Mercedes-AMG tasted podium success in a thrilling 2016 Total 24 Hours of Spa.
Despite having set the fastest top six position times in Superpole qualifying, before the race Mercedes-AMG had their top six positions revoked due to a ignition timing issue. However, the German manufacturer were unaffected by the Stewards’ decision and made great progress at the start of the 24 Hours of Spa.
While the 24 Hours of Spa for the most part was taking place in wet conditions, which led to the cars aquaplaning and randomising the class grids. All eight Mercedes-AMG cars were classified finishers in the 2016 Total 24 Hours of Spa.
The first of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars to finish the race were the #88 AMG Team-AKKA ASP car of Felix Rosenqvist, Tristan Vautier and Renger van der Zande in second place. While the #86 AMG-Team HTP Motorsport car of Maximilian Götz Thomas Jäger and Gary Paffett were fifth despite losing a potential second place due to a drive-through penalty.
Completing the third and final Mercedes-AMG car in the top ten was the sister AMG-Team HTP Motorsport #84 car of Dominik Baumann, Maximilian Buhk and Jazeman Jaafar in sixth place.
Rosenqvist reflected on his first-ever endurance race. “This was my first endurance race and fortunately, I quickly found my way. We came here as outsiders and we finished second, because our entire team has done a great job and always made the right decisions. We had never expected this, because we made it all the way from the back to the front. At the end, we were a little bit lucky with the rain as well. For us, this result is a great success.”
Götz was disappointed with the team’s result in fifth. “Of course, I am disappointed, because our result could have been better. We were fighting all race long and had a podium finish within reach. The mistake in the final half hour prevented the success, but things like that can happen in motorsport. Now, we just have to come back and try again next year.”
Jaafar added “We made it to the finish, that was our main goal. We are all very happy with our sixth place, even though we probably could have done better. The speed was there, but we sometimes had bad luck with the full course yellows. During these neutralisations, we wanted to make some pit stops, but we just missed the time slot a few times. All in all, it was great fun.”