Pit stops are some of the most fascinating, and often some of the most glossed over, parts of a car race. That’s because while they’re essential to any race that goes past a tank of fuel or a full charge, they don’t take much time to do. Here’s a chance to slow things down and really appreciate what goes on during one.
Even if you don’t have a care in the world about pit stops, this slow-motion video is almost like art in itself. It’s from a Bentley Team M-Sport overnight stop at the Blancpain GT Series’ 24 Hours of Spa, which happened over the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium:
Pit routines are different across all different types of motorsports. NASCAR does a 12-second pit stop with a five-person over-the-wall crew, a manual jack on the car and two tire changers—one for the front, one for the back. Formula One stops hover around two to three seconds, with several crew members on each wheel to make the stop into a crowded blur.
The Blanpain GT Series has a different approach. Its longer stops with refueling, tire changes and driver swaps don’t focus on speed of the stop, and instead have a minimum time that the car has to be in the box. That minimum changes from race to race, and there are other types of stops that have different rules. There are only two people working the tires on the stop, too.
A Bentley team representative said the stop in this video was at around 2 a.m. local time during the 24-hour race, and that the team had been up for about 36 hours when the race ended. That’s a long time to be awake and servicing a car.
And while most of that time isn’t spent in the spotlight as a crew member—the drivers get that glory—their skill levels are right up there with the people out on the track.