13 Porsche tackle the 24-hour classic in Belgium

24 Hours of Spa 2020

– Five Porsche 911 GT3 R with world-class drivers fight for overall victory
– Porsche’s winning trio reunited in GPX Racing’s 911
– Presentation of the newest generation GT3 racing vehicle from Weissach

A total of 13 Porsche 911 GT3 R are entered for this year’s 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on 30/31 July. Five of the over 368 kW (500 PS) 911 contest the pro-category and have excellent chances to score overall victory at the world’s largest GT3 endurance classic. On the occasion of the event, Porsche Motorsport unveils the latest generation of a GT3 race car for customer racing.

With 13 Porsche 911 GT3 R, the Porsche customer teams are well represented at this year’s 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps. The long-distance classic in the Ardennes is considered the largest GT3 event in the world. In the long and illustrious history of the event, which was held for the first time in 1924, Porsche racing cars have clinched eight victories to date. On the last weekend in July, the experienced customer squads are determined to add to this track record.

« The organiser SRO headed by Stéphane Ratel celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. We’re expecting a particularly tough and spectacular grid line-up with a total of 65 cars, » explains Sebastian Golz, Project

Manager Porsche 911 GT3 R. « Our customer teams have entered 13 of our GT3 cars. This makes Porsche the most strongly represented manufacturer in the race. We’re well positioned in terms of both quantity and quality. I’m confident that our five pro-class vehicles manned by world-class drivers will be serious contenders for victory. The key to success lies in the best use of the tyres. During tests, we noticed that the latest renovations and modernisations at Spa-Francorchamps have left some rough ridges and edges in the asphalt and kerbs. What’s more, the new gravel traps pose a risk to the tyres, so it’s important to cover the distance with as little damage as possible. We won with the current generation of the 911 GT3R in 2019 and 2020. We’re now aiming for win number three before our new GT3 car enters the competition in 2023. »

The race
The first 24-hour race was contested in Belgium’s Ardennes in 1924 – making this classic just one year ‘younger’ than the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. Until 1949, the track measured about 15 kilometres in length and ran between the towns of Francorchamps, Malmedy and Stavelot. In 1970, the track was shortened to 7.004 kilometres and has remained virtually unchanged until today. Last winter and spring, the storied racetrack underwent an extensive upgrade. As part of this modernisation, new gravel traps, among other features, was added to the famous Eau Rouge/Raidillon passage. The basic layout, however, remained the same. Due to its location in the Ardennes, teams and drivers must expect unpredictable weather conditions at any time.

The 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps is considered the largest single GT3 event in the world. The endurance race is contested as round two of the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC) and is the third race of this year’s GT World Challenge Europe (GTWC).

The customer teams and drivers
In the Pro class, elite professional drivers compete for overall victory. With its customer teams, Porsche is well positioned in this category: works drivers Kévin Estre (France), Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Richard Lietz (Austria) share the cockpit of GPX Racing’s No. 221 entry. This trio won the endurance classic in 2019. The 2020 winners tackle this year’s race in separate cars: Local hero Laurens Vanthoor and Nick Tandy from England share the No. 47 car fielded by KCMG with the Norwegian DTM driver Dennis Olsen. New Zealander Earl Bamber contests the Pro-Am Cup for the Singha Racing team.

The other contenders for overall victory sit in cars campaigned by the customer squads Dinamic Motorsport (#54), EMA Motorsport (#74) and Toksport WRT (#100). EMA from Australia makes its debut at the largest GT3 event in Belgium. Sharing the wheel of the No. 74 EMA Porsche 911 GT3 R are the works drivers Matt Campbell from Australia, Mathieu Jaminet from France and Felipe Nasr from Brazil. Last January, this trio won the GTD-Pro class at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Dinamic’s No. 54 car is driven by Austria’s Klaus Bachler, Frenchman Côme Ledogar and Thomas Preining from Austria. Julien Andlauer from France and the two Germans Marvin Dienst and Sven Müller compete for Toksport.

Herberth Motorsport fields three 911 in the Gold Cup and Pro-Am classes, with Earl Bamber Motorsport (EBM), Allied Racing and Dinamic Motorsport also aiming for victory in the amateur categories. Experienced Porsche drivers such as Alessio Picariello (Belgium), Jaxon Evans (New Zealand) and the former Porsche Junior Ayhancan Güven (Turkey) will tackle the event at the wheel of the 911 GT3 R.

An overview of the cockpit crews
Pro class:
KCMG (#47) – Nick Tandy (UK) / Laurens Vanthoor (B) / Dennis Olsen (N)
Dinamic (#54) – Klaus Bachler (A) / Côme Ledogar (F) / Thomas Preining (A)
EMA (#74) – Matt Campbell (AUS) / Mathieu Jaminet (F) / Felipe Nasr (BR)
Toksport (#100) – Julien Andlauer (F) / Marvin Dienst (D) / Sven Müller (D)
GPX (#221) – Kévin Estre (F) / Michael Christensen (DK) / Richard Lietz (A)

Pro-Am Cup:
Herberth (#9) – Antares Au (HK) / Kevin Tse (MAC) / Dylan Pereira (L) / Jaxon Evans (NZ)
EBM (#16) – Adrian da Silva (MAL) / Brenton Grove (AUS) / Stephen Grove (AUS) / Matt Payne (NZ)
Herberth (#24) – Nicolas Leutwiler (CH) / Stefan Aust (D) / Alessio Picariello (B) / Nico Menzel (D)
Singha (#39) – Piti Bhirombhakdi (T) / Christophe Hamon (F) / Tanart Sathienthirakul (T) / Earl Bamber (NZ)

Gold Cup:
Allied (#91) – Alex Malykhin (UK) / Julien Apothéloz (CH) / Florian Latorre (F) / Ayhancan Güven (TR)
Herberth (#911) – Ralf Bohn (D) / Alfred Renauer (D) / Robert Renauer (D)

Silver Cup:
Allied (#22) – Dominik Fischli (CH) / Joel Sturm (D) / Patrick Matthiesen (DK) / Vincent Andronaco (D)
Dinamic (#56) – Giorgio Roda (I) / Mauro Calamia (CH) / Marius Nakken (N) / Mikkel Pedersen (DK)

Holger Eckhardt,