Porsche Sets Fastest Time In Testing Ahead Of Spa 24
Porsche driver and native Belgian Laurens Vanthoor set the fastest time in the 8-hour test at Spa Francorchamps
The Spa 24 is one of the biggest international endurance races for GT3 machines, and it is quite an achievement to win the race. Porsche has been locked out of the victory at this race since 2010, and they're aiming for the victory with everything they've got in 2017. Working with the Team75 Bernhard squad to enter a factory-supported 911 GT3R for factory ace drivers Laurens Vanthoor, Kevin Estre, and Michael Christensen; seriously capable drivers in a seriously fast car. Vanthoor himself is Belgian born, and grew up racing at Spa, making him an absolute weapon for this race in particular.
On Tuesday, July 4th, the Blancpain GT Series ran a test day split into a four hour morning session and a four hour afternoon session for teams to test setup ideas, work on fuel economy numbers, and try to gather some data ahead of the big race later this month. Having spent the morning running 33 laps of race strategy and setup changes, the #117 Porsche set out in the afternoon looking for blood. Laurens used his talent and intimate knowledge of the circuit to set a fastest time of 2:19.451, just under a tenth of a second faster than the next closest runner.
Two of the series best teams, the HTP Mercedes and the Grasser Lamborghini had problems in the morning hours that knocked them out of testing for the remainder of the day. It is possible that one or both of them could have set faster times in the afternoon if they'd been working properly. That's the thing about endurance racing, however, you have to finish in order to win. 24 hours is a long time and really anything could happen, so we'll just have to see how the race plays out. For now, congratulations Mr. Vanthoor.
Laurens Vanthoor on his opportunities with the Porsche team: "I am very pleased to be able to start the 24-hour race in spa again. When I entered the Porsche-program, I wanted to be able to drive at the four grand gt3 races: Bathurst, nürburgring, spa and Macau. Especially Spa, because it's in Belgium, 2014 I got the win there. I'm very excited about this project. It's the first 24-hour race for the kiss team75 Bernhard, but I like the idea of a small force motivated people who work closely together. We are going to fight far more experienced factory, but I am confident that we will be able to win the victory."