McLaren 650S GT3 set to contest the 2016 Total 24 Hours of Spa - VIDEO

By CARSIFU | 5 July 2016

LONDON: The McLaren 650S GT3 will return to the world-famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the Ardennes Forest later this month as three examples line up to take on the 2016 Total 24 Hours of Spa from 28 to 31 July – run by McLaren GT customer team Garage 59.

The regular Blancpain Endurance Cup driver line-of of Factory Drivers Rob Bell, Côme Ledogar and Shane van Gisbergen in the number 58 car and Academy Drivers Alex Fontana, Struan Moore and Andrew Watson in the iconic number 59 will be joined by Bruno Senna, Duncan Tappy and Luis Felipe ‘Pipo’ Derani in the third entry running as number 60.

The 650S GT3 made its 24 hours race debut at the headline event of the Blancpain GT calendar last year, securing a front row start and a hard-fought top 10 finish.

McLaren 650S GT3 - 03
Bell currently leads the overall Blancpain GT Series Drivers Championship with a 44-point margin, with wins at Monza and Paul Ricard with van Gisbergen and Ledogar in the Endurance Cup and, most recently, at the Nürburgring alongside Alvaro Parente in the Sprint Cup.

Customer team Garage number 59 is looking to build on this success, and to extend the points lead in the Blancpain GT Teams Championship. The Total 24 Hours of Spa sees points awarded at the six, 12 and 24 hour marks.

McLaren GT Driver Academy trio of Fontana, Moore and Watson return to the number 59 650S GT3 race car for the fourth round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, with each of them making their 24-hour race debuts.

McLaren 650S GT3 - 01
The third 650S GT3 will be anchored by McLaren P1 GTR driver mentor - Bruno Senna, returning to the cockpit of the 650S GT3 for the first time competitively in 2016.

The Brazilian ex-Formula 1 driver’s last race in a McLaren was a part of the team who claimed tenth place at the 24 Hours of Spa last year.

Senna will be joined by Garage 59 International GT Open race winner Tappy and 2016 Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours winner Derani in the number 60 McLaren 650S GT3.

Commenting on the confirmed line-up ahead of the official 24 Hours of Spa test day, Andrew Kirkaldy, McLaren GT explained: "The McLaren 650S GT3 has proven itself as the car to beat across the world this season in all championships and across all distances. With improvements on performance and reliability, and strong driver line-ups in each of the cars, it should be another stellar race befitting the iconic location."