Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup

Engel Puts BLACK FALCON On Pole For Spa 24. (26.07.19)

Maro Engel, driving the #4 Mercedes-AMG team BLACK FALCON Mercedes-AMG GT3, took pole position for the Total 24 Hours of Spa, lapping the 7.004 kms circuit in 2:18.588.

Joining the #4 car on the front row of the grid for the Blue Riband event of the Blancpain GT Series calendar will be the #117 KÜS Team75 Bernhard Porsche 911 GT3 R in which Laurens Vanthoor put in a 2:18.605.

Completing the top three was the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari F488 GT3 in which Davide Rigon put in a 2:18.806.

Kevin Estre in the #20 GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R% was first out in the session with temperatures cooler than the circuit had experienced over previous days. Estre put in a 2:19.067 on his first flying lap.

Mathieu Jaminet in the #98 ROWE Racing Porsche put in a 2:19.027 to take provisional pole. However it was Davide Rigon who brought the session to life with a 2:18.806 in the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari followed, in quick succession, by Laurens Vanthoor in the #117 KÜS Team75 Bernhard Porsche who put in a 2:18.605.

However it was Maro Engel, the last car on the circuit for Super Pole, who went quickest in the #4 BLACK FALCON Mercedes with a 2:18.588 on the last lap of the session.

Engel was concerned that the #4 BLACK FALCON Mercedes would not have the pace to compete for the front row.

“Going into qualifying, I was a little worried that we would not have the pace to fight for pole,” said Maro Engel. “But my engineer told me to remain calm, that everything would be alright and as soon as I did three corners on my first flying lap I knew the car was great. When I heard from my engineer that I was half a second down after my first lap, I tried to squeeze everything out of the car on my second attempt. I am very happy it worked out.”

Laurens Vanthoor, who lines up alongside Engel, was disappointed not to have taken pole position.

“If you would have asked me to sign up for a front-row position before Super Pole, I would have done it,” said Vanthoor. “But, after spending most of the session on pole and only losing it by .017 seconds, it’s obviously a bit disappointing. I would not be a proper racing driver if I didn’t feel that. Porsche is doing well this year and they have made a big effort for this race. Every factory driver is here and we all want to do well.”

The lights go out for the 2019 Total 24 Hours of Spa at 16:30 local time on Saturday July 27.