Mercedes takes the pole at Barcelona
Mercedes-AMG of Maro Engel, Yelmer Buurman and Luca Stolz will start today’s season-closing Blancpain GT Series race from the first position of the grid.
The Black Falcon crew began the weekend one point shy of leader Raffaele Marciello, but levelled the scores by taking the pole position bonus at Barcelona.
Alongside the German team’s AMG GT3 is the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT of Chris Mies, Alex Riberas and Dries Vanthoor, who remain in contention for the Endurance Cup title. Mies and Riberas can also challenge Marciello for the overall crown, but will almost certainly need to win today’s race to do so.
The other Mercedes of Strakka Racing will start third, extending Maxi Buhk and Maxi Goetz’s outside shot at the title. Alvaro Parente completes their line-up in Spain.
Qualifying was particularly successful for the German marque. Marciello’s Mercedes will start from fourth after a rapid lap from the Italian – the fastest of all three qualifying sessions – vaulted his crew up from eighth. The new Sprint Cup champion will be assured the overall title should he finish where he starts, with Dani Juncadella and Tristan Vautier joining him in the same car.
For the fifth Endurance race in succession, Silver Cup pole went to the Emil Frey Jaguar, which is contesting its final Blancpain GT Series event this weekend after seven years of service. The bonus point also helps the crew of Mikael Grenier, Adrian Zaugg and Alex Fontana’s outside shot at the class title.
Pro-Am pole position went to the Strakka Racing Mercedes-AMG of Nick Leventis, Chris Buncombe, Lewis Williamson, who extended their class points advantage. The fastest time in the Am Cup went to the AKKA Mercedes, which will start a remarkable 25th overall thanks to Fabien Barthez and Eric Debard.