CREVENTIC, the Dutch organising body behind the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook, and WSC, the entity behind TCR, will partner up once again in 2020 to promote and organise the TCR SPA 500, the world’s only 500-lap endurance motor race dedicated exclusively to touring cars.
Set to take place on 1-2-3 May at the 7.004km Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the 500-lap event with a maximum runtime of 23 hours was introduced last year to help reignite the Ardennes region’s lost endurance racing heritage. After reinvigoration in 2019 comes enhancement for WSC and CREVENTIC in 2020.
WSC chairman Marcello Lotti on the returning TCR SPA 500 and partnership with CREVENTIC: “The second running of the TCR Spa 500 is definitely going to establish this race as one of the peak moments of the whole Touring Car season. The 500-lap format that brings back long distance racing for saloon cars at Spa-Francorchamps is alluring, as it was proved by the inaugural edition in 2019 that attracted teams and drivers from all over the world. In 2020, the importance of the event will be enhanced by the inclusion in the schedule of the TCR Europe series’ opening round, which will provide a perfect mix of sprint and endurance races. And on top of this, the participation of the TCR DSG Endurance Europe competitors in the first two hours of the TCR Spa 500 will make the grid even bigger and add spice to the competition.”
At last year’s TCR SPA 500, competitors from 11 different nations across Europe, Asia, Australasia and North America dipped their proverbial toes in the water at an event that also welcomed entries from CUPRA, Audi, Volkswagen, Peugeot and Opel, as well as piquing the interest of many others.
Star-studded names at the 2019 TCR SPA 500 included 2012 World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff, WTCC legend Tom Coronel, former TCR Europe champions Mikel Azcona, Aurélien Comte and Pierre-Yves Corthals, and the youngest WTCC race winner in history, Pepe Oriola. Both Oriola and Coronel, together with Red Camel-Jordans.nl’s Ivo and Rik Breukers, were crowned the inaugural winners of a dramatic, rain-affected race that saw many of the top five hit trouble in the closing stages.
Like 2019, this year’s TCR SPA 500 is preceded by a spectacular parade of touring cars travelling 10km by road from the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps’ start-finish line to the neighbouring city centre of Malmedy, where drivers and team personnel alike will be presented and take part in a fan-dedicated autograph session from 18.30 hrs onwards. The parade proved incredibly popular last year, and an equally strong response is expected in 2020.
On-track activities begin with private testing on Wednesday 29 April ahead of Free Practice sessions and Qualifying on Thursday 30 April. The green flag drops on Saturday 2 May at 18.00 hrs, ensuring a dramatic start at dusk for the second TCR SPA 500. Entered teams will compete in pre-ascertained ‘PRO’, ‘PRO-AM’ and ‘AM’ categories with individual category victories also up for grabs.
Changes for the second TCR SPA 500 though have also been implemented. Whereas last year’s inaugural event took place in October, this year the touring car-exclusive endurance race moves to the first weekend of May, a decision based on team and driver feedback as well as logistical and fiscal convenience.
In 2020, the TCR SPA 500 also introduces new brand categories. The new TCR Europe DSG Endurance Series will join the first two hours of the race, while the National Touring Car Invitation class accepts touring cars running at least three seconds per lap slower than the fastest TCR cars.
As well as celebrating our class winners and podium finishers, the overall winners of the 2020 TCR SPA 500 will be awarded the new ‘TCR SPA 500 Trophy of the Ardennes.’ The ‘TCR International Endurance Trophy’ meanwhile will be up for grabs for any team entering a minimum of three drivers from the same nation.
The 1-2-3 May weekend is set to feature four support series, including the season opener of TCR Europe 2020, the one-make Lamera Cup, round two of the Peugeot-exclusive, 308 Racing Cup and TCR Europe DSG Endurance.
Another headline of the weekend will be the annual Hankook 12H SPA, the third round of the 2020 24H SERIES powered by Hankook that’s open to all GT cars and all non-TCR TCE entrants.
*Further details of the 2020 TCR SPA 500 can be found at www.tcrspa500.com or via +31 485 471 166