Mercedes-AMG takes pole for 2016 Total 24 Hours of Spa

29 July 2016 Mercedes-AMG takes pole for 2016 Total 24 Hours of Spa
Clemens Schmid, at the wheel of the #85 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG, has claimed pole position for the 2016 Total 24 Hours of Spa, the highlight of the Blancpain GT Series and Intercontinental GT Challenge. The Austrian beat his Mercedes-AMG colleague Felix Rosenqvist (#88 AMG-Team AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG) by a mere 0.009 of a second. Fastest time in the Pro-Am Cup went to another Mercedes-AMG, the #56 Black Falcon car driven by Dani Juncadella.

Sunny conditions greeted the 20 fastest drivers participating in the Superpole session of the 2016 edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa. With those 20 cars only separated by eight tenths of a second after Thursday's qualifying session, the Superpole was expected to be an exciting affair.

By lapping in 2m18.223s Maro Engel in the #.00 AMG-Team Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG was the first to beat the quickest time of Thursday evening. But that was not enough to claim pole position, for Clemens Schmid beat last year's pole time at the wheel of the #85 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG thanks to his 2m18.025s. And, almost immediately after, Felix Rosenqvist - a Spa 24 rookie - lapped within 0.009s of the Austrian's time.

Dani Juncadella (#56 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG), Maxi Götz (#86 AMG-Team HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG) and Shane Van Gisbergen (#58 Garage 59 McLaren) were the last three drivers on track, trying to get the best starting position for the Belgian endurance classic.

The Spanish Black Falcon driver was about to set a quick lap time, but was then distracted by a car on its slowing down lap and Juncadella missed his braking point in the final chicane. Than bad luck struck the fastest man of Thursday's qualifying, Shane Van Gisbergen. The McLaren driver slowed down on track, causing a yellow flag situation. That impacted most on Maxi Götz whose final flying lap - which would have been fast enough of pole - was subsequently cancelled as a result of the caution. He therefore completes a top-six solely comprising Mercedes-AMG machines.

With other cars under investigation, the official grid for the 2016 Total 24 Hours of Spa will be published on Saturday morning.

Clemens Schmid (#85 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG): “I out-braked myself at the Bus Stop on lap one, which was a wake-up call for the second lap! I made a small mistake through Pouhon but was really happy with the rest. However, it is a long race; we still have 24 hours to go.”

Felix Rosenqvist (#88 AMG-Team AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG): “I think a qualifying format like the Superpole shootout is my kind of thing and really fun. It was a dream come true, actually! My run was a bit similar to Clemens’ in that I tried to set my fastest on the first lap so worked the tyres very hard during the out-lap. However, I made a big mistake at the chicane and had to go again. It is great for my team to be pushing at the front in their first year.

Dani Juncadella (#56 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG): “You do not expect to find a car at the last corner during a Superpole session. I was not blocked but when you are on a fast lap and flat-out something like that makes a difference and I out-braked myself. It looked like a really good lap because I had the reference from yesterday. Anyway, pole position probably was not possible today. Maybe a bit higher on the grid would have been good but starting in the top-10 is nice, and obviously first in class was the objective.
 

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Useful information - Total 24 Hours of Spa

When: 26th – 31st July 2016

Tickets : from 15 €
General Entrance : 30 € (includes free entrance on Thursday and Friday)
General Entrance + paddock : 60 € 
Children aged 12 or under, accompanied by an adult, enter for free
Sales on: www.24hoursofspa and www.ticketmaster.be

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Timetable

Saturday July 30th 
Warm Up 09:00-09:10
Starting procedure & Grid walk 15:40-16:30
Start of the Total 24 hours of Spa 16:30

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Information & reservation : www.24hoursofspa.com / www.blancpain-gt-series.com
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Blancpain - Innovation is our Tradition

Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the watch brand bearing his name is the oldest in the world. Blancpain is currently engaged to the renewal of mechanical watchmaking and to passing on exceptional expertise from one generation to the next through constant investment in human resources, production facilities and research. This approach is its strength and the expression of our long-term vision, even though it goes against the tide of a certain tendency to seek immediate profit.

From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements. Over the past ten years, the Manufacture has indeed developed no less than 35 new calibres.

Through its various models, Blancpain preserves its heritage of precision and elegance, while also displaying an innovative and occasionally provocative spirit.

Its range encompasses the sportive L-evolution line, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection, the high complication from Le Brassus collection and the Women models.
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Pirelli – Official Tyre Supplier

Pirelli is a tyre manufacturer and world leader in the automotive industry. It has an exclusive relationship with over 50 racing series worldwide, including Formula One.

Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in endurance racing, and has also claimed a huge variety of class wins in GT racing all over the world. The design of the new Pirelli GT tyres meets the needs of GT racing while maintaining the performance characteristics that endurance drivers have appreciated in the past.The slick tyres used for GT racing are branded Zero: just like the slicks that have become a central feature of Formula One.

The name P Zero is used in the highest categories of motorsport such as GT racing.
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Total - Official Sponsor of the Total 24 Hours of Spa

Energy is vital to economic development and improved standards of living.
Wherever it is available, energy is helping to drive progress, but sustainability requires changes in the way that it is used and managed. This is the environment in which we conduct our business.

With operations in more than 130 countries, Total is a top-tier international oil company and a world-class natural gas operator, refiner, petrochemical producer, and fuel and lubricant retailer.
Our nearly 99,000 employees leverage their globally acknowledged expertise so that together they can discover, produce, refine and distribute oil and gas to provide products and services for customers worldwide.
We are also broadening our offering by developing energies that can partner oil and gas — today, solar energy and tomorrow, biomass.

As a responsible corporate citizen, we focus on ensuring that our operations consistently deliver
economic, social and environmental benefits.
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SRO Motorsports Group - The architect of modern GT Racing

SRO Motorsports Group was founded by Stephane Ratel and has specialised in the promotion, support and organisation of many national and international motorsport series since 1995.

In 2016, SRO Motorsports Group promotes several championships and series, such as the Blancpain 
GT Series, including the iconic Total 24 hours of Spa, the British GT Championship, the Blancpain Sports Club with the Blancpain GT Sports Club and the Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club, the Competition 102 GT4 European Series and the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

SRO Motorsports Group runs also the SRO Race Centre by MMC - a high-level technical centre at the Paul Ricard Circuit in the south of France - and Curbstone, that provides ultimate track driving opportunities on world renowned race circuits in Western Europe for supercar owners, as well as test driving facilities for race car drivers.

SRO has offices in London, Paris and Liège.

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