Angus endurance ace Sandy Mitchell returns this weekend to the scene of his two biggest international victories bidding for a hat-trick of wins in the gruelling Spa 24-Hours.
A 58-car grid will contest the blue riband event of the GT World Challenge Europe around the Belgian F1 Grand Prix track.
The Forfar 21-year-old will lead the four-man assault in the No.77 Lamborghini Huracan Evo GT3, prepared by Barwell Motorsport.
Mitchell’s 24-hour record around the spectacular 4.3-mile Ardennes forest circuit is remarkable.
He came within two seconds of a debut win there in 2018 before powering to Silver Cup class victory the following year.
Last year, the British Racing Drivers’ Club SuperStars scheme racer won the ultra-competitive Pro-Am class, again with Barwell.
This weekend, the former Dundee High School pupil will be reunited with Russian ace Leo Machitski — who partnered the Scot 12 months ago — and Portuguese duo Miguel Ramos and Henrique Chaves.
Reigning British GT champion
Current British GT champion Mitchell is fresh from a fifth-place finish in last weekend’s two-hour round of the series race at the same circuit.
That race was won by Barwell team-mate Machitski and the Angus driver is looking forward to working with his trio of team-mates in the quest for a triple success.
“I love racing at Spa, and I especially enjoy the demands and disciplines of racing for 24 hours,” Mitchell said.
“I’ve been fortunate to win the Silver Cup and Pro-Am classes with Barwell the last two years.
“This year I’m going for a hat-trick of victories, and back-to-back wins in Pro-Am.
“We all know it’s going to be tough. No 24-hour race is easy,” said the racer, personally backed by Huntly-based Black Bull Scotch Whisky and Lamborghini Edinburgh.
He added: “But it’s great to be back in the car with Leo. We worked so well together 12 months ago, and he was brilliant a few days ago in the British GT round at Spa.
“I’m also really looking forward to working together in a race for the first time with Miguel and Henrique,” continued Lamborghini factory driver Mitchell.
“The Lamborghini is quick here, Miguel and Henrique are fast, and Leo and I are fortunate to have won here on more than one occasion each.
“That, plus the vast experience of the whole crew at Barwell, which has won multiple races in the Spa24H, means we head into the weekend knowing we have a strong package.
“But we also all know this is a 24-hour race, and anything can happen.
“That said, we have the foundation, pace and reliability which will allow us to mix it at the front again.”
Meanwhile, rival and fellow Scot Jonny Adam has been forced out of the event after a positive Covid test.
The Kirkcaldy-born 36-year-old had been due to be behind the wheel of the Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
German driver Marvin Kirchhöfer will take his place alongside Alexander West and Charlie Eastwood.