Here’s a rundown of the various sporting regulation changes for this year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa:
***The main classification is now the overall result. This means the top three finishing cars will be on the main podium after the race, no matter which category they are competing in.
***Reintroduction of the National Class for non-GT3 cars, including cars from single- make series. These cars will be distinguished by green Lumirank numbers
***Pit stop time limits. All full pit stops including refueling and changing of more than one tire must be longer than a given time, which is based on the pit lane length as well as minimum refueling and tire change time.
This is to prevent technological escalation in refueling and tyre changing equipment. The times will be given on a Stewards Bulletin.
***Technical pit stop. For reasons of sporting equality, all cars must make one stop of a duration of 5 minutes or over during the first 22 hours of the race.
***Super Pole changes. The cars will leave the pits every minute (instead of every 15 seconds)
***Just one Safety Car. For 2016, the Total 24 Hours of Spa are reverting to the previous system of just one safety car. This means that the pit lane will remain open except when the train of cars is passing the exit.
A full course yellow period may be called before the safety car comes on track, to slow down the cars immediately and allow the leader to be caught.
***Pro-Am changes. The line-up of Platinum-Gold-Silver-Bronze is no longer allowed. Each three-driver combination from the rest of the season is allowed to add a fourth driver, maximum Platinum.
In line-ups with two Pro drivers (Platinum and Gold) and two Bronze drivers, the Bronze drivers must share a minimum of 8 hours behind the wheel. In line-ups with one Pro, this time is 6 hours minimum for the Bronze driver.
***The Total 24 Hours of Spa is the second round of the inaugural season of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, open to manufacturers competing in major endurance events around the world where GT3 is the main category.
The first round was the Bathurst 12 Hours in February, and the first season will end with the Sepang 12 Hours in December. McLaren currently leads the points, followed by Bentley and Audi. 12 cars are entered in the IGTC at Spa.