Porsche has an explosion of entries for this year’s Spa 24 Hours, its new for 2019 Porsche 991.2 GT3R making up nine cars in the 72-car strong field, up from last year’s four entries, speaking volumes for the popularity of its new racer. Six of these are Pro entries; a clear show of strength from Stuttgart. Five of those entries are exclusively filled with drivers from Porsche’s factory roster, while the sixth car run by Italian independents Dinamic Motorsport was the surprise of this year’s Blancpain GT Endurance Cup with an unexpected win in a wet and wild Monza. Could the infamous Spa weather recreate the conditions for the 911 to succeed for the seventh time in the Ardennes classic?
Meanwhile in Pro-Am; three 911s make up the 11-car class. Long-time Porsche operators Herberth Motorsport return with the Renauers to make for an experienced combination that will no doubt be a class favourite. Sadly missing is the fan-favourite Black Swan Racing entry, the team still in recovery after Tim Pappas’ huge shunt at Bathurst.
After a bit of a rough start to the year learning to adjust to its new cars after a Blancpain GT Series switch from BMW to Porsche, Rowe Racing look to return to the top step of the Spa podium after winning in 2016, and coming a close second last year. To help, Porsche has supplied a strong roster of factory talent, as well a third car specifically for this race. One car to watch with interest is the #99 entry; with the 2019 Bathurst 12 Hour winning combination of Dennis Olsen, Dirk Werner and Matt Campbell showing they can turn up the speed when needed. On the numbers and experience alone, Rowe’s odds are as good as ever.
#98 Rowe Racing
Sven Müller/Romain Dumas/Mathieu Jaminet
#99 Rowe Racing
Dennis Olsen/Dirk Werner/Matt Campbell
#998 Rowe Racing
Frédéric Makowiecki/Patrick Pilet/Nick Tandy
KÜS Team75 Bernard
Returning as one of Porsche’s lead Spa 24 Hours entries for the third straight year, Team75 Bernard will be looking to avenge last year’s dramatic exit while contending for the win. Only the car has changed to the new model; the same formidable driver line-up remains, supported by an experienced team.
#58 KÜS Team75 Bernard
Earl Bamber/Timo Bernhard/Laurens Vanthoor
A new entry to this year’s event is UAE-based GPX Racing. However, they are no amateurs to endurance racing, regularly racing Porsches in the 24H Series and Blancpain GT Endurance with a Silver Cup drivers line-up.
Spa sees Porsche install its own drivers in the team; Kévin Estre, Michael Christensen and Richard Lietz making the driver line-up. With modern machinery, a trio of quick steerers and an experienced team; GPX stands to be a factor in this years Spa 24 Hours.
#20 GPX Racing
Kévin Estre/Michael Christensen/Richard Lietz
A surprise package out of Italy, Dinamic Motorsport have already tasted the sweet champagne of victory courtesy of the best possible result at this year’s Blancpain GT Endurance opener at Monza. While not supplemented by factory talent, the car could spring a surprise in the random weather conditions of the Ardennes.
#54 Dinamic Motorsport
Klaus Bachler/Andrea Rizzoli/Zaid Ashkanani
A very experienced operator of Porsche machinery with multiple wins in the 24H Series, Herberth Motorsport stands to be a red-hot favourite in the Pro-Am class. Anchored by regular drivers Robert and Alfred Renauer, the team will bank on their endurance pedigree to win the class.
#91 Herberth Motorsport
Daniel Allemann/Ralf Bohn/Alfred Renauer/Robert Renauer
A guest from Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia. Zhuhai-based Modena Motorsports runs two cars with four man crews in Am and Pro-Am. The #16 car anchored by Gold-rated driver Mathias Beche. A second car, #121, is run under the OpenRoad Racing banner with a predominantly Bronze and Silver-rated drivers.
#16 Modena Motorsport Racing (Pro-Am)
John Shen/Benny Simonsen/Mathias Beche/Philippe Descombes
#121 OpenRoad Racing (Am)
Francis Han Joe Tija/Michael William Soeryadjaya/Remo Arnaldo Ruscitti/Antares Au