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Intercontinental GT Challenge

HRT’s Scholze Leads Opening Track Session for 24H Spa

Florian Scholze leads 1-2-3 for Mercedes-AMG teams in 24H Spa Bronze driver test…

Photo: Jules Benichou/21 Creation

Haupt Racing Team’s Florian Scholze led a 1-2-3 result for Mercedes-AMG teams in the opening track session of the buildup to this weekend’s TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa.

Scholze went quickest overall in Tuesday’s three-hour Bronze test with a time of 2:18.290 behind the wheel of the No. 5 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo that he is sharing with Arjun Maini, Gabriele Piana and HRT team owner Hubert Haupt.

The German beat Winward Racing driver Jens Liebhauser to the top spot by just 0.084 seconds, while Sky-Tempesta Racing’s Jonathan Hui went third to put a trio of AMGs at the head of the times.

Tuesday afternoon’s session gave a chance for Bronze-rated and some select Silver-rated drivers to attain mileage on a less crowded Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

24 cars took part, while a total of 66 GT3s will contest the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli round.

Among the Bronze test participants was the ST Racing BMW M4 GT3, which is making its Spa debut in the Silver Cup class. Furthermore, only one of the Walkenhorst Motorsport BMWs turned laps on Tuesday after both were shown on the session’s entry list.

Liebhauser stood as the early Bronze test pacesetter but was superseded by Scholze shortly after the one-hour mark.

The top three cars all belong to the Gold Cup class, while the top Pro-Am competitor finished fourth courtesy of a 2:18.864 from AF Corse Ferrari driver Louis Machiels.

Ralf Bohn completed the top five for Porsche squad Herberth Motorsport, ahead of Miguel Ramos in the No. 188 Garage 59 McLaren 720S GT3.

There were two brief red flags during the final hour of running.

The first, lasting 12 minutes, was caused by a trip into the gravel for Boutsen Racing Audi driver Karim Ojjeh.

The second, which occurred just four minutes after the green flags were produced, came after Arnold Robin spun his No. 33 WRT Audi off the road at Les Combes.

All 66 cars competing in the 24 Hours of Spa are due to take part in the next track session, which is Free Practice at 10:50 a.m. CEST (4:50 a.m. ET) on Thursday.

RESULTS: Bronze test

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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