SRO creates the Drivers Circle
The 68th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, held from July 26th to 31st 2016, will be an exceptional event for more than one reason. First of all, it has been 15 years since the SRO Motorsports Group became involved in this legendary race. On this occasion SRO wishes to honour all those who played a part in making the history of the 24 Hours, by taking part in the Belgian endurance classic. That is why the SRO Motorsports Group, after reinvigorating the Group N-category, is now creating the “Total 24 Hours of Spa Drivers Circle”.
The “Drivers Circle” unites all drivers who have taken part in the Total 24 Hours of Spa, becoming part of the legends surrounding this race, which has become the greatest GT race in the world. The members drove both in the older Touring Car era and the more recent editions, in which GT cars – initially GT1, then GT2 and now GT3 – entertained the thousands of fans. They will have their own special meeting point, and this “Drivers Circle” will give them the opportunity to share ideas for the future and celebrate this legendary event, which was created in 1924.
During the 2016 Total 24 Hours of Spa, the members’ programme will include a group picture on the starting grid, a meeting with the fans in the club house, and the senior member of the Circle will present one of the trophies after the race. There will be more exceptional initiatives, which will be confirmed in due course.
Such a circle needs an exceptional President, a former driver and absolute and unconditional fan of the event: Pascal Witmeur, old friend of the SRO Motorsports Group, has been chosen to fill these shoes. Pascal has taken part in the Total 24 Hours of Spa on 28 occasions, and some of those participations went down in history. In 1985 Pascal drove a Toyota Supra in the colours of Jermaine Jackson (he shared the car with former motorcycle world champion Barry Sheene). Ten years later Witmeur was the driving force behind the participation of a Peugeot 806 and last year (twenty years later, exactly) he chose the Total 24 Hours of Spa to present a BMW Z4 in the colours of the “Racing against Cancer” operation. Pascal will have the assistance of another Belgian veteran: Lucien Beckers, who drove under the pseudonym “James” and took the win in the King’s Cup in 1973 and 1974, representing Alfa Romeo.
So, imagine if you can this “Total 24 Hours of Spa Drivers Circle” with prestigious members such as Didier de Radiguès, Vincent Vosse, Roberto Ravaglia, Eric van de Poele (the record holder with five wins), Thierry Tassin, Michael Bartels, Eddy Joosen, the Martin dynasty, Bernd Schneider, Stéphane de Groodt, Koen Wauters, Thierry Boutsen, René Rast, André Lotterer, Bas Leinders, Stéphane Ortelli, Jacky and Vanina Ickx, Pierre Dieudonné, Laurens Vanthoor, Anthony Kumpen, Marc Duez, Frédéric Bouvy, Kurt Mollekens, Maximilian Buhk, Pierre Van Vliet, Maxime Soulet, Christian Kelders, Wolfgang Reip, Nico Verdonck. Enough names to make motorsport fans dream!