The Blancpain GT Sports Club field is back in action this weekend, with the inaugural SRO Speedweek at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps playing host to round four of the 2018 championship (21-22 July).
A bumper entry list is confirmed for the championship’s blue riband event, with 16 drivers representing five manufacturers, as they tackle the famous Belgian circuit, nestled in the Ardennes forests.
Joining the Blancpain GT Sports Club in SRO’s Speedweek event is the British GT Championship, GT4 European Series and BRDC British Formula 3.
The second half of the season gets underway this weekend, with Boutsen Ginion’s Karim Ojjeh (#2 BMW M6 GT3) looking to further extend his comfortable championship lead, following another strong showing at Misano.
The Saudi Arabian driver hasn’t got the job done yet though and will be mindful of Monza double-winner Mario Cordoni (#70 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3) and the in-form Coach McKansy (#17 HP Racing International Lamborghini Huracan GT3), who moved ahead of the Italian after collecting two podium finishes last time out.
All three are also part of the Titanium Cup for drivers aged 50-59, with Karim Ojjeh also holding a commanding lead in that. Behind him Mario Cordoni and Coach McKansy are separated by just three points in second and third.
In the Iron Cup class, (#3 Artega Rennsport Ferrari 488 GT3) Klaus Dieter Frers took his third and fourth consecutive victories at the Misano World Circuit to cement his position at the top of the standings, with Kessel Racing’s Stephen Earle (#111 Ferrari 488 GT3) back to try and topple his German rival.
AF Corse will field the most drivers this weekend, with Mario Cordoni joined by Belgian trio Louis-Philippe Soenen (#50 Ferrari 488 GT3), Patrick Van Glabeke (#488 Ferrari 488 GT3) and Angélique Detavernier (#55 Ferrari 488 GT3), who will all be looking to impress the home crowd with a strong result.
Also hoping for success will be Belgian team Boutsen Ginion, who are fielding their usual driver trio of Karim Ojjeh, Claude-Yves Gosselin (#4 Lamborghini Gallardo Extenso R-EX) and Pierre Feligioni (#6 Lamborghini Gallardo Extenso R-EX), with all three hoping to build on their best seasons to date.
Kessel Racing have two drivers in action at Spa, with Russian Murod Sultanov (#23 Ferrari 488 GT3), who impressed with a podium at Circuit Paul Ricard on his championship debut earlier this year, joining Stephen Earle at the Swiss outfit.
Hoping to continue his impressive run of form will be Jürgen Häring (#66 Porsche 991 GT3 R), who recorded his best Blancpain GT Sports Club finish with fourth in the last race. The German is joined at Herberth Motorsport by series newcomer Stanislav Minsky (#72 Porsche 991 GT3 R), who makes it two Russians on the grid this weekend.
Having missed the Misano round, Titanium Cup racer Christian Hook (#33 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 GT3) is back for Spa and will surely be one to watch, having showed blistering pace at Paul Ricard earlier this campaign.
GDL Racing’s Roberto Rayneri (#60 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3) will also be in action once again this weekend, with the Iron Cup driver looking for his first class podium of the season.
Finally, series debutant Kurt Wagner (#24 Lamborghini Gallardo Extenso R-EX) joins up with Reiter Engineering, who make their first Blancpain GT Sports Club appearance since the inaugural race in 2015.
Both practice sessions, qualifying and the 25-minute Qualifying Race will all take place on Saturday, with the 40-minute Main Race getting underway on Sunday afternoon.
Blancpain GT Sports Club Schedule: Spa*
Saturday 21st July
10:10 – 10:40: Free Practice 1
12:40 – 13:10: Free Practice 2
15:10 – 15:30: Qualifying
16:50 – 17:15: Qualifying Race
Sunday 22nd July
12:30 – 13:10: Main Race
*All times are local