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Guenter Reinhold

Total 24 hours of Spa final hour report

by Nathan Heywood
Wednesday, August 04, 2010

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The overall winning Porsche team celebrates
Gary Parravani/AR1.com
‘Just as you thought it was safe to go back in the water’ Dirk Werner had one of those life-changing moments when he put his 79 BMW into the tire wall at Les Fagnes aka Turn 12 with 40 minutes to go. Nobody seemed sure if the driver was simply made a mistake, possibly distracted by the thought of the top step of the podium after having led since the second hour, or if something had failed on the car.

Nevertheless the car made it back to the pit with a damaged front-end and the mechanics went to work with the lap count at 526 for the lead car. The elapsed time from incident to rejoining was less than five minutes but with the chasing 23 BMS Scuderia Porsche and 16 IMSA Matmut 911 only a lap down, the 79 car rejoined in 3rd place ahead of its sister car; not quite the side-by-side crossing the finish line picture they may have once had in mind.

When asked at the post-race drivers’ briefing Dirk Werner simply stated “I was driving already in the safe mode, not taking the curbs, cruising around doing pretty slow lap times, and then suddenly I had to leave the track because something on the car broke.  I made it back to the pits and the guys repaired it pretty quickly. It is very disappointing of course.”

Romain Dumas the lead 23 BMS Scuderia Porsche driver was much more cheerful having taken 1st overall and summed it up nicely, thanking his pit crew and saying “We had a very nice race. We had a great fight with the IMSA. We work all year together and at the end we weren’t expecting that the BMW was going to have such a problem. We took the victory, for sure [but] we were a bit lucky, and we won the 24hr.”

The American contingent headed by the 68 United Autosports Audi R8 LMS, 3rd in GT3, and Michael Waltrip’s 1 AF Corse ALD Vitaphone Ferrari F430, 3rd in GT2, were all buoyant at having finished in the podium places. Zak Brown, co-owner of and driver for United Autosports, wore the largest smile and commented “we’re ecstatic. The 24hr of Spa [is] a fantastic event. A brand new team to have both cars in the top 4 in our class and on the podium, is exactly what we’d hoped for.” His fellow #68 driver Eddie Cheever was asked directly about his near miss at ‘the top of Eau Rouge’, Turn 2. To which he replied that “the problem started at the bottom of Eau Rouge and ended at the top. The power steering failed going right, and the car decided to go straight. If you’ve been through Eau Rouge in 5th gear, you’ll know it’s a very unpleasant experience”.
EC then added “I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed driving a race car on the limit. It’s opened a lot of windows in my mind and the competition’s been tremendous, and it’s been lots of fun. There are very few circuits in the world that carry the importance that Spa does from a driver’s perspective [and] I hope to see many of these drivers one day at the Daytona 24hrs.”

At Spa the drivers are invited to speak in reverse order of classes, so GT2 followed the lesser GT3, and Michael Waltrip, after placing a very creditable third with his team, observed “I’m supposed to be in Pocono this weekend where there are only 3 turns, and y’all got like 20! So I spent most of my time trying to orientate myself with what to expect.”

Overall classification (remaining provisional due to technical checking still being carried out at 8pm local time):

