• Harold and Bentley eager to build on strong performance from Nurburgring
After three frustrating rounds of the Blancpain Endurance Series, a resolute Harold Primat heads to the blue riband Spa 24 Hours this weekend (July 23-26). Indeed, he and his Bentley Team HTP crew-mates, Vincent Abril and Mike Parisy, are keen to return to form behind the wheel of their #84 Continental GT3, which will sport a special livery at the Belgian Grand Prix venue.
In what is his second European campaign with the German squad, Harold hoped to arrive at the most prestigious GT event in the world amongst the Pro Cup frontrunners. Unfortunately, bad luck on the track has prevented the HTP trio from converting solid performances into equally good results.
However, the Swiss ace has not let these setbacks dampen his spirits as he looks ahead to his third Spa 24 Hours, a track where he has enjoyed a number of successes. For instance, 2013 saw him make up some 26 positions, finishing just shy of a podium in fourth after starting from the back of the grid. And while a number of incidents certainly hampered his progress in last year’s twice-around-the-clock event, he still managed to battle his way up to ninth place overall.
In his quest for another strong showing in Belgium, Harold has confidence in the efforts made by HTP with their Continental GT3 following the official Spa 24 Hours Test Day (June 24).
What’s more, Harold and the Bentley-supported squad intend to make the most of their experience at the Nurburgring 24 Hours (May 14-17), where he delivered a flawless performance en route to eighth – a remarkable result for the British marque’s Nordschleife debut.
“The Nurburgring 24 Hours helped build the foundations for Spa,” declared Primat. “Even though we aren’t quite where we initially hoped to be in the championship standings, I’d rather start afresh and bear in mind that we have been competitive and consistent thus far.
“All we need is a trouble-free weekend, to stick to our strategy and reach the finish line without getting caught up in any incidents – just like we did in Germany. Mike, Vincent and myself work well as a team and have improved at every race meeting with HTP. Now we just need to put it all together to achieve our potential.
“At the Test Day we took the first steps towards fine-tuning the Continental GT3, taking into account the extent of the parameters involved in 24-hour GT racing such as changing grip conditions throughout the race, traffic, fuel consumption, etc.
“It’s very special to be representing a manufacturer like Bentley at such a prestigious event. Their commitment to the sport is growing and I am proud to be a part of this project. We will all pull together and do our best for a good end result on Sunday afternoon.”
2015 Spa 24 Hours schedule
Tuesday 21 July
Bronze & Silver test: 15:00 – 18:00
Thursday 23 July
Free practice: 12:00 – 13:30
Pre-qualifying: 18:10 – 19:10
Qualifying 1: 20:30 – 21:45
Night Qualifying: 22:15 – 23:45
Friday 24 July
Super Pole: 15:30 – 15:55
Saturday 25 July
Warm-up: 09:05 – 09:25
All times are local