International driver line-up for SPS automotive performance at Spa-Francorchamps

SPS automotive performance will be represented by an international array of drivers at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, from 27th to 31st July. Eight drivers from six countries will tackle the legendary endurance race at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps at the wheel of the #20 and #75 Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Willsbach-based team SPS automotive performance will line up at the biggest GT3 race in the world, the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, for the third time. The team will once again run two cars, both in the Pro-Am and Bronze Cup classes, with an international squad of drivers. The #75 Mercedes-AMG GT3, which starts as SunEnergy1 by SPS, will be driven by Kenny Habul (AUS), Martin Konrad (AUT), Philip Ellis (SUI) and Dominik Baumann (AUT). Australian Habul and Austria’s Konrad are the reigning Pro-Am champions in the Intercontinental GT Challenge. They won the Bathurst 12 Hours in 2022, and go into the classic in the Belgian Ardennes as one of the favourites to take the class victory. Habul and Konrad are joined by Philip Ellis and Dominik Baumann. British-German Ellis lines up under the Swiss flag. In 2021, he won the 24 Hours of Daytona and started in the DTM, where he won one race and claimed a further two podiums. Baumann, the 2012 FIA GT3 European champion, has been racing for SPS automotive performance for a number of years in various different series. Together with Valentin Pierburg, Baumann finished runner-up in the Pro-Am Cup in last year’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe. He and his team-mate leads this competition again this year, after two class victories in the Endurance Cup.

Another international crew will share the driving duties in the Bronze Cup. Alternating at the wheel of the black #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3 will be George Kurtz (USA), Valentin Pierburg (GER), Reema Juffali (KSA) and Tim Müller (GER). American Kurtz will be making his third appearance with the Willsbach-based team in Spa. Kurtz has been successful in the GT World Challenge America for some years, and currently leads the Pro-Am class in this SRO series. Pierburg has driven for the SPS automotive performance team for many years and can look back on many successful races. In 2018, Pierburg won the PROAM title in the International GT Open. He also finished runner-up in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe alongside Baumann. Juffali is the first female racing driver from Saudi Arabia. At the start of the year, she made her debut in a GT3 car with SPS automotive performance at the 24H Dubai. She performed admirably to help the team to second place in the GT3-AM class, alongside Kurtz and Pierburg. The fourth driver is Tim Müller, who has also started for SPS automotive performance in the past. In 2019, Müller and Pierburg took second place in the GT3-Am class at the Kyalami 9 Hours, which, like the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, forms part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

With these impressive driver line-ups, the two Mercedes-AMG GT3 of SPS automotive performance are among the favourites to finish on the podium, at least, in their respective classes. The first official practice sessions start on Thursday 28th July, before the lights finally go green at the Ardennes Rollercoaster – as the Spa-Francorchamps circuit is also known – at 16:45 on Saturday 30th July.

Dominik Baumann, #75 Mercedes-AMG GT3: “I’m really looking forward to this event. I think that with this driver constellation we have a good chance to be able to compete for the class win. But it will be a tough job. With so many GT3 cars on the track, something can always happen. But we are optimistic and highly motivated going into this race.”

Reema Juffali, #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3: “I’m looking forward to a return to one of my favourite tracks and I know I’m in great hands with the team at SPS automotive performance. After such a strong 24-hour race debut in Dubai earlier this year, I’m feeling optimistic and ready for what’s to come. Each endurance race is unique and I know Spa will be tough and challenging, but I have great team-mates at my side and I can’t wait to see what we can do together.”