• Blancpain Endurance star Seb Morris aiming for third 2018 podium
• Twice-round-the-clock Total 24 Hours of Spa next for Bentley racer
• Pro-Am title challenger all set for debut in world’s biggest GT3 race
• Morris, Smith and Pierce joined by Andy Meyrick for Rd4 of season
Blancpain Endurance Cup Pro-Am championship contender Seb Morris is just a week away from his maiden appearance in the world’s biggest GT3 race, the Total 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium, where the Welsh star believes the No.31 Team Parker Racing squad will be a ‘force to be reckoned with’.
Getting underway on Saturday, 28th July, at the unmistakable Spa-Francorchamps, the huge twice-round-the-clock spectacular is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges in world motorsport and one Chester-based Bentley Continental GT3 driver Morris cannot wait to tackle.
Heading into round four of his maiden campaign in the pan-European championship, the reigning British GT Champion and team-mates Rob Smith and Derek Pierce are third in the Pro-Am title battle, just three points shy of the runner-up spot and only 10 points adrift of the top of the table.
Bearing in mind the 24 hour race rewards points at three different junctures in the encounter, at six hours, 12 hours and at the conclusion, a consistently strong performance throughout the contest could have huge implications for the championship picture.
With Morris, Smith and Pierce already proven to be a highly competitive Pro-Am combination, their bid for Total 24 Hours of Spa success is being further boosted by the addition of experienced former Bentley ‘factory’ driver Andy Meyrick – Morris’ long-standing manager – to the line-up.
All four drivers participated in the official pre-event test day at Spa a couple of weeks ago and preparations for the blue riband Blancpain event went very well indeed, the quartet ending the day third fastest in Pro-Am and delighted with the work completed.
“I really can’t wait to be back at Spa, the 24 hour is by far the biggest GT3 race in the world and I think we’re very capable of winning Pro-Am”, said a bullish Morris, “We’re in a lucky position to be able to bring Andy [Meyrick] in, we know we’ve got two great ‘Am’ drivers in Derek and Rob and now, with another Pro driver like Andy, I think we’re a force to be reckoned with.
“Obviously, Andy has been there as my manager right from when I was 12 or 13 when he coached me at Pembrey in Wales when I was first looking to move-up into cars from karting. I was a lot shorter then, but I’m taller than him now! To come full circle to now be racing together in the Total 24 Hours of Spa, it’s pretty special.”
Morris of course, is no stranger to the challenges of Spa-Francorchamps having set a GT3 lap record in British GT at the track last year and in 2016 he just missed out on race victory there in British GT by a mere 0.6 seconds. During his formative career in single-seaters, he also competed at Spa in GP3 and Formula Renault.
Since the previous Blancpain round at Paul Ricard in France, Morris grabbed plenty of headlines with an unbelievable ‘super-sub’ performance at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit when he made a very unexpected return to British GT as a true last-minute stand-in for the unwell Ryan Ratcliffe.
Linking back-up with former team-mate Rick Parfitt Jnr, who partnered Morris to British GT title success last year, BRDC Superstar and MSA Team UK driver Morris made a 153-mile dash from his home to Silverstone, after receiving a late-morning phone call, to arrive at the track literally minutes before his stint. Remarkably, he and Parfitt Jnr secured a sensational fourth place finish in the race.
Now, all attention turns to the biggest outing of the season. Following the usual parade of race cars into Spa city centre on Wednesday, 25th July, free practice for the Total 24 Hours of Spa – which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary – will follow on Thursday, 26th July, along with pre-qualifying, qualifying and a night-time practice.
On Friday, 27th July, the Super-Pole session will take place with the 24 hour race itself getting underway at 16.30 (local time) on Saturday, 28th July. Live online streaming of all of the qualifying sessions and the race itself will be carried HERE
2018 Blancpain Endurance Cup ‘Pro-Am’ Driver Standings