ROWE Racing BMW leads at the half-way mark

31 July 2022

The #98 ROWE Racing BMW was on top of the standings after twelve hours of racing in the 2022 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. But with 12 cars still on the lead lap, anything is still possible in this very unpredictable edition of the Belgian endurance classic.

A Silver Cup car (the #4 Haupt Racing Team Mercedes-AMG) heading the overall standings just before half way, Porsche that sees its contingent of cars on the leading lap reduced to two cars, Audi that has no cars on the lead lap at the 12-hour mark: the 74th edition of the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa has already created a wealth of surprises, and the race is only half way.

The most recent of those surprises were consequences of the 42-minute red flag interruption that ended just after the 10-hour mark. Strategies had to be changed swiftly, in order to remain at the front. Not everybody managed to do so. Other were cruelly reminded that car racing is a mechanical sport: the #221 GPX Martini Racing Porsche, one of the cars that had been among the frontrunners since the start, disappeared from the race only minutes after the race was restarted behind the safety car. A drivetrain issue proved to be fatal for the 2019 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa winners.

When the dust settled, it was again the #98 ROWE Racing BMW that scored maximum points for the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS at the 12-hour mark. Catsburg, Farfus and Yelloly had some 15 seconds in hand over their team-mates on the #50 ROWE Racing BMW, which held off the #88 AMG Team Akkadis ASP Mercedes-AMG. The #71 Iron Lynx Ferrari was in fourth, and the #95 Beechdean Aston Martin – not even in the top 10 before the red flag interruption – made it four different manufacturers in the top 5.

The first of the Porsche cars was the #47 KCMG in 6th, the car that had started the race in 65th. McLaren scored some points too, thanks to the #38 Jota machine in 8th.

The #4 Mercedes-AMG, through the game of different strategies briefly leading overall, is the only remaining Silver Cup car on the lead lap, in 12th overall. Six places further down the #24 Herberth Motorsport Porsche continues its strong run in Pro-Am Cup, with the #83 Iron Dames Ferrari leading the Gold Cup.

Its main class contender, the #5 Haupt Racing Team Mercedes-AMG, had a contact with the #21 AF Corse Ferrari in Combes minutes before the halfway mark, causing a Full Course Yellow. The #5 Mercedes-AMG lost valuable time in the process. In the Bronze Cup the #45 Walkenhorst BMW still holds a comfortable 2-lap lead.