Every thing it’s essential to know in regards to the 2022 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa


  • 66-car subject unfold throughout 5 courses, together with new Gold Cup and file Silver Cup grid
  • Monitor motion begins on Tuesday 26 July, culminates with race begin at 16:45 on Saturday 30 July
  • Huge factors haul on provide with further probabilities to attain at six and 12-hour marks

This 2022 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa is simply across the nook – and it’s going to be massive. 9 prestigious automotive manufacturers will likely be represented on a stacked 66-car grid, a quantity topped solely as soon as through the previous 20 years.

As such we must always see loads of motion, although it is going to additionally imply there’s a lot to maintain monitor of. Whether or not you are a primary timer, a GT aficionado or a fan for the reason that touring automobile days, this race might be sophisticated. In any case, there are 5 courses, every with totally different guidelines relating to drivers, and that is to say nothing of most stint lengths and obligatory pit stops.

However concern not: we now have assembled an important info that it’s essential to know forward of this yr’s TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa.

Classes

One in every of Spa’s distinctive options is that its class construction is predicated solely on driver grading. So, whereas there will likely be 5 classes on-track this yr, each automobile conforms to GT3 rules. Crews competing in Professional are solely eligible for the general outcome, whereas these within the Silver Cup, Gold Cup, Professional-Am and Bronze Cup additionally compete for sophistication honours.

First, it is price mentioning a number of guidelines which might be relevant to all courses. Over the complete period of the race, no driver can spend greater than 14 hours behind the wheel. The utmost steady driving time is three hours and quarter-hour – that is three full stints – after which there’s a compulsory one-hour relaxation.

The Professional class stays the largest in 2022, with 23 automobiles dedicated. Every crew is restricted to 3 drivers, however there aren’t any extra guidelines on driving time nor on categorisation. Barring a significant upset, this class will fill the general podium on Sunday afternoon, because it has yearly for the reason that present class construction was launched in 2011. 

Launched to the occasion in 2018, the Silver Cup is starting to problem Professional by way of numbers. A file 19 automobiles are confirmed this yr, together with some very robust line-ups that would problem for the general top-10. Every crew consists of as much as 4 Silver-graded drivers, with no further limits positioned on driving time. The fourth driver is optionally available, with 5 of this yr’s subject electing to keep up their full-season Fanatec Endurance crews.

The Gold Cup is a brand new addition for 2022 and has drawn a formidable 14-car grid. Full-season line-ups consist of 1 skilled (both Gold or Platinum) alongside a Silver and a Bronze, whereas an extra Silver might be added for the 24 Hours. By way of driving time, the Bronze have to be behind the wheel for at the least 4 hours, together with one hour within the first six. The professional driver will likely be restricted to eight hours in whole.

In Professional-Am, a most line-up of two Platinum and two Bronze-graded drivers is allowed. By way of driving time, that is probably the most complicated: a Bronze have to be behind the wheel for at least eight hours through the race, and for at the least one hour throughout every six-hour interval. This time might be shared between two the Bronze drivers.

The Bronze Cup is a brand new identify for 2022, although it’s equivalent to the previous Am Cup class. Crews could encompass as much as 4 Bronze drivers, or three Bronze and one Silver. The Silver can solely be behind the wheel for a complete of six hours through the race, and for a most of two hours in every six-hour interval. There are two Am crews confirmed for 2021, each of which have elected to run the optionally available Silver driver.

The Format

The 2022 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa would be the third spherical of the Fanatec GT World Problem Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup, in addition to the second cease on the Intercontinental GT Problem Powered by Pirelli tour following the LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour. Monitor exercise begins at 14:55 on Tuesday with the Bronze Check, which runs for 3 hours and is open to all Bronze-graded rivals, in addition to any Silver drivers competing outdoors the Professional class who’ve by no means beforehand raced at Spa.

Wednesday is reserved for off-track actions, notably the parade from the monitor to Spa city centre, which returns in 2022 following a two-year hiatus. The motion actually steps up a gear on Thursday, which begins with a 90-minute Free Apply at 10:50 adopted by a one-hour Pre-Qualifying at 16:15. Each are primarily about preparation, whereas Pre-Qualifying may also be used to set the grid if Qualifying can’t happen. 

All being nicely, we transfer on to Qualifying.  With a scheduled begin time of 20:40, the session will start in daylight and finish shortly after the solar has set on Spa-Francorchamps. It follows the same old Fanatec Endurance format, although there are 4 15-minute classes as an alternative of three. One driver from every automobile contests a session, with three-driver crews skipping Q1 and the typical time establishing the order. 

The quickest 20 ebook a spot in Friday’s Tremendous Pole shootout, whereas positions 21 by 66 are locked in barring any penalties. At this level we’re prone to know who’s on pole within the Gold Cup, Professional-Am and Bronze Cup courses; we would even have our Silver Cup pole-sitter, although it’s totally potential that a couple of Silver crew will progress to Tremendous Pole.

In the meantime, consideration begins to shift to the race with a 90-minute Night time Apply that runs from 22:20 till shortly earlier than midnight. All drivers should full at the least two flying laps (from timing line to timing line) throughout this session to fulfill their night-driving standards.

