Mercedes-AMG with pole position at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa

Mercedes-AMG with pole position at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa

30.07.2022: Following intense practice and qualifying sessions, all 14 Mercedes-AMG GT3 are excellently prepared for the season highlight of the GT World Challenge (GTWC) and the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC).



Following intense practice and qualifying sessions, all 14 Mercedes-AMG GT3 are excellently prepared for the season highlight of the GT World Challenge (GTWC) and the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC).



The initial situation for Mercedes-AMG is very good: all four Mercedes-AMG GT3s that are eligible to score points for the IGTC manufacturers’ standings are starting from the first five rows on the grid. In the #88 Mercedes-AMG Team AKKODIS ASP car, Raffaele Marciello (SUI) will be leading the field.


The AMG driver posted the second-fastest time in yesterday’s Super Pole shoot-out, but was promoted today following a penalty for the team holding the fastest time. As a result, Marciello and Mercedes-AMG establish a new record: the third consecutive pole position for the Swiss and already the fourth for Mercedes-AMG.



Next to the overall classification, the cars from Affalterbach are also to be found at the front in the respective classes: in the Silver and Bronze Cups, Mercedes-AMG GT3s are in P1, in the Gold Cup in second place. The Pro-Am SunEnergy1 Racing by SPS car has to join the field at the back following an engine change.



Fans can look forward to a thrilling race and an attractive support programme: in the previous two days, the AMG display area proved to be a crowd puller already, especially during the big autograph session of the AMG drivers.


Just before the start of the race, today at 4.45pm, drivers are looking ahead to the duties at hand and the particularities of the legendary seven kilometres long track in the Ardennes. These are the designated starting grid positions and starting drivers of the Mercedes-AMG GT3s:




•    P1, Raffaele Marciello, Mercedes-AMG Team AKKODIS ASP #88
•    P3, Luca Stolz, Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed #2
•    P8, Fabian Schiller, Al Manar Racing by HRT #777
•    P9, Maximilian Buhk, Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM #55
•    P23, Tommaso Mosca, AKKODIS ASP Team #87
•    P25, Jannes Fittje, Haupt Racing Team #4
•    P29, Lucas Auer, Winward Racing #57
•    P36, Ezequiel Perez Companc, Madpanda Motorsport #90
•    P39, Arjun Maini, Haupt Racing Team #5
•    P49, Loris Spinelli, SKY – Tempesta Racing #93
•    P58, Tim Müller, SPS automotive performance #20
•    P60, Patrick Assenheimer, GetSpeed #44
•    P62, Sébastien Baud, GetSpeed #3
•    P66, Kenny Habul, SunEnergy1 Racing by SPS #75




Raffaele Marciello, Mercedes-AMG Team AKKODIS ASP #88
: “I am happy with the belated pole position. However, it isn’t that crucial for the race. The important thing is to make it to the finish without damage. The best opportunities for overtaking are in sectors two and three. Because of the high speed and the challenge for the drivers, Pouhon is my undisputed favourite part of the track.”



Luca Stolz, Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed #2:
“We are now starting from P3. It is more relaxed being on the inside. But first of all, the task is to get a clean start and to find a good rhythm. For me, Turn 1 and the Bus-Stop chicane are the best places for overtaking as the rest is very difficult to drive because of the track limits. Especially at night, it is difficult to overtake the slower cars safely and without any mistakes.”




Fabian Schiller, Al Manar Racing by HRT #777:
"This year, the gravel beds at the corner exits are a huge challenge. You can’t make any mistakes there. There will certainly be many safety car interventions. Then, it will be about the right strategy to use these phases in an optimal way. The strengths of our car are definitely in the corners where there is good rubber on the track. There, our Mercedes-AMG GT3 is particularly strong.”




Tommaso Mosca, AKKODIS ASP Team #87:
“We have to take it easy in the opening stages of the race as 24 hours are a long time and it will definitely be an intense race. A special challenge here at Spa are the track limits. The balance between a fast line and a mistake is very narrow.”



Ezequiel Perez Companc, Madpanda Motorsport #90:
“The biggest challenge will be to avoid any risk, to remain focused all the time and not to risk any penalties. My favourite part of the track is the run up to Eau Rouge and Raidillon. But also the downhill part from the highest point of the track is always a highlight.”
Arjun Maini, Haupt Racing Team #5: “Eau Rouge after the start isn’t easy. It is incredibly narrow and all the drivers will be attacking here immediately. I prefer to drive Les Combes after the long straight and the approach of the Bus-Stop chicane. I am curious how the track limits will be handled. I assume that there will be many penalties.”



Tim Müller, SPS automotive performance #20:
“At the start, making it through the first corner is particularly important. Because of the new gravel, there is no longer an opportunity to escape to the outside on the left. To make up positions, the Kemmel straight is always a very good section. It will be crucial to make it through without damage, to remain focused and not to have any unnecessary interruptions. My personal favourite part is just before Blanchimont, there it is very technical, followed by a high-speed section.”




Patrick Assenheimer, GetSpeed #44
: "Unfortunately, we had some bad luck in qualifying and are therefore relatively far behind. I hope that I can make up some places in the first stint already. To do so, it is important not to make any mistakes and to avoid contact with other cars. To me, the feeling of driving over the crest after Eau Rouge is breathtaking every time. Because of the course of the track uphill to the right, you have to drive a very clean line there to get through at maximum speed.”



Kenny Habul, SunEnergy1 Racing by SPS #75:
"Starting from the pitlane is difficult as it is slightly downhill. You have to stand on the brake and wait for the green light. Nevertheless, we have a good feeling going into the race. We have had some difficult days with the engine change and the fine-tuning of the handling. Now, however, the balance is fine. At the track, I am always looking forward to the end of the Kemmel straight, a place that is good for overtaking.”



Jochen Übler, photos Mercedes


Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/mercedes-amg-pole-position-24h-spa---240759.html

30.07.2022 / MaP

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