24H Series: 58 entries for 24 Hours of Paul Ricard
This weekend, the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet will be hosting the inaugural 24 Hours of Paul Ricard race. The 24-hour race for GTs, touring cars and 24H Specials is the fourth round of the 2015 24H Series. The first was 24h of Dubai, the next two were 12-hour races at Mugello and Zandvoort.
The interest being generated in the race is quite impressive, with 58 cars set to compete and a truly international field with teams and drivers from 34 different countries. The A6 class has ten cars on the provisional entry list, with seven Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3s, one Ferrari 458, one Audi R8 LMS and one Porsche 997 GT3 R.
The competing Mercedes-Benz teams include Hofor Racing, the winners of the most recent season of the 12H Zandvoort, plus British outfit Ram Racing, which is the leader in the A6 Team standings. Scuderia Praha is participating with its regular Ferrari while Simpson Motorsport is back with its Audi R8 LMS.
The 997 class for Porsche Cup cars has an equally large number of entries with a particular strong show of interest from French teams,in particular by Ruffier Racing, Le Duigou Racing, Crubile Sport and Porsche Lorient Racing. The SP2 class has four MARC Cars silhouettes, two GC Automobiles plus some GT machines. The SP3 class includes a Lotus Evora, Ginetta, BMW and Aston Martin, all to GT4 specifications.
Based on the number of entries, the A3T class for touring cars with turbocharged engines is the biggest till date, with eleven teams on the grid. The SEAT Leon Cup Racer is the car of choice here, but two SEAT Leon Supercopa cars, one BMW 135D and two BMW M3s add some variety. The CUP1 class for BMW M235i Racing Cup cars includes three entries. The A2 class looks strong as well with ten cars on the grid: six Renault Clios, two Honda Civic Type Rs, one Peugeot RCZ and one BMW 120D.
“We are quite happy with this good mix of GTs and touring cars and we are particularly pleased to see the number of smaller cars in the A3T and A2 categories increasing again. For us, teams with these cars are just as important as the big GT class teams. To give them some more publicity, we will organise a raffle among the A2 and diesel-powered teams for an onboard camera, to be placed in one of the cars during the race. This will help these teams get more media coverage as well,” said Gerrie Willems from Creventic agency, which is organiser and promoter of 24H Series.
Free practice is scheduled on Friday, followed by qualifying rounds and night practice. The race starts on Saturday at 14.30 hrs and ends at the same time on Sunday. There will be live broadcasts on Motors TV with a live-stream including commentary throughout the 24 hours.