24H: Dubai team GPX Racing overcomes the pitfalls to win the 24 Hours of Spa

24H: Dubai team GPX Racing overcomes the pitfalls to win the 24 Hours of Spa

The 71st running of the 24 Hours of Spa will go down in history because of the execrable track conditions and also because of the victory of fledgling team, GPX Racing. Although supported by Porsche, which had given the squad three of its best works drivers, all world title winners, the outfit managed by Pierre-Brice Mena wasn’t among the hot favourites.

It could only count on a few months’ experience in the Blancpain GT Series and with the 911 GT3 R to take the fight to the benchmark teams in the championship. But Michael Christensen, Kévin Estre and Richard Lietz fought at the front from start to finish and gave the German manufacturer its first victory in the Ardennes classic since 2010!

GPX Racing laid down a marker right from practice. The combined efforts of its three drivers put the #20 Porsche among the 20 cars – out of 72 entries – into the Superpole shoot-out. Estre clinched 11th place on the grid and then set the fastest time in night practice, which gave the team’s motivation a huge boost.

Porsche 911 GT3 R, GPX Racing (20), Kevin Estre (F), Michael Christensen (DK), Richard Lietz (A)

It began to rain before the start and Kévin immediately began to carve his way up to the front of the pack. The French driver picked off his rivals one by one and finished his first stint in the lead! #20 continued to battle it out with the other top teams, but the squad was handed a penalty during a pit stop. Luckily, it managed to pull back the time lost, in particular by taking advantage of a neutralisation to carry out the obligatory 5-minute technical stop.

In the early morning the race was interrupted because of heavy rain. When battle resumed for the last five hours of the event, GPX Racing was well placed to take part in the final sprint provided, of course, it didn’t make any mistakes. The drivers’ speed, their inspiration in the pack and the pertinence of the strategic decisions worked wonders and at 16:30 the Porsche in the famous Gulf colours crossed the finishing line as the winner!

Pierre-Brice Mena: “I haven’t yet fully realised what’s happened. A month ago we didn’t even know if we would be doing this race. When we turned up at the 24 Hours of Spa with such a driver line-up we knew we could do a good job. But there were so many parameters! We made a great start to the race and then we had a drive-through. Above all, we had to avoid falling a lap behind. We fought our way back among the few teams capable of winning in the final hours. When you have such an opportunity to go for victory you have to grasp it with both hands and not be content with second place. We were never able to relax with the traffic and the battle right to the end with the other victory contenders, the incredibly tricky track conditions, etc. But not one technical issue. A big thanks to Porsche, to the team and to all our partners for this extraordinary moment!”

 

facebook feed

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

13 minutes ago

MotoGP

WHAT an incredible race at Silverstone! 🔥

Remember you can watch now the #BritishGP 🇬🇧 race OnDemand with #VideoPass ➡️ bit.ly/BrVoDfb
... See Less

Comment on Facebook

Suzuki love

Phil Goode

49 minutes ago

CircuitProDigital

... See Less

50 minutes ago

CircuitProDigital

Get well soon Dovi !! ... See Less

53 minutes ago

MotoGP

Less than ecstatic after the race 👊

P2 for Marc Márquez on the day but P1 in the championship 💪

#BritishGP 🇬🇧
... See Less

Comment on Facebook

Great to see him challenged. He's an amazing talent but even the greatest talent on the grid with no opponents means a boring race.

Glad he talked about his concern for Dovi. That was good to hear. Sportsmanship is everything regardless of placings.

I love the whole sportsman ships these racers have for each other, 1 of the reasons to love Motogp ❤

Amazing race by amazing pilots.

congratulations Alex Rins you made my day

Love you #MM93💗

Congrats MM u did very well fighting off Rins but at the end Rins was the winner. Well deserved win. Lets bounce back with the next race. Sad about Dovi hope he is doing ok.

