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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Up to Nine Porsches for 24H Spa; Team75 Bernhard Returns

Porsche set to support as many as 9 GT3s at Spa, including return of Team75 Bernhard…

Photo: Porsche

A total of nine Porsche 911 GT3 Rs are expected to take part in next month’s Total 24 Hours of Spa, as part of an increased program for the German manufacturer that includes the return of KÜS Team75 Bernhard.

Four Porsches are entered through their full-season Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup programs: two cars from ROWE Racing and one each from Dinamic Motorsport and GPX Racing.

Porsche doesn’t have any full-season teams in the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli, instead using local teams such as Park Place and Wright Motorsports in the California 8 Hours and EBM at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

Porsche’s two full-season IGTC driver lineups are also competing in ROWE’s two Porsches for the full Blancpain GT Endurance Cup season, and are set to continue at Spa.

Romain Dumas, Mathieu Jaminet and Sven Mueller are in ROWE’s No. 98 car after driving for EBM and Wright at Bathurst and California, while Matt Campbell, Dennis Olsen and Dirk Werner, who drove for EBM and Park Place earlier in the IGTC season, will continue to share the No. 99 ROWE entry.

ROWE will also enter a third Porsche for Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Fred Makowiecki. The trio were already confirmed in what was set to be a second car for Spa, before the addition of a second full-season car, when ROWE announced its Porsche switch in January.

“At the moment, it seems like we will have up to nine cars at Spa, in total,” Porsche 911 GT3 R project manager Sebastien Golz told Sportscar365.

“At the end, it will be finally defined [on] July 1, because then it’s the [test days] and it’s official. It seems so that we’ll have nine cars on track.”

It marks a significant increase in Porsche’s presence at the Belgian race since last year, when it was represented by two Pro cars (Manthey Racing and Team75 Bernhard), a Pro-Am car from Black Swan Racing and an Am entry for Herberth Motorsport. 

Team75 Bernhard will return to Spa for a third consecutive year with an unchanged lineup of team owner Timo Bernhard, Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber.

Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia regular Modena Motorsports will also enter a pair of Porsches, although its lineups aren’t yet known.

It’s lineups for its two Blancpain GT Asia entries include the likes of Matthias Beche and Benny Simonsen.

The full-season Blancpain GT Endurance Cup entries from Dinamic, which won at Monza, and GPX will also form part of Porsche’s entry. 

Italian operation Dinamic, which won the first round at Monza, is set to continue with Andrea Rizzoli, Klaus Bachler and Zaid Ashkanani for its maiden 24H Spa.

Sportscar365 understands that GPX, however, could switch from its full-season Silver Cup entry of Ben Goethe, Jordan Grogor and Stuart Hall to run a Pro lineup, or possible run a second car for a new trio.

The four full-season cars plus additional entries from ROWE, Modena and Team75 amount to eight of a possible maximum of nine.

What that ninth car could be is unclear, although a second GPX entry would make up the numbers, while a Pro-Am lineup from Herberth Motorsport is also possible.

It’s understood that Black Swan, which initially committed to the full IGTC season before Tim Pappas’ heavy crash at Bathurst, won’t race at Spa.

The full entry list, which is more than likely to reach over 70 cars, will be revealed during the test days on July 2-3.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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