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Porsche’s 2019 Spa Winners Reunite With GPX Racing

Porsche squad GPX secures 2019 Spa winners for this year’s edition of the Belgian enduro…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

2019 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa winners Michael Christensen, Richard Lietz and Kevin Estre will reunite with GPX Racing for this year’s edition of the Belgian enduro.

The lineup of Porsche factory drivers will contest next month’s Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli round in the No. 20 Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Christensen, Lietz and Estre won the 2019 edition of the race in wet weather conditions, bringing GPX to the top step of the Spa podium in its first GT3 season with Porsche.

The Dubai-based organization is set to continue receiving technical support from French team ART Grand Prix, for what will mark GPX Racing’s fourth Spa attempt.

The event doubles up as a round of the GTWC Europe Endurance Cup and the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli.

GPX has not raced since the final round of last year’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup, eight months ago.

It committed to an IGTC program for this year but withdrew from the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour opener after the race was postponed to May and became a Pro-Am contest.

“We’ve got the ambition and the will to go for the win as always, but we have to remain humble when faced with all the traps of this race and the quality of our rivals,” said GPX Racing managing director Pierre-Brice Mena.

“We’re going to tackle these 24 Hours as we did in 2019 by doing a great deal of preparation.

“We’re starting with the same technical team as last year that helped us to fight at the front before our technical glitches struck.

“This season, it’s been a long wait for GPX Racing. We were unable to take part in the 12 Hours of Bathurst in the context of the IGTC because of the change of date and philosophy of the event.

“We’ve also devoted a lot of energy towards other activities of the GP Extreme group, but the sporting side is still as important for us as ever.”

After their 2019 success, Christensen, Lietz and Estre were placed with KCMG for the following year’s 24 Hours of Spa and finished 13th overall.

Last year they were partially split up, with Lietz and Estre remaining together as part of Rutronik Racing’s lineup, and Christensen joining Schnabl Engineering which was a late replacement for Frikadelli Racing Team.

Neither team made the finish, with Schnabl crashing out around halfway after contact and Rutronik retiring when Estre was involved in a multi-car accident at Raidillon.

“I adore the GPX Racing team; it’s a group of real motorsport enthusiasts,” said Estre. 

“We arrived a bit like three gate crashers at Spa who turned out to be just what the party needed! It was their debut at this level and we didn’t really know what to expect.

“But we were very pleasantly surprised right from the start of practice and we saw that the team was very proactive.

“They listened to us; the package was right; we really enjoyed racing in this ambience and we won! The 24 Hours of Spa will be a huge challenge arriving from the RSR.

“We have only done the Nürburgring 24 with the GT3 this year with completely different sporting rules and tires.

“But I think we have the experience to overcome all that. We were super happy when Porsche told us we were going to race again at Spa with GPX Racing.”

GPX is set to contest Spa with a Martini livery that will be revealed at a later date.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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