Joe Osborne will once again line up with the MP Motorsport AMR team as the Blancpain Endurance Series season continues this weekend with the Total 24 Hours of Spa.
Osborne will share the team’s Aston Martin Vantage GT3 with regular co-drivers Mark Poole and Richard Abra, with the four man line-up for the longest race of the season completed by Aston works driver Darren Turner.
“To race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is always special,” said Osborne, “but the 24 is an event that intoxicates everyone involved. With organisers SRO upholding the tradition of parading the entire grid into the town, shutting the roads and bringing the area to a halt, you can’t help but understand the magnitude of the event to the local area as well as what it means in the context of motorsport. It’s part of the fabric of GT racing, I can’t wait to take part.”
The MP Motorsport team have shown strong pace throughout the three rounds of the championship up to this point, leading the Pro-Am Cup class for long periods of their home race at Silverstone and being in contention for victory at the most recent round at Paul Ricard before Poole was penalised. They currently lie seventh on the class points, however, with points on offer at the six and 12 hour marks at Spa-Francorchamps a strong run in the Ardennes could reshape the standings ahead of the final round at the Nurburgring.
This weekend’s race comes as BRDC SuperStar Osborne continues his first full season of European GT3 racing, this year due to be his first start in the 24 Hours of Spa. He does come to the race, however with the experience of having raced in several other endurance races and with a knowledge of the Spa track after numerous races on the famous track as part of British based series.
“It doesn’t faze me either,” Osborne brushes aside any concerns over his lack of 24 hour experience at Spa. “I’ve raced at the track numerous times before and have plenty of 24-hour experience too. I’ve been here with British GT and seen the weather change three times during a sprint race, so I know what it’s all about racing at Spa. I think we have a very able team and with the support of Aston Martin Racing, are in a very strong position to succeed.”
He continues; “I can’t think about it too much, but I do allow myself to occasionally and I can’t help but grin. It’d be phenomenal to win on my Spa 24 debut and a stand-out achievement for my racing CV. In May we almost won at Silverstone, and that was incredible. I’m just focused on getting a really good result for the team, but it’d mean a lot to win with Mark who’s great, and Richard who is one of my best friends outside the sport too.”
To achieve the dream result Osborne and the rest of the team will have to best the rest of the Pro-Am Cup field, the category the largest in the race with nearly half of the 60-plus teams on the entry list set to contest the class.
www.theCheckeredFlag.co.uk will have coverage from Spa-Francorchamps throughout the 24 hours weekend, with reports on every session as well as regular updates throughout the race itself.