Centenary CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa celebrates official launch at Stavelot Abbey

Centenary CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa celebrates official launch at Stavelot Abbey
  • The CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa marks its 100th anniversary in 2024
  • Centenary programme presented on Wednesday 21 February at Stavelot Abbey
  • Sporting epic and festival of fun: event retains key objective of delighting the fans

Centenary celebrations are a once-in-a-lifetime event. As such, the 2024 CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa, which will also be the 76th running of the great race, will be truly exceptional. The official launch took place on Wednesday 21 February at Stavelot Abbey, allowing organiser SRO Motorsports Group to reveal elements of the planned programme. 

A century on from its maiden edition, the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa has obviously changed considerably: the circuit, the cars, the preparations undertaken by teams and drivers – each has evolved over the past hundred years.

But two key elements from 1924 are still present: the ultimate challenge represented by a 24-hour race on ‘the most beautiful circuit in the world’, and the event’s fan-friendly approach. From its very first edition, spectators were treated to grandstands, a funfair, and plenty of other activities; now as then, it is the fans who will be at the heart of the celebrations.

The CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa is much more than just a race: it is a major event in its own right, one that welcomed more than 80,000 spectators in 2023. This year will offer just as much on-track action, with the 24 Hours joined by a host of support series that bring the total to 10 races. Some 250 cars are expected on the track, while more than 500 drivers from all four corners of the globe will descend upon Spa-Francorchamps. To ensure their safety, 700 marshals will be posted around the 7-kilometre Ardennes venue. These impressive figures speak to the unique character of the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa.

The event can also be seen as a music festival, with concerts scheduled every evening from Thursday 27 June to Saturday 29 June. On Thursday and Friday, nostalgia takes centre stage with Belgian groups Mister Cover and Six No More running through 20th century classics. On Saturday evening, while the race is in full swing, stars of the European scene such as Kungs, Peter Luts and Henri PFR will provide the soundtrack; behind them, the legendary Raidillon and its ballet of headlights will be the backdrop. This magical atmosphere simply must be experienced.

For racing fans, the celebrations will last a full 10 days, launching on the weekend of 21–23 June with SRO Speedweek. Featuring no fewer than 15 races – including the FFSA French GT Championship and the British GT Championship – this event adds even more to the festival feel in the Ardennes. What’s more, entrance to this meeting is completely free of charge.

In well-established tradition, Wednesday is parade day. On 26 June at 16:30, cars will leave the paddock and take the 1924 circuit, passing via the old Stavelot bend. The impressive procession will then head to Spa city centre for a unique moment of communion between fans and competitors. Nowhere else can spectators get so close to the drivers and the cars. 

Back at the circuit, the Fan Village will be completely redesigned, while there will be 15 different catering points. Among many activities, Monster Energy will present its Circus Trial Tour, an epic freestyle motorcycle show. The paddock is accessible so that the public can soak up the atmosphere of the race, while manufacturers will present new models and supercars. That's not all. A unique exhibition, the ‘Gallery of Time’ will allow everyone to immerse themselves in a century of history. Expect to see cars, photographs, promotional materials, miniatures – in short, everything associated with the passion of the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa.

Bringing fans closer to the action is a key mantra for the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa. In this spirit, Pit Walks will be organised, with the pit lane transformed into a pedestrian area open to the public. Spectators can take a look inside the garages and watch as the teams practice refuelling and tyre changes. These Pit Walks have the potential to be special moments shared with family and friends. 

The 24 Hours gets underway at 16:30 on Saturday 29 June. Before that, a series of support races will whet the appetite. Nostalgia is part of the menu, with some of the touring cars and GT machines that have written the race’s history returning to the track. Spectators will also appreciate the awesome engineering of the Fanatec GT2 European Series Powered by Pirelli, the hugely competitive GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club, and the glamour of McLaren Trophy Europe.

On a sporting level, the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa has never been so good. No fewer than 70 GT3 cars representing eight manufacturers are expected on the track. On a strictly technical level, any one of them could win; in practice, there will be five classes each disputing its own race, with top professionals and skilled amateurs sharing the track. As in previous years, the list of candidates for victory looks particularly long, making predictions almost impossible. Remember that in 2023 eight cars finished on the same lap, with the first four separated by just 13 seconds. How’s that for close competition? 

The CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa is an experience that defies description. Soaking up the atmosphere in person is essential and a special ticket office, including new offers, has been established. For those who cannot be there, plenty of options are in place to follow the action. Thanks to numerous media partnerships, the centenary CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa will be broadcast on five continents. Last year, more than five million viewers followed the event either on television or via the GTWorld YouTube channel, which is accessible free of charge from anywhere in the world. In 2024, commentary will be provided in six different languages. 

So, ready to go racing? The countdown is on, with only 129 days left before the action gets underway.