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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Spa Thursday Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ Thursday notebook from Spa…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***Following the Paul Ricard 1000km, some Balance of Performance changes have been made for Spa, which utilizes the same Category B classification. The Ferrari 488 GT3 has lost boost in the higher rev range, while the BMW M6 GT3 has gained some. The Mercedes-AMG GT3, Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 and Porsche 911 GT3 R have each received a 5kg weight break, while the championship-leading McLaren 650S GT3 has remained unchanged.

***HTP Motorsport could add additional races to its already busy schedule later this year. Both the FIA GT World Cup at Macau and the Intercontinental GT Challenge finale at Sepang are under consideration. The team’s relationship with AMG is stronger than ever.

***The No. 57 Pro Cup-entered Black Falcon Mercedes AMG GT3 of Adam Christodoulou, Andreas Simonsen and Hubert Haupt is currently undergoing an engine change. The car didn’t put in a time during Pre-Qualifying, but should return to action later today. It is not clear yet if and what penalty might be handed out for the change.

***This weekend’s pit stop length range is less than 1 minute and 55 seconds or more than than 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Despite the very long pit lane, teams still only get a tolerance of 1 second that can only be exceeded four times during the race.

***All teams agreed unanimously at Paul Ricard to change the sporting regulations in order to prevent a repeat of the stunt WRT pulled at Silverstone by completing a full service stop under the prohibited range. As it turns out, Silverstone was the only track were something like that is possible, due to the favorable fuel consumption.

***Stephane Ratel will hold the SRO Motorsports Group annual press conference on Friday at 4 p.m. Look for the 2017 Blancpain GT Series, Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT4 European Championship schedules to be released, along with the formal launch of the new France-based GT4 championship.

***It’s expected that the Intercontinental GT Challenge will add an additional race in the U.S. for 2017, while 2018 should see the arrival of a fifth race in South Africa.

***Additional lighting will be installed at four spots around the track: La Source, Raidillon, Les Combes and Bus Stop. The idea is to give drivers better visibility in an effort to reduce the risk of accidents, although the change over from a dark to a lighted section will also require a certain amount of adaptation from the drivers.

***One of the four remaining GT1-spec Ford GTs has been put up for sale in the U.S. The car has chassis number MR10FORDGT1SN006. Click Here to view the auction. Marc VDS Racing sold all four cars some time ago to a private collector. It’s best finish was a fourth place at Paul Ricard in 2010.

***Since the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup race at Paul Ricard, a couple of improvements have been made to the Porsche 911 GT3 R, most notably to its ABS system.

***All drivers, teams, media and fans are invited for for a run around the 7km circuit after Super Pole, at 8 p.m. A kid’s run is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

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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