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After a disappointing start when their car suffered damage early in qualifying, Cumbrian driver Frank Bird and his two teammates bounced back to post a great result in this weekend’s TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa.

Driving the Team WRT Audi R8 LMS in the third round of the Endurance class of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe, Ryuichiro Tomita crashed in the opening qualifying session, and such was the damage, he, along with 21-year-old Frank and Danish driver Valdemar Eriksen missed the remainder of qualifying meaning they had to start from the back of the grid.

Starting from 57th place on the grid, the team gradually climbed the leaderboard despite a number of lengthy periods with safety car interventions and torrential rain, they battled up to eighth in the Silver Cup class as the race continued.

But better was to follow on one of Frank’s stints when the Penrith-born ace had the Audi up to third in class and 18th overall during the night for the Belgian-based team at their home event. Despite another clash on track and more bad weather, Frank helped guide the car home to an impressive 24th overall and seventh in the Silver Cup class.

Frank Bird: “I’m delighted to finish the 24 Hours of Spa and to have done so with Team WRT is fantastic. We had a difficult start, because of Ryu’s accident in qualifying, but we recovered well in the race and at one point by mid-race, we were 3rd in the Silver Cup and 18th overall, which was great. We then had some other issues and dropped positions, but it’s fantastic to get a result and thanks to the team and our sponsors for this experience.”

Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS – Endurance Cup Round 3

TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, Belgium, 28 July-1st August 2021

Race Result
1. Pierguidi-Ledogar-Nielsen (Ferrari 488) 363 laps
2. Vanthoor-van der Linde-Weerts (Audi R8 LMS) + 3s978
3. Soerensen-Thiim-Gunnes (Aston Martin Vantage) +1m24s957
4. Frijns-Lind-Müller (Audi R8 LMS) + 2 laps
5. Tandy-L.Vanthoor-Martin (Porsche 911 R) + 2 laps
24. Bird-Eriksen-Tomita (Audi R8 LMS) + 11 laps (7th Silver Cup)

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