Interesting changes on the Spa entry list

The entry list for the Total 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps FIA World Endurance Championship round has got a few interesting changes over the last few days.

The race just got a bit more interesting, at least from Belgian people’s point of view.

Stoffel Vandoorne will race for SMP Racing #11, where he will share the car with Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin. He will replace Jenson Button, just like Brendon Hartley did at the 1000 Miles of Sebring. But Button has opted to not return to the car this season, so Vandoorne will also have that seat at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Tom Dillmann and Oliver Webb at ByKolles Racing Team #4 will have a new third driver at Spa: Paulo Ruberti. Ruberti has previously raced for teams like Larbre Competition in the Corvette C7.R in GTE Am, but hasn’t been racing LMP cars. So that will be something brand new for the 44 year-old racing driver.

DragonSpeed #10 will run their ELMS drivers – Henrik Hedman, Ben Hanley and James Allen – since Renger van der Zande is busy in IMSA with the Mid-Ohio race on the same weekend.

Andre Lotterer is back at Rebellion Racing #1, where he will race together with Neel Jani and Bruno Senna. The Spa weekend is however right before the Formula E round in Monaco, but at least for now, he has been permitted to race at his local race in the FIA WEC.

SMP Racing #11, Spa 2019
Photo: SMP Racing

Larbre Competition #50 has added Nicholas Boulle to the line-up next to Erwin Creed and Romano Ricci. The two latter are the only common thing in that line-up throughout the season, while the third driver has switched in every single round.

All the GTE Pro teams will run just two drivers in each car. That is a bit untraditional, since the Spa Francorchamps race typically has been the race, where the last few things was to be tested, before going to Le Mans. But as previously mention, there is a date clash with IMSA, so that prevents a few drivers from participating. And at the end, the teams prefer two drivers only, since that makes the strategy and setup work a bit easier.

Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #77 in GTE Am has swapped Julien Andlauer for Riccardo Pera, so he will be teammates with Matt Campbell and Christian Ried. Pera and Ried already race together in the ELMS.

TF Sport Aston Martin #90 has put Euan Hankey back in the car, instead of Jonny Adam, since Hankey will race at Le Mans with the team as well. Hankey hasn’t been in the car since Le Mans 2018, so he needs to get back up to speed again, before the big race. The reason for Adam not racing for the team at Le Mans is due to his commitments in the GTE Pro car #97.

So that should be our 35 cars fully ready for the Total 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps. Ginetta has tried to enter a single car, but apparently the FIA WEC organizers demand them to pay the penalty that CEFC TRSM Racing has been handed, for not turning up at any rounds since Le Mans – but the factory doesn’t want to do that, since CEFC TRSM Racing is a privateer, who just bought two Ginetta G60-LT-P1 cars, that is now back at the factory’s hands, due to economical issues at one of the team sponsors.

With just two weeks to go before the race at Spa, it’s very unlikely for them to be allowed to start, since they need to load the trucks with spare parts etc etc to be able to do a race weekend.

The 6-hour race will be run on Saturday, 4 May 2019.

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