GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup

2013 24 Hours Of Spa: Race Update After Hour 24

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2013 Total 24 Hours of Spa (Credit: V-IMAGES.com)

The final three hours of the 2013 Total 24 Hours of Spa delivered one final dose of drama and attrition that shaped the form of the overall podium.

The race for the lead had already been decided, the driver through penalty given to Patrick Pilet and the Manthey Racing team too great a deficit to overcome in the final hours leaving the HTP Motorsport team of Bernd Schneider, Maximilian Gotz and Maximilian Buhk to complete a near faultless race  having emerged victorious from the battle with the Porsche in the morning hours of the race.

The Manthey team kept second place but it was behind that the drama unfolded.

In the space of a few second Stefano Colombo had to be pushed into the pitlane having stopped in the narrow pit entry road. Not sooner had the marshals finished pushing the Vita4One Racing BMW into the pitlane itself than Cesar Ramos brought the Kessel Racing #44 Ferrari into the bits with smoke billowing from the engine cover. He stopped the car in front of his garage with marshals immediately dousing the rear portions of the car with fire extinguisher.

The problems presented Andre Lotterer and the rest of the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT team with third place overall.

The Pro-Am Cup category remained close to the end of the race with AF Corse’s Toni Vilander and SMP Racing’s Maurizio Mediani only a dozen seconds apart at the start of the final hour. The penalty, when it was served with 34 minutes remaining, proved the deciding factor in the class battle as it left Vilander to complete the race unchallenged to claim victory.

Such was the advantage he had over Lucas Ordonez, anchoring the race for the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN squad, that Mediani was easily able to keep second in class and sixth overall

The top Gentlemens’ Trophy teams remained in lock step through the final hours of the race the SOFREV ASP #20 team of Jean-Luc Blanchemain, Jean-Luc Beaubelique, Patrice Gouselard and Fred Bouvy collecting the class win with laps still in hand over Sport Garage’s #52 team.

That was despite some late drama for the eventual class winner. At the final pitstop Bouvy was unable to start the car, the team having to push it away from the pitbox and offence which incurred a drive through penalty served in the final ten minutes of the race.

2013 Total 24 Hours of Spa class standings after 24 hours:

Pro Cup

1 – #84 HTP Motorsport – Buhk/Gotz/Schnieder
2 – #150 Manthey Racing – Lieb/Lietz/Pilet
3 – #2 Belgian Audi Sport Team WRT – Lotterer/Mies/Stippler

Pro-AM Cup

1 – #59 AF Corse – Cameron/Griffin/Mortimer/Vilander
2 – #71 SMP Racing – Mediani/Ladygin/Salo/Shaitar
3 – #35 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN – Mardenborough/Pyzera/Ordonez/Reip

Gentlemens Cup

1 – #20 – SOFREV ASP – Beaubelique/Blanchemain/Bouvy/Gouselard
2 – #52 – Sport Garage – Gorini/Lemeret/Prignaud
3 – #111 – Kessel Racing – Andreasi/Ciro/Paladino/Perez

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