Jordan ponders the Spa 24 positives

South African Abt Bentley Continental GT3 race star Jordan Pepper may have been gutted by his team’s 18th hour retirement at the weekend’s Spa 24 hour race, but he remains most positive thanks to an otherwise very good weekend’s work. German-based Johannesburg driver Pepper showed great form in qualifying and enjoyed a strong race, while it lasted.
“Spa was unfortunately one of those races that was not good to me,” Jordan rued. “We were forced to retire with just on six hours to go after fighting though the night for a top ten finish. “That’s a real shame because we fought so hard to get back into that top ten fight after losing laps through the night — it would have been brilliant to log my first 24-hour finish in the top ten.
“Sadly it turned out to be my third DNF in a row, but overall it was a positive weekend for me. “The car felt very good from the get-go and we stuck to our own program through the weekend, but by the time pre-qualifying came, we were really on it and I was delighted with my fourth to put it into the pre-qualifying session.

“We have two chances to get into the top 20 qualifying shootout with our tyre allocation and I made one small mistake that cost me and we were outside of the top 30 after the first run. “But I put it all together and turned in a really unbelievable lap in the dark to go seventh and right into the top twenty.
“The shootout came and it was a bit tougher because everyone hauls out that little last bit for that single flying lap — I was a couple of thousandths off the top three so it was another great moment — the team was very happy and I was really proud to be the only silver driver inside the top 20.
“The race went well until early Sunday morning and then it was all over. “Pity, but that’s racing — now it’s time to look ahead to the rest of the season and next year, but I am pretty chuffed with what I have achieved this year.”


Pepper, Perel, van der Linde on the pace

South African trio Jordan Pepper, Kelvin van der Linde and David Perel all starred in Thursday’s day and night qualifying for the Spa 24 hour this weekend. Perel put his Kessel Ferrari 488 GT3 on pole position for the AM class, while Pepper and van der Linde both turned in laps good enough for them to go through to today’s Superpole in their respective Abt Bentley Continental GT3 and Audi Sport ISR R8.
“I ended seventh in Qualifying and we made it to Superpole!” Pepper confirmed after an excellent run to third overall in the night session. “The team gave me a great car, now to see what we can do tomorrow — it will be my first Superpole, but I’m ready for the challenge.”
“Our one at the start of Q1 was good enough to get us into the Top 20 Shootout,” Nurburgring 24-hour winner van der Linde expleained. “We managed to save some important rubber for when it counts and now it’s time to turn it up one more step for Superpole.”

“Pole in class!” Blancpain AM Class championship leader Perel beamed “Awesome job by Riccardo Zani for the car setup — thanks mate. “Spa is treating the South Africans well with Kelvin and Jordan in the Superpole shootout for the Pro category with mega laps, but I’m so proud to be on first class at Spa.”
The Spa 24 hour sees 200 of the world’s top drivers racing 60 GT supercars at the Francorchamps circuit starting 16h30 Saturday, but first comes Superpole 19:30 Friday.  Follow the action live at


Jordan ready for epic endurance challenge

South African Bentley racer Jordan Pepper is bursting at the seams in anticipation for one of the highlights of the endurance race season at the Spa 24-Hour 29-30 July. Pepper will share an Abt entered Continental GT3 with German Christer Jöns and Belgian Nico Verdonck which will race alongside two M-Sport entries at Spa and the Edenvale lad who is based in Kempen, Germany can’t wait to race.
“The Spa 24-Hour is going to be unreal, with 64 GT3 cars on track and the quality of the cars and the drivers probably even better than Le Mans in the Pro class, so I need to take my A Game to Belgium,” Jordan admitted. “Spa is a tough, technical and challenging track — it is 7km long with 19 corners and you need to get each one right — mess one corner up here and you lose a chunk of time, but I am always up to the challenge!
“Spa is my second 24-hour race, so it’s a bit easier, this time around. “I have trained hard and looked after my diet and I now know exactly what I have to do, when and where to do it to be prepared to the best of my ability. “We ran in the official test last week and that was good — not so much in results but more in terms of track time and being able to analyse, plan and improve.

“This race is a challenge to the whole team though — not only have we never been on these harder Pirelli tyres before, but it’s also the team’s first time in the Blancpain series and at Spa too, so we concentrated on getting in as many laps as possible to build up experience in the test.
“It went well though — we now know were we need to improve the car and where us drivers can do a little better too. “Personally I had a very good run getting to know my Bentley for the first time on this track — I have raced at Spa before but I was happy to get back up to speed very quickly and to get on top of Eau Rouge, Blanchimont and some of Spa’s other daunting bits.
“So I’d say I am ready — bring it on!” South African fans can follow the Spa 24-Hour via live streaming — find the link at

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