Historic touring cars and GTs to take fans down memory lane at centenary CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa

Historic touring cars and GTs to take fans down memory lane at centenary CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa
  • Historic car races to celebrate the centenary CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa (26-30 June)
  • More than 115 historic cars expected on the track, in the Red Paddock and at the Gallery of Time

What better tribute to the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa than reuniting fans with some of the machines that wrote the race’s history? When creating the programme for the centenary edition, Stéphane Ratel and his team identified this among the absolute priorities. The objective was to assemble two grids, each representing one of the key periods from the past 100 years. 

The result is something quite special. In collaboration with Peter Auto, nearly 40 touring cars (from 1966 to 2000) and more than 45 GTs (from 1993 to 2013) will take to the track during three nostalgia-tinged races: two for the GTs (Endurance Racing Legends) and one for the tin-tops (Heritage Touring Cup).

When the 24 Hours returned to the calendar in 1964, it was as the flagship event for touring cars. This remained the case for 37 years and brought many iconic machines, notably from Ford (Capri, Escort, Mustang) and BMW (from the 2800 CS to the 320i Supertourisme via the legendary 3.0 CSL, 635 CSi and M3 E30 Group A). These will join a Heritage Touring Cup grid that also includes the Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV and GTV6, a Toyota Celica, and even a Dodge Charger.

Among those entered, four-time winner Jean-Michel Martin will drive a BMW M3 E30 carrying #24. His son Maxime, winner in 2016 and competing this year in the #46 Team WRT BMW M4, could also take the wheel of this car, which gained legendary status for the incredible sound it produced. Eric van de Poele, who scored a record five wins at the 24 Hours, will participate in a BMW M3 similar to the car with which he won in 1987. Another important participant from years gone by, Christine Beckers will drive an Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV, reminiscent of the 2000 GTAm she raced in 1970. Mark Lemmer, a driver in the nineties and now boss of Barwell Motorsport (three-times class winner at the 24 Hours with Lamborghini), will get behind the wheel of a 1970 Ford Escort.

While the history of GT cars at the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa is more recent, the Endurance Racing Legends field – which is not limited exclusively to cars that have raced at the event – will also bring back plenty of memories. Notably, the Chrysler Viper GTS-R that scored the first two wins of the GT era (2001 & 2002) will be joined by several Porsches, including multiple 996 GT3-RSRs similar to the 2003 winner.

The Maserati MC12 GT1 which won the 24 hours of Spa in 2005 for the Vitaphone Racing Team will undoubtedly be one of the public's favorites. Present in several examples, it will notably find on the track one of its biggest rivals, the Aston Martin DBR9 GT1. In addition to the original Marcos Mantara LM600 from Cor Euser (seen at Spa in 2001 and 2002) and a Spyker C8 Spyder GT2-R (2006), there will be a BMW M3 E46 GTR identical to the one that allowed the brand to return to the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa in 2004. Fans can also look forward to a reunion with the Ford GT GT1 – sixth on the grid in 2009 – and the Ferrari 430 GTC that competed in the GT2 class and remains popular to this day.

Appearing in growing numbers from 2006, the early GT3s will also be present with the Aston Martin DBRS9 and V12 Vantage, Audi R8 LMS, Lamborghini Gallardo and Ferrari 458 Italia recalling the first years at which the race was reserved for this category, which remains the benchmark at the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa today.

In addition to those on-track, a collection of vintage cars will be exhibited in the Red Paddock and in a special temporary exhibition: “The Gallery of Time” (Galerie du Temps). This will cover an especially broad spectrum. A Citroën B2 that entered the very first edition in 1924 will be present, as will a variety of touring cars, from a 1969 Mazda R100 to the Ford Capri, BMW 3.0 CSL, 530, 635 and M3, a Mercedes 300 SEL, a Volvo 240 Turbo, an Audi 80 quattro and even a Citroën AX. There will also be some surprises from the eighties and nineties, including the "Moneytron" Ferrari Mondial and the Peugeot 806. On the GT side, the Bentley Continental GT3 and the BMW Z4 GT3 will add a modern touch.

So, ready for a high-speed trip down memory lane? Join us from Thursday 27 to Sunday 30 June to see these legendary cars as part of the centenary CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa.