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TDS Racing Quickest in Spa 24 Test

TDS Racing clocks fastest time in disturbed Spa 24 test…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

The No. 12 TDS Racing BMW of Henry Hassid, Pierre Thiriet and Nick Catsburg ended the official testday for the Total Spa 24 Hours on top, as 40 GT3 cars took to the track on a sunny Spa-Francorchamps.

It was Catsburg who posted the time of 2:19.788 in the opening hour of the morning session, before Thiriet caused a red flag after going off on his out lap at Pif Paf.

The No. 93 Pro GT by Alméras Porsche clocked the second fastest time in the morning (+0.668), with the No. 19 Black Falcon Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 of Andreas Simonsen the first of the Pro Cup entries in third (+0.806s).

While there was more rubber on track in the afternoon session, Catsburg’s time wasn’t improved, though times were much closer.

Alessandro Pier Guidi came closest while jumping in the No. 49 Gentlemen Trophy AF Corse Ferrari, but was still 0.116s off.

HTP Motorsport went on a late charge in the final 15 minutes with its two remaining cars, but ended up in second (No. 86 +0.033s) and third (No. 84 +0.341s) in the afternoon ranking, after a stranded AF Corse Ferrari caused the session to end four minutes early.

Both sessions were interrupted by multiple red flags, much to the frustration of drivers and teams.

One of the most notable incidents was a heavy crash at the exit of Blanchimont by the No. 11 Kessel Racing Ferrari. Alessandro Bonacini was uninjured, but the car appears to be a write-off.

The No. 333 GT Corse by Rinaldi Ferrari and the No. 85 HTP Motorsport Mercedes were the other cars to sustain considerable damage, while the No. 15 Boutsen Ginion McLaren was repaired after a crash on the Raidillon.

The Bentley Continental GT3 ran its first miles on the Spa circuit today, while the No. 8 car had a small off and damaged its splitter. It, however, could continue and posted a 2:20.989 in the afternoon (P12). The No. 7 clocked the eighth fastest time in the first test with a 2:21.447.

Once again there was some discontent with the current Balance of Performance within the Audi ranks, with the No. 1 Audi R8 LMS ultra posting the 13th best time in the more competitive afternoon session, more than one second off the pace.

RESULTS: Test 1

RESULTS: Test 2

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.

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