Al-Manar Racing by Getspeed's Al-Zubair and Grenier resume International GT Open Programme at SPA

Sports Wednesday 22/May/2024 09:32 AM
By: Times News Service
Al-Manar Racing by Getspeed's Al-Zubair and Grenier resume International GT Open Programme at SPA

Muscat: Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair and Canadian team-mate Mikaël Grenier resume their part-time programme in the 2024 International GT Open by tackling the third round of the series at the demanding Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium this weekend.

The Al-Manar Racing by Getspeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 duo finished first and fourth in the two races that were staged during the opening round at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve in Portimão in April but did not take part in round two in Germany last month.

But the Spa encounter offers a completely new challenge for entrants and runs to a different format to the other rounds of the championship. Known as the ‘GT Open 500’, the weekend will be fought out over one longer race on the 7,004km circuit instead of two shorter ones. Once again, teams will be divided into Pro, Pro-Am and Am classes.

The ‘GT Open 500’ will last for 2hrs 40mins and one additional lap. There will be the two usual qualifying sessions with both Al-Zubair and Grenier tackling one stint apiece. Dring the race there will be three mandatory pit stops and each driver will need to perform two race stints with no double stints permitted in the regulations. Double points will be awarded at the finish.

Al-Zubair said: “Looking forward to the GT Open weekend. This time it will be quite different because it is an endurance race in the GT Open. Instead of being two races, it will be one long race and qualifying will be based on an average of both drivers. This system will be a bit different but I think it will be good for us in terms of preparation for our big Spa 24 next month.

“We showed in Portimão that we have a strong partnership with me and Mick Grenier. We also have a strong package with the Mercedes and the Getspeed car. We are looking forward to it and ‘inshallah’ we come up with another win and get good points.”

Competition for the Al-Manar Racing by Getspeed crew comes from the likes of Team Motopark, Eastalent Racing’s Audi, Getspeed colleagues Anthony Bartone and Fabian Schiller and the Team Oregon Lamborghinis.

The International GT Open will share the circuit this weekend with Euroformula Open, GT Cup Europe and the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine entrants.

GT Open action gets underway with the first 70-minute free practice session from 11.55hrs on Friday (May 24th). Free practice two is scheduled for 16.10hrs.

The first of the 30-minute qualifying sessions fires into life at 11.05hrs on Saturday (May 25th) with the second session starting at 13.40hrs.

The International GT Open 500 will take a rolling start from noon on Sunday (May 26th).