Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific customer KCMG will field the 2019 winning line-up of Kevin Estre, Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen in a factory-supported effort at the 2020 TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa.
The Porsche trio led home a fantastic 1-2 for the 911 GT3 R last year, claiming the German marque’s first win at the iconic Spa event since 2010. They will join the Hong Kong squad KCMG for its second 24-hour race in four weeks, having fought for the podium at the Nürburgring 24 Hours in its first major event with Porsche.
Estre and Christensen are accustomed to sharing a car having spent the past three FIA World Endurance Championship seasons as team-mates in the Porsche 911 RSR, where Lietz also races in the sister GTE-Pro machine. The Austrian is already familiar with the team as part of their Nürburgring programme earlier this year.
In the sister car, the Nürburgring 24 Hours trio of 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Alexandre Imperatori, Josh Burdon and Edoardo Liberati return after putting in a strong performance in the Eifel.
Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific customers Earl Bamber Motorsport and Absolute Racing contributed to Porsche’s Intercontinental GT Challenge Manufacturers’ Championship in 2019, with a victory at the Bathurst 12 Hour and podium at the Suzuka 10 Hours. This continued at the start of the current campaign, which included a Pro-Am win for Grove Racing, with KCMG set to carry on the trend at Spa.
The 2020 TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa will take place on 22-25 October.
Kevin Estre, #47 Porsche 911 GT3 R: “I’m really happy to be back at the 24 Hours of Spa. 2020 has been a big challenge for everyone but we’re all very glad the race is going ahead. For us as a winning line-up it’s definitely cool to return and try to defend our crown with a new team to Porsche, KCMG. They joined this year and have had success already at the Nordschleife and lots of GT3 experience so our expectations are high. It’s definitely one of the hardest races in the world but we can fight for the overall win. This year the race is in October which could play a role with the long night and colder temperatures but we’re ready for this. We did one test day which was pretty difficult due to the wet conditions, however we learnt all we could so let’s see what the race brings.”
Michael Christensen, #47 Porsche 911 GT3 R: “Looking forward to being back at Spa, especially with a new team in KCMG. For sure it will be a big challenge and I’m not expecting the weather to be great either as we’re racing in late October, but it’s good to be back defending our victory from last year. It will definitely be difficult, it’s hard to do something like this twice in a row but I’m very excited. I’m sure the team will be competitive and we can fight for a good result. It’s important that we stay towards the front without any problems and be ready to attack when we need to, usually at the end of the race.”
Richard Lietz, #47 Porsche 911 GT3 R: “I’m very happy that Porsche has brought us back after last year’s win at the 24 Hours of Spa, this time with KCMG. After not being able to take part at the Nordschleife, I’m glad that we’re racing together again. It’s a very difficult event, first of all you have to survive but also push from the beginning because the field is very strong. The main goal is to finish on the podium.”
Alexandre Imperatori, #21 Porsche 911 GT3 R: “I can’t wait to tackle the next big 24-hour race of the season. We’ve had a really positive test at Spa and are confident that we can go well when the race gets underway. The conditions will likely prove a challenge this year, especially while there is an incredible level of competition, so we can’t take anything for granted but we’ll do the very maximum to reward the team for all their hard work.”
Josh Burdon, #21 Porsche 911 GT3 R: “I’m really excited for the 24 Hours of Spa. After showing strong pace at the Nürburgring 24 Hours and a promising official test in Spa, I feel like we’re in a strong position to earn a good result. We’re expecting difficult conditions, but I’m confident that we’ll have a car that can handle anything, so big thanks to KCMG for pushing so hard.”
Edoardo Liberati, #21 Porsche 911 GT3 R: “We’re looking forward to the race and feeling confident after a very positive official test. I’m expecting a challenging weekend in mixed conditions, but our car behaves well in this weather so we’re hopeful of a great result.”
Paul Ip, KCMG Founder: “We are extremely excited to once again field a factory line-up in one of our cars, but for it to be last year’s winners of this famous race just goes to show the faith Porsche has put in us. Some adjustments have had to be made, especially as we are running on the mandated Pirelli tyres for this event, but we believe we have what it takes to run at the front of the field and represent Porsche at the 24 Hours of Spa.”
Alexandre Gibot, Head of Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific: “After a very encouraging start to our partnership with the Nürburgring programme, we are excited to see what KCMG can do at the 24 Hours of Spa. Porsche goes into this event as last year’s winners, and the victorious line-up of Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and Richard Lietz being in one of our regional customer cars is certainly a statement of intent. However we are very aware that with the colder conditions and longer night this will be no easy feat, so we wish the team the very best of luck.”