2014 Total 24 Hours of Spa: Update After 21 Hours

by James Broomhead
2014 Total 24 Hours of Spa (Credit: Brecht Decancq/Brecht Decancq Photography)

Rene Rast took the lead of the Total 24 Hours of Spa with a little over three hours remaining as the superior pace of the #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT unwound the differing pitstop schedules of the two lead cars.

Pitting at either end of the hour the #1 and BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS run #77 had been swapping the lead back and forth. However, it was almost always the Audi that had the greater lap speed which added up to leave Rast within striking distance of the BMW after pitting with around 3:30 of the race remaining.

Rast quickly ate into the lead, partly aided as the BMW came across traffic, before simply powering by the BMW on the Kemmel Straight and out to a 4.7 second lead in just the few minutes that remained in the third hour. There remains a question mark over how may pitstops remain in the race for each team, with the final three hours starting with the battle for victory still undecided.

While they battle for the lead on the lead lap the #3 Team WRT Audi les a lap behind in third. The last of the WRT Audis – the #2 – was delayed by contact at La Source with Mike Parisy in the #63 Black Falcon Mercedes.

Benoit Treluyer aimed to go down the inside of the Mercedes. Mike Parisy, however, moved across to the apex, hitting the Audi with the front-right of his #63 entry. He dragged the damaged SLS back to the pits, the team able to repair the damage. Treluyer likewise was forced to pit for repairs with both cars dropping down the order accordingly to run 11th and 12th at the end of the hour.

Their problems left then in the same area of the overall standings as the #7 Bentley, whose run up the order faltered as the car was pulled back into the garage for the team to repair a damaged front floor on the Continental GT3.

Following the problems for the dominant Scuderia Villorba Corse Ferrari the Pro-Am Cup class is wide open going into the final hours with the top three in class all on the same lap, the Ecurie Ecosse BMW between the #53 and #52 Ferraris from the AF Corse stable. Fourth placed in class, MP Motorsport are two laps behind.

Michael Meadows limped the Leonard Motorsport Aston back to the pits out of a top ten spot in class after contact with the #84 HTP Motorsport Mercedes.

AF Corse’ #51 entry leads the Gentlemen Trophy class by four laps over Team Parker Racing’s Audi line-up.

Total 24 Hours of Spa class standings after 21 hours:

Pro Cup

1 – #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT (Rast/Vanthoor/Winkelhock)

2 – #77 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS (Luhr/Palttala/Werner)

3- #3 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT (Mies/Nash/Stippler)

4 – #26 Sainteloc Racing (Guilvert/Ortelli/Sandstrom)

5 – #86 HTP Motorsport (Buhk/Gotz/Jaafar)

Pro-Am Cup

1 – #53 AF Corse – (Bertolini/Cioci/Hommerson/Machiels)

2 – #79 Ecurie Ecosse – (Bryant/McCaig/Sims/Smith)

3 – #52 AF Corse – (Lowndes/Piccini/Rugolo/Wyatt)

Gentlemen Trophy

1 – #51 AF Corse (Guedes/Mann/Mezard/Talkanista)

2 – #22 Team Parker Racing (Loggie/Matschiski/Rosenblad/Westwood)

3 – #49 AF Corse (Bachelier/Blank/Mallegol/Perrodo)

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