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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Grasser Lamborghini Takes Lead As Rain Arrives at Halfway Mark

GRT Lamborghini leads 24H Spa at halfway mark…

Photo: Racing International Photography

The No. 63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Christian Engelhart has taken the lead in the Total 24 Hours of Spa, as rain hit the track right before the halfway mark.

The rain came at the beginning of the 12th hour and shook up the running order.

While the No. 63 GRT Lamborghini lost time earlier with the bad timing of a pitstop, Engelhart closed down a 50-second gap to the leading Kaspersky Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 and took the lead in tricky conditions when the Ferrari pitted.

Both cars stayed out on slicks on a track that was only partially hit by a rain shower, while almost the entire field opted to fit wet weather tires.

The wets were faster, although the advantage was that big.

Fabian Schiller is currently in second in the No. 85 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3, just 10 seconds behind the leading Lamborghini as the safety car released the field right at the halfway mark.

The Kaspersky Ferrari that led most of the race dropped to third in the hassle, after pitting twice towards the end of the shower.

The start of the 12th hour also marked the first of the mandatory five-minute technical pit stops, which now has to be served before the end of the 15th hour.

Of all cars currently in the top-ten, only the three leading cars and the No. 8 Bentley Continental GT3 in P5 have yet to do this longer stop, while the No. 90 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Raffaele Marciello is leading the rest of the pack in fourth.

Vince Abril’s No. 8 Bentley lost a lap to the leaders earlier on when the team brought the car in for a full service stop under green, right after most of the field visited the pits.

The No. 98 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 was one of the biggest gainers in the last couple of hours, with Nick Catsburg also staying out on slicks and already having completed the technical stop.

Both the Audi Sport Team WRT Audi R8 LMS were running strongly in second and third before the rain hit, but dropped back to the lower regions of the top ten after being the first to finish the technical stop and switching to rain tires at the same time.  

The second batch of points has now been awarded, with the No. 63 Lamborghini taking the maximum of 12 points after running in second at the six-hour mark.

GRT intentionally postponed the longer stop to get the maximum points haul, with Mirko Bortolotti and and Engelhart now leading the overall Blancpain GT Series standings with a 15-point margin on Abril in second.

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

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