The Corvette Racing team has this weekend off, but that doesn’t mean everyone is just staying home to mow the lawn or change the oil on their personal rides. Unbeknownst to most Americans, there is a major 24 hour endurance race happening in Belgium this weekend called the 24 Hours of Spa. French team Luc Alphand Aventures is fielding a Corvette C6.R and has enlisted the help of Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta to join the 4 member driver team to compete in the FIA-GT race.
The Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R is very familiar to the American LeMans drivers as it was the same Corvette they won the GT1 class with at LeMans in 2006. The Corvette, purpose built for a 24 hour endurance race, just received a fresh build up from C6.R builder Pratt and Miller and with its fresh white graphics and #3 on the side, the two “Ollies” should feel right at home.
The 24 Hours of Spa is run on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, a 4.3 mile track through the rolling hills of Belgium. It is a very fast and demanding track and many drivers rate it at the top of the most difficult list. But unlike the race at LeMans that include prototypes, this is the European FIA-GT Championship race, so the drivers aren’t just going for the class win, they are battling to win the race outright.
Joining Beretta and Gavin for driver duty is Vincent Vosse, winning driver of the Spa in 2002 and the very fast newcomer Greg Franchi. The four Alphand drivers will be facing some very stiff competition from the who’s-who of European FIA racing teams that includes five Maserati MC12′s, three Aston Martin DBR9′s, two Lamborghini MurciÃ©lago R-GT, two Corvette C5-R and one other Corvette C6.R.
“The 24 Hours of Spa is still missing from my record book, and I must admit that coming out on top with such a competent and well humoured team really tempts me “, Olivier Beretta commented. ” Oliver Gavin and I know the car inside out, whilst both Vincent and Greg know Francorchamps like the back of their hand. In fact everything is looking up …”
Vincent Vosse said “How could one let such an opportunity pass by to be able to drive with such great characters as Beretta et Gavin at the wheel of a car specially built for endurance racing, and for such a competent team as that of Luc Alphand? Even though on paper we have everything pointing to success, we need to beware of the race conditions here at Spa. Every year there are numerous surprises, and we must at all costs avoid any serious errors …”
The 24 Hours of Spa kicks off on Saturday July 28th at 10am EST (4pm local time). Count on CorvetteBlogger.com to bring you a selected update or two as we follow our Crossed Flags brethren across the pond in this very exciting and challenging endurance race.
Wikipedia: The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Corvette Racing: #4 Corvette C6.R Wins at Mid-Ohio