The wait for the much-wanted renewed overall win by Mercedes-AMG in the 24-hour race at Spa continues. With the third consecutive pole position, the performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach got the event underway with a good start. However, like in the two previous years, the efforts were to remain unrewarded. First of all, the pole sitters with the #88 Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP had to retire from the race with a broken shock absorber, having spent more than 13 hours in the front-running group. On Sunday morning, the race also came to an end for the #4 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT car while on course for the top ten: several minor damaged had added up and impeded the balance of the race car to such an extent that it could no longer continue the race in a competitive way. The best-placed Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the field of 58 cars was the #89 car in tenth overall. As a result, the AKKA ASP trio of Lucas Auer (AUT), Timur Boguslavskiy (RUS) and Felipe Fraga (BRA) also scored valuable points for the 2021 Intercontinental GT Challenge for which the race at Spa served as the season opener. In the Silver Cup, meanwhile, the race was successful: with the #90 Mercedes-AMG GT3 run by Madpanda Motorsport, Rik Breukers (NED), Ezequiel Perez Companc (ARG), Patrick Kujala (FIN) and Ricardo Sanchez (MEX) were leading the class for large parts of the 24-hour duration. After 551 laps, final driver Breukers brought the class victory home (P11 overall). The #7 Toksport WRT crew also managed to finish on the class podium: in the rainy and turbulent final stage, Marvin Dienst (GER), Axcil Jefferies (ZIM), Paul Petit (FRA) and Oscar Tunjo (COL) secured second place in the Silver Cup (P13 overall). This year’s 24-hour race at Spa marked the 50th anniversary of AMG’s first major motorsport success as the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG secured the class win at Spa and finished second overall.
Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “In spite of all the efforts and the good preparation by our teams, one sadly has to say that we haven’t achieved our high goals. Admittedly, we were able to prove the performance of our Mercedes-AMG GT3 from the qualifying sessions onwards already, but we weren’t in a position to make it last the distance. Gradually, I almost start believing that there is something about the curse of the pole position. Too bad that we haven’t been able to provide a victory for our fans, especially in our anniversary race. Nevertheless, I would like to thank the teams and the drivers for their huge commitment. I extend my congratulations to our Customer Racing Teams Madpanda Motorsport and Toksport WRT for their Silver Cup 1-2.”
Rik Breukers, Madpanda Motorsport #90: “This was the first time that there were so many Silver Cup cars in the field here. Therefore, I am super happy with this class win. Had it not been for my colleagues, this would have been impossible. The team has worked together in a fantastic way, from free practice until right now. I am happy for the entire team.”
Marvin Dienst, Toksport WRT #7: “I am overjoyed and I simply want to say thank you to my team. Everybody has been doing a great job. For us, it was a tricky race. We had to start from the pit lane. 24 hours ago, we had the entire field ahead of us and now, we are on the Silver Cup podium, that is unbelievable! The weather at the end played in our favour.”