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Hydrogen-fuelled H24 Car Set To Make Debut At Spa Francorchamps (Updated)

Norman Nato and Olivier Lombard give hydrogen fuel an ACO-rules on-track debut

The first-ever hydrogen-fuelled car in ACO rules racing history features on the entry list for next weekend’s Michelin Le Mans Cup race at Spa Francorchamps (the car seen above on its first demo runs at the same meeting last year).

The Adess-chassised H24 LMPH2G technology demonstrator is entered under the moniker of H24 Racing Norman Nato.

He will share driving duties of the #42 car at Spa with H24 test and development driver Olivier Lombard.

(UPDATE) The car though is not set to race, but rather to take part in the two Free Practice sessions alongside the full Michelin Le Mans Cup Grid. The LMPH2G will refuel during the sessions at the first mobile hydrogen filling station, designed by Total, especially for racing.

Beyond that, the entry for the 2 Hour race on Saturday 21 September is a very healthy one with 19 LMP3 and 12 GT3 cars combining for a 32 car grid.

Reigning team champions DKR Engineering head to Belgium on the back of a win last time out in Barcelona. François Kirmann and Laurents Hörr have 83 points from the first five races and are 17 points ahead of British duo Duncan Tappy and Michael Benham in the #25 Lanan Racing Norma who feature on the list after they were forced to miss the race in Spain after Benham’s massive accident in practice put the car out of action for the weekend.

The British team are now back and ready to take the fight to their rivals.

Another all British team Nielsen Racing is currently third on 61 points with Tony Wells and Colin Noble securing four podium finishes from the first five races, but they have yet to finish on the top step of the podium.

At the 2018 race at Spa, Colin Noble finished first alongside Alasdair McCaig in the #79 Ecurie Ecosse / Nielsen Ligier, while Tony Wells finished second alongside James Littlejohn in the #2 Nielsen run Ligier.  This year they join forces to challenge for the top step once again.

The 12 car GT3 grid at Spa-Francorchamps will feature cars from five different manufacturers, with six Ferrari 488 GT3s, three Mercedes AMG GT3, a Lamborghini Huracan, a Porsche 911 GT3 R and an Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

After five races the current leader is the #71 Luzich Racing Ferrari of Mikkel Mac and Fabien Lavergne, the Franco-Danish duo taking five podiums from five races, including three wins at Monza and at Le Mans.

They are currently on 87 points, just seven ahead of reigning champions Giacomo Piccini and Sergio Pianezzola in the no8 Kessel Racing Ferrari after the Italians have scored two wins at Le Castellet and last time out in Barcelona.

In the 2018 race in Belgium Piccini and Pianezzola took the win on their way to the title and they will be looking to emulate last year’s result to move ahead of Mac and Lavergne and take the championship battle to an exciting conclusion in Portugal next month.

The first two crews are way out in front of the chasing pack, which is led by Christoph Ulrich and Maurizio Mediani in the #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari on 44 points. Also on 44 points is the #99 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage of former ELMS champion Andrew Howard and WEC racer Ross Gunn.

A newcomer in the entry is the #13 Ferrari 488 GT3 of Team HB Racing.