|What||Spa 24 Hour Race Report|
|Where||Spa Francorchamps, Belgium|
|When||24-25 October 2020|
Jordan in 24 Hour points, set for home title fight
Jordan Pepper emerged satisfied, if a little frustrated as he returned from a tough weekend at the Spa 24 Hour. The South African driver and his fellow Bentley Boys Jules Gounon and Maxime Soulet ended up tenth in the epic race aboard their K-PAX Continental GT3. That leaves them in the centre of a huge Intercontinental GT Series final round title fight at Pepper's Kyalami 9 Hour home race on 12 December.
The trio and their Bentley are the only crew to have scored points in all three 2020 ICGT rounds. They won the Bathurst 12 Hour in Australia in February, endured a bruising Indianapolis 8 Hour in the US and now delivered a storybook effort in the twice-round-the-clock Spa 24.
“It’s been a long weekend” Jordan reported. “The Spa 24 was a tough one. Our goal was to win after our mishap at Indy — to get both hands on that championship assault. We really fought hard for a top result, but that’s unfortunately not always as easy as it sounds!
“Qualifying wasn’t great and we started way back on the grid. I had an incredible start and went from 26th to fourteenth in my first stint. Sadly that was all in vain. We had a clutch issue in the first stop and dropped way back again." From there it was all about the fight back through the night and by daybreak the number 3 Bentley was back in third and fighting for the win again.
"We were right there again, but then a refuelling procedure mistake in the pits cost us a drive-through penalty,” Jordan explained. “To make things worse, Jules was punted off by a Ferrari and we were forced to make an unscheduled stop to clear the grass off the radiator grille. That put us two laps down without enough time to do too much about it.
Then the heavens opened, so the team decided to gamble on strategy in the wet to make those laps back. “We fought one lap back, but then lost another, so the gamble never paid off in the end.” It may not have been the result they were looking for, but the Spa 24 Hour was none the less a great race for the team.
“We are super proud to have taken a couple of points in a really tough weekend. “We now sit just three points behind the leading Porsche guys in third in the ICGT championship.” Jordan now has two more rounds of the ADAC GT Masters before the European GT Endurance finale at Paul Ricard to close off a hectic post-lockdown European season.
And then it’s the big one — the ICGT season-ending Kyalami 9 Hour in Johannesburg on Saturday 12 December. “The ICGT championship fight is going to be tough,” Jordan predicted. “But I know Kyalami really well — it’s my home race and one of my favourite tracks on the calendar. “So it’s going to be awesome to fight for the championship at home — I can’t wait!”
Issued on behalf of Jordan Pepper
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