Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium): Oman’s Al Faisal al Zubair will team up with Germany’s Fabian Schiller, Zimbabwe’s Axcil Jeffries and new Canadian driver Daniel Morad, to tackle this weekend’s 74th edition of the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa.
The flagship round of the 2022 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS – Endurance Cup has attracted a massive entry. Al Zubair and Morad will be taking part in one of the highlights of the GT racing calendar for the first time in their Mercedes-AMG GT3 running under the Al Manar Racing by HRT banner.
Together with Schiller and Jeffries, Al Zubair won the Silver category at last month’s Paul Ricard 1000kms and the trio currently hold a two-point lead over Benjamin Goethe, Thomas Neubauer and Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer in the Silver Cup standings.
A record 18 teams and six manufacturers are expected to start the race in the Silver Cup category, which joined the race in 2018 and has seen both Mercedes-AMG and Lamborghini claim two wins apiece thus far. In total, 235 drivers are expected to take part in the race across the various classes.
Al Zubair said: “I am really looking forward to the Spa 24. It is definitely the highlight of the year for our season, if not for all GT racing around the world. It’s the biggest race and one of the pinnacles of GT racing. I am expecting a huge grid and a lot of Pro cars and cars in our Silver category.
“I believe there are around 70 to 80 cars on the grid, just GT3s. We will be joined by Daniel Morad, a Canadian driver. He was extremely strong in the test. That is a big positive going into the race weekend. We are going to hopefully have four solid Silvers and be able to fight for top positions, like we did at Paul Ricard. In a 24-hour race, the most important thing is to finish and, hopefully, with the minimum penalties possible.
“It’s a long race and the first time for myself and Daniel doing it. Axcil and Fabian have done it before. I can’t wait to get started. Hopefully we can raise the Omani flag high at the end of the race.”
The race was staged for the first time in July 1924 and is running for a 59th successive occasion after a 10-year hiatus between 1954 and 1963.
On-track action for the team gets underway with a first 90-minute practice session from 10.50hrs tomorrow morning (Thursday). Competitors will then take to the circuit for a one-hour pre-qualifying stint from 16.15hrs.
Four separate 15-minute qualifying sessions take place between 20.40hrs and 22.00hrs before entrants are permitted onto the circuit again between 22.20hrs and 23.50hrs for night practice.
Support races, a warm-up and a super pole session take centre stage on Friday (July 29th) before the race gets underway at 16.45hrs on Saturday after several additional support races. The chequered flag is scheduled for 16.45hrs on Sunday.