Spa 24 Podium in Harold Primat’s Sights

by James Broomhead
A strong test day has bolstered Primat's hopes of the 24 Hours podium (Credit: HTP Motorsport)

After finishing a season’s best fourth in the previous round at Paul Ricard HTP Motorsport driver Harold Primat is confident of moving onto the podium as the Blancpain Endurance Championship moves on to the Total 24 Hours of Spa.

Primat will make his second start in the endurance race around the famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps as part of a three car effort in the Pro Cup class by HTP Motorsport, who begin the race week (July 23-27) as defending winners. For the race Primat will share the #84 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 with Nico Verdonck and Mercedes racing giant Bernd Schneider who was part of the winning line up last year.

“The 24 Hours of Spa remains a tough race in which you face fierce competition,” said Primat. “However, we have all the ingredients to perform well, namely a great driver line-up and excellent car. The Test Day was extremely positive for us, where we were able to make the right set-up adjustments to give us the best chance of challenging for a podium finish. We really have a good shot at securing a strong result.”

Primat and the HTP squad were fourth fastest in the race’s official test day and with extra points on offer for the standings at the six, and twelve hour marks a strong run in the Ardennes will help move the Swiss driver up from his sixth place in the Pro Cup drivers’ points.

To do so he will have to face off against both his regular rivals in the Blancpain Endurance Series in teams like ART Grand Prix and M-Sport Bentley as well as teams brought to the grid by the lure of endurance racing on one of the world’s great race tracks.

“Spa-Francorchamps is a special place; they don’t make them like this anymore,” Primat explains. “Furthermore, the beautiful circuit has always been kind to me since claiming my first Formula 3 win and maiden sports-prototype podium there.”

To score the top three he is aiming for, however, Primat will need to beat both the other teams on the 60-strong grid and the collective challenges thrown up by any 24 hour event.

“These races require specific preparations, meticulous organisation, and a particular mind-set,” he said. “You need to know how to rest, hydrate, and eat properly, while not exerting excessive energy. Although contesting Spa shortly after the Nürburging can be tiring, it helps you get into the endurance-racing groove, while providing a chance to familiarise yourself with specific obstacles you have to deal with in 24-hour races. Perhaps that’s why my finishing record in such events is so high!” will have full coverage from the Total 24 Hours of Spa, including regular updates throughout the race itself.

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