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Christopher Bruce2013-07-29 17:25:44

Spa 24 Hours Ends with Bernd Schneider's Fourth Major Win of the Year

Nissan GT Academy takes podium as well

Schneider is the first man ever to win all of these races in the same year

The Spa 24 Hours as part of the Blancpain Endurance Series for FIA GT3 cars was not the most watched race this weekend, but it had some great racing and some fantastic finishes. 

Bernd Schneider made history by winning the Pro class with co-drivers Maximilian Buhk and Maximilian Götz for the HTP Motorsport team. The Manthey Racing team with Porsche factory drivers Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Patrick Pilet came second in class, and the Belgian Audi Club Team of André Lotterer, Christopher Mies and Frank Stippler took third place. 

In terms of GT racing, this is the year of Bernd Schneider. The former F1 racer and five-time DTM champion is the first driver is history to win the 24 Hours of Dubai, the Bathurst 12 Hour, the 24 Hours Nürburgring and as of this weekend the Spa 24 Hours in one racing season. As an even more impressive feat, he won them all in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. Mercedes had not taken an overall victory in the Spa 24 Hours since 1964. 

In the ProAm class, Toni Vilander, Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin and Alex Mortimer won for the AF Corse team in a Ferrari 458. The SMP Racing team took second in class with Mika Salo, Kirill Ladygin, Victor Shaitar and Maurizio Mediani. 

The other impressive finish at this year's Spa 24 Hours was the GT Academy team that took third place in the Pro-Am. The team was made up of Lucas Ordonez, Jann Mardenborough, Wolfgang Reip and Peter Pyzera all of whom are former Nissan GT Academy winners. Not bad for a group of drivers who learned to race first from a video game. 

It was a hard-fought race for all of the teams this year with about 50% of the starters still being there to cross the finish line.

"This is a great result for Nissan, for GT Academy, and for everyone involved in this program. We took seventh place overall with an all-gamer entry so we have proved again that GT Academy works and I feel very proud. This was a tough race; just look at the results as only 50% of the cars finished. I very much enjoy driving this car, in this team, with Nissan," said Lucas Ordonez.





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