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Spa Thursday Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ Thursday notebook from 24H Spa…

Photo: Niels Vaeck

Photo: Niels Vaeck

***Lamborghini has gotten off to a challenging start this weekend. The GRT Grasser Racing Team has battled balance issues with the Huracán GT3 since unloading on Tuesday. The team barely ran during the Bronze Test where it was five seconds off the pace, while Free Practice and Pre Qualifying didn’t bring the necessary improvements, with both cars still more than two seconds off.

***To top things off, Fabio Babini severely damaged the No. 19 car in pre-qualifying, sending the Austrian squad in a scramble to prepare for this evening’s two qualifying sessions. All cars that that will take part in tomorrow’s Super Pole must set times tonight.

***A date has been set for the hearing regarding the exclusion of the No. 19 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 from the Blancpain Endurance Series season-opener at Monza. The FIA Court of Appeal will make a decision on the case on Tuesday July 28, only two days after Total 24 Hours of Spa. Stewards of the meeting deemed the refueling restrictor used on the winning car did not conform to the regulations, but the Italian constructor remains confident about a positive outcome.

***The brand-new Aston Martin Vulcan will complete two flying laps prior to the start of the Total 24 Hours of Spa on Saturday. The 800-plus hp track-only machine is scheduled to arrive at the track on Friday and will be driven by works driver Darren Turner, who has been involved in the design and development of the car from its inception.

***Pirelli, the exclusive tire supplier of the series, has brought 9,000 tires to Spa, with 90 Pirelli personnel on the ground. Expertise from countries as far afield as Brazil, Argentina, Australia and the U.S. have been flown in, all territories where Pirelli has a presence in major GT or stock car championships. Meanwhile, title sponsor Total has 135,000 liters of fuel on site and 12 employees working this weekend.

***The new Mercedes AMG GT3 is proving to be a very popular car, with the factory almost not able to keep up with demand and the provided allocation of cars for 2015 seemingly sold out.

***Not only does the Pro Am Cup entered No. 22 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN GT-R Nismo GT3 carry a new livery this weekend, the car is in fact a brand-new chassis.

***The last three available seats have finally been filled. Philippe Haezebrouck and Beniamino Caccia join Michael Blanchemain and Gilles Lallement in the No. 36 Saintéloc Audi, while Philipp Wlazik is the fourth driver on the Attempto Racing Porsche. Both cars compete in the Am Cup, which features 11 entries. The Insight Racing Ferrari is the only Pro Am car to race with three drivers.

***Be sure to download the official SRO Spotter Guide, which features all 57 starters, including several new liveries and all 204 drivers taking part in the event. Click here to download the latest version.

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

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