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Three-Way Battle For The Lead in Closing Hours at Spa

Despite losing one car Marc VDS still leads at Spa…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Despite the shock retirement for the No. 45 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3, the Belgian team is still leading the Total 24 Hours of Spa with just three hours to go.

After Dirk Werner was forced into retirement with a transmission failure, the No. 2 Audi Sport Team WRT Audi R8 LMS took the lead, but Stéphane Ortelli was unable to keep a hard-charging Nick Catsburg behind.

On lap 406 Nick Catsburg passed the Monegasque driver, to reclaim the lead for BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS. Ten laps later the gap between first and second had already gone up to 30 seconds.

The No. 46 BMW Z4 GT3 has led the race ever since Catsburg’s pass, with Markus Palttala leading the No. 2 Audi driven by Nico Müller by a minute and 20 seconds. ROWE Racing’s Daniel Juncadella was just over 20 seconds behind in third place.

For Grasser Racing Team the 24 Hours of Spa ended early in the 19th hour, when the No. 63 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 was parked with smoke pouring from the engine bay.

Race control handed out more drive-through penalties for track limit infringements, including two for the No. 6 Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi in just eight laps.

The No. 47 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Pasin Lathouras, Stephane Lemeret, Gianmaria Bruni and Alessandro Pier Guidi leads Pro-Am with three hours to go, it is currently fifth overall. The No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari is second in Pro-Am, with Ecurie Ecosse’s No. 79 BMW in third place.

Marcel ten Caat (@marceltencaat) is a contributor to Sportscar365 and other publications including

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