Well done 42 rins ya dancer 😃😃😃💪👍

He may lose a battle here and there, but always wins the war, its part of racing. His consistency in finishing on the podium has been unmatched in recent times. Great to see him pushed and challenged by Dovi, Rins, Vinales and Quartararo.

MM i Love you 💙

What a fantastic young man. So sad that some supposed MotoGP fans can't see beyond their hateful bias against him. Ultimately blamed himself for making a mistake on the last corner, acknowledged Rins race craft for remaining in second, and disappointed that Dovi crashed out - what more do you want?

He seemed ok to me in that interview. Was a great race from start to finish.

I thought he handled himself reasonably well given that he would obviously disappointed

Spoilt child. He was at max for too long and wiped out his tyres, whereas Rins never looked anything other than at ease and riding within himself which kept his tyres fresh so he could get drive out of the final corner. Marc shot his tyres hence why he nearly lost it coming through Woodcote and why he had to throttle back and had no traction.

One of the best race ever

marquez did loose the race.....only just, but he knows that when they showed his pit board of dovi out, that he did not have much to loose, but his competitive nature, would never allow him to settle for 2nd or third. if you want to get on the podium, you've got to out ride or out think him........

😂🤣😂🤣

❤ MM

😘😘😘

BURNERS OF ANO ... IN THE FAMILY .... THE BROTHER THAT WAS SOLD ... LIKE THE BEAUTIFUL SLEEPING ... 😂😂😂😂

❤️❤️❤️

Glad to see mm eat some humble pie

🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪

Won't be long till all the haters start gobbling some humble pie...please swallow slowly, don't want you to choke..we need you back next year!!!..

View more comments

55 minutes ago

CircuitProDigital

... See Less

2 hrs ago

MotoGP

What a dramatic start we saw at Silverstone! 😱

Thankfully, Fabio Quartararo and Andrea Dovizioso were able to walk away from this scary crash! 💥

#BritishGP 🇬🇧
... See Less

Comment on Facebook

Hope Dovi will be fine 🤕

Was right near this, was horrific to see bit thankfully they hobbled away

Dovi has to be the unlikeliest rider in motogp history, the amount of times he's been wiped out by others is nuts

That was vicious. No life threatening injuries? Good day. Thank god for quality equipment.

Wishing Dovi a speedy recovery.

Dovi is out of luck this season. So sad to see a competitive rider ruling out of the race.

Absolutely horrific. Was anxious to see if Dovi got up. Thankfully he did. Wishing both riders swift recovery.

ขอพระเจ้าคุ้มครองทั้ง2

I hope Fabio and Dovi are both okay

Hope both riders are ok wish them both a speedy recovery

I was right next to this incident, both Dovi and Fabio were limping as they walked away, hope both are ok, what a fantastic race, Rins and Marc in a dogfight to the end, top day !!

Meanwhile a footballer who has a 2mph collision with another player writhes on the grass crying foul and holding himself in agony .Bike racers are real men.

Quel dommage pour ces deux superbes pilotes! #20

A very dangerous game yet we love it soooo much. Thanks to all rider who deliver a very competitive race every year. Dovi n Fabio, speed recovery please. I believe anyone who sit on that situation cant avoid hitting the loose bike.

Athleticism of MotoGP riders are amazing.. be safe.

Get well soon.. A big thanks to Quart and Dovi, Rossi got the 4th or else he will be 6th 😂

Dovi was lucky to walk away from that .

Dovi lost his memory after the crash.. 😢

I just hope that Dovi is okay that was a terrible thing to watch.

In situations where dovi needs the most points 😱

Never nice to see anyone hit the tarmac that hard. I think it could’ve been a proper scrap at the front if they had both been in the mix

The problem started with Rins who had to brake and almost lost The front.

Why did his bike catch fire, very unusual. Just one of those things.

Was scary was right in front of us 😱🏍❤️

Any update news from medic about dovi's situation?

View more comments

15 hrs ago

F1

Which team has impressed you most so far in 2019? ... See Less

Comment on Facebook

I'm a Mercedes fan but have to say McLaren have done an amazing job this year considering their performance over the last few years.

