Vitaphone dominating in closing hours of Spa 24H

Less than four hours remain in the Total 24 Hours of Spa, and much hasn't changed since the halfway mark. Vitaphone Racing has put in a dominating performance, continuing to head the twice-around-the-clock Belgian marathon at Spa-Francorchamps....

Less than four hours remain in the Total 24 Hours of Spa, and much hasn't changed since the halfway mark. Vitaphone Racing has put in a dominating performance, continuing to head the twice-around-the-clock Belgian marathon at Spa-Francorchamps. The No. 1 Maserati MC12 of Andrea Bertolini, Michael Bartels, Stephane Sarrazin and Eric van de Poele has been out front for the majority of the time, only losing the top spot to the team's No. 2 entry for brief moments during pit stop cycles. Both cars have run like clockwork and are on their way for a historic 1-2 finish.

However, one team trying to make up lost ground went up in flames shortly into the 20th hour. The No. 6 Phoenix Carsport Racing Corvette C6.R, which had dominated the opening five hours of the race only to be collected in an accident, had worked its way back up to fourth overall. However, Fabrizio Gollin brought the GMAC-sponsored machine into the pits with flames billowing from the front of the GT1 machine. The team quickly extinguished the blaze and went to work making repairs. By the end of the hour, the lone remaining C6.R was back on track, but down to ninth overall, nearly 30 laps adrift from the race-leading Maserati.

Only six GT1 cars remain running, with the No. 10 Gigawave Aston Martin DBR9 continuing its solid run in third, ahead of the No. 15 JMB Racing Maserati, which has moved up to fourth. IPB Spartak's Lamborghini Murcielago had been on the move up, but has since run into trouble and has dropped to 11th overall.

In GT2, the No. 77 JMB Racing Ferrari F430 GT of Matteo Malucelli, Paolo Ruberti, Joel Camathias and Davide Rigon also continue to show the way, now up to fifth overall. Like its Italian counterparts up front overall, this Prancing Horse has been able to enjoy a near trouble-free run. However, the second-placed No. 61 Prospeed Competition Porsche 997 GT3 RSR of Emmanuel Collard, Richard Westbrook and Marc Lieb have been able to make up some ground, now moving to within a lap of the class-leading machine.

AF Corse's sole remaining Ferrari of Gimmi Bruni, Toni Vilander, Jamie Melo and Mika Salo are in third, ahead of the No. 55 CR Scuderia example of Tim Mullen, Chris Niarchos, Andrea Piccini and Gordon Shedden.

In G2, it appears that both of the category's entrants have called it a race, leaving no other entrant to pick up the class win. The same could not be said for G3, though, as six cars continue to circulate, headed by the No. 123 Muhlner Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S of Heinz Josef Bermes, Mark Thomas, Marc Basseng and Jean Francois Hemroulle.

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Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Andrea Piccini , Joel Camathias , Mika Salo , Eric van de Poele , Stéphane Sarrazin , Davide Rigon , Marc Lieb , Andrea Bertolini , Chris Niarchos , Matteo Malucelli , Jean François Hemroulle , Marc Basseng , Toni Vilander , Richard Westbrook , Heinz-Josef Bermes , Gordon Shedden
Teams AF Corse , Prospeed Competition