- Au becomes first ever Hong Kong driver to stand on top step of 24 Hours of Spa podium
- Dream weekend kicked off with momentous overall Pole Position among 70+ GT3 cars
- #20 Huber Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R claimed victory in hard-fought Bronze Cup after early struggles
Antares Au marked a memorable day for Hong Kong motorsport with an incredible weekend at the Crowdstrike 24 Hours of Spa, claiming a thrilling class victory in the Bronze Cup (13th Overall) following a spectacular battle back to the front in the closing hours of the endurance race. The #20 Huber Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) prevailed in a grid of 70 cars to secure a shocking overall Pole Position at the legendary and daunting Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the first Bronze class entry ever to achieve this feat. The team also clinched the fastest lap of the race (2:17.087), breaking the previous race lap record for the event to add a further souvenir from the weekend. Along with teammates Matteo Cairoli (ITA), Tim Heinemann (GER) and Jannes Fittje (GER), Au wrote history as the first Hong Kong driver to take a class win at the 24 Hours of Spa.
Au came into the 24 Hours of Spa weekend eager to make amends and redeem himself after a disappointing early retirement from the 2022 edition of the 24-hour classic. He had been preparing hard and familiarizing himself with the circuit, team and new race car, and claimed a GT Open win in the weeks leading up to what many consider to be the most gruelling event in endurance racing. He had also been training extensively on the simulator with input from his coach and engineers.
The #20 Bronze Cup contender was a standout performer early on, as they benefitted from the changing weather conditions during Thursday Qualifying to put the car on the Super Pole shootout. The team proved that this was not just a lucky result, as on Friday Cairoli muscled the Porsche 911 GT3 R to set a stunning lap, ahead of all pro entries including Porsche’s factory car and claimed the overall pole position for the 24-hour race. This was the first non-pro pole position at the Spa 24H in over a decade, and the first pole for Porsche at this race since 1968.
Due to wet weather, the race on Saturday started under Safety Car, allowing the #20 Porsche to get away smoothly. In the early hours it managed to stay ahead of the pack in Bronze Cup, which was the largest class this year with 21 cars in contention. However, the race soon turned challenging as the pro drivers overtook #20 in the pitch darkness of the night. The team dropped as low as P7 in the class at daybreak on Sunday and had an uphill recovery battle ahead of them.
As is the case with endurance racing, and the unpredictable 24 Hours of Spa, the team leaned on consistency and hard work to recover from the deficit. Au leveraged his experience to deliver error-free and consistent laps across multiple night stints. Au’s strategy to complete his regulation driving time at night, which is typically the domain of pro drivers, and the team’s work keeping the car free of damage, turned out to be crucial elements in the race to victory come Sunday afternoon.
The closing stages were highly dramatic, as #20 caught up to competitors on differing strategies and various states of damage. Well-timed pit stops and strategy calls allowed the car to run in clean air and set the Crowdstrike Fastest Lap (2:17.087), smashing the previous lap record in 2022. The final two hours saw Huber Motorsport Porsche edging into podium contention on pace and flawless execution, then reclaiming the class lead in the last hour. It crossed the finish line in P1 in Bronze Cup with a mere 30-second lead over the next car, and P13 overall, ahead of the Silver Cup winner.
For Au, this proved to be a truly remarkable weekend as he wrote motorsport history and flew the Hong Kong flag on the top step of the podium at the 24 Hours of Spa. This has been a proud achievement for the Hong Kong driver and a fairy-tale story for the team as they close the weekend with the maximum point haul in the IGTC Independent Cup.
Antares Au | Driver, #20 Huber Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) “I’m at a loss for words. After trying for 3 years, I came into this weekend with no expectations. To qualify in the top-3 on Thursday night was a complete shocker and then to follow that with the fastest time in Super Pole just 12 hours later – it was jaw dropping for everyone in the paddock. We started in the lead on Saturday and it was a tale of ups and downs. We struggled with mistakes, penalties and strategy and by daybreak on Sunday, I was ready to write off the race as we were in the midfield and the only thing we had was a damage-free car. However, on Sunday this became our greatest asset as our car was far more competitive and strategy calls started to go our way, eventually getting us the win! I am incredibly blessed to leave Spa with an overall Pole Position, a fastest lap and most importantly, a win to our name. It’s been a team effort and I couldn’t have done this without Matteo, Tim, Jannes and Porsche. I am also incredibly happy to share this podium with my friend Jonathan. To have two local drivers on a global stage of this significance is a proud moment for all of Hong Kong. We are all going home with the memory of a lifetime!”