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24 hour challenge awaits the Oman Racing Team in Spa

July 25th 2016

24 hour challenge awaits the Oman Racing Team in Spa

Round four of the 2016 Blancpain Endurance Cup sees the Oman Racing Team take on its biggest challenge of the season, the 24 hour race at the sensational Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium this coming weekend (30/31 July).

Arguably the biggest GT3 race in the world, this year marks the 68th Total 24 hours of Spa annual event and highlight of the Blancpain Endurance calendar. Competing for the third consecutive year, the Motorbase-run squad faces a formidable grid of competitors with 65 GT3 cars from the world's leading endurance teams set to descend on the mighty Ardennes track for the twice-round-the-clock contest.

24 hour challenge awaits the Oman Racing Team in Spa

British driver Darren Turner returns to the #44 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 for the blue-riband event alongside fellow Aston Martin factory driver Jonny Adam and regular Blancpain team-mates Ahmad Al Harthy and Devon Modell. Turner already has strong links to the Oman Racing Team as part of the Gulf 12 Hour Race line-up with Al Harthy and Adam that secured pole and a podium during Motorbase's debut appearance in Abu Dhabi.

By far the biggest race of the year, the Total 24 hours of Spa also offers up bonus championship points at the 6, 12 and 24 hour intervals. Heading into the weekend, The Oman Racing Team currently sits in 5th place in the PRO-AM standings and David Bartrum's squad heads to the world-famous track in confident mood following a strong start to the season at Monza and Silverstone. Unfortunately a promising race at Paul Ricard was cut short by a suspension issue but pre-race preparations have gone well with the #44 Vantage running faultlessly during the recent test day at the Spa circuit.

24 hour challenge awaits the Oman Racing Team in Spa

"Here we are again at Spa and we hope that it will be third time lucky for the Oman Racing Team! This event is very much unfinished business for us;" said Motorbase Performance Team Principal David Bartrum.

"The Total 24 hours of Spa is a fantastic event within the Blancpain Endurance calendar, the real highlight of the season and to have over 65 cars on the grid is great recognition of that. The quality of drivers and teams that compete here never ceases to amaze me.

"Being the only Aston on the grid, we're unique and have an important job to do representing the brand;" added Bartrum. "All of the work and preparations are complete and everyone behind the scenes has worked incredibly hard. Adding Darren Turner to our line-up this year alongside Ahmad, Jonny and Devon shows our commitment and desire to do well. We have the strongest line-up and car that we've ever had – hopefully that will be enough to get the result we deserve."

24 hour challenge awaits the Oman Racing Team in Spa

The build-up for the Total 24 hours of Spa begins with a town centre grand parade on Wednesday (July 27) before race preparations get underway on Thursday (July 28) with free practice, qualifying and night qualifying sessions running into the late evening. Friday then plays host to the Super Pole shootout where the top 20 qualifying cars compete ahead of Saturday's 24 hour race (July 30).

Free practice starts at 13:20 local time on Thursday, with qualifying from 20:00 followed by night qualifying at 21:45. The 24-hour race will start at 16:30 on Saturday (July 30). A full timetable of this week's events and build up to the Total 24 hours of Spa can be found on the official championship website.

Live timing of Thursday's qualifying sessions and of the entire 24 hour race can also be found on the official 24 hours of Spa website.

Driver Quotes:
Ahmad Al Harthy:
"This is it, the biggest race of the year – we can't wait. Spa is such an amazing track and the 24 Hour is one of the biggest challenges in motorsport, so it's a race everyone wants to do well in. We have an outstanding team for this year's race and, while we're not underestimating the challenge, we are feeling confident."

Jonny Adam: 
"We can't wait for this weekend. It's the biggest race in the Blancpain calendar, the highlight of the year and it's a big one in terms of the championship with triple points on offer. We want to bounce back from the disappointment at Paul Ricard and a good result this weekend will give our championship a big boost.

"We've been really unlucky here the last two years but we're in a good position this year. We're in a much better place with the car which has been a really strong performer and the driver line-up we have is one of the strongest line-ups in the PRO-AM class."

Darren Turner: 
"I'm really looking forward to joining Motorbase again; we had a great result in Abu Dhabi last year so hopefully we can build on that and make the podium in Spa. We need to make sure we get the car to the final flag and put on a good show for the Aston Martin fans this weekend."