We are here about one hour before the start of the 2019 Total 24 Hours of Spa. The weather has changed incredibly.
Yesterday and the day before for qualifying practice, it was hotter, some 40 degrees ambient temperature. It actually felt very, very unpleasant and now it’s raining! It’s halved in temperature. We’re about 20 degrees.
Qualifying was very, very tight. We have six manufacturers that were in super pole. But Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, they are the strong ones. They are words that really dominated the proceedings, factors the Black Falcon, Mercedes with Maro Engel beating out the Laurens Vanthoor in the Belgian Audi Club WRT by less than a 10th
There has been some controversy with BOP.
The turbocharged cars really struggled particularly the Bentley none of the four factory Bentley’s made it into the top 20. The quickest was in 21st, just outside the top 20 but the heat certainly did not do anything for the performance. But now it’s colder, it’s raining, the form book is out the window. We are expecting rain, probably light rain about this, maybe 10 millimeters every couple of hours but it should be consistent for most of the race, which will be very, very telling.
But all manufacturers are in with the shot.
Even kind of the Honda’s even though there’s only one of the 72 cars in this field this weekend. It’s raining and there are a lot of amateur drivers. So be about trying to stay out of trouble. Every driver I spoke to this weekend have said it’s about attitude.
Not that much you can do with tactics with minimum drive times.
So a lot of the tactics out the window, it’s all about attitude staying out of trouble. There will always be desperate to see what they can do throughout the race to try and get the points at the 6, 12 and 24 hour marks. This might give some excitement as they are always important to the Blancpain GT Endurance Championship.
In the end, the final result doesn’t matter where you line up. Last year the Bentley came from the back end and lead. They started last as they made it to the lead. So anything was possible. It is also important to remember that there are more cars on track in the past. So that will be one of the key conditions that they have to think about as they go about their race.
So here as we walk wander around the paddock there is a great buzz around the track people are finally a little bit more comfortable with what they’re feeling so is this whole all about staying out of trouble. Pirelli have have a lot more weather tyres. They have brought 13,000 tyres for the race and have also brought in additional wet tyres for the race. The technicians will have their work cut out for them – each Pirelli technician looks after 5-6 cars, so it will be a challenge.
So Who will win?
It’s impossible to tell but I can’t rule out the Germans, It’ll be good fight between the Mercedes and the Audis but the Porsches will be very good in these condition. I would love to see the Bentley do well. But whether they can make up the deficit will be interesting to see. Also the Ferraris have been quick – particular the HubCorsaAuto team have been quite strong this weekend. So keep an eye out. No one is out of the running.
It would just be a matter of who stays out of trouble. We will be to keep bringing more updates throughout the race.
The RacerViews info
By Sam Tickell
We are passionate, dedicated motorsport professionals.
In 2019, we will be trackside at
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