Bentley fastest at 24H Spa official test
The official test day for the Total 24 Hours of Spa gave an interesting glimpse of the highly competitive nature of the endurance classic. The varied weather conditions gave teams and drivers ample opportunity to be fully prepared for the highlight of the Blancpain GT Series and Intercontinental GT Challenge.
With almost 70 cars on track, the legendary track in the Belgian Ardennes was very busy during both the morning and afternoon sessions. The participants in the longest race of the 2016 Blancpain GT Series season had eight hours to prepare themselves for the event that will start in exactly three weeks’ time.
During the three-hour morning session, the Audi teams proved to be quickest, with the #1 Audi Sport Team WRT lapping over seven tenths of a second quicker than #74 and #75 ISR Audis. The #74 of Giauque, Hassid, Perera and Nicolas Lapierre was fastest in Pro-Am as well. The #44 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin and the #84 Team-AMG HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG completed the top-5 overall, with the #30 Team Parker Racing Bentley setting the fastest time in the Am Cup.
That same white-and-orange Bentley created a bit of a stir at the start of the afternoon session, by setting the quickest lap of the day in 2’18.292, right before a first shower prevented the lap times from being improved. Even though the asphalt dried quite quickly, teams preferred to perform long runs to fully prepare for all aspects of the Belgian 24-hour race, which meant that the Team Parker Racing Bentley remained on top of the time sheets. However that lap time was set by pro driver Seb Morris who was practising for the British GT race next weekend.
Eventually it was another Bentley, the #7 Bentley Team M-Sport Continental, that set the second time of the afternoon session, from the #4 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT R8. Fastest of the Pro-Am cars was the #15 BMW Team Italia M6, where factory driver Martin Tomczyk will make his Spa 24 hours-debut.
With the data gathered during this Official Test Day, the teams now have three weeks to make their final preparations for the Total 24 Hours of Spa. The Bronze Test on Tuesday July 26th will be the first track action of a very exciting week of racing.