Race after 24 Hours

Pos Car Class Drivers Car Laps Gap
1 23 GT2 Dumas / Bergmeister / Ragginger / Henzler Porsche 911 GT3 RS (997) 541 0
2 16 GT2 Narac / Long / Pilet / Lietz Porsche 911 GT3 RS (997) 541 01:16.8
3 79 GTN Werner / Müller / Adorf / BMW M3 540 01:07.3
4 78 GTN Müller / Lamy / Alzen / BMW M3 534 01:04.1
5 1 GT2 Waltrip / Cadei / Kauffmann / Cioci Ferrari F430 519 01:23.4
6 53 GT3 Häring / Konstantinou / Peyroles / Vannelet Porsche 911 GT3 R 518 01:17.9
7 4 GT2 van Splunteren / Hommerson / Machiels / Bastiaans Porsche 911 GT3 RS (997) 515 0.654
8 99 GT3 Leinders / Martin / Duez / Ford GT 512 01:04.9
9 68 GT3 Blundell / Brown / Dean / Cheever Audi R8 LMS 503 01:46.6
10 67 GT3 Johansson / Li / Patterson / Assentato Audi R8 LMS 501 02:32.2
11 7 GT2 Ashburn / Rosenblad / Asch / Bergmeister Porsche 911 GT3 RS (997) 500 01:01.9
12 17 GT2 Bourret / Gibon / Belloc / Balandras Porsche 911 GT3 RS (997) 498 01:16.8
13 73 GT3 Ortelli / Mollekens / Lemeret / Verbist Audi R8 LMS 497 01:01.8
14 71 GT3 Mortimer / Bamford / Griffin / Ford GT 492 16.884
15 60 GT3 Slingerland / Soulet / Schroyen / Menten Porsche 911 GT3 R 488 1.823
16 81 GTN Grosjean / Radermaecker / Alessi / Marchal Mosler MT900 466 13.988
17 66 GTN Lichtner Hoyer / Eckert / Seefried / Rich Porsche 997 GT3 Cup MY06 461 13.631
18 56 GT3 Corbel / Duchene / Beroujon / Bernard BMW Alpina B6 GT3 441 30.442
19 58 GTN van der Straten / Al Azhari / Close / Qvick Ford Mustang FR500C GT 431 1.403
20 55 GT3 Brandela / Lesoudier / Prignaud / Stepec BMW Alpina B6 GT3 417 11:07.2
21 86 GT3 Andre / Goethe / Wainwright / Demoustier Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 410 3.259
22 59 GT4 Dolan / Hancock / Wills / Twyman Aston Martin V8 Vantage 376 03:50.2
23 85 GT3 Giroix / Fatien / Valentini / Beltoise Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 374 06:11.5
24 70 GT4 Viale / de Coster / NelissenGrade / Renmans Aston Martin V8 Vantage 338 39.228
25 69 GT4 Deblauwe / Brugmans / Grandjean / Gerome Porsche 997 GT3 Cup MY06 333 5.535
26 64 GT3 Renard / Verbergt / Wauters / van Hooydonk Aston Martin DBRS9 328 47:02.9
27 51 GT3 Margaritis / Hennerici / Piccini / Moser Audi R8 LMS 325 52:11.9
28 2 GT2 Bruni / Longin / van de Poele / Vilander Ferrari F430 295 40:11.0
29 50 GT3 Kumpen / Fässler / Luhr / Rockenfeller Audi R8 LMS 294 40:08.8
30 98 GT3 De Doncker / Kuppens / Palttala / Ford GT 249 14:07.3
31 91 GTN Broodcooren / Marin / Barbaro / Corten Porsche 997 Cup 235 20:14.4
32 13 GT2 Westbrook / Holzer / Lieb / Goossens Porsche 911 GT3 RS (997) 207 48:46.8
33 52 GT3 Fumal / de Lorenzi / Thiry / Thomas Porsche 911 GT3 R 135 45:23.3
34 74 GT3 Bouvy / Kelders / Blachemain / Tuchbant Audi R8 LMS 127 39:29.4
35 100 GTN Vos / Schothorst / Coronel / Kolen Porsche 997 GT3 Cup S 91 43:40.0
36 84 GT3 Kox / Hayek / Bonaldi / Lee Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 63 08:48.6
37 72 GT3 Franchi / Vosse / Stippler / Biela Audi R8 LMS 57 34:55.8
38 61 GT3 Brouard / Noziere / Kerkhove / Sougnez Porsche 911 GT3 R 43 08:46.9
39 63 GT3 D'Ansembourg / Grivegnee / Demay / Merche Aston Martin DBRS9 25 51:04.0
40 62 GT4 Barff / Ordonez / Buncombe / Buncombe Nissan 370Z 23 56:52.4


Race classification by Class:

