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Spa Post-Race Notebook

Sportscar365’s post-race notebook from Total 24 Hours of Spa…

Photo: BMW

***BMW’s third Total 24 Hours of Spa victory in the last four years extends the streak to nine consecutive wins for German manufacturers in the race. BMW, Mercedes-AMG, Audi and Porsche have combined to lock out of the race since the advent of GT3 machinery in the top class in 2010.

***Six manufacturers were represented in the top-ten, although Lamborghini is still yet to score a top-ten finish at the race with its Huracan GT3. The No. 19 Grasser Racing Team car was the Italian manufacturer’s highest-placed entry in 14th, although it did win in the Silver Cup and Am Cup with Ombra Racing and Barwell Motorsport, respectively.

***Forty-seven of 63 starters made it to the finish, although several high-profile teams had retirements, including Team75 Bernhard, Bentley Team M-Sport, Grasser Racing Team and ROWE Racing.

***Damage from complications of a three-car accident involving the No. 8 Bentley Continental GT3 of Andy Soucek and the No. 111 Aust Motorsport Audi R8 LMS forced the Team75 Bernhard Porsche to retire in the 18th hour, in a race to forget for Porsche.

***The No. 911 Manthey Racing Porsche made multiple trips to the garage, including for an issue with its alternator in Hour 10 and radiator damage with five hours to go. The Dirk Werner, Romain Dumas and Fred Makowiecki-driven entry finished 18 laps behind in 29th overall

***Black Swan Racing, which was the highest-placed Porsche in February’s Intercontinental GT Challenge season-opener at Bathurst, retired late in the running due to damage caused from an earlier incident that triggered repeated punctures.

***Raffaele Marciello has moved into the lead of the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup drivers’ standings with 48 points, one point ahead of Maro Engel, Luca Stolz and Yelmer Buurman. Alex Riberas, Dries Vanthoor and Christopher Mies entered Spa in the lead but have moved down to fourth.

***Riberas and Mies, however, still lead in the overall Blancpain GT points standings with 103.5 points, 11 points over Marciello.

***Christian Krognes completed the remarkable feat of winning overall as an amateur driver. The 28-year-old, a brick salesman by day, also became the first Norwegian to win in the race’s 70-year history.

***Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing, reckons the pre-race Balance of Performance adjustment prevented the Audi R8 LMS from staying out front for any considerable time. “A couple of hours before the start we had to load 15 kilograms of ballast weight into all the cars,” Reinke explained. “Although we were able to set a few quick lap times, we were unable to fight for victory over the distance.”

***Audi, however, has extended its points lead in the IGTC standings, with the fourth-place overall finishing No. 25 Sainteloc Audi R8 LMS scoring maximum points in the race. Christopher Hasse, Markus Winkelhock, Frederic Vervisch celebrated on the podium for being the highest-placed IGTC entry.

***Audi unofficially holds a nine-point lead over Mercedes-AMG, with Porsche losing significant ground due to only a single point-scoring car in the race.

***Robin Frijns, who finished 8th overall in the race in the No. 2 Audi Sport Team WRT entry, takes over the sole lead of the drivers’ championship, four points ahead of Luca Stolz and Raffaele Marciello, who are now tied on 33 points in second.

***Stolz started the IGTC season with a third place overall finish in the No. 540 Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, and came home fifth overall in the No. 4 Team Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 on Sunday.

***Nick Leventis, meanwhile, was the highest-placed IGTC-nominated Bronze-rated driver in the No. 42 Strakka Racing Mercedes, which finished 17th overall and 2nd in the Pro-Am Cup in the overall race.

***Next up for the IGTC is the Suzuka 10 Hours on Aug. 24-26, with the California 8 Hours at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca closing out the four-round season on October 26-28.

Jake Kilshaw contributed to this report

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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