Endurance races, in our opinion, highly depends on the drivers’ mental strength, over and above other vital factors such as stamina and skill level. But with 24 hours of game time, it will come as no surprise if the psychological race to the finish line lies in a team’s ability to stay extremely focused right pass the chequered flag.
The Total 24 Hours of Spa is an annual event held in Belgium since 1923 in Belgium. It is Belgium’s answer to France’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, but with 7-kilometres of challenging tarmac compared to more than 13 kilometres from the Le Mans track, complacency due to familiarity could very easily creep in – which is why the key to success could very well still all be in the mind.
Of course, technical skills from the respective teams also play a vital role, well explained by BMW who clinched the crown this year. The #99 Rowe Racing BMW of Maxime Martin, Alexander Sims and Philipp Eng ran a faultless race, even resisting a sudden downpour 30 minutes from the end to take their most prestigious win of the year.
As expected, no fewer than seven different brands led the race at one point or another – an indication of the unpredictable nature of this race, amplified by intermittent rain at the tail end of the race. But despite the erratic turn of tales in the middle of the park, there were no real worries at the front at the closing stages – Alexander Sims in the spanking new BMW M6 GT3 took the win under the cheers of the Rowe Racing team and his co-drivers Philipp Eng and Maxime Martin. For Martin, it was indeed a very emotional win, for with this victory he follows in the footsteps of his father (and four times Spa-winner) Jean-Michel Martin.