For the 2001 edition of the 24 hours of Spa Francorchamps in Belgium three Lamborghini Diablo GTR’s were able to qualify, these cars with numbers 93, 95 and 96 started on Saturday, August 4th on exactly 16:00:00 in the afternoon to try and finish a very difficult race, a 24 hour non-stop competition.
A total of 37 cars appeared on the starting grid that Saturday, Diablo nr 93 managed to obtain starting position 19, the number 96 Lamborghini reached position 23 while the third GTR took 25th place after the qualifying rounds, the qualifying lap times were :
Nr 93 at 2:36.890, with a difference of 12.837 seconds from first position,
Nr 96 at 2:37.777, with a 13.724 seconds difference, and
Nr 95 at 2:39.291, being 0:15.238 behind first place.
The Lamborghini Diablo with number 93 was driven by three pilots, Brisset, Larrousse and Kremer, on Saturday Mr Kremer started out, after about one hour a tire change was needed and Larrousse took over, to drive nearly four hours in a row.
Unfortunately at 16:59:00 the Diablo was caught in an accident and went off the track, a replacement of the aerofoil and the front left wing was needed.
At 18:37:05 the pilot was again changed, and Brisset took the wheel of the yellow GTR, after several hours of racing, with the necessary fuel stops and change of tires, at 21:13:02, Larrousse took over to go into the night …
During the night, at 00:18:07, F. Kremer started again for what would unfortunately become the last hours of this Lamborghini, at 00:34:00 the Diablo GTR stopped at Post 19, and nearly one hour later, at 01:21:00 the Lamborghini Diablo GTR number 93 had to abandon the race with a broken transmission.
Starting position 23 was taken by the Lamborghini Diablo GTR wearing number 96 driven by Witmeur, Libert, De Saedeleer and Van Schevensteen, the first drive in the race was taken by JP Witmeur, after several hours at 20:45:17 about 45 minutes were lost replacing the gearbox in the Diablo GTR, at 21:33:40 the Lamborghini could finally get back into the race. The next Sunday, around 12:03:00 the Diablo was caught in a ‘head-tail’ collision, but fortunately the car could be kept on the track and continued the 24h race.
After 24 hours the Diablo GTR ended up on the 18th place overall but second in his own category, it had ran 414 laps, a total of 55 laps less than the victory car, a Viper, during these 24 hours the fastest lap of this specific Diablo was 2:27.982, while the final lap was driven at a 3:00.092 time.
On the 25th starting position, the third Lamborghini attacked the 24 hours in Spa, driven by Frei, Velay, Dewinter and Lorent, the latter one was behind the wheel for the first hour of the race, after which Frei took over.
After all four pilots took the wheel for some time, around 22:40:00 on Saturday, Lorent C lost control over the Diablo and ended up in the sandpit, fortunately after only 4 minutes the GTR could get back onto the track and was able to continue the race.
During the night, at 00:11:47 a stop and go penalty was issued to the Lamborghini number 95 and at 06:24:56 a check was performed on the transmission of the car, probably to avoid problems in the last 10 hours of the race.
On Sunday, after about 24 hours continuous driving, the Lamborghini Diablo GTR finished only 59 laps behind the Viper, covering a total of 418 laps on the Spa Francorchamps circuit with a best time of 2:26.107 while the final lap was run at 3:10.615.
The Lamborghini running with number 95 finished 21st overall while a third place was obtained in their category, all in all not a bad result for these three Lamborghini’s that entered one of the most exhausting races on the continent next to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
For more information or exact timetables of these and other cars that drove the 24h, please take a look at the officialSpa Francorchampswebsite.