Audi starts Spa 24 from pole, Mercedes gets penalty

Photo: Marcel ten Caat - Planetlemans

Audi Sport Team WRT will start today’s Total 24 Hours of Spa from pole position, despite finishing only seventh in the Super Pole session on Friday evening. The Super Pole result changed twice after the session, with Mercedes eventually losing their top six spots.

The Mercedes-AMG teams dominated Super Pole. Maxi Götz was initially scored as the pole winner, but the No. 86 AMG – Team HTP Motorsport driver lost his fastest lap time for not slowing down under yellow. The yellow flags were waved after the No. 58 Garage 59 McLaren 650S GT3 had stopped on track.

Götz’ penalty meant Clemens Schmid was handed pole position, but shortly after the session had ended reports from the paddock indicated it could take a while before the results would be confirmed.

Three hours before the start of the race SRO Motorsports Group announced the top six had been penalized for breach of articles 6, 7, 10.1 and 47 of the 2016 Blancpain GT Series Sporting Regulations.

The stewards decisions for cars No. 00, No. 56, No. 57, No. 85, No. 86 and No. 88 meant the teams had their Super Pole times canceled and will have to serve a five-minute stop-go penalty to be served in accordance with the race director.

Lap times were canceled as a result of the IA (ignition timing) not complying with the homologated figures in homologation file GT3-042 – 04/01 ER page 2/2, while the stop-go penalty was for non-sporting behaviour (presenting a car with technical non-conformity of which the competitor should have been aware).

The race will start at 4.30pm, with René Rast and GRT Grasser Racing Team driver Mirko Bortolotti starting from the first row.