24H SERIES GT and TCE race cars took part in a parade on public roads to Malmedy ahead of this weekend’s Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS.
Words – James Gent
Images – Nico Mombaerts
For the second year in succession, CREVENTIC’s Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS weekend was officially opened by a parade of 40-plus racing cars gracing Malmedy town centre, much to the delight of the assembled crowd.
48 cars from both the GT and TCE division, each of which will compete at the second European round of the 2023 24H SERIES powered by Hankook this weekend, were on display in the main square at Malmedy. To further commemorate the moment, the assembled racing machines – which ranged from GT3 front-running Audi R8 LMS’, Mercedes-AMG Evos and Porsche 911 GT3 Rs to TCE-spec Audi RS 3 LMS,’ CUPRA TCRs and BMW M235i Racing Cups – drove the 10 km on public roads from the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps paddock to the L'obélisque de Malmedy, the town centre’s most celebrated landmark since 1781.
The assembled teams included reigning series champions Phoenix Racing (Europe) and CP Racing (Continents), former overall series champions Herberth Motorsport (GT Continents, 2017), Hofor-Racing (GT Europe, 2017), Sorg Rennsport (GT Continents, 2020) and Wolf-Power Racing (TCE, 2019 to 2021), 2023 Hankook 12H MUGELLO race winner Haas RT, and Belgian teams Red Ant Racing, VDS Racing Adventures, PK Carsport, Speed Lover, and Xwift Racing Events.
Race fans and Malmedy residents alike were welcomed to take pictures and meet the drivers that will compete at this weekend’s Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS during a designated autograph session, with neighbouring bars and restaurants, and live music adding to the sociable atmosphere. Fittingly, the drivers’ briefing for the 12-hour event was held in the ‘Malmundarium’ historical visitors’ centre.
Following positive feedback from race fans and competitors alike, plans are already underway for the Malmedy parade to be hosted again next year when CREVENTIC makes its anticipated return to the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for the 2024 season.
“As and when the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS is confirmed on the 24H SERIES calendar for 2024, we’re very keen for the Malmedy parade to become a featured part of that weekend as well,” explains CREVENTIC event manager David Vink. “When we first held the parade in 2022, we were surprised just how enthusiastically the people of Malmedy welcomed the 24H SERIES and its competitors, and we knew, right then, that we had to bring the racing cars back to them in 2023! This year I’d say the atmosphere was even better and the turnout much bigger, so we can only imagine how well the parade will be received when we next come to Francorchamps.”
After an unofficial private test session that morning, Free Practice for the 2023 Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS will be held tomorrow – Friday 5 May – between 13.00 hrs and 14.15 hrs local time followed by 55 minutes of Qualifying for all classes. The first six hours of CREVENTIC’s second European round of the 2023 season will be held between 11.50 hrs and 17.50 on Saturday 6 May, and after CREVENTIC’s traditional overnight intervention, the final six hours will be run from 10.30 hrs until the chequered flag is unfurled at 16.30 hrs on Sunday 7 May.