Spa 24 Hours
The 24 - hour race at Spa -Francorchamps for automobiles (there were 1971 to 2003 as 24 of Liège also one for motorcycles ) ( briefly also 24 Spa, Spa 24 or Spa 24h) is an endurance race for touring cars and GT sports car, which will be held at the circuit of Spa -Francorchamps in Belgium.
Based on an idea by Jules de Their and Henri Langlois Van Ophem the race in 1924, only a year after the 24 - hour race at Le Mans was on a 14.863 km long course on public roads between Francorchamps, Malmedy and Stavelot from the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium organized. In 1979, the track was shortened to 6.976 km.
The Spa 24 hours were held from 1966 to 1973 as part of the European Touring Car Championship and the World Sportscar Championship in 1953 and 1981 on the Nürburgring 24- hour race and a 1000 km race. ; the race 1000 km race at Spa -Francorchamps was introduced in 1966.
The range of participating vehicles ranged from the Russian Moskvich and NSU Prinz TTS with 996 cc to the luxurious Mercedes -Benz 300 SEL 6.3 V8 engine, built by AMG for the so-called Red Sow ( Red Pig). This heavy and fast vehicle with 6834 cc and 420 hp was only in 1971 because of " only" second, because frequent refueling necessary and tire wear was high.
After the race until 2000 was not part of a race series, however, touring cars were still used for various national and international championships. As of 2001, the situation changed when the 24 -hour race was included in the FIA GT Championship program. From then on, were exclusively GranTurismos to start. By the end of the FIA GT race of the season highlight of the championship remained. Since the resultant of the FIA GT GT1 World Championship exclusively offered on Sprint race. The first FIA GT2 European Championship was provided, however, not been realized due to lack of interest on the part of the team. The run was therefore advertised as the only race of the season as the FIA GT2 European Cup, in the next GT2 cars also a number of other GT cars were permitted. 2011 founded the series organizer SRO Motorsports Group, the GT Endurance Series Blancpain Endurance Series, which already took up the race in the inaugural season in the calendar.
With the participation of the Swiss Lilian Bryner on the successful Ferrari 550 Scuderia Italia won by the team BMS in 2004 for the first time in the history of 24 -hour race, a woman in a GT race car with over 500 hp. 1996 and 1997 Sabine Reck won the 24 -hour race at the Nurburgring in a BMW M3 Group N touring car with 321 hp.