Next weekend the regulars from the FIA GT championship will descend on the famous Belgian circuit of Spa for the Proximus 24 Hours of Spa - the only 24 hour event on the FIA GT calendar.

Among those hoping to challenge is Belgian ace Anthony Kumpen, one of the four drivers who will share the GLPK Racing Corvette C5R. He here describes a lap of the circuit...

"Spa definitely is one of the best tracks in Europe. It's one of the few circuits where you still have some challenging corners.

"The first corner after the start/finish, 'Raidillon/Eau Rouge', is maybe the most difficult one on the track. It's a fifth gear left/right corner where you brake only very briefly before climbing towards the straight. Because it's very steep, the exit is blind, so it's very important to find the right apex. The apex in this corner can change during a stint because of the tyre wear. In a GT car, in a qualifying lap the minimum speed should be just above 220 km/h.

"After the long straight we come to 'Les Combes' a triple corner, first a chicane and then a right-hander. The chicane should be sacrificed a bit to have a good exit from the right-hander which is more important.

"From 'Les Combes' there is a little straight downhill towards 'Bruxelles'. The braking is downhill, so finding the right braking point is quite difficult. It's very easy to create flatspots in this slow corner. Almost every car has understeer in Bruxelles. Immediately after Bruxelles there is a small left-hander which is quite important because of the following long straight.

"Now we come in the 'Double Gauche'. This fast fourth gear double left-hander, should be taken as one corner. The right entry, is the most important aspect of this corner. 'Pif-Paf' is quite a fast chicane. Here you must keep the car balanced in the exit because the braking for the first 'Stavelot' is not far away.

"The first 'Stavelot' is less fast then you would think as it is quite closed at the exit. On the other hand, the second 'Stavelot' opens up towards the end and is very important, because of the straight afterwards. Now we come at 'Blanchimont', the first part is easy flat, the second part is a very fast and challenging sixth gear corner. With a good setup and a light GT car, lifting off or just a little braking can be sufficient. With a GT car it's more challenging then with a formula car, because with a GT car you just can't make it flat out, while with a formula car it's easy.

"The 'Bustop' chicane changed last year. It's a very slow chicane, where you don't have the car straight in the braking zone. It's easy to make a mistake under braking there. Now we come in 'La Source', the slowest corner on the track - an ideal place to pass a car, just before crossing the finish line."

 

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