Mercedes-AMG Motorsport with a good start into TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport with a good start into TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa

01.08.2021: TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa (Belgium) 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS - Endurance Cup July 29th - August 1st, 2021 Saturday, July 31st 2021

TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa (Belgium)
2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS - Endurance Cup
July 29th - August 1st, 2021
Saturday, July 31st 2021

 

The 24-hour race of Spa has got off to a turbulent start. Having started from pole position, Raffaele Marciello (ITA) initially was able to hold on to the lead for the #88 (Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP) in a commanding way. On lap nine, an accident led to a longer full-course yellow phase.


Soon after racing had resumed, heavy rain set in and upset the order. At the time of the first scheduled driver changes, the racing line had dried to an extent that enabled the teams to return to slick tyres.



At this stage, the #50 HubAuto Mercedes-AMG GT3 put in a strong recovery drive, the car racing in a tribute livery to commemorate the legendary Spa success by the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG from 1971:  Maximilian Buhk and Maximilian Götz (both GER) brought the red GT3 up from 41st place on the grid into the top ten.



Due to varying pit stop strategies and numerous drive-through penalties for disrespect of track limits, there are multiple position changes in the front-running group. As night is falling, four of the 13 Mercedes-AMG GT3s that took the start are on the same lap as the race-leading car.



In the Silver Cup class, the #90 Madpanda Motorsport car has cemented a top position. Haupt Racing Team, meanwhile, had to park its #5 car with a technical failure after 71 laps.




Raffaele Marciello, Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP #88
: “My start was okay. I could pull a slight gap at the front right away. Then I stayed out a little bit longer with slicks in the rain, which cost us the lead. However, we are still in the front-running group and we continue to attack. Now it is important that we get into a good rhythm.”




Luca Stolz, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #4
: “I am having mixed feeling as to my stint at the beginning of the race. From third on the grid, we started the race nicely, but then there was a big accident after Eau Rouge. In the full-course yellow, we then stayed out, which was the right decision. After the restart, rain set in. With rain tyres, I was then able to push to the front. However, I was also very cautious concerning the track limit ruling. Let’s see how it goes on. We definitely have a car to attack.”



Lucas Auer, AKKA ASP Team #89:
“My first stint was very good. At the start of the race, I just made sure to avoid any mistake. That worked out well. Then, there were mixed conditions out on track for a while and that was where I felt particularly well. We started from P10 and I came into the pits in P6. From that perspective, everything is okay. The timing for the stop was good, too, as we were able to change back to dry weather tyres.”



Rik Breukers, Madpanda Motorsport #90
: “The opening stage was quite a challenge with the quick weather changes. Our goal was to make it through and to avoid any contact. Things got strategic when the rain set in. The team did a super job and found the right time to change. With rain tyres, I was immediately able to attack again and overtake three or four cars. Temporarily, we were running in the top five overall and in the lead of the Silver Cup class. We continue to attack. The race is still long.”



Nico Bastian, GetSpeed Performance #2:
“For me, the start is a bit of a love /hate affair. I really do like to take the start, but I also have a lot of respect. After all, you simply can lose more in the first corners than you can gain there. Today, the opening stage was quite chaotic. With 58 cars in the field and a starting position in the middle of the pack, there is plenty of action all around. The accident in the opening part left some debris on track and one of these parts hit our car as well, but the impairment is limited.”




Maximilian Götz, HubAuto #50
: “So far, we have done everything right strategically. We had the courage to change back to slicks at an early stage. There, we gained quite a lot and after that, we were in a good rhythm as well. The pace could be a little better, I am having some understeer in the car all the time. That is because we weren’t able to get a lot of running in during practice and we are therefore lacking the fine-tuning in the set-up. Perhaps, we can still optimise it a bit during our mandatory technical stop later on and make the front axle a little bit more aggressive. Apart from that, everything is running trouble-free.”




 
Jochen Übler- photos Mercedes

 

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01.08.2021 / MaP

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