> Eye-catching new poster by illustrator Guillaume Lopez revealed ahead of 2021 edition
> Full timetable and support series also confirmed
> Fans to return to Spa for 29 July-1 August event, further details to follow next week
> Provisional timetable
> Download the poster
The build-up to this year's TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa has reached an important milestone with the launch of the official poster and confirmation of a full timetable for the 29 July–1 August event.
For a third year in succession the poster has been created by renowned French illustrator Guillaume Lopez, whose instantly identifiable style has become closely linked with the Belgian endurance classic. Lopez honed his craft during several years working on the iconic French comic Michel Vaillant, an aesthetic that can be seen in his bold use of colour and vivid depiction of speed.
Set against a multi-layered backdrop that is unmistakably Spa, the poster's central subject is the #50 Mercedes-AMG GT3. The HubAuto-run car will contest this year's race in a special livery that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL, which by taking a class win and second overall in 1971 helped to establish the AMG brand as a major player in international motorsport. The new name and visual identity of the event's long-standing partner and title sponsor, TotalEnergies, are also displayed prominently.
Alongside the official poster, the timetable for this year's TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa has also been revealed. Track activity begins on Tuesday 27 July with the Bronze Test, a three-hour session that begins at 14:55 and provides bronze-graded drivers with a chance to find their marks on the daunting 7km circuit.
The action ramps up on Thursday with significant running for the full field of TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa contenders. A 90-minute Free Practice will get underway at 10:50, followed by a one-hour Pre-Qualifying session at 15:45. This will set the stage for the main Qualifying at 20:50, which decides the 20 Super Pole contenders and establishes the starting order for the remainder of the grid. The day ends with a 90-minute Night Practice, providing competitors with vital running in darkness.
Friday evening traditionally produces the quickest laps of the event and begins at 19:10 with a 30-minute warm-up, which is open to the full field. Then, at 20:30, the Super Pole session will see the fastest 20 cars battle for top spot, with just one driver from more than 200 entrants rising above the rest to secure pole.
Meanwhile, a host of high-level support series will also take their turn on the circuit. The 2021 line-up includes familiar categories such as Lamborghini Super Trofeo and the GT4 European Series, while TCR Europe continues following its maiden appearance last term. There will be event more tin-top action in the Ardennes this year, with slots for Clio Cup Europe and the new Championnat de France FFSA Tourisme – TC France. All five series will stage an opening race before Super Pole on Friday, while their second contest will come on Saturday.
There will also be a new addition to the programme this year with the very first appearance of the Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series as part of the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa build-up. Organised by SRO Motorsports Group in partnership with Fanatec, Assetto Corsa Competizione and AK Informatica, the groundbreaking concept will see real-world drivers tackle a virtual race in the on-site Fanatec Esports Arena. Qualifying takes place at 15:05 on Friday, followed immediately by a one-hour contest on Assetto Corsa Competizione in which points towards the overall and Silver Cup teams’ championships are up for grabs.
With the preparation complete, all focus will shift to the biggest race on the calendar: the 73rd TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, which will set off at 16:30 on Saturday 31 July and conclude at the same time on Sunday 1 August. SRO Motorsports Group is pleased to confirm that, following consultation with local authorities and Circuit Spa-Francorchamps, fans will be allowed to attend this year's event in accordance with COVID-19 protocols. Tickets are set to go on sale next week, when detailed information regarding rules and ticketing will also be communicated.
Meanwhile, the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa will once again enjoy extensive live coverage via a host of online options, allowing fans to experience the race via free-to-view, non-geo-blocked streams featuring either French or English commentary. These will be available through the usual variety of platforms, including the event's official website and Facebook page and on the GT World YouTube channels.
The headline race of both Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS and Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli, the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa is the acknowledged benchmark in long-distance GT racing. The 2021 edition comes two decades after the successful switch to GT rules in 2001 and will mark 10 years since the popular GT3 platform was first adopted in 2011.