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Every racing fan has his favorite series. In most of the world, that'll probably be Formula One. In the United States, fans love their NASCAR. In parts of Europe they might follow DTM, but with few exceptions that's pretty much it. Except for Le Mans. Come June, everybody's attention turns to France. But that's just once a year, and sportscar racing continues around the world and around the calendar in such leagues as the LMS, ALMS and FIA GT Championship.

One of the most important endurance races of the year – the 24 Hours of Spa – just took place in Belgium at the Spa-Francorchamps this past weekend. If you follow the FIA GT series, you probably already know who won. But if you don't, follow the jump to see how the day-long race turned out.

[Source: Autosport, Image: Michel Krakowski/Getty]



If you pop in once a year to see the result from Le Mans, you'll already know that Ferrari doesn't campaign in the top level of sportscar racing. In the early 90s, Maranello collaborated with racing firm Prodrive on the 550 GTS, but then the two went their separate ways, with Prodrive campaigning Aston Martins and Ferrari offering client racers the 575 GTC. But while the former continues to dominate at Le Mans and in the associated series, the latter was never a great success, and Ferrari switched its focus in sportscar racing. While the company offers the F430 GT2 to customers, during the period in which it controlled Maserati, it turned the Enzo into the Trident-badged MC12. Since 2004 the MC12 GT1 has dominated the FIA GT Championship, and this past weekend's 24 Hours of Spa was no exception.

As the opening laps wound down on Saturday, the #6 Corvette of Phoenix Racing held the lead. But as the sun set in Belgium the Corvettes ran into trouble, as did the Aston Martins, and the #1 Vitaphone Maserati took the lead. Steve Zacchia totaled his Saleen in the warm-up that morning, and as the Corvettes kept on crashing the team actually ran out of extra body panels.

By the end of the race, the #1 Maserati took a commanding lead of two full laps ahead of the second Maserati, giving the Enzo-derived racers an impressive 1-2 finish. The #10 Gigawave Aston Martin DB9 rounded out the podium.

And what about the GT2 class? Victory there was reaped by Maranello's best as the BMS Scuderia Ferrari F430 GT2 took top honors, joined by the #50 AF Corse Ferrari in third, sandwiching the #61 Prospeed Competition Porsche 911 GT3 RS which took a second place class finish.

The results give the Vitaphone Maserati a commanding lead in the teams' championship and the top four spots in the drivers' championship, while the Ferrari F430s take the top three spots in the GT2 teams' championship and the top six spots in the GT2 drivers' title.

If you listen very carefully, you can hear the bells ringing all the way from Modena.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would love to watch this race but unfortunately those of us in the US can't. I would also love to watch the 24 hours at the Nurburgring but all we get is a 1 hour highlight show.

      Heck I would even settle to watch a tape delayed race this winter similar to what Speedtv did with the DTM and Aussie V8's this past year. Broadcast it when there's no other live racing on and do away with a few episodes of Pinks and some of that other crap.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The US coverage of world's top motorsport events is really poor, we've got every fifth-rate racing event with beer-bellied drivers who are just good enough to drive a taxi...

      I'm sure that thousands of Americans would tune in to watch and enjoy MotoGP, WRC, DTM or LeMans. It would also drag more kids into motorsport and would allow more US driver to get the top level. Now there are US kids dream about driving in Nascar or Indy, but these are not the world's top level racing series, in other words, they inspire to be average racing drivers.

      US drivers are the laughing stock in Europe and Japan, that's a fact of life not a slur. Villeneuve and Montoya (none of them American) had success in F1 only because they were successful in EU and Japan series before storming the Indy.

      I do enjoy watching Indy (Japanese engine and British/Italian chassis, btw) and even Nascar. But I think that this TV isolationism and distorted racing patriotism (we don't want foreign racing in the US) is hurting US motorsport big time.

      How many US drivers are at the world's top levels? NONE.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And we know exactly how well guys like Villeneuve and Montoya have done in NASCAR.

        You people are ridiculous. You can't compare the types of racing. The cars are 100% different, the tracks are different, the racing, plain and simple, is different. You can't take a F1 driver and put him in a stock car and expect results, the same way you can't put a stock car driver in a F1 car and expect results. It takes a lot of time and learning to drive either series, and not many drivers have successfully made the transition, so stop with the ridiculous comments.

        I'd love to see more exotic racing series on Speed, too, but the fact of the matter is that THIS is what people in the US want to watch. Speed puts on the programs that generate ratings. That's the POINT of a television network. Americans have grown up with NASCAR, and they enjoy THAT type of racing. Call us rednecks all you want...we don't mind.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Short memory span, eh guys? Surely you are old enough to remember SpeedChannel before they were acquired by Fox. They did in fact televise DTM, FIA GT, and assorted other Euro series. I agree that their current lineup goes overboard on NASCAR but that's pretty much exactly what they said they would do.

        "I'm sure that thousands of Americans would tune in to watch and enjoy MotoGP, WRC, DTM or LeMans."

        There's your problem, Kitko. TV viewership needs millions of viewers, not thousands.
        • 6 Years Ago
        that's because american drivers can't drive over there. look @ scott speed. won a contract to race in F1. where is he now? racing in circles for arca. F1 is the best. love road racing. thats the problem there is no series here that does nothing but road racing so kids can learn to drive. i don't mean 2 races a year in nascar or indy. you can only race in europe on road courses.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "... and as the Corvettes kept on crashing the team actually ran out of extra body panels."

      LOL. I know to some this might seem like an anti-Corvette post, but it isn't. A statement like that is just plain funny, regardless of which team it was.