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ROWE Mercedes Leads at Halfway Point at Spa

ROWE Racing Mercedes leads 24H Spa at halfway point…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

ROWE Racing took another dozen points at the 12-hour mark, as the German-run Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 leads a leading group of five cars at the halfway point of what’s been a highly competitive Total 24 Hours of Spa.

A ninth Safety Car period caused by the stranded No. 50 AF Corse Ferrari brought everything back together, with the top-six within 50 seconds at the time.

During the neutralization, Marc VDS opted to change the brakes without refueling in the No. 45 BMW Z4 GT3, while the No. 99 ROWE Mercedes did a standard stop and lost its one-minute cushion.

The other chasers were also able to make up ground, with the No. 2 Audi Sport Team WRT R8 LMS, No. 8 M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 and No. 58 Von Ryan McLaren joining the queue at the front of the field.

At the restart, Dirk Werner made contact with the No. 84 Bentley Team HTP Continental GT3, resulting in a drive-through for the No. 45 BMW, losing more than a minute and dropping back to third, 20 seconds in front of the sister No. 46 car in P4.

Meanwhile, the No. 333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 made contact with Shane van Gisbergen’s No. 58 McLaren running in sixth, which lost ten laps with the repairs, the other Von Ryan-run factory McLaren is currently in P8.

The No. 2 WRT Audi has quietly climbed up through the order, with Stéphane Ortelli leading the race right after the latest restart, but the Frenchman soon realized he had no defense against Dusseldorp’s speed in the ROWE Mercedes.

Despite a difficult buildup to the race, Lamborghini still had one Huracán running in the top-ten, before Adrian Zaugg had an off in the cold and foggy conditions, losing more than 20 laps.

AF Corse is still leading the Pro Am Cup with the No. 47 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Gianmaria Bruni, Alessandro Pier Guidi, Stéphane Léméret and Pasin Lathouras in sixth overall, right in front of the No. 9 ROAL Motorsport BMW of Alex Zanardi.

RESULTS: Hour 12

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.

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