Rubens Barrichello to compete in 24 Hours of Spa

by James Eagles
Strakka Racing - Rubens Barrichello

Former Scuderia Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello will race at the 70th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa next month.

The Brazilian, who won 11 of the record-breaking 322 Formula 1 grands prix that he started in, will drive in the #44 Strakka Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 car, sharing it with his fellow Brazilian Stock Car V8 series competitor Felipe Fraga and current Mercedes DTM reserve driver, Christian Vietoris. Vietoris makes his return after missing the Autodromo Nazionale Monza round through illness.

Barrichello has plenty of experience with round-the-clock races having partaken in three Rolex 24 at Daytona meetings, as well as a sole 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2017 with Racing Team Nederland in the LMP2 class.

The 46-year-old, who underwent surgery to remove a benign brain tumour in February, said that he is eagerly awaiting his return to Spa-Francorchamps, a track that he took his maiden pole position in Formula 1, whilst racing for Jordan in 1994.

“I am very much looking forward to racing at Spa once again, this was where I got my first pole position in F1 so it brings back great memories,” said Barrichello.

“I am still very active with my racing in Brazil and I want to thank Strakka Racing for the opportunity. It will be great to race with my good friend Felipe and I am looking forward to sharing the car with Chris.

“All being well we should prove a competitive line up.”

Strakka’s Racing Director, Jay Davenport, welcomed Barrichello’s influence, believing that they can compete for the overall victory with their line-up. The British team have moved away from their partnership with McLaren for 2018 in a bid to expand their activities beyond Europe. Strakka currently lie eighth in the overall Blancpain GT Series standings, fifth in the Endurance Cup championship.

“We are looking forward to the challenge that Spa 24 Hours will bring,” said Davenport.

“We are confident that with the driver line ups we have we will do all we can to bring home overall victory and class wins.”

Elsewhere, the all-PRO #43 car will be driven by Maxi Bühk and Max Götz alongside Alvaro Parente, who raced with the team last year, whilst the #42 PRO-AM entry includes Strakka Le Mans winner Nick Leventis, Lewis Williamson, Chris Buncombe and David Fumanelli. Strakka have also confirmed today that they will take part in the official test day at Spa on 3rd July.

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