Team75 Bernhard has laid out plans to return to the Total 24 Hours of Spa, as part of Porsche’s Pro Cup effort in the second round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
The German squad, which finished fourth in its race debut last year with an all-factory lineup of Laurens Vanthoor, Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen, is finalizing its program for the July 28-29 race, according to team boss Timo Bernhard.
While having focused on a two-car effort in ADAC GT Masters, including an entry for the reigning FIA World Endurance Champion and Estre, the team made its Nürburgring 24 debut last month.
“It’s not announced yet but it’s planned,” Bernhard told Sportscar365 regarding the team’s 24 Hours of Spa return.
“If we’re going to go there, it would definitely be with a Pro car. We want to learn from last year.
“Nürburgring is [such a special race], but we as a team learned a lot. A 24-hour race, even though it’s different rules, the whole preparation of the car is quite similar.
“Also to prep the team, for sure for a normal race, to stay up and fit and healthy for the 24 hours, and also stay awake and all of the pit stop scenarios, these are all things you cannot train [for]; you have to live in a race.
“That’s why I think we’ll be better prepared at Spa compared to last year. But also the competition will be quite tough.”
While its lineup has not yet been announced, Bernhard indicated he would likely be part of the driving squad.
It would mark the 37-year-old German’s first start in the race since 2013, when he shared the wheel of a 997-model Porsche 911 GT3 R with Joerg Bergmeister and Nico Lapierre.
“I would like to,” Bernhard said. “We’ll see. That would be the plan.”
Walliser: Two Pro Cup Entries for Spa
Despite its recent success in the Nürburgring 24, Porsche will not expand its Pro Cup effort for next month’s Belgian endurance classic, according to Head of Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser.
Walliser confirmed that it will support two cars, including the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup season-long Manthey Racing entry of Romain Dumas, Fred Makowiecki and Dirk Werner.
Additional Porsches, however, will be on the grid in the Pro-Am and Am Cups, including entries from Black Swan Racing and Herberth Motorsport.
“We’ll have two pro cars,” Walliser told Sportscar365.
“We have a clear plan through the end of the year. We emphasized to do more in Blancpain GT. Also with the majority of the shares of Pirelli World Challenge, it helps to bring everything together.”