A 65-car field will gather to contest the toughest event in GT3 racing next month when the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa stages its 74th edition on 28-31 July.
The full entry list for the twice-around-the-clock race has been revealed during this week’s official test days (21-22 June) where preparations for the Ardennes classic are already well underway. It comes five weeks ahead of the main event, which represents the marquee round of Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS and the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli.
The 2022 grid features each of the nine brands competing full-time in the Fanatec Endurance Cup and includes 13-car entries from both Mercedes-AMG and Porsche. Ferrari will defend last year’s overall triumph with a pair of strong Pro crews, while there is the excitement of new machinery from top German marques Audi and BMW. Lamborghini and McLaren will hope to improve upon the landmark results they scored last term, while British brands Aston Martin and Bentley complete a star-studded field.
The entry list is led by 23 Pro cars and a record-breaking 18 entrants in the thriving Silver Cup class. The Gold Cup has attracted an impressive 14-car field for its maiden run in the Ardennes, while eight Pro-Am crews and a pair of Bronze Cup challengers complete the 2022 grid. As such, this will mark the first time that five different GT3 classes have been present at the legendary event. These are the contenders who will hope to be celebrating on the afternoon of Sunday 31 July.
FERRARI (488 GT3)
- Defending winner in fine form ahead of Ardennes classic
- 5 cars: 2 Pro, 2 Gold Cup, 1 Pro-Am
Iron Lynx scored overall victory last year to end a 17-year wait for a Ferrari win in the Ardennes. The team will once again carry the Italian marque’s hopes this term with a pair of Pro cars, which travel to Spa in peak form after finishing one-two at the Circuit Paul Ricard 1000km. The sister Iron Dames squad will compete in the new Gold Cup class, with an all-female crew. AF Corse adds a second Gold Cup car, while the Italian team will also look to defend last year’s win in the Pro-Am class.
PORSCHE (911 GT3-R)
- Stuttgart marque in the hunt thanks to expanded Spa line-up
- 13 cars: 5 Pro, 2 Silver Cup, 2 Gold Cup, 4 Pro-Am
Back-to-back overall wins in 2019 and 2020 re-established Porsche as a powerhouse at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, and there’s every chance of more glory this year. The marque’s Pro effort is led by full-season squad Dinamic Motorsport, while a trio of one-off entries from across the globe will see KCMG (Hong Kong), EMA Motorsport (Australia) and GPX Racing (United Arab Emirates) join the grid. Dinamic Motorsport and Allied Racing will field Silver Cup crews, while the latter joins Herberth Motorsport in the Gold Cup. An expanded effort sees the Herberth outfit run two Pro-Am efforts, where they are joined by Earl Bamber Motorsport and Singha Racing Team TP 12.
ASTON MARTIN (VANTAGE AMR GT3)
- Full-season Beechdean AMR entries joined by The Heart of Racing with TF Sport
- 3 cars: 2 Pro, 1 Gold Cup
Aston Martin will tackle the 2022 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa with serious aspirations of ending a 74-year wait for overall victory. Beechdean AMR will field an all-star crew that includes 2016 race winner and local favourite Maxime Martin, while The Heart of Racing has partnered with TF Sport to further bolster the British marque’s chances in the premier class. A second Beechdean AMR entry will compete for Gold Cup honours with its full-season line-up, which includes team owner Andrew Howard.
AUDI (R8 LMS EVO II GT3)
- Ingolstadt marque targeting first overall win since 2017
- 12 cars: 5 Pro, 5 Silver Cup, 2 Gold Cup
Audi has amassed 10 overall podiums since the adoption of GT3 rules in 2011, but a five-year wait since its most recent triumph will make the Ingolstadt marque hungrier than ever to reclaim the big prize. Team WRT leads the way with a pair of Pro crews, while Tresor by Car Collection, Saintéloc Junior Team and Attempto Racing add extra firepower in the premier class. The same configuration is repeated in the Silver Cup, while Team WRT adds a fifth car to its programme with a Gold Cup entry. Local squad Boutsen Racing will also contest the new class and is set for its maiden start in the Ardennes with Audi equipment.
