After the mid-season break, the GP3 season get underway once more at one of the most challenging circuits of the year: Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Spa is the longest lap of the year at 7.004 kilometres, and the Ardennes region is also characterised by variable weather that often requires the use of rain tyres. The difficult part is predicting exactly when…
Located near Liege, Spa-Francorchamps is one of the most picturesque circuits on the international calendar. Its 19 spectacular turns, rapid changes of elevation and breath-taking scenery make racing at Spa a true test of skill for both the GP3 drivers as well as for Pirelli’s tyres.
The GP3 Series uses just one compound for the raceweekend – which for Spa is the medium compound, well-suited for the many different demands that the circuit imposes. As the penultimate round of the championship, the Spa race is crucial for all the GP3 drivers, so they will be pushing hard throughout the weekend in order to gain an advantage as the title race draws to a close. But as always, tyre management will be crucial.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola said:“Our tyres are designed to be as adaptable as possible to a very wide range of conditions, and nowhere is this more in evidence than at Spa, which puts a huge amount of energy through the tyres, in terms of both lateral and longitudinal forces. As well as the fast corners and straights, there are also some huge compressions at places like Eau Rouge, which place some ofthe highest physical demands on the tyres that we see all year. Not only that, but there are often extremes of weather that mean it can be raining on one part of the track but completely dry on another part. This makes itcrucial to get the timing of the pit stops exactly right, as well as the actual choice of tyres. With the championships so closely poised as we approach the end of the season every decision will be crucial, but as always it will come down to the skill of the drivers to make the difference. That applies to both GP2 and GP3, with the young drivers in each series al ldetermined to make it all the way to the top.”
On Friday, the GP3 drivers will take part in one practice session in Spa at 08.30 and Qualifying on Saturday at 09.45. GP3 race 1will be run at 17:20 on Saturday afternoon. Before the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, the GP3 Race 2 will take place at 09:25.