24 Hours of SpaGT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup

#90 AKKA ASP Mercedes in control as front runners crash out overnight

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Credit: Mercedes-AMG

Overnight rain and various on track incidents have claimed some of the frontrunners of the 2017 Total 24 Hours of Spa, most notably the loss of the pole sitter and long time leader, #55 Kaspersky Motorsport and it’s main challenger the #63 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan. With six hours remaining the #90 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 leads the way.

There was a brief period of rain throughout the night along with the mandatory five-minute technical pit-stops which gave the teams time to change brake pads at the halfway point.

The #63 Lamborghini lead the way at the halfway point, just before the rain shook up the running order.

Kamui Kobayashi’s troubled 24 Hours of Spa came to an early end, following the team bringing in a new chassis after his high-speed qualifying accident the #00 Goodsmile Racing & Team Uktyo Mercedes-AMG GT3 was battling its way through the field.

Unfortunately for the former Formula 1 driver this would come to an end when the #3 Audi Sport Team WRT car driven by Jon Venter clipped the #00 car at the Bus Stop, causing enough damage to take both cars out of the race.

The Bus Stop also claimed another victim when Rory Butcher was caught out there, and the #53 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 would go no further.

The #43 Strakka Racing McLaren was a victim of the rain as Sam Tordoff hit the barriers at Blanchimont.

The next accident claimed the #77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini and the #11 Kessel Ferrari after the two cars made contact.

Things were looking good for the Kaspersky Motorsport team at this point, they were amongst the front runners in a period that saw Giancarlo Fisichella master the wet conditions on slick tyres.

As Marco Cioci approached the La Source hairpin the #90 Mercedes of Raffaele Marciello made a desperate lunge to the inside, a collision between the two ensued and as a result, something on the front right suspension structure of the #55 Ferrari was broken. Cioci run wide out of La Source and headed down towards Eau Rouge, as he went to turn in to Raidillon the front right wheel prevented him, flailing in every direction except the one he needed, leaving the 488 GT3 with nowhere to go but in to the barriers.

Cioci emerged from the car unaided but understandably frustrated, as the cars continued to lap and the #90 car came passed Cioci gave the internationally recognised middle finger to the Mercedes driver.

Front-runners #63 GRT Grasser Racing Team would be the next team to lose out. After claiming the points for leading at the halfway point things were looking promising for the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 runners, that was until Christian Engelhart burried the car under the tyre barrier at Pif-Paf.

An eventful night and early morning means with six hours remaining the #90 Mercedes is in control of the race with the #1 and #25 Audi’s giving chase.

In the Pro AM Cup the #16 Black Falcon Mercedes leads the way over the class pole sitter #97 Oman Racing Team with TF Sport car in second. The #961 Sprit of Race Ferrari is currently third in class.

#888 Kessel Racing lead the way in the AM class.

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