A nine-brand battle of the Ardennes at Spa-Francorchamps


The International GT Open is heading to iconic Spa-Francorchamps for one of its most traditional rounds every year. Dubbed as the ‘most beautiful track in the world’, the temple in the Belgian Ardennes is ready to celebrate in a few months its centenary and is in perfect conditions to host an exciting race programme this weekend (with the Porsche Carrera Cup France, the Alpine Elf Europa Cup and the Caterham series joining the GT Open, the GT Cup Open Europe and the Euroformula Open) after some serious cleaning to wipe out the effects of a torrential storm two weeks ago. Weather conditions are always a key factor in Spa, but the forecast points to very warm weather for this weekend.

It’s going to be an interesting second round of the season for the International GT Open, with no less that nine car brands represented, following the exciting season-opener at the Paul Ricard, which left a tie in the top of the overall standings. The Team Lazarus Bentley of Ukranian young gun Ivan Peklin and Bentley works driver Jordan Pepper and the VSR Lamborghini of GT young stars Frederick Schandorff and Michele Beretta both took a win and a P6, reaching perfect equality.

Only 3 points behind them, is the Lechner Racing Porsche of Al Faisal Al Zubair and Andy Soucek, with the Omani-Spanish duo certainly eager to open their count of wins. Five points behind the top is the other Vincenzo Sospriri Racing Lambo of Yuki Nemoto and Baptiste Moulin, the latter certainly having an extra boost of motivation as he’ll race at home in Spa.

The Pro class will enjoy the presence of a fourth brand, as the Aston Martin Vantage of reigning vice champions TF Sport is back, this time with a duo of young Americans, Michael Dinan and Robby Foley, making their debut in Europe but already well-established GT racers in the US, where they took the GT4 title last year.

The battle will be fierce in the Pro-Am class, as customary. On top of the standings is the Inception Racing pair composed of Brendan Iribe-Ollie Millroy, thanks to their two second spots in France. They will want, of course, to take their first seasonal win as soon as possible, but will have the other McLaren cars of their teammates Nick Moss-Joe Osborne and of Patryk Krupinski-Christian Klien (JP Motorsport) as main rivals. Those two cars shared the class wins at Ricard. Also looking for top honours will be the Balfe Motorsport Audi of Shaun Balfe-Adam Carroll, the Reno Racing Honda of Jens Moller and Marcus Paverud, the Mercedes of Alex Moiseev-Loris Spinelli (AKM Motorsport) and Markus Sattler-Nico Bastian (Winward) and the Lamborghini of HP Racing International, where Jan Seyffert will this time be associated with Austria’s Gerhard Tweraser.

Last but not least, the Prancing Horse is back to the class, as FF Corse makes a welcome return to the GT Open with a 488 for local hero Laurent de Meeus and Jamie Stanley.

In the Am class, all the attention will be for a new episode of the battle between Florian Scholze-Jens Liebhauser, with the AKM Motorsport Mercedes, and Giuseppe Cipriani, with the Lambo of Il Barone Rampante.

The 27-car grid is bound to offer a great show and will again include the contenders of the GT Cup Open Europe to offer a full-fledged GT show.