- Headline names from the 75th CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa set to do battle on Assetto Corsa Competizione
- Dries Vanthoor, Marius Zug and Alex Aka top the scores in the Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series
- Real-world points awarded to the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Teams' Championship
- ENTRY LIST: Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series, Spa-Francorchamps
The Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series reaches its halfway stage at Spa-Francorchamps, where crucial championship points will be decided ahead of the 75th CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa.
A full grid of 24 of the world’s leading GT3 drivers will swap their real-world machinery for cutting-edge Fanatec racing simulators to duke it out on Assetto Corsa Competizione, with the top finishers earning their teams a points boost within the Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS Teams’ Championship.
Across the two rounds this year, we’ve yet to see a repeat winner, with a different crew scooping both the points and the cash prizes across each of the three classes.
The Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series is open to teams competing in the Pro, Silver and Gold Cup Fanatec GT categories, with all races being staged in partnership with SRO’s digital partner, AK Esports. The race takes place on Friday evening, following the traditional CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa Superpole qualifying shootout.
Can anybody double up at Spa?
So far six different team/driver combinations have celebrated category wins across the opening two Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series contests, and things are likely to be similarly tight heading into Spa.
Alexey Nesov stole the headlines for Madpanda Motorsport by winning outright in the season opener at Monza, but with success ballast added to the top three finishers in each class to keep the competition open, Nesov struggled with the full 30kg of weight onboard his Mercedes-AMG GT3 at Circuit Paul Ricard. A tough qualifying being followed by a clash in the race and a non-score. Nesov is on driving duties for the team again this weekend, crucially without any of that extra weight, and could be well placed to score big again.
On the flipside, Neil Verhagen’s superb outright victory last time out in France earns his Rowe Racing BMW M4 a heap of weight, so it will be interesting to see how the American driver copes with that when he also returns to action in Belgium.
Within the Pro class, Dries Vanthoor has been the most consistent so far, scoring a podium in each of the first two races to put Team WRT top of the championship standings, but only by a single point from both Iron Lynx Lamborghini – which again fields Jordan Pepper in its Huracan – and Rowe.
K-Pax Racing’s Sandy Mitchell has been rapid all season, qualifying either on pole or on the front row, while Rutronik Racing’s Laurin Heinrich has also scored well aboard the Porsche 992 GT3 R.
The year’s biggest scorer is found in the Gold Cup class where Marius Zug backed up a class win in Monza with a second place at Circuit Paul Ricard to score a useful nine points for Winward Racing’s Mercedes-AMG. He’ll face renewed competition from Team WRT’s Calan Williams (BMW M4 GT3) and Optimum Motorsport’s Charlie Fagg (McLaren 720S GT3 Evo) this weekend.
Reigning Silver champion Alex Aka has so far continued his strong form, with the consistency of two second-place finishes helping Tresor Attempto Racing’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II to the top of the class points. Fabrizio Crestani took the Silver win last time out in the GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini, but will now need to cope with maximum ballast. With both the cars ahead of it carrying extra weight this weekend, the Boutsen VDS team could be primed to strike, with Cesar Gazeau taking the wheel.
Others to watch for include Simon Gachet and Erwan Bastard aboard Saintéloc Junior Team's brace of Audis; Sam Dejonghe, Gilles Magnus and Nicolas Baert in Comtoyou Racing’s trio of R8s; Sheldon van der Linde in Team WRT’s Pro class BMW; Nicolai Kjærgaard in Garage 59’s McLaren and Fabian Schiller for Mercedes-AMG Team AlManar.
Action for the Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series gets underway at 18:00CEST in the Fanatec Arena at the heart of the Spa paddock. The whole race will be streamed live via the GT World YouTube channel.
Success Ballast Spa
30kg – Neil Verhagen, Rowe Racing
15kg – Sandy Mitchell, K-Pax Racing
10kg – Dries Vanthoor, Team WRT
30kg – Calan Williams, Team WRT
15kg – Marius Zug, Winward Racing
10kg – Nicolas Baert, Comtoyou Racing
30kg – Fabrizio Crestani, GRT Grasser Racing Team
15kg – Alex Aka, Tresor Attempto Racing
10kg – Cesar Gazeau, Boutsen VDS