GT World Challenge Europe: Catsburg leads 1-2 for ROWE-BMW after 12 hours at Spa, red flag for EBM-Porsche crash
Field on the grid during red flag conditions with the BMW of Catsburg in front
Many cars were out of action on the night of the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa and the race had to be stopped for an hour to repair a bunch of tires at Blanchimont. ROWE Racing still managed to stay out of trouble and their BMWs are first and second with Nicky Catsburg ahead of Max Hesse. The sky is now getting a little lighter as we approach the morning at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
Text: Vincent Bruins (Twitter: @VincentJBruins)
Photo: SRO (Jules Benichou/Kevin Pecks)
Thomas Preining brought his damaged number 54-Dinamic-Porsche into the garage with a flat tire and the Italian team that was still leading in the early stages had given up. The 11-tresor-Audi was retired when Lorenzo Patrese crashed at Pouhon. Albert Costa also fell. The driver of #63-Emil Frey-Lamborghini was not only disappointed, but also surprised by how his Huracán GT3 shot on the track when Pif-Paf came out. The number-9 and number-911-Herberth-Porsches also crashed, while the number-107-CMR-Bentley retired, as Antonin Borga ran out of cars after La Source. Matt Payne (Earl Bamber Motorsport) suffered a heavy crash at Blanchimont and the number 16 Porsche was badly damaged by the wall. Payne turned right in the end, but there was a red flag situation for over an hour to fix the wall. In the next Safety Car session, Richard Lietz blew the engine of his number-221-GPX Martini-Porsche. A broken radiator ended the No. 1 race. 159 Garage 59 McLaren. A few minutes before the twelve hours of the race, Gabriele Piana withdrew by defeating David Perel (AF Corse) and canceled the second place of the Gold Cup for the No. 5 Haupt-Mercedes-AMG.
The Silver Cup-leading No. 4 Haupt-Mercedes-AMG is one lap ahead of the No. 99 Attempto-Audi who is now second in class.
Catsburg, who again scores twelve points with Farfus and Yelloly, leads his teammate Hesse, Dani Juncadella (Team Akkodis ASP), Davide Rigon (Iron Lynx) and Maxime Martin (Beechdean AMR). The No.2 Team-AMG of GetSpeed-Mercedes-AMG’s Steijn Schothorst was just outside the points. The No. 4 Haupt-Mercedes-AMG, with Silver Cup leader Jordan Love behind the wheel, is the only non-Pro car on the leader’s lap in P12 overall. The Iron Dames lead with the number-83 Ferrari. Sarah Bovy took over from Doriane Pin heading into the second half. No.-24 Herberth-Porsche dominates the Pro-Am Cup and No.-35-Walkenhorst-BMW has a commanding lead in the Bronze Cup. Maxime Oosten (Samantha Tan Racing) and Max Weering (Leipert Motorsport) finished just outside the points in the Silver Cup, as did Ruben del Sarte (AGS Events) in the Gold Cup.