Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific customers Modena Motorsports and OpenRoad Racing will make their Total 24 Hours of Spa debut this weekend (25-28 July) in a pair of Porsche 911 GT3 R cars. Meanwhile, racing in the Porsche Motorsport GT2 Supersportscar Weekend is Ensport Motors by Absolute Racing in the Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport.
Following their strong campaigns at the start of the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia season, in which they scored consistent points finishes as well as a class pole position for OpenRoad Racing, the two Hong Kong squads have decided to tackle Europe – namely the 24 Hours of Spa.
Joining Porsche Carrera Asia Pro-Am podium finisher John Shen will be Philippe Descombes, who partnered OpenRoad Racing’s Francis Tjia in the Buriram round of Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia. The Frenchman has plenty of experience in endurance racing, as a podium finisher in the Asian Le Mans Series’ LMP3 category.
2014 Private Team Drivers’ World Endurance champion Mathias Beche joins them in the #16 machine, as will Carrera Cup Asia racer Benny Simonsen. The 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series GT3 Am Cup race winner aims to use his experience to guide the team to a strong result.
In the #21 car, joining Carrera Cup Asia regular Francis Tjia is Michael S, who has also stood on the Asian Le Mans Series podium in GT Cup this season.
In addition to a Carrera Cup Asia campaign, and his appearance in the Dubai 24 Hours earlier this year in the previous generation 911 GT3 R, Antares Au joins the team with IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship podium finisher Remo Ruscitti.
Seven other Porsche 911 GT3 R will be present on the grid from ROWE Racing, GPX Racing, Dinamic Motorsport, Herberth Motorsport and KÜS Team75 Bernhard.
The Spa-Francorchamps circuit will also host a one-off Porsche Motorsport GT2 Supersportscar Weekend, where 15 of the iconic new Porsche 935 and GT2 RS Clubsport make their motorsport debuts. Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific customer Ensport Motors by Absolute Racing joins with GT Asia podium scorer Vincent Floirendo taking part in the two 30-minute races.
John Shen, Modena Motorsports: “Coming to Spa for a race has always been on our bucket list. It’s something I wish to share with my family too, so I’m coming here to fulfil my brother’s dream and I’m happy to have made that happen this year.”
Francis Tjia, OpenRoad Racing: “I’m extremely excited to be here at Spa for the 24 Hours, it’s the first time I’ve been here with the team. It’s going to be a big adventure. I’m very much looking forward to it and hope we can produce a decent finish for ourselves.”
Antares Au, OpenRoad Racing: “I’m really excited to be here at Spa. This is the biggest GT3 race in the world and it’s a rather unique opportunity to be working with Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific, it’s really the chance of a lifetime. So we’re going to treasure it and try to do some good.”
Philippe Descombes, Modena Motorsports: “I’ve been waiting for this event and it’s finally here. It’s the first time at the Spa 24 Hours for myself and the team, but we have a strong driver line-up so I’m very much looking forward to a good result this weekend.”
Benny Simonsen, Modena Motorsports: “I’m looking forward to the race and to be working with Modena Motorsports for what is the most significant weekend of the year on the GT3 calendar. We’re hoping we can come away with something strong.”
Remo Ruscitti, OpenRoad Racing: “It has always been a goal of mine to compete in this race and I couldn’t be more excited to do it with Porsche, OpenRoad Racing and my team-mates. We have a great line-up and team behind us to fight for all 24 hours.”
Alexandre Gibot, Head of Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific: “We’re very excited to see how Modena Motorsports and OpenRoad Racing do at the 24 Hours of Spa. They’ve raced with us for almost a decade now in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, and have spent the first half of this year mastering the new Porsche 911 GT3 R, so it’s great they continue to tackle new challenges. We wish them the very best of luck ahead of this weekend. We are also happy that the new Porsche 935 and 911 GT2 RS Clubsport make their race debuts in the hands of our customers.”
2019 Total 24 Hours of Spa timetable*
Thursday 25 July
11:10 – Free Practice 1
16:15 – Pre-Qualifying
20:00 – Qualifying
21:40 – Night Practice
Friday 26 July
18:15 – Warm Up
19:05 – Super Pole
Saturday 27 July
16:30 – Race start
Sunday 28 July
16:30 – Race end
*All times local (GMT+2)
Source. Porsche/Photo. SRO Motorsports Group