The Vita4One Racing BMW Z4 GT3 driven by Gregory Franchi, Frank Kechele, and Mathias Lauda finished third in the Spa 24 Hour Race. The Marc VDS Racing Z4 GT3 of Markus Palttala, Bas Leinders, and Maxime Martin finished fourth.
A pair of Audi R8s finished first and second. Frank Stippler, Rene Rast and Andrea Piccini won the race in their Phoenix Audi R8 LMS, finishing ahead of the car of Stephane Ortelli, Christopher Haase and Christopher Mies. The Audi win completed a hat trick for the marque, which had won the 24-hour races at Le Mans and the Nürburgring.
The race started in the dry, ran for a time in heavy rain, and continued in dry conditions. There were a number of safety car periods over the course of the race in both the wet and the dry. The winning Audi finished 509 laps, while the second place Audi and the Vita4One Z4 finished 508.
The race was BMW’s in the early going. The Vita4One Z4 started from the pole, Martin set the fastest lap of the race, and the Palttala/Leinders/Martin car led much of the way through hour eight. Leinders was hit by a Ferrari just before mid-race, and Palttala, who did not get in the car until the halfway point in the race, had to serve a stop and go penalty because he had exceeded track limits in Thursday practice.
Another Marc VDS Z4 finished fifteenth after making a long stop for repairs, a Z4 entered by ROAL Motorsports, which also made a lengthy stop for repairs, was classified 32nd at the end of the race, and three other Z4 GT3s did not finish.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor, bmwcca.orgBack to News