BENTLEY (CONTINENTAL GT3)
- CMR keeps Bentley flag flying with Pro-Am ‘art car’
- 1 car in Pro-Am
For a third year in succession French squad CMR will fly the Bentley flag at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. This should be a popular entry, with a striking ‘art car’ livery and significant Belgian representation on the driving front. This includes Nigel Bailly, who is set to become the first paraplegic to contest the gruelling race since Gilles Duqueine in 2015. The CMR squad gave Bentley its maiden class win by conquering the Am Cup in 2020 and will have strong hopes of another victory this year in Pro-Am.
BMW (M4 GT3)
- New M4 GT3 set for hotly anticipated TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa debut
- 5 cars: 2 Pro, 1 Silver Cup, 1 Gold Cup, 1 Bronze Cup
The most successful manufacturer in TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa history – 24 wins! – will tackle this year’s race with a brand-new weapon: the M4 GT3. Two-time race winner ROWE Racing has a pair of Pro crews at its disposal, while ST Racing will add a Silver Cup effort that sees owner/driver Samantha Tan undertake the most significant race of her career. Walkenhorst Motorsport returns with a two-car effort, adding entries in the Gold Cup and Bronze Cup classes, ensuring that the new BMW has a presence in all five categories.
LAMBORGHINI (HURACAN GT3 EVO)
- Italian marque chasing elusive overall glory
- 9 cars: 3 Pro, 4 Silver Cup, 2 Gold Cup
Though often a contender, Lamborghini is still chasing a first overall win at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. This year’s effort is led by two full-season entries from Emil Frey Racing, while American squad Orange1 K-PAX Racing will add further front-running potential. A strong Silver Cup contingent consists of two cars from the VSR stable, plus crews from Emil Frey Racing and Leipert Motorsport. The line-up is completed by a pair of Gold Cup runners, with perennial class contender Barwell Motorsport joined by newcomer AGS Events.
MCLAREN (720S GT3)
- British marque targeting further gains after strong run in 2021
- 4 cars: 1 Pro, 1 Silver Cup, 1 Gold Cup, 1 Pro-Am
McLaren scored a best-ever finish at last year’s TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, which saw British squad JOTA come home seventh overall thanks to a consistent showing throughout the event. They are back for more in 2022 with a trio of factory drivers leading the charge. There’s plenty of class interest for the marque, too. Garage 59 has returned to the McLaren fold this term and will field crews in the Silver Cup and Pro-Am classes, while Inception Racing adds another car in the Gold Cup category.
MERCEDES-AMG (AMG GT3)
- German manufacturer is the only one represented in all five classes
- 13 cars: 3 Pro, 5 Silver Cup, 3 Gold Cup, 1 Pro-Am, 1 Bronze Cup
Nine years on from its most recent overall win, Mercedes-AMG will have a trio of factory-backed squads hoping to put the brand back on top in 2022. They are led by Akkodis ASP, which has started the previous two editions from pole, while GetSpeed and GruppeM Racing add further official entries. An impressive Silver Cup line-up is led by reigning class winner Madpanda Motorsport, while Akkodis ASP, Haupt Racing Team, GetSpeed and Al Manar Racing by HRT can also fight for victory. The brand should also be a contender in the new Gold Cup class thanks to crews from Haupt Racing Team, Winward Racing and Sky Tempesta Racing. SPS automotive performance will target Bronze Cup honours, while the sister SunEnergy1 by SPS outfit runs in Pro-Am.
The first track activity of the 2022 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa will see the Bronze Test run on Tuesday 26 July. Attention moves away from the circuit on Wednesday when the annual parade to Spa town centre makes a popular return, while the action ramps up on Thursday with significant running for the full field of TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa contenders. This includes the main Qualifying session, while the all-important Super Pole forms part of Friday’s schedule. It all leads up to the main event, which gets underway at 16:45 on Saturday 30 July.
Meanwhile, a host of high-level support series will also take their turn on the circuit, including the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, GT4 European Series, Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine and Championnat de France FFSA F4. There will be virtual action courtesy of the Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series, while a historic GT event organised by Peter Auto will join the programme to celebrate 30 years of SRO Motorsports Group. In addition to the wealth of on-track entertainment, attendees can also enjoy the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa Fan Zone, while the Saturday evening concert will make a popular return with major names from the European music scene.
The headline race of Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS and Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli, the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa is acknowledged as the global pinnacle in long-distance GT racing. Scheduled for 28-31 July, the 2022 edition will represent the 74th running since its inauguration in 1924. Tickets are on sale now for what promises to be another memorable edition of the Belgian endurance classic.
Source. SRO Motorsports Group