Friday is all about Tremendous Pole. First, there’s a 20-minute Heat-Up at 18:20, which is open to all rivals. For these contesting Tremendous Pole, it is a chance for a fast shakedown; for the rest of the sphere, that is the final probability to run earlier than the primary occasion. 

At 19:00 the Tremendous Pole battle begins. Every crew nominates one driver, who has two flying laps to set their finest time. They run in reverse order and at one-minute intervals, that means the joy builds all through the session. Mercedes-AMG has clinched pole for the previous three editions and will likely be gunning for a fourth in succession this yr, one thing that has not been achieved for the reason that transfer to GT guidelines in 2001.

With the complete 66-car grid set, all that is still is the large occasion. The motion begins at 16:45 on Saturday afternoon when the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa units off on its 74th version. After a full day and evening of racing, this yr’s winners will likely be topped on Sunday afternoon.

Stints, Stops & Tyres

In the course of the race, you’ll usually hear commentators discuss a stint. Put merely, that is the continual time {that a} automobile spends on-track: the clock begins upon leaving the pits and is reset when the automobile returns. The utmost stint size at Spa is 65 minutes, until a full-course yellow or security automobile interval is in operation when the stint finishes. On this case, an extra 5 minutes is allowed to return to the pits at a slower pace.

Pit stops are essential in endurance racing and there will likely be a whole bunch carried out all through the 24 Hours. For normal stops, there’s a minimal refuelling time throughout which the automobile should stay related to the rig. Tyre and driver modifications can happen throughout refuelling, however they’re optionally available. A one-second tolerance on pit cease time is permitted on 4 events through the course of the race.

Quick refuelling stops are additionally allowed. For these, a most refuelling time will likely be decided and might differ between manufacturers. As such some automobiles may have to finish a ‘cease and maintain’ to make sure that they’re stationary for a similar period of time. There isn’t any tolerance on brief pit stops, so it’s important that groups get them proper.

Moreover, every automobile should carry out a technical pit cease, lasting at the least 4 minutes from pit-in to pit-out. That is to permit groups to alter gadgets corresponding to brake pads, a job that may be carried out a lot faster on some automobiles than others. The technical pit cease might be taken at any level between the beginning of the twelfth hour and finish of the twenty second hour. 

As sole tyre provider to a subject of 66 automobiles, the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa is a big enterprise for Pirelli. The Italian firm produces as much as 17,000 tyres for the race, sending round 35 vans and an enormous military of help employees to the Ardennes.

They supply every automobile with a most of 30 units of dry tyres, which have to be used from free observe onwards. Two units from the official check day might be carried over as a part of the 30-set allocation, whereas an extra set is authorised for the automobiles collaborating in Tremendous Pole. These can’t be used through the race, so there isn’t any excuse to not push them to absolutely the restrict.

In fact, we all know simply how massive a component the climate can play at Spa. Rain is a risk and might form the result of the race, simply as we noticed through the closing phases of final yr’s version.  The excellent news right here is that there isn’t any restrict on the usage of Pirelli’s moist compound tyre, guaranteeing that each one automobiles might be on the proper rubber for the situations. 

Factors & Prizes

With further factors on provide, the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa could make or break a championship bid. In a change for 2022, the top-three qualifiers in Friday evening’s Tremendous Pole will now rating factors on a 3-2-1 foundation, whereas every class pole-sitter will choose up the same old one-point bonus. The Fanatec Esports GT Professional Collection additionally awards general and Silver Cup groups’ championships factors on a 5-4-3-2-1 foundation, with a one-hour Assetto Corsa Competizione race on Friday afternoon deciding the scores.

Let’s transfer on to the race itself. Factors are awarded to the top-nine runners in every class after six and 12 hours on a foundation of 12-9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. As ever, full factors are awarded to the top-10 on the chequered flag utilizing the usual 25-18-15 format. You will need to word that any group that has not entered one among this season’s Fanatec GT World Problem Europe Powered by AWS races is ineligible to earn factors, however their drivers can rating.

Spa can even signify the second spherical of the Intercontinental GT Problem Powered by Pirelli marketing campaign.  Competing producers could nominate as much as 4 automobiles, a most of three from the Professional class, which might rating factors in the direction of the 2022 championship. Mercedes-AMG leads the standings after SunEnergy 1 Racing claimed victory within the season-opening LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hours. All 4 of its drivers – Kenny Habul, Jules Gounon, Martin Konrad and Luca Stolz – will compete at Spa, albeit with totally different groups.

The occasion can be the largest points-scoring alternative for the worldwide Fanatec GT World Problem Powered by AWS. All seven eligible manufacturers will likely be represented, with factors awarded on the finish of the race in every class and multiplied by the variety of entries. Because it stands, Mercedes-AMG leads the best way from Audi Sport.

Final however under no circumstances least, the Coupe du Roi rewards the producer that scores one of the best outcome throughout the courses, with factors awarded per automobile at six, 12 and 24 hours. Final yr, Ferrari took an empathic victory due to its general triumph with Iron Lynx and a Professional-Am class win for the AF Corse squad.

With this info at hand, you might be absolutely up to the mark for the 2022 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. As ever, the occasion will get pleasure from in depth on-line protection, together with English, German, French and Italian commentary streams on the GT World YouTube channel. The dwell motion begins with Thursday Pre-Qualifying session and consists of each second of racing motion from this yr’s 74th version.

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