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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Spa Test Day Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ notebook from 24H Spa test day…

Photo: Blancpain GT Series

***Good Smile Racing & Team UKYO will be one of the eye-catchers in this year’s event. The manga-liveried Mercedes-AMG GT3 of the Japanese team receives technical support from RAM Racing, which also runs a Mercedes-AMG in the 24H Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup. The Japanese crew members visited the AMG headquarters in Stuttgart prior to heading down to Spa.

***The No. 63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of overall championship leaders Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart suffered considerable damage this morning. The car hit the barriers at high speed at Blanchimont following a puncture, resulting in chassis damage at the rear end. The car didn’t run for the remainder of the test.

***Kaspersky Motorsport has been testing with a different chassis today. The AF Corse-run team had already suspected there was an issue with the chassis used in the first three races of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.

***A potential cancelation of the traditional parade to the Spa city center on the Wednesday leading up to the race has been averted. A local decree protecting local water sources prohibited several types of activities in the area, including the motorsport parade. Local authorities, however, have recently granted an exception.

***While the official test day only takes place today, several teams, including HTP and WRT, will continue testing tomorrow during a private test organized by the latter.

***Porsche is expected to join the test on Wednesday with the GTE-spec 911 RSR. An outing of the new Mercedes-AMG GT4 is also possible.

***One of the novelties of this 69th edition is the rescheduling of the Warm Up session from Saturday morning to Friday evening, right before the Superpole. “We prefer that teams can focus on the race,” explained Laurent Gaudin to Endurance-Info. “Drivers and other team members will have more sleep in the night before the race because of this. Spa is a challenging race for both man and machine. ”

***Several IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship drivers, including Laurens Vanthoor and Tristan Vautier, have made the long trip back to Europe to take part in the test day, before crossing the Atlantic again for the next round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this weekend.

***Strakka Racing has launched a competition giving fans the opportunity to design the livery of the No. 58 Strakka Racing 650S GT3 which will make its debut at the 24 Hours of Spa as part of the team’s four-car entry. The winner will also receive a full VIP weekend hospitality package, courtesy of the SRO, for two people. Click here for more info.

***The Circuit of Spa Francorchamps welcomed the world’s greatest bike race on Monday. The route of the third stage of the Tour de France followed a large part of the seven-kilometer track in the Ardennes forests, entering at La Source and exiting via Stavelot. Click here for video footage of the passage.

Laurent Mercier contributed to this notebook.

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

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