The biggest endurance classic exclusively reserved for GT cars will get underway on Saturday July 29th, but the activities at the iconic track in the Belgian Ardennes start almost a week earlier.
With probably more than sixty GT3 cars at the start of the 69th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, it is important that teams and drivers get plenty of opportunity to prepare for the blue riband event of the Blancpain GT Series.
As has become the customary, track activities start at Tuesday, with the Bronze test in the afternoon. Previous editions have shown that for drivers with little experience of the 7 km. Belgian rollercoaster, these three hours are very important to get to grips with the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
Wednesday sees a very popular highlight of the Total 24 Hours of Spa week, when an impressive parade of more than 60 GT3 cars, as well as cars from the support races and plenty of road-going versions of the racing cars travel on public roads from the circuit to the Spa town centre, where these beauties will be on display for most of the afternoon.
Thursday is the first day on which all drivers get behind the wheel of their respective racing cars, with an hour-long pre-qualifying session (17.45 local time), followed by 75 minutes of qualifying (20.10) and two hours of night qualifying (21.55), which is always spectacular. This session is also the last opportunity for the teams to qualify inside the top 20 of the combined qualifying classification, in order to be able to take part in the Superpole.
This grid-determining session will start on Friday at 19.30, and – new for this year – will be preceded by a 30-minute Warm Up, so all drivers and teams can get into action the day before the 24-hour race starts.
There is also plenty of room for spectacular support races during the Total 24 Hours of Spa-week. On Friday the single-seaters of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, the roaring GT cars of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, the nimble Touring Cars of the Peugeot 308 Racing Cup and the various machines of the gentlemen drivers’ series Blancpain GT Sports Club all have their first races.
These championships also start the action on Saturday, with four more spectacular bouts. Then it’s time for the always impressive Bentley and Lamborghini parade laps, followed by some more impressive machinery. Expect an important BMW delegation to be present, as well as the most beautiful GT cars from the Curbstone Track Events stables. After the always popular grid walk it’s the start of the 69th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa. From 16.30 onwards, the fastest GT3 cars on the motorsports planet, with the best GT racers at the wheel, will produce some of the most spectacular wheel-to-wheel racing, for a full 24 hours.