Honda Team Motul continue their maiden season in the Intercontinental GT Challenge at the biggest race of the season, the 24 Hours of Spa, this weekend.
Taking place at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the Belgian Ardennes, the twice-around-the-clock event is the highlight of both the IGTC and the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, and features a monster 73-car entry, including the Honda NSX GT3 Evo.
Drivers Bertrand Baguette, Mario Farnbacher, and Renger van der Zande made a strong debut in the IGTC at Laguna Seca in March by claiming pole position for the California 8 Hours, and head into this event aiming to make their mark.
Bertrand, 33, is one of Belgium’s most successful sportscar racers of the current era. An LMP2 World Champion and Le Mans 24 Hours winner in 2013, the Honda Racing Super GT driver has also won Japan’s biggest endurance race, the Suzuka 1000km.
He returns to Spa one year after racing an NSX GT3 in the pro-am class with current WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup leader Esteban Guerrieri, Formula 1 race winner Riccardo Patrese and Loic Depailler, and has a best finish of eighth overall.
Driving an NSX GT3 Evo, 27-year-old Mario leads the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship following a recent win at the Watkins Glen Six-hour race.
While this is his 24 Hours of Spa debut, the German has raced at the 7km circuit before and was a winner in the International GT Open when he last visited in 2017.
Renger, 33, is enjoying an incredible 12 months. An outright victory at last year’s IMSA finale, Petit Le Mans, was followed by the biggest win of his career, the Daytona 24 Hours, in January.
Currently battling for the IMSA title, he tackles the Spa 24 Hours for the fourth time and finished second on his debut in 2016.
The car, as in all IGTC races this year, will be run by Honda technical partner JAS Motorsport, under the authority of Team Principal Alessandro Mariani.
A second NSX GT3 Evo has been registered for IGTC points at Spa this weekend; the Silver Cup entry run by Jenson Team Rocket RJN; who have won both the Blancpain GT Endurance Drivers’ title and the pro-am Teams’ crown over the past five years.
Their car will be raced by American Matt McMurry, Switzerland’s Philipp Frommenwiler, Briton Struan Moore and Mexican Ricardo Sanchez at Spa.
The NSX GT3 made its competitive debut in 2016. Including the latest ‘Evo’ version, which began racing this year and is based on the NSX production vehicle, it is a race winner in the North American-based IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship and Blancpain GT World Challenge America, plus the Europe-based Blancpain Sports Club.
As part of the NSX GT3 Customer Racing Programme – a collaborative project between Honda Motor, JAS Motorsport and Honda Performance Development (HPD), examples contest series in Europe, Asia and North America.