Five manufacturers fill capacity six-car allocation
Intercontinental GT Challenge nominations: Total 24 Hours of Spa.
A record number of Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli entries are scheduled to contest this year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa.
39 of the 56 cars provisionally scheduled to take part in the world’s biggest GT3 race are nominated to score points counting towards the global long-distance endurance series, which has already visited the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour and inaugural Indianapolis 8 Hour in 2020.
Spa’s special status as the jewel in world GT3 racing’s crown entitles registered manufacturers to nominate up to six cars each, two more than at any other #IntGTC round. What’s more, four of these – one more than usual – can feature Pro driver line-ups, with the other two entries drawn from the Silver, Pro-Am and Am classes. The number of best-placed cars eligible to score manufacturer points also rises from two to three.
And it’s these regulations, which were revised at the start of 2020 to encourage more nominations across the classes, that have resulted in Intercontinental’s largest-ever entry. Indeed, the new provisional record is 11 more than the previous benchmark set at Spa in 2019 and represents almost 70% of this season’s entire field.
Five of #IntGTC’s registered manufacturers – Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche – have filled their maximum quota of six cars, while Bentley is one shy of that total. The Indianapolis 8 Hour winners, BMW, have entered three M6 GT3s, and Honda’s sole factory-backed NSX returns to the Ardennes following a strong run last year.
Standout entries include Bentley’s Drivers’ Championship leaders Jules Gounon, Jordan Pepper and Maxime Soulet who again join forces with K-PAX Racing; 2019 Spa winners Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre and Richard Lietz who line up with new Porsche customer KCMG; and last year’s pole-winner Maro Engel whose HRT entry pays tribute to 10 years of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing.
Capping the number of professional driver crews eligible to score Intercontinental points has also caused some interesting omissions.
Porsche’s decision to split its nominations evenly between customer teams has resulted in one Pro entry each at 2019 winners GPX Racing, KCMG, ROWE Racing and Frikadelli Racing whose line-up includes reigning Intercontinental GT Challenge Drivers’ champion Dennis Olsen. Respective Silver and Pro-Am entries for Dinamic Motorsport and Herberth Motorsport complete Stuttgart’s Intercontinental programme.
Audi, too, has more Pro line-ups than it can accommodate – Belgian Audi Club Team WRT’s Charles Weerts, Frank Stippler and Edoardo Mortara miss out on this occasion.
Bentley, Ferrari and Lamborghini have all nominated three Pro crews amongst their Intercontinental contingents, while BMW and Mercedes-AMG field two factory efforts. And Honda has opted for the same works crew that finished third at Indianapolis.
Elsewhere, Aston Martin – the ninth registered manufacturer at Bathurst – will not contest Spa or Kyalami as an Intercontinental entrant.
Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered By Pirelli
Overseen by SRO Motorsports Group, the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli represents the highest echelon of long-distance GT3 racing.
The series has grown since its 2016 debut to encompass five of the world’s biggest GT3 events on as many continents, although Suzuka’s cancellation due to COVID-19 will restrict this year’s calendar to four rounds.
As such, the majority of this season’s remaining events in October – Indianapolis 8 Hour, Total 24 Hours of Spa and Kyalami 9 Hour – take place during the final third of 2020. The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour was staged as planned on the end of Jan till the first week of January.
GT3’s continued success, built on a decade of manufacturer involvement and SRO’s Balance of Performance stability, has resulted in it becoming the de facto senior class for all of the world’s most prestigious GT races. This, plus the continuity of using Pirelli tyres at every round, offers regional customer teams an opportunity to officially represent their manufacturer on a global level while reducing freight and logistical costs.
Pirelli- Official Tyre Supplier
Pirelli is a tyre manufacturer and world leader in the automotive industry. It has an exclusive relationship with over 50 racing series worldwide, including Formula One.
Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in endurance racing and has also claimed a huge variety of class wins in GT racing all over the world. The design of the new Pirelli GT tyres meets the needs of GT racing while maintaining the performance characteristics that endurance drivers have appreciated in the past. The slick tyres used for GT racing are branded Zero: just like the slicks that have become a central feature of Formula One. The name P Zero is used in the highest categories of motorsport such as GT racing.
SRO Motorsports Group – The Global Leader In GT Racing
With more than 25 years’ experience at the forefront of a continuously evolving industry, SRO Motorsports Group is the established international leader in GT racing.
Best known for the development and implementation of the GT3 and GT4 regulations, SRO promotes and organises championships that embrace professional and amateur competitors. Its portfolio of highly regarded series spans Europe, America and Asia, while its flagship Intercontinental GT Challenge features events on five different continents.
The 2019 season saw more than 100 races run under the SRO Motorsports Group banner, highlighted by the prestigious Total 24 Hours of Spa. In addition to promotion and organisation, the company operates SRO Race Centre by MMC – a high-level technical centre at Circuit Paul Ricard – and provides the ultimate driving opportunities at world-renowned facilities through Curbstone Track Events.
SRO Motorsports Group is chaired by company founder and CEO Stephane Ratel. With offices in London, Paris, Liège and Hong Kong, its work is facilitated by a dedicated global team of full-time and freelance staff.
Combining a passion for performance with industry-leading experience, SRO is ready to play a key role in shaping the future of international GT racing.