Raffaele Marciello put the #88 Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 on pole position for the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa after a session that saw 11 of the 20 runners in the ‘Super Pole’ qualifying session lose lap times for exceeding track limits. Marciello lapped in 2:17.949 late in the session.
Joining the #88 Mercedes on the front row of the grid will be #63 Orange 1 FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in which Mirko Bortlotti put in a 2:18.252.
Completing the overall top three was the #4 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT entry, Maro Engel putting in a 2:18.545.
Ben Barnicoat, at the wheel of the #38 JOTA McLaren 720S GT3 led the early pace with a 2:18.597 after a number of the early runners lost lap times due to track limits. It took Ricardo Feller in the #14 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini to raise the bar before Bortolotti lapped in 2:18.252.
For a while it looked as if the #63 had done enough to secure pole but Marciello had other ideas as he took to the track which, by now, was in optimal condition. The Italian driver was the first to break into the 2:17s on his first flying lap and could not improve on it on his second.
Raffaele Marciello explained that he took a cautious approach to the session and had set his sights on a top five starting position.
“I just wanted to try and qualify the car inside the top five and stay out of trouble at the beginning of the race,” explained Marciello. “That’s why I didn’t drive too aggressively. For the race I can count on an excellent team and mega team-mates. I think we have the package to do really well, but we are not the only ones that want to win this race. We will need a bit of luck with the weather, the strategy etc.
“But if everything goes right we should be able to be at the front.”
The lights go out for the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa at 16:30 local time on Saturday June 31.