Class ClPos Car Drivers Car Laps
GT2 1 23 Dumas / Bergmeister / Ragginger / Henzler Porsche 911 GT3 RS (997) 541
GT2 2 16 Narac / Long / Pilet / Lietz Porsche 911 GT3 RS (997) 541
GT2 3 1 Waltrip / Cadei / Kauffmann / Cioci Ferrari F430 519
GT2 4 4 van Splunteren / Hommerson / Machiels / Bastiaans Porsche 911 GT3 RS (997) 515
GT2 5 7 Ashburn / Rosenblad / Asch / Bergmeister Porsche 911 GT3 RS (997) 500
GT2 6 17 Bourret / Gibon / Belloc / Balandras Porsche 911 GT3 RS (997) 498
GT2 7 2 Bruni / Longin / van de Poele / Vilander Ferrari F430 295
GT2 8 13 Westbrook / Holzer / Lieb / Goossens Porsche 911 GT3 RS (997) 207
GT3 1 53 Häring / Konstantinou / Peyroles / Vannelet Porsche 911 GT3 R 518
GT3 2 99 Leinders / Martin / Duez / Ford GT 512
GT3 3 68 Blundell / Brown / Dean / Cheever Audi R8 LMS 503
GT3 4 67 Johansson / Li / Patterson / Assentato Audi R8 LMS 501
GT3 5 73 Ortelli / Mollekens / Lemeret / Verbist Audi R8 LMS 497
GT3 6 71 Mortimer / Bamford / Griffin / Ford GT 492
GT3 7 60 Slingerland / Soulet / Schroyen / Menten Porsche 911 GT3 R 488
GT3 8 56 Corbel / Duchene / Beroujon / Bernard BMW Alpina B6 GT3 441
GT3 9 55 Brandela / Lesoudier / Prignaud / Stepec BMW Alpina B6 GT3 417
GT3 10 86 Andre / Goethe / Wainwright / Demoustier Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 410
GT3 11 85 Giroix / Fatien / Valentini / Beltoise Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 374
GT3 12 64 Renard / Verbergt / Wauters / van Hooydonk Aston Martin DBRS9 328
GT3 13 51 Margaritis / Hennerici / Piccini / Moser Audi R8 LMS 325
GT3 14 50 Kumpen / Fässler / Luhr / Rockenfeller Audi R8 LMS 294
GT3 15 98 De Doncker / Kuppens / Palttala / Ford GT 249
GT3 16 52 Fumal / de Lorenzi / Thiry / Thomas Porsche 911 GT3 R 135
GT3 17 74 Bouvy / Kelders / Blachemain / Tuchbant Audi R8 LMS 127
GT3 18 84 Kox / Hayek / Bonaldi / Lee Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 63
GT3 19 72 Franchi / Vosse / Stippler / Biela Audi R8 LMS 57
GT3 20 61 Brouard / Noziere / Kerkhove / Sougnez Porsche 911 GT3 R 43
GT3 21 63 D'Ansembourg / Grivegnee / Demay / Merche Aston Martin DBRS9 25
GT4 1 59 Dolan / Hancock / Wills / Twyman Aston Martin V8 Vantage 376
GT4 2 70 Viale / de Coster / NelissenGrade / Renmans Aston Martin V8 Vantage 338
GT4 3 69 Deblauwe / Brugmans / Grandjean / Gerome Porsche 997 GT3 Cup MY06 333
GT4 4 62 Barff / Ordonez / Buncombe / Buncombe Nissan 370Z 23
GTN 1 79 Werner / Müller / Adorf / BMW M3 540
GTN 2 78 Müller / Lamy / Alzen / BMW M3 534
GTN 3 81 Grosjean / Radermaecker / Alessi / Marchal Mosler MT900 466
GTN 4 66 Lichtner Hoyer / Eckert / Seefried / Rich Porsche 997 GT3 Cup MY06 461
GTN 5 58 van der Straten / Al Azhari / Close / Qvick Ford Mustang FR500C GT 431
GTN 6 91 Broodcooren / Marin / Barbaro / Corten Porsche 997 Cup 235
GTN 7 100 Vos / Schothorst / Coronel / Kolen Porsche 997 GT3 Cup S 91

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