Published on August 5th, 2016 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Blancpain GT Endurance: the numbers of the Huracán GT3 at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
It is one of the most famous and challenging endurance race of the entire motorsport scene. The 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, valid for the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup championship, is also one of the most competitive races ever, because unlike Le Mans or Daytona, it is the only twenty-four-hour race in the world which sees the participation of almost only one racecar class: the GT3.
The latest edition of the 24 Hours of Spa, the 64th since the first one held in 1924, saw eleven Lamborghini Huracán GT3s on track fielded by seven customer teams, many of which at their first experience in this classic of the endurance world, as Antonelli Motorsport and Ombra Racing from Italy.
The latter team achieved the third place in the Pro-Am class, with the Huracán GT3 # 666 of Minshaw/Keen/Gavin/Osborne, while the best overall ranking was obtained by the Lamborghini # 16 of Grasser Racing Team. The Huracán GT3 of the Austrian team started from the front row with the Factory Driver Mirko Bortolotti, who shared the car with Jeroen Bleekemolen and Rolf Ineichen. It then led the race for the first two hours and finished in eleventh place overall out of 65 cars in total.
After 24 hours of racing, 531 laps and over 3700 kilometers along the 7 km of the demanding Spa circuit, all 11 Lamborghinis finished the endurance race without showing any technical problems, thus demonstrating the high reliability of the Huracán GT3 already shown during this season of competitions all over the world.
To give an idea of the effort that undergoes a Huracán GT3 during the 24 Hours of Spa, just think that the Belgian track allows to travel for 63% of a lap at “WOT” (Wide Open Throttle), with the engine working at full load. To understand even better, the V10 5.2 liter naturally aspirated engine of the Huracán GT3 ran each lap of the 24 Hours, i.e. 4412 meters out of the 7004 m in total of Spa Circuit, completely flat out. During the whole endurance race, it can be said that every engine effectively covered a distance of 2.342 km at its peak performance, more than a trip from Sant’Agata Bolognese to Spa-Francorchamps and back!
In total, if added together, during the 24 Hours of Spa the engines of the 11 Huracán GT3s participating in the race covered a distance of over 40 thousand kilometers, at an average speed of 193 km/h, without suffering any technical problems.
The same applies to the transmission: the Huracán GT3 is equipped with a Hör 6-speed sequential gearbox, which shifted the gear 35 times per lap, with 18 upshifts and 17 downshifts. With over five hundred laps during the race, each gearbox moved its gears over 18,500 times and in total, the 11 Huracán GT3s carried out more than 204 thousand gear changes. Another grueling test, which also in this case revealed no reliability problem.
Even by the structural point of view, there was nothing to report. All this despite the considerable stresses to which the cars are subjected on the circuit of Spa Francorchamps, with its 20 turns and its elevation changes. The car undergoes impressive loads on sectors such as Eau Rouge/Radillon, the famous double-curve after the pit straight, where the compression reaches the maximum lateral acceleration of the entire circuit (3.5 g). Or demanding braking zones like those of Les Combes and the Bus Stop, the two fastest sections, where the car reaches its top speed (265 km/h) and performs a 2.5 g braking deceleration.
The 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, like all endurance races, is a great testing ground for racing cars. And the same applies to the people working on track, with their important contribution. If we sum each wheel, which every mechanic had to lift during the 24 pit stops required to complete the race, he had to move a total of nearly 1,000 kilos of weight. Then there are the drivers, whose life during a 24 hours is not easy at all: for example, Mirko Bortolotti jumped into the Huracán GT3 # 16 of the team Grasser five times, with 3 “triple stints” (each driving stint lasts 65 minutes), 2 “double stints” for a total of 13 hours behind the wheel.
Still on the subject of numbers, there were 3 Lamborghini Factory Drivers involved in the 24 Hours of Spa (Fabio Babini, Mirko Bortolotti and Giovanni Venturini), while 10 were the youngsters coming from the driver programs of Lamborghini Squadra Corse: 8 of them were from the GT3 Junior Program (Beretta, Mul, Niederhauser, Pohler, Sbirrazzuoli, Stolz, Van Splunteren, Zampieri) and 2 of them belong to the Young Drivers Program (Rik Breukers and Loris Spinelli), almost everyone was at their first experience at the 24 Hours of Spa.