This weekend’s TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa gained an interesting entry on Monday in the form of the GPX Martini Racing car #221. The car, a modern-spec 911 GT3, has a livery that pays visual homage to the #21 Porsche 917LH which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1971 with Gerard Larrousse and Vic Elford at the wheel. The GPX Racing team will receive an all-star lineup of drivers with a trio of factory-backed racers stepping onboard for the 24-hour classic; Kevin Estre, Richard Lietz, and Michael Christensen—the same trio who won the Spa 24 in 2019—will split driving duties in Belgium this weekend. Unlike the typical Martini livery, the #21 (and by extension the #221) don’t make use of white as the base color, instead using silver.
The Larrousse/Elford effort at Le Mans in 1971 marked Porsche’s second-ever overall victory at La Sarthe, and set the company in motion to dominate the most iconic sports car race in the world. Since 1970 Porsche has won about 36% of Le Mans 24 events, despite not having competed with a prototype racer since 2018. Porsche is re-joining the fight at the front at Le Mans in 2023 with its new LMDh effort, so it’s possible that it will continue to grow that percentage in the near future. Porsche has also been pretty successful at the Spa 24, winning the race eight times since 1967 and twice in the last three years.
As with any modern GT3-classed endurance event, the entry list is stacked with incredibly competitive machinery and driver lineups. In addition to the GPX entry, there are Porsches entered by Toksport WRT (Sven Muller, Marvin Dienst, and Julien Andlauer), EMA Motorsport (Matt Campbell, Mathieu Jaminet, and Felipe Nasr), Dinamic Motorsport (Klaus Bachler, Come Ledogar, and Matteo Cairoli), and KCMG (Dennis Olsen, Nick Tandy, and Laurens Vanthoor) in the Pro class. There are a whopping 23 entries in the Pro Class, each with a more compelling car/driver combo, so look for the race to be a real exciting fight for two runs around the clock this weekend on one of the most incredible racing circuits in the world. What’s not to like? Hopefully at the end of the race the Martini-sponsored team will be able to spray the champagne on the top step of the podium.