The major incident of the three hours leading up to the half way point of the 2013 Total 24 Hours of Spa happened on half an hour into the 10th hour of the race.
From the lead of the race Nicky Catsburg stopped in the #4 Marc VDS Racing BMW Z4. The as yet unknown problems proved terminal, marshals pulling the car behind the barrier and out of the race.
Catsburg and the rest of the #4 team – Henri Moser and Markus Palttala – had been a constant feature of the battle for the lead but their exit left the lead to Patrick Pilet in the Manthey Racing Porsche.
With Pilet and Richard Lietz driving up to the half way point the green and yellow machine was able to pull out to a 50 second lead over the now sole survivor of the Marc VDS Racing trio taken across the halfway threshold by Bas Leinders. Trailing only the one-off entry from Olaf Manthey Marc VDS Racing again took a healthy haul of the points on offer for the top nine in each class at the 12 hour mark.
After a slower pitstop at their most recent pit visit Leinders has only ?? seconds back to Maximilian Buhk, in the HTP Motorsport car. The Mercedes is the final car on the lead lap – the fast pace of the race, the attrition and the two early safety car periods all contributing to the isolated nature of the front runners.
The ROWE Racing Mercedes has moved into fourth overall, though two laps off the overall pace. Vita4One Racing’s BMW, the best of the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT R8s and the Kessel Racing Ferrari of the driving trio that led the championship at the start of the race filled fifth sixth and seventh overall, and in the Pro Cup.
In tenth overall and leading Pro-Am is the #70 SMP Racing Ferrari that spun out of second place at the very first corner of the race. Another of the team’s charges holds third in class, sandwiching the #59 AF Corse entry in an all-Ferrari top three in the class ahead of the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN #35, who collect points to try and protect a class points lead threatened.
In another Ferrari 1-2-3 in class SOFREV ASP lead by three laps in the Gentlemens’ Trophy category over the #52 Sport Garage Ferrari and the #111 Kessel Racing entry, the latter returning to the top three after problems earlier in the race after contact.
2013 Total 24 Hours of Spa class standings after twelve hours:
1 – #150 – Manthey Racing – Lieb/Lietz/Pilet
2 – #3 Marc VDS Racing – Buurman/Leinders/Martin
3 – #84 HTP Motorsport – Buhk/Gotz/Schnieder
1 – #70 SMP Racing – Bobbi/Basov/Pier Guidi/Skryabin
2 – #59 AF Corse – Cameron/Griffin/Mortimer/Vilander
3 – #71 SMP Racing – Mediani/Ladygin/Salo/Shaitar
1 – #20 – SOFREV ASP – Beaubelique/Blanchemain/Bouvy/Gouselard
2 – #52 – Sport Garage – Gorini/Lemeret/Prignaud
3 – #111 – Kessel Racing – Andreasi/Ciro/Paladino/Perez