2015 Total 24 Hours of Spa: Hour 24 Update

by James Broomhead
2015 Total 24 Hours of Spa (Credit: Tom Loomes Photography)

The BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS line-up of Nick Catsburg, Lucas Luhr and Markus Palttala won the 2015 Total 24 Hours of Spa, ending a rotten run of results in the team’s home race.

The trio completed 536 laps of the 7km Spa-Francorchamps circuit, one more than their nearest challengers – Nico Muller, Stephane Ortelli and Frank Stippler in the #2 Audi Sport Team WRT R8 LMS. Audi Sport Team Phoenix supplied the final team to stand on the overall podium, the #5 team of Christian Mamerow, Christopher Mies, Nicki Thiim.

There was late heartbreak, however, for the #99 ROWE Racing team of Nico Bastian, Stef Dusseldorp and Daniel Juncadella. Their belt on the water pump on the Mercedes SLS  AMG GT3 broke, leaving the engine to overheat and blow, putting them out of the race only 45 minutes from the fall of the checkered flag. There was similar woe for the ROAL Motorsport team, who were in sight of a top ten overall when Timo Glock was forced to park a smoking #9 BMW at the side of the track.

The #58 Von Ryan Racing crew also failed to reach the checkered flag, Rob Bell pulling the car off the track opposite the Formula One pits with only two hours to go, an unhappy end to the race for the early leaders.

Behind the Pro-Am Cup winning #47 AF Corse Ferrari finished the #6 Audi Sport Team Phoenix car of Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Mike Rockenfeller. That was despite the car having to serve a 10 second stop go with two hours to go and then perform a drive through after one of the team’s drivers went over his maximum stint time. The #1 Team WRT entry was also in the wars in the final hours, being slapped with a 20 second stop go for exceeding track limits before the defending winner’s quest for a spot in the top ten overall was ended when the car was pulled into the garage with an hour remaining. The car did, though, return to the track for the finish with all four of the new shape R8 race car crossing the line together.

The #47 team off Gianmaria Bruni, Pasin Lathouras, Stephane Lemeret and Alessandro Pier Guidi won Pro Am cup ahead of their AF Corse stablemates in the #51 car (Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin, Francisco Guedes and Davide Rigon). The class podium was completed by the Ecurie Ecosse quartet of Oliver Bryant, Alasdair McCaig, Devon Modell and Alexander Sims.

There was further British success in the Am Cup class, which was dominated by Team Parker Racing in their Audi R8 LMS ultra. The team of Ian Loggie, Callum MacLeod, Benny Simonsen and Julian Westwood one the class comfortably, though the three lap advantage over the Attempto racing entry had to absorb an unscheduled stop to replace a punctures tyre.

Total 24 Hours of Spa overall standings after 24 hours:
1 – #46 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS – Catsburg/Luhr/Palttala
2 – #2 Audi Sport Team WRT – Muller/Ortelli/Stippler
3 – #5 Audi Sport Team Phoenix – Mamerow/Mies/Thiim
4 – #47 AF Corse – Bruni/Lathouras/Lemeret/Pier Guidi
5 – #6 Audi Sport Team Phoenix – Fassler/Lotterer/Rockenfeller

Pro Cup standings after 24 hours:
1 – #46 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS – Catsburg/Luhr/Palttala
2 – #2 Audi Sport Team WRT – Muller/Ortelli/Stippler
3 – #5 Audi Sport Team Phoenix – Mamerow/Mies/Thiim

Pro Am Cup standings after 24 hours:
1 – #47 AF Corse – Bruni/Lathouras/Lemeret/Pier Guidi
2 – #51 AF Corse – Cameron/Griffin/Guedes/Rigon
3 – #79 Ecurie Ecosse – Bryant/McCaig/Modell/Sims

Am Cup standings after 24 hours:
1 – #24 Team Parker Racing – Loggie/MacLeod/Simonsen/Westbrook
2 – #56 Attempto Racing – Haring/Konstantinou/Schmickler/Wlazik
3 – #111 Kessel Racing – Earle/Talbot/Rostan/Zanuttini

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