Ecurie Ecosse primed for sportscar return at 24 Hours of Spa

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Legendary Scottish racing team Ecurie Ecosse is all set to make its competitive sportscar return for the first time in two decades next weekend (July 30/31) when its newly Saltire-liveried Aston Martin DBRS9 heads to Belgium for The Total 24 Hours of Spa.
It will be the first time the 1956 and ’57 Le Mans 24 Hours winners have competed in a twice-round-the-clock endurance event since running a Vauxhall Cavalier GSi at Spa-Francorchamps in 1993.

18 years on Ecurie Ecosse return to the iconic Ardennes circuit with highly experienced and successful Aston Martin Racing Partner Team Barwell Motorsport, who have been sub-contracted to run the GT3-spec DBRS9 for driver line-up Alasdair McCaig, Andrew Smith, Joe Twyman and Oliver Bryant.

All four drivers utilised their extensive experience of Spa when sampling the car for the first time at the event’s official test on July 6 where a day’s trouble-free running helped them acclimatise to the 2011-specification updates and Avon tyres.

Spa has proven a happy hunting ground for Ecurie Ecosse in the past with their 1986 Group C2 World Sportscar Championship victory an undoubted highlight. Team boss Hugh McCaig, who oversaw that first return to international competition in the 1980s, said:

“Spa holds great memories for me and Ecurie Ecosse because our victory there contributed towards us winning the 1986 World Championship. We’ve also done the 24 hour race of course so although it’s been almost 20 years, this isn’t a complete leap into the unknown. It’s worth mentioning that the four guys have been the real driving force behind this project. I can’t emphasise enough how hard they’ve worked bringing the likes of Barwell Motorsport and key sponsors onboard who all understand Ecurie Ecosse’s significant heritage. But we remain realistic and appreciate the strength and depth in the GT3 ranks this year. Getting to the finish would be a fantastic achievement in itself.”

Twyman meanwhile is also no stranger to the rigours of Spa’s 24 hour enduro having won the GT4 class, also with Aston Martin, as part of Jota Sport AMR’s assault there last season.

“The test earlier this month went really well and we were all delighted with the car’s pace straight out of the box. This year’s race is going to be exceptionally tough with so many top teams from the Blancpain Endurance Series, as well as those like us making one-off appearances, sharing the same track. There are few teams with better knowledge of the DBRS9 than Barwell Motorsport so I’m confident that we stand a great chance of making the finish, which is our main goal.”

Since announcing their return in February, the team has been busy finalising its plans to contest one of world motorsport’s most prestigious events by bringing onboard a host of partners, including the Cayman Islands’ luxury boutique hotelier Cotton Tree, Motor Sport Magazine, Uluvka Vodka and specialist motorsport employment agency TechnoRecruit who, along with many others, have helped make possible Ecurie Ecosse’s long-awaited comeback.

This year’s Total Spa 24 Hours will be broadcast live on Motors TV across Europe throughout the weekend of July 30/31 (check local listings for times), while will also provide live commentary of every session from the event.
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