PIRELLI AT THE SPA 24 HOURS WITH A TEAM OF OVER 150 PEOPLE EQUIPPED WITH THE MOST ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES
The competing cars will be fitted with the P Zero DHF, developed for the latest generation of GT cars
Milder temperatures and uncertain weather the biggest unknowns at the challenge
Matteo Braga: "Tyre management is crucial for the race"
Pirelli, as per tradition, is "taking over" the Spa circuit for the 24 Hours, with a deployment specialized personnel and of state-of-the-art equipment, such as to offer maximum support to all the teams and drivers involved in one of the biggest motorsport weekends at international level. The logistical and organizational effort put in place by Pirelli - sole supplier not only to the 24 Hours but also to the main supporting events - has its heart in the 156-strong team of technicians, engineers and staff working on site. The team members belong to all the main functions and come not only from the Milan headquarters, but also from the Milan-based company's other R&D and Motorsport centres, spread across four continents. The staff will be equipped with the most advanced control and analysis systems and technologies that make use of the experience gained by Pirelli in the more than 350 competitions in which it participates around the world.
Such a commitment, which has few equals in international motorsport, is, moreover, demanded by the sheer size of the event: 70 crews entered in the 24 Hours, valid for the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance and the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli, plus 61 cars for the GT4 European series, 34 for the Formula Regional European Championship and 15 for the McLaren Trophy. These are record numbers, which confirm the increasing centrality assumed by the Spa 24 Hours in customer motorsport and for the manufacturers, who choose the Belgian event to present new models. This is the case of Maserati, with the long-awaited Trident GT2, and Ford, which introduces the new GT3 and GT4.
The traps of the Spa circuit are well known, although new ones were added last year. The 7.004-kilometre Belgian circuit is famous for the severity of its corners, in particular Eau Rouge- Raidillon, Double Gauche and Blanchimont, and for the changeability of the weather, which disrupts race strategies and often subverts rankings. Since 2022, the revamped layout and the new configuration of the kerbs and escape routes have made the track faster and more challenging for both cars and tyres, and introduced run off areas with wider gravel beds close to the edge of the track. In addition, the 2023 edition, which takes place a month earlier than usual, adds the unknown factor of milder than usual temperatures.
Matteo Braga, Circuit Activity Manager Pirelli:
"The Spa-Francorchamps race is an increasingly unavoidable appointment, which combines technical and competitive challenge with a varied and highly professional environment, in which the best of world motorsport meets. From a technical point of view, the 24 Hours traditionally represents a great challenge for tyres, which are put to the test with both thermal and mechanical stresses. Last year we saw how the new layout, combined with the increased reliability of the cars, made the race a kind of long sprint during which the correct balance between pace and peak performance must be achieved. With all these elements in mind, choosing the correct operating parameters is crucial to the race. Past editions have shown that the winner is the one who can be consistent, finding the right balance between reliability and performance and managing the tyres over the distance, without taking unnecessary risks".
Cars entered in the 24 Hours will be fitted with Pirelli P Zero DHF tyres, a product developed to meet the specific needs of all GT classes. Features of the P Zero DHF include a wider working range and a new construction, which optimizes the car's balance with a better connection between front and rear. The DHF will also equip the support cars in the GT4 European Series and the cars competing in the McLaren Trophy, while those competing in the Formula Regional European will be fitted with DMBs.
Cars will have a maximum of 30 sets of dry tyres at their disposal for the entire race weekend, plus one more in the case of Super Pole participation. This set cannot, however, be used in the race. There are no restrictions for wet-weather tyres.