Mercedes AMG quotes prior to the start of the Total 24 Hours of Spa

Mercedes AMG quotes prior to the start of the Total 24 Hours of Spa

24.10.2020: Ready to race! Today, the Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race gets underway and the situation for Mercedes-AMG is good. The #88 Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP car will be starting from pole position for the world’s biggest GT3 race while the #4 Mercedes-AMG Team H


Ready to race! Today, the Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race gets underway and the situation for Mercedes-AMG is good. The #88 Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP car will be starting from pole position for the world’s biggest GT3 race while the #4 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT entry will be taking on the race from third place on the grid.


 Next to the two Pro cars from the Performance Teams, the eight further Customer Racing cars from Affalterbach also managed to secure themselves very good grid positions in the Silver Cup and the Pro-Am class.



In difficult track conditions, all ten Mercedes-AMG GT3s largely made it through the practice and qualifying sessions without any problems or accidents.



Now, an extraordinary 24-hour race is awaiting the drivers and teams, a race of which a huge part will be run in the dark as a result of the date late in the year.




These are the starting grid positions and the designated starting drivers of the Mercedes-AMG GT3s:


•    P1: Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP #88, Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

•    P3: Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #4, Maro Engel (GER)

•    P18: AKKA ASP Team #89, Alex Fontana (SUI)

•    P20: HTP-Winward Motorsport #84, Philip Ellis (SUI)

•    P31: Madpanda Motorsport #90, Patrick Assenheimer (GER)

•    P32: Haupt Racing Team #5, Hubert Haupt (GER)

•    P36: AKKA ASP Team #87, Jim Pla (FRA)

•    P47: SPS automotive performance #20, Valentin Pierburg (GER)

•    P49: RAM Racing #74, Tom Onslow-Cole (GBR)

•    P50: JP Motorsport #111, Christian Klien (AUT)





Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing
: “We are really delighted that the action is now finally starting in earnest. We are in an excellent situation with pole position in the overall field and pole position in the Silver Cup. We are also absolutely competitive in the Pro-Am class. But everybody has been warned: this will be a really hard race in extremely difficult conditions that we are expecting during the night in particular. Therefore, the motto is: keep going, stay calm and then we will see what comes out at the end. I hope that we will be successful and I wish all the teams good luck!”



Raffaele Marciello, Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP (#88): “
Of course, starting the 24-hour race here at Spa from pole position is mega. A huge advantage in case there is turmoil at the start. I will be driving the first stint for us and will try to get into the race and into the rhythm in a good way. We are well prepared and I am looking forward to it.”



Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT (#4):
“We are looking forward to the start of this unique classic. P3 is a good position to, hopefully, get into the race in a clean way. Finding the right rhythm will be crucial. In terms of the weather, it will certainly be challenging for everyone. But we know that we are well prepared and now we are happy that the action is getting underway.”



Philip Ellis, HTP-Winward Motorsport (#84):
“Our grid position is not so bad. P20 overall and second in the Silver Cup. Our primary goal is to make it through. In the evening, darkness is setting in pretty quickly. We have to make sure that we get our car through the long night without problems, avoid any penalties and make it through as cleanly as possible. When we manage to get that done, we are in a good situation. A class podium definitely is a realistic goal. Tomorrow morning, we will know whether anything beyond that is possible.”



Hubert Haupt, Haupt Racing Team (#5)
: “We are starting from P32. That is okay. In the Silver Cup, we are still in a good position that way. Our goal is to finish on the podium in our class. There, anything is still possible. I will be taking the start, which surely won’t be easy with so many cars in front of us, but we have to deal with that. Our #4 Pro car is on the second row of the grid and Maro will be starting, that is super! I hope that everything goes well at the start and that our colleagues at the front can pull a slight gap straight away.”




Patrick Assenheimer, Madpanda Motorsport (#90):
“Being allowed to take the start at Spa is always a huge honour. The race will be difficult. Track conditions are still mixed: off the racing line, it is still relatively wet. That will surely be exciting. I am looking forward to the night. That always is an incredible experience here.”




Jim Pla, AKKA ASP Team (#87):
“We will be starting the Spa 24-hour race from second place on the grid in the Pro-Am class. So far, the team has been doing a great job. Our gentlemen drivers behind the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 also coped well with the difficult track conditions. I am really confident for the race. I will be taking the start and I am still pretty relaxed.”



Tom Onslow-Cole, RAM Racing (#74
): “In preparation, we haven’t been able to test as much as we wanted, but we partly made up for that here. Now, with the start of the race coming up, I think that we have a good package. Our Mercedes-AMG GT3, the set-up, the team, the drivers: it all fits. Our goal is a class win in the Pro-Am classification and we want to score as many points as possible in the intermediate classifications after six and twelve hours.”




Jochen Übler,  photos Mercedes

 

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/mercedes-amg-quotes-start-24h-spa---214880.html

24.10.2020 / MaP

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