Maxi Goetz sets Spa 24 Hour pole in Mercedes top six lock-out

Maxi Goetz claimed a storming pole position for the Total 24 Hours of Spa, in a superpole session absolutely dominated by the Mercedes AMG GT3.

Goetz, in the AMG-Team HTP Motorsport #86 car left it until the last minutes of the 30 minute session – featuring the top 20 from yesterday’s qualifying sessions – to set his fastest time, a dominant 2:17.651. However, there’ll be some debate as to whether he should have gone fastest on that lap as Shane van Gisbergen’s Garage 59 McLaren 650S was stopped at the exit of Stavelot and there could be debate that Goetz didn’t lift off enough in a yellow flag zone.

For now though, he sits on pole position, 0.374s faster than the sister HTP Mercedes of Clemens Schmid who couldn’t break down into the 2:17s and had to satisfy himself with being the fastest man in the 2:18s with a 2:18.025.

He was just 0.009s faster than Felix Rosenqvist in the #88 AMG-Team AKKA ASP machine who had to settle for third place after running out of laps to jump any higher up the grid. He is though, ahead of Maro Engel’s Linkin Park liveried AMG-Team Black Falcon entry with the third HTP Mercedes lining up in fifth.

Sixth place was the second Black Falcon Mercedes of Dani Juncadella, who also claims pole position in the Pro-Am Cup, with a time of 2:18.328 to ensure the top six were covered by less than three-quarters of a second.

Black Falcon claimed pole position in the Pro-Am Cup (Credit: Craig Robertson/
Black Falcon claimed pole position in the Pro-Am Cup (Credit: Craig Robertson/

The fastest non-Mercedes car was in seventh as Laurens Vanthoor failed to match the pace shown by those running a car with a three-pointed star on the front of it. His time of 2:18.505 in the Audi Sport Team WRT Audi R8 LMS was almost two-tenths slower than Juncadella and only half-a-tenth faster than the Audi of Franck Perera and ISR Racing.

Elsewhere within the top 20, Steven Kane could only manage 10th for the Bentley Team M-Sport crew in a Bentley Continental GT3 that didn’t seem to be enjoying its running around the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. The sister M-Sport Bentley fared no better as the #7 settled for 18th place, even the Pro-Am entry of Team Parker Racing could only manage 16th overall albeit a more respectable third in Pro-Am.

It’s also worth noting that the incident that befell the McLaren meant that it didn’t set a lap-time and finished down in 20th with the team still investigating what caused the Kiwi ace to stop out on track.

Elsewhere in the British contingent, Phil Keen will start 17th in the Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan – probably not the session they would have wanted but fourth in Pro-Am should go some way in making up for that.

The Total 24 Hours of Spa itself starts tomorrow at 3.30pm with The Checkered Flag covering the race with regular updates throughout!