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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Bentley Leads at Halfway Mark at Spa

Bentley, Audi and BMW battle for lead at Spa…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Wolfgang Reip’s No. 8 M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 leads the Total 24 Hours of Spa at halfway, scoring 12 points at the end of the second quarter of the race.

Although the No. 8 Bentley and No. 6 Audi Sport Team Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS have been taking turns at leading the field in the last couple of hours, the No. 99 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3, currently in third, is also still very much in play.

The ROWE crew opted to bring the then leading No. 99 BMW of Maxime Martin, Philipp Eng and Alexander Sims in for it’s mandatory five-minute technical stop in the tenth hour, right during a short Full Course Yellow that covered half the stop.

Both the No. 8 Bentley and No. 6 Phoenix Audi have yet to take this long pitstop, which most teams use to change the brakes.

Following another lengthy safety car for barrier repairs in the eighth hour, the race stayed green except for one short interruption, resulting in larger gaps between the cars.

The No. 7 Bentley is also still mixing it up at the front, climbing as high as third depending on the pitstops cycling through.

Mercedes-AMG steadily made progress up the order through the night.

The non-factory supported No. 57 Black Falcon car that wasn’t affected by the Super Pole penalties occupies P7 at the moment, followed by the Nos. 86 and 84 AMG-Team HTP Motorsport cars.

Franck Perera leads the Pro Am Cup with the No. 74 ISR Audi in twelfth overall, while the No. 888 Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 GT3 is still the best Am Cup placed car.

There was also plenty of drama as several race favorites dropped back or retired.

The No. 1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi lost lost ground with several pit stops to fix an issue with the front splitter, while the No. 28 sister factory car lost almost eight minutes to repair damage following contact with the No. 114 Emil Frey Jaguar G3 and is currently in 18th.

Garage 59 is out of contention as the championship-leading No. 58 McLaren 650S GT3 lost almost eight laps repairing damage following a contact on its in-lap.

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

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