As the 2011 Total Spa 24 Hours of Spa leaves Saturday in Belgium and enters Sunday the field is led by a trio of Audi R8 LMS after eight hours of racing.
The Phoenix run no.99 car, shared by Marc Basseng, Christopher Haase and Frank Stippler has led much of the race so far, with the no.33 Belgain Audi Club entry in second, clinging onto the lead lap
The trio of four ring badged cars is completed by the second Phoenix car or Andrea Piccini, Marcel Fassler and Mike Rockenfeller. The three drivers have recovered from falling into the lower reaches of the top 20, and reportedly driving around a gearbox problem.
The No.2 Vita4One Ferrari runs in fourth, leading the Pro-Am ranks. The team, with four drivers led by current GT1 world champions Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini, leads four Ferraris in the overall top ten.
Among that number the no.50 AF Corse – with British GT front runner Matt Griffin among the drivers – runs tenth. Griffin's fellow Avon Tyres British GT Championship regular David and Godfrey Jones, joined by Eurotech boss Mike Jordan have broken into the top 20 overall in the Team Preci-Spark entrered Mercedes. Running at a similar pace are Ecurie Ecosse, avoiding the troubles that have taken many of the more fancied teams.
The no.24 Blancpain-Reiter Lamborghini exited the race in a plume of smoke down the old pit straight in just the fourth hour of racing with another one time leader – the Haribo Team Manthey Porsche – plummeting down the order with a catalogue of electrical problems.
Another pace setting Porsche, the AutOrlando Sport entry similarly dropped off the pace after a stop for repairs.
One major casualty of racing in the darkness was the no.15 KRK Mercedes, Mike Hezemans spinning to the inside of the track through the two right handers of Paul Frere, ripping a wheel of the SLS to force the car into retirement after running in the top five earlier in the race.
The no.70 Lotus Evora driven by Edoardo Piscopo, Leo Mansell, Greg Mansell and Gianni Giudici leads the GT4 entry.