BTCS Spa 12 Hours Preview
the long distance weekends in France, it’s a semi-long distance
event at Spa on Saturday (and part of Sunday), for the BTCS contenders.
This weekend it’s the BTCS highlight of the
year: the Spa 12 hours. After the disastrous weekend at Zolder two
weeks ago, the BTCS gets a fair chance to prove its value with a
race over 12 hours, finishing at two in the morning, on the most
beautiful track in the world. The weather forecast seems to be to
kind to BTCS, with 27° Celsius forecast, and the entry list
simply looks fabulous. Except for the GLPK pair of Longin / Kumpen
(“We are too busy with the C6.R although we would have liked
to race at Spa”, says Bert Longin), and Vanina Ickx (why doesn’t
she race the Audi Silhouette?) almost all the Belgian endurance
heroes will be present.
In GT, the biggest
surprise is the GPR trio of Duez / Goossens / Van de Wauwer. After
the Marcos LM600 in Belcar, Busch Series and Grand Am in the States
and a one-off in Dutch Stock-cars, the BTCS is the fifth series
this year for Marc Goossens. Why isn’t he at Le Mans next
week? Marc Duez and Marc Goossens will drive the #55 997 Supercup
to the limit and will be a significant rival for the bunch of Silhouettes.
Still in GT,
we find the usual teams such as BPO entering two 360s, CEO (Porsche
996 Supercup with Ruben Maes - below), GS-Motorsport (Porsche 996
Supercup)… NGT (Porsche 996 Supercup) and First Motorsport
(Porsche 996 Supercup), switching from Belcar to BTCS for this race.
Some of the
teams entering a silhouette also get the support of an endurance
star. But championship leaders Armand Fumal and Steve Vanbellingen
(in the BMW, below) will do it with the relatively unknown, but
very experienced, Damien Coens. “I have already competed several
times in the Zolder, Ring and Spa-24 hour races,” says Damien
Coens. “I consider myself as being a very regular gentleman
driver. Regularity, respect for the car and some luck are the key
words in endurance and so I think we will get very far in this race.”
Other silhouette teams go for a faster third driver,
so we have van de Poele and Corthals for Jaguar, Mollekens and Radermecker
for Renault, Palttala in the BMW E90 of Salus / Lupant, and Halliday,
de Radigues and Vereydt for Peugeot.
Brits? Yes there are a few. Chad Racing returns
to BTCS with a Porsche 996 for Allen / James / Greensall / Hartshorne,
EMD does it for the second time this year at Spa with the M3 GTR
for Leventis / Hardman / Minshaw and Wright / Redhouse / Walker
will race another M3.