Al-Manar Racing by Getspeed’s Al-Zubair, Baumann and Grenier to be joined by Ellis for this weekend’s Crowdstrike 24 Hours of Spa

Sports Tuesday 25/June/2024 12:30 PM
By: Times News Service
Al-Manar Racing by Getspeed’s Al-Zubair, Baumann and Grenier to be joined by Ellis for this weekend’s Crowdstrike 24 Hours of Spa

Muscat: The regular Al-Manar Racing by Getspeed trio of Oman’s Al-Faisal bin Khalid Al-Zubair, Austrian Dominik Baumann and Canadian Mikaël Grenier will be joined by new Swiss racer Philip Ellis for this weekend’s Crowdstrike 24 Hours of Spa, the flagship second round of the 2024 Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS Endurance Cup.

The quartet are entered in the Gold category in their Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo and will be bidding for a podium finish and a class victory. Al-Zubair, Baumann and Grenier began the season as a three-driver line-up to finish second in the Gold category at the opening round at the Paul Ricard circuit in France in early April.

Ellis, 31, will be driving alongside Al-Zubair for the first time, although the Munich-born Swiss racer has considerable experience across GT World Challenge America, the IMSA SportsCar Championship, the International GT Challenge and the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup. He began this season with Winward Racing in the IMSA SportsCar Championship and has planned programmes in GT World Challenge America, the Intercontinental GT Challenge, in addition to his tie-in with Al-Manar Racing by GetSpeed.

Al-Faisal said: “I am really excited to get this weekend’s Spa 24 started. It’s definitely one of the biggest events in the endurance racing calendar. It is definitely the biggest GT race of the year. It won’t be easy. There are 67 cars, I believe, across all the classes so the field will be extremely competitive throughout.

“Nonetheless, our package is very strong with the drivers, the car and the team. It’s looking good so far. The track has been resurfaced since the recent test and it definitely won’t be easy. We are committed to perform our best and hopefully we can come back with a podium position or a win in class. I am really looking forward to it.”

Rivals in the Gold category are the current class-leading Saintéloc Racing Audi R8, the 2 Seas Motorsport Mercedes-AMG, a Haupt Racing Team Mercedes, a Tresor Attempto Racing Audi and the CSA Racing Audi R8. Saintéloc Racing is a former winner at Spa.

A hectic weekend’s action gets underway with a free practice session on Thursday (June 27) morning from 11.20hrs (CET) and this is followed by a pre-qualifying stint at 16.30hrs and three qualifying sessions, starting at 20.35hrs, 20.57hrs and 21.41hrs, respectively. Night practice will then be permitted from 22.25hrs.

Friday’s (June 28) action features a Super Pole session from 15.45hrs and an evening warm-up from 20.10hrs.

The Crowdstrike 24 Hours of Spa fires into life at 16.30hrs on Saturday (June 29) on the famous Belgian 7.004km circuit and finishes at the same time on Sunday (June 30). Belgian racing legend Jackie Ickx will officially flag the cars away from the start.