Spa: 24H midway report

The first half of the Proximus 24 Hours of Spa was completed during a safety car period. In the first four hours after midnight, Ferrari maintained its dominance both overall and in the GT class. The nr 2 BMS Ferrari 550 Maranello took the lead...

The first half of the Proximus 24 Hours of Spa was completed during a safety car period. In the first four hours after midnight, Ferrari maintained its dominance both overall and in the GT class. The nr 2 BMS Ferrari 550 Maranello took the lead from the nr 11 GPC Ferrari to claim the maximum points at the 12-hour mark. A technical problem on the third-placed nr 143 BMW a few minutes before the end of the 12th hour promoted the nr 77 Freisinger Yukos Porsche, which continued to lead in N-GT, up to third and its sister car, the nr 50, to fourth position.

Just after midnight, the leading nr 11 GPC Ferrari pitted, Philipp Peter taking the wheel. The nr 2 BMS Ferrari took the lead and did not relinquish it again, despite coming in to refuel shortly afterwards. The second BMS car meanwhile pulled into the pits again to replace the car's front bumper. They rejoined the race on lap 204 with Gabriele Gardel driving, but the car had dropped back to position 16 by then.

Further on, BMW's nr 142 was engaged in a thrilling battle for eighth position with the nr 71 JWR Porsche for several laps, while its sister car nr 143 held on to third place overall and continued to lead in the G2 class. Antonio Garcia took the wheel in lap 258, but the pit stop didn't go smoothly, as they lost time changing the left front tyre. They lost a position, briefly dropping down to fourth, but were back on three within just a few laps when the N-GT leading car nr 77 pulled into the pits.

Problems hit the nr 142 BMW in lap 268. The car pitted from position seven with starter problems. Both the break discs and pads were replaced. The crew worked on the car for more than thirty minutes before it eventually rejoined the race.

The two leading Ferraris swapped positions several times due to pit stops. Ten minutes to the end of the 12th hour of racing, the nr 2 BMS Ferrari 550 Maranello had the upper hand in their fight, when the safety car came out. The Saleen nr 7 had stopped at MP22, leaving a trace of oil on the track. The nr 70 Graham Nash Porsche hit the Arnco and retired. Meanwhile, drama struck nr 143 BMW with Antonio Garcia behind the wheel. The leading G2 car was in an excellent third position overall when it suddenly retired, stopping with technical problems at Stavelot . The safety car was brought out to clean the track and take the opportunity to remove the cars that were stranded at the trackside.

-fia-

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Antonio Garcia , Gabriele Gardel , Philipp Peter