Bateman’s set for stern Spa 24-hour endurance test

Charles Bateman.
Charles Bateman.

Charles Bateman awaits a stern test in Belgium this weekend as he prepares for the Total 24 Hours of Spa.

The JRM Racing competitor, from Boston, will be in action on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

The team’s brace of Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3s will take to the legendary Belgian track for its first-ever entry to the classic event.

Going head-to-head with 70 cars on one of the world’s most challenging tracks over a 24-hour period could be a daunting prospect, however JRM Racing travels to Spa buoyed by its run of strong results in this year’s Blancpain Endurance Series.

Bateman will be competing in the Pro-Am class with teammates Matt Bell, Humaid Al Masood and Jody Fannin.

“In terms of pace I think we have the car and driver line-up to challenge for a podium,” commented Bell, who contests his second Spa 24 hours this year after his appearance in 2011.

“The start of the year was a difficult one, but since then the team have worked tirelessly to improve the car and has made excellent progress.

“Traffic has been the only thing keeping us off the front row in qualifying, and the Pro car scored an excellent podium at Paul Ricard, so we’ve come a long way in such a short timeframe.

“Obviously, so much can happen during a 24-hour race, but JRM has prepared the car extremely well all year so we have a 100 per cent reliability record going into this weekend.

“If we can maintain that then I’m targeting the win.”

Both cars will do battle with 70 GT3 cars.

The teams and drivers score points towards the 2013 Blancpain title.

In addition to the usual points structure at the end of the race, points are also awarded to the top nine after six and 12 hours in each category.

All cars score points, if they are entered for the full season or race by race.

For teams with more than one car in the category, only the highest-placed car scores points.

The action gets underway on Wednesday evening with the traditional drivers’ parade through Spa, with the cars hitting the track on Thursday evening for practice and qualifying.

The Super Pole will be held on Friday evening, where the top 20 crews have two laps to set the fastest time.

The race gets underway at 4.30pm on Saturday.