Three Aston Martin Vantage GT3 head to Belgium next week for the Spa 24

Friday, July 22, 2022


Whilst the British GT Championship and FFSA GT4 Series get their first private test session under their belts to start off the SRO Speedweek this weekend from the Spa Francorchamps circuit today, we now take a look at the headline act of next weekend – that of the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa.

This year’s seventy fourth edition of the Belgian Endurance classic that starts next weekend again sees itself as the third round of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup after previous rounds at both Imola and most recently at Paul Ricard. 

Featuring the two full season GTWCE entries from the Beechdean Aston Martin Racing team, their two Vantage GT3 crews will also be joined in Belgium by the American Heart of Racing team.

With a grid of sixty-five cars already confirmed across the available Pro, Pro-Am and Am classes, Beechdean AMR’s full #95 car Pro line up retains their usual driver crew of Marco Sorenson, Nicki Thiim and Maxime Martin whilst their sister #97 Gold Cup cars adds Canadian IMSA racer Roman De Angelis into the fray with crew regulars Andrew Howard, Valentin Hasse-Clot and Theo Nouet.

For the #23 Heart of Racing AMR Vantage GT3 that will again be prepared and ran by the TF Sport team, they have also brought over their two IMSA GTD Pro drivers of Alex Riberas and Ross Gunn to drive alongside Charlie Eastwood in their Pro effort.

We see today that AMR have been shaking down a new chassis for the #95 Beechdean crew after it was found that their original chassis was more damaged than first envisaged after an off for Sorenson in the early sessions of the GTWCE Paul Ricard round. Although seemingly repaired enough at the trackside at that event for the crew to compete in the 1000kms of Paul Ricard in early June, their later attendance at the Spa 24 Test Days found further significant damage within the chassis that excluded the car from running for much of the test.

Today’s news of a shakedown test at Snetterton with a ‘new Vantage GT3’ confirms that a new chassis was the only solution to the issues found.

Championship wise, it hasn’t been the greatest of starts for either Beechdean car with a gearbox issue taking out the #97 car at Imola as well as a communications mix up regarding pit stop strategy for the #97 at the same event followed by the crash issues for the #95 in France with a lowly points finish there too for the #97 – so the additional points that the Spa 24 will hand out (if successful at those milestones) will be critical to their future campaign in this Series.

Track action begins next Tuesday with the Bronze Driver test before the events annual parade through the streets of Spa Francorchamps on Wednesday. Thursday then sees the first Free Practice, Pre-Qualifying and then Qualifying sessions before the all-important night testing later one. Warm up and then Super Pole then interrupts the support races diary on Friday before the start of the 24-hour race at 16:45hrs local.

It will be fast – it will be busy – it will be exciting as the Spa 24 always is! Will it be wet at all as well we ponder quietly to ourselves!

Good luck to them and wishing all a safe race.

Photo credits – GTWCE / D Gibson





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