

Record Fanatec GT2 grid for CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa support debut

Series set for first appearance alongside Belgian endurance classic 
Little to choose between leading Pro-Am and Am contenders after two meetings
Ginetta and Lamborghini join grid to make it six manufacturers present in Belgium

 

The Fanatec GT2 European Series Powered by Pirelli gears up for its biggest weekend yet across 27-29 June, as it supports the centenary edition of the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa for the first time.

 

It is fitting that a landmark occasion is accompanied by a record entry list, approaching the halfway mark of a gripping campaign. 33 drivers and 19 cars feature for Fanatec GT2’s return to the Ardennes after a two-year absence, while Lamborghini and Ginetta join the fray to boost the manufacturer count to six.

 

Of those, Maserati and KTM share two victories apiece from four races so far, while three different crews have visited the top step of the podium. Success at Misano for Reinhard Kofler and Martin Koch gave Team MZR (KTM X-BOW GT2) a major boost in their chase of two-time victors Leonardo Gorini and Carlo Tamburini, who lead their rivals by a single point in the LP Racing Maserati GT2.

 

While the Pro-Am battle rumbles on, it is just as competitive in the Am class. TFT Racing rookie Alexandre Leroy has eked out a five-point advantage over fellow Maserati driver Philippe Prette, but a host of Audi, Mercedes-AMG and KTM opponents remain firmly in title contention.

 

Three new entries join the grid for Spa. Alongside Team CMR’s Ginetta entry, BDR Compétition by Grupo Prom and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS frontrunner Attempto Racing make their series debuts with Lamborghini and Audi respectively.

 

Commencing a historic weekend, GT2 machinery will join the spectacular Spa Parade on Wednesday afternoon, travelling from the circuit to the city centre with more than 150 combined GT cars on show. Four hours of Fanatec GT2 action will follow culminating in two 50-minute races around the 7km circuit, a thrilling prelude to the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa centenary on Saturday.

 

Single point separates Pro-Am as title fight intensifies


Spa-Francorchamps has historically been a strong circuit for the KTM X-BOW GT2, with three wins from the last four Fanatec GT2 races held at the Belgian venue. It bodes well for Team MZR’s Kofler and Koch, after the #812 KTM got the better of Gorini and Tamburini in a thrilling contest at Misano to leave just one point between the two crews.

 

The #1 Gorini/Tamburini pairing has proven formidable, scoring two wins and four pole positions in the Maserati GT2’s first full term of competition. The Trident has a strong affinity with the iconic Belgian venue: it was the scene of the GT2’s official reveal 12 months ago, while the legendary MC12 claimed a trio of CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa victories.

 

Other KTM contenders include Razoon - More Than Racing’s Thomas Andersen and Simon Birch. They continue to impress as rookies and climbed to third in the standings thanks to a top-three result in Italy. Victorious in the season-opener at Circuit Paul Ricard, Matej Homola is back in the #89 RTR Projects X-BOW GT2, with Petr Lisa taking the place of regular driver, Jan Krabec.

 

LP Racing could add to Audi’s 2021 Spa success, with two R8 LMS GT2 entries. Pierre Kaffer, who has competed against the world’s very best in Fanatec GT Europe and DTM, shares car #18 with Michael Doppelmayr. In the returning #88 Audi, Formula 4 podium finisher Alfio Andrea Spina is partnered with fellow Italian Stefano Costantini - a previous Endurance Cup Pro-Am class champion in Fanatec GT Europe.

 

When it comes to local knowledge, look no further than Eric De Doncker and Loris Hezemans in the #98 Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT2. Both have earned CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa podium honours during their careers, and the duo lie fourth in Pro-Am thanks to a brace of top-four results in their maiden term.

 

Double winners at Spa in 2022, True Racing’s Pro-Am challenge comes from Laura Kraihamer and a new team-mate in the #17 KTM, while Mauro Ricci is partnered with Benjamin Ricci - a Misano absentee - in the #61 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG.

 

Three different winners from four races in competitive Am class


The Am class looks equally tough to predict. Consistency has been key, particularly for Maserati rookie Leroy, who claimed a maiden class win at Misano to top the table heading to his home event.

 

Five points behind the TFT Racing driver is LP Racing’s Prette in the #2 Maserati, who secured his second win in Italy. Both are under pressure from class winners at Circuit Paul Ricard, Jean-Luc Beaubelique and Gilles Vannelet in the #87 Mercedes-AMG, who are closely followed by Akkodis ASP stablemates, Christophe Bourret and Pascal Gibon in the #53.

 

Further competition comes from two KTM crews. True Racing’s Klaus Angerhofer and Sehdi Sarmini, the latter a previous GT2 winner at Spa, will be hunting for another podium off the back of their third-place Misano success. Class runners up in round two, Razoon - More Than Racing’s Dominik Olbert and Denis Liebl will be looking to go one better in Belgium. 

 

This event also marks Ginetta’s GT2 debut, as Team CMR unleashes a G56 GTX. Experienced racer and entrepreneur Lawrence Tomlinson - a key figure in the manufacturer’s global rise in motorsport - will pilot the #56 car as an invitational entry.

 

BDR Compétition by Grupo Prom are also invitational newcomers, fielding a Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO2 for Mexican Alfredo Hernandez Ortega. Attempto Racing may not be a new name in endurance racing, but they will be series debutants at Spa with the #66 Audi and a yet to be announced line up.

 

Experienced crews battling for Iron Cup honours

Five driver pairings can also claim the weekend’s Iron Cup, which goes to the highest placed crew with a combined age of 100 years and over in both categories. The #18 Audi duo of Doppelmayr/Kaffer and True Racing's #16 KTM (Sarmini/Angerhofer) are among those, as are the #53 and #87 for Akkodis ASP and NM Racing’s similar Mercedes-AMG of Perrin and Viebahn.

 

WATCH LIVE

The most eagerly awaited event of the year gets underway with free practice (10:10) and pre-qualifying (15:20) on Thursday, before qualifying kicks off a busy Friday at 10:15. Race one commences at 14:45 that afternoon, with the second outing at 09:20 on Saturday morning providing a perfect build-up to the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa (all times CEST).

 

In another first for the series, qualifying and both 50-minute races will be streamed live in four different languages – English, French, German and Italian – on the GT World YouTube channel.

 


Related Motorsport Articles

84,742 articles