I would say Williams for the most reliability and focused pit crew. They're only left to improve on pace.

Good to see that McLaren is performing well. I'm sure the team's ability to improve will be remarkable with every race from now on.

Must say McLaren, with the team spirit that they have, and results they managed to achieve... Definitely my favourites this season.

Williams have had the worst start to an F1 team in history. And I think with their tiny budget and willpower, the amount they’ve improved is impressive. They’re still far behind but I hope to see them fighting for podiums in 2021

McLaren has impressed the most because last season they where horrible and now they are best of the rest. Also Red Bull and Honda seem to be a nice match, would love to see Max finish what Jos started with Honda. Most disappointing this season are Haas and Renault. Renault because they wanted to close the gap to the top 3, but right now they are 6th. And they are the only unreliable engine in the field right now. Haas is having a horrible season, they seem to be getting worse during the season instead of improving.

If Bruce was still here he would be proud of his team. Mclaren improved the most.

McLaren. Consistent development and improvement over the season so far. Alfa Romeo has been somewhat of a surprise also.

Being on top is one thing but staying at the top is the art of the game. Kudos to Mercedes for getting it right so far.... #WeMakeItLookEasy

I’m super impressed with Toro Rosso, hard to believe this is the old Minardi team where both their drivers exceeded all expectations!!

Ferrari have been the most impressive, from being the slowest manufacturer in 2014 to being a reasonable threat and smashing McLaren and Williams comprehensibly. McLaren and Williams should just pack their bags and go home, Ferrari have nailed their coffin shut and it can be considered karma for their various indiscretions in 1990 (senna wiping out prost), 1994, 1997 (Villeneuve incident), 1998, 1999, 2007 (spygate), 2008... The British public couldn't care less about McLaren or Williams they only support whatever "British" team is winning, in this case Mercedes

Ferrari fan for life, but McLaren have done an incredible job so far, considering how far back they were

Redbull and Honda engineering. The aerodynamic has been sorted and the engine now also reliable. Watch that space, they could challenge for the title next year!

None the sport is finished and I've followed the sport since the early 80s

Mclaren, they have made a huge turn around this season. With andreas seidl at the helm, the only place they re going is up

Hi F1 and fans .... with all the media attention to the envirement and green thinking etc etc etc. Is there a research or developement posted in any magizine about the developemt of how clean the F1 is today. We all know that all top research of F1 is implemented in the modern cars but i like to read how clean F1 is now in 2019 .. 👍

McLaren (and I'm faraway from being a fan! If there was a person I didn't like in Formula 1, that person was Ron Dennis). Anyway I'm glad to see them finally getting together again and mainly without supposed big shot drivers who can't do nothing but complain! Now they need to find a good engine because with Renault it will be near impossible to go any further...

McLaren is the most impressive.. Mercedes just has luck week after week.. Hoping Ferrari will get their things together for the second half..

Red Bull / HONDA‼️ Young Max may be awesome, but so is the way Red Bull has adapted to Honda’s engine. The last 2 years of griping about the Renault power plant is (almost) justified...

Haas, they have surprised me on how bad they are this year. Compared to last year this year has been terrible. They were fighting Renault for top of the mid pack, this year they are fighting for points at all.

And yet no Ferrari or anyone else 1st with the exception of RB. Hybrid era is killing with the beyond dominance of Merc being so far ahead of everyone else’s pace. Some competition would be nice! Don’t give me that bullshit of everyone should bring it to the table, there’s some crazy advantage behind the scene that you Merc fanboys don’t know about. Yawn.

It would be nice to see Mclaren back up there permanently fighting for the title. Always was a fan

the gap between top three teams and the rest is too much

Quite a gap between 3rd and 4th also between 10th and racing cars.

Williams been sandbagging the first half of the season just to give the others a glimp of hope, beast mode on in second half of the season

View more comments

Load more