Bentley leads Intercontinental GT Challenge fight in Total 24 Hours of Spa

28 July 2018

At the 6-hour mark of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, second round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, Bentley was leading the points fight for the only global GT championship.

Sunshine greeted the drivers at the start of the 70th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa. The #2 Audi Sport Team WRT machine paced much of the first hour after beating the pole-sitting #62 R-Motorsport Aston Martin into Eau Rouge. Their positions were then reversed after the first round of pit stops, but the complexion of the race changed over the next 90 minutes as a full-course yellow – which then developed into a safety car – brought a number of new competitors into the frame, including the #8 Bentley Team M-Sport machine.

The #8 Bentley moved into the overall lead a couple of laps later and remained there after another full-course yellow.  There was almost immediate drama when the race went green as a Lamborghini made heavy contact with the #58 Garage 59 McLaren, causing significant damage to both cars. The pair were forced to pit for lengthy repairs.

The leading Bentley remained out front through yet another full-course yellow after the #17 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT car shed a wheel and retired, with Andy Soucek at the front for the start of the sixth hour. The Bentley soon stopped for a fifth time, but the latest full-course yellow did not work in its favour, dropping it behind the #29 Montaplast by Land Audi (not competing in the Intercontinental GT Challenge) and a BMW.

The Bentley was still first of the Intercontinental GT Challenge cars however, with the #4 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon machine in second and fifth overall. The Mercedes-AMG was closely followed by the #2 Audi Sport Team WRT, with the #117 Küs Team75 Bernhard Porsche a couple of places down the overall order. The #7 Bentley, the #911 Porsche, the #88 Mercedes-AMG, the #25 Audi and #21 Mercedes-AMG were all still on the lead lap.

Of the Bronze drivers competing for Intercontinental GT Challenge points Nick Leventis had the best position, with his #42 Strakka Racing Mercedes-AMG in eighth overall.