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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Spa Friday Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ Friday notebook from Spa…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***Maxi Gotz has been given one behavior point for his actions in Friday’s Super Pole, which saw the German driver improve his time while under a local yellow. Gotz’s time initially put him on pole before he lost it post-qualifying for the infraction. His AMG-HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 will now start sixth.

***The No. 74 ISR Racing Audi R8 LMS of Franck Perera, meanwhile, lost all of his times due to three track limit infringements, while the No. 16 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Mirko Bortolotti has been reprimanded for a track limits infringement and late start from the pit lane.

***Despite the adjustments, Mercedes-AMG still has claimed a 1-6 position sweep of qualifying, a first in series and event history. While the cars were some eight-tenths quicker the competition, no Balance of Performance adjustments are expected pre-race.

***Manthey Racing unveiled Friday the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR (pictured above), which has been homologated for SRO GT4 competition worldwide. An upgrade kit will be available for existing GT4 Clubsport owners to bring the car up to full GT4 specification.

***In addition to the recently announced BMW M4 GT4 and Manthey-developed GT4 upgrade kit for the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, Stephane Ratel said to expect two other brands to announce GT4 cars in the near future.

***While there are no GT4 competing on track at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend, the GT4 European Series already paid a visit earlier this month. Most of the existing models are on display in the paddock: Porsche, Ginetta, Sin, Maserati, Ginetta, McLaren, KTM, Nissan, BMW and Aston Martin. The only Camaros available were destroyed in a fire recently.

***BMW Motorsport is not actively looking at entering the Intercontinental GT Challenge. Jens Marquardt told Sportscar365 that the BMW M6 GT3 is still a customer racing project, stating that an entry will depend on a customer team expressing interest and asking for support. The same goes for the FIA GT World Cup where Marquardt stated that it will not enter the race as a manufacturer.

***Audi has also has yet to make a final decision on its manufacturer participation in the FIA GT World Cup, but Head of Audi Motorsport, Chris Reinke, told Sportscar365 that he’d be surprised if they weren’t going.

***Reinke said Audi’s effort for the Sepang 12 Hours, which occurs three weeks after Macau, has also yet to be finalized. It’s believed both Phoenix and WRT could be in line to field factory supported entries for the event.

***The list of 12 cars competing for the manufacturers points in the Intercontinental GT Challenge during the Total 24 Hours of Spa has been known for a few weeks, but the Intercontinental GT Challenge also has an Am title reserved for Bronze drivers. There’s no fewer than 26 cars competing for Am points in Spa, and on those cars 46 drivers are eligible to score points.

***Spa is the biggest event of the year for Pirelli. As the exclusive tire supplier of the event, the Italian tire manufacturer is brought 13,000 tires, 100 people, 26 trucks and a fitting area the size of a soccer field. Pirelli is also supplying the Lamborghini Super Trofeo this weekend, with 50 cars, and the GT Sports Club, which has 23 cars.

***Pirelli only supplies the teams with P Zero DHC tire for dry conditions and Cinturato WH for wet conditions. The tires are capable of doing a double stint if this forms part of the strategy, especially at night when temperatures are cooler, but it’s not expected teams will be doing due to the minimum pitstop time.

***The cars entered in the Intercontinental GT Challenge feature a round sticker indicating their involvement in the three-round championship.

***Twelve drivers are pulling double duty this weekend. Rolf Ineichen , Marco Mapelli, Christopher Zöchling, Ian Loggie, Nicolas Armindo, Henri Hassid, Rik Breukers Teodor Myszkowski and Andrzej Lewandowski are also taking part in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo, while Michal Broniszewski, Marco Zanutti and Jean-Paul Buffin compete in the Blancpain GT Sports Club this weekend.

***One of the changes in the sporting regulations ahead of this season was the introduction of an average driver weight. This means certain cars receive additional ballast if the average driver weight is below 85kg. For example, Laurens Vanthoor, Nico Müller and René Rast together account for an 76kg average, resulting in an extra 9kg being added to the car’s weight.

***The Safety Car procedure has been slightly altered. A Full Course Yellow will always preceed a Safety Car. There will be a count down on the radio and once there’s only ten seconds left the drivers are no longer allowed to overtake, though they are still able to decide their own pace.

John Dagys and Laurent Mercier contributed to this report

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


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