From 28th till 31st July, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in the Belgian Ardennes once again serves as the venue for the legendary TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. This year, the entry list for the world’s biggest GT3 race includes 66 cars from nine renowned manufacturers, competing in five different classes. Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing aims at the maximum in all the various categories during the 74th running of the endurance racing highlights and is therefore entering an accordingly impressive line-up with 14 Mercedes-AMG GT3s for the race. The Mercedes-AMG Teams AKKODIS ASP, GetSpeed and GruppeM are racing in the Pro category in the prestigious 24-hour event and will receive extended works support from Affalterbach to do so.
236 drivers, 66 cars and nine manufacturers: in their 74th running, the famous TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa once again live up to their reputation as the world’s biggest GT3 race. Once more, the event at the unique Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, slightly modified in March of this year, promises 24 hours of exciting and high-class motorsport. Like in previous years, championship points will be attributed both for the Intercontinental GT Challenge as well as in the GT World Challenge Europe for the order after six, twelve and 24 hours. The start of the endurance racing classic is on Saturday, 30th July, at 4.45 p.m.
Nine years after the last overall win in the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Teams finally want to achieve the best possible result again this year. To do so, the performance and sports car brand is entering no less than 14 Mercedes-AMG GT3s with high-class line-ups for the race, divided among the five different classes Pro, Pro-Am, Gold, Silver and Bronze. As a result, it is the only manufacturer to be represented in all the individual classes. The three Pro cars are getting extended works support for the event and the addition “Mercedes-AMG Team” to the names.
Three Performance Teams aiming at the overall win
Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed will be envisaging the coveted overall win with the #2 entry and the seasoned drivers Maximilian Götz (GER), Steijn Schothorst (NED) and Luca Stolz (GER). At the occasion of the 55th anniversary of Mercedes-AMG, starting number 55 adorns the GT3 run by Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM. In Maximilian Buhk, Maro Engel (both GER) and Mikaël Grenier (CAN), three DTM drivers are alternating behind the wheel. The third Performance car will be run by Mercedes-AMG Team AKKODIS ASP, the team that started from pole position in the two previous runnings. Jules Gounon (FRA), Daniel Juncadella (ESP) and Raffaele Marciello (SUI), who are competing in the full GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup season in this configuration, finally want to convert their outstanding qualifying performance into a victory. With Buhk, Götz (both 2013) and Gounon (2016), each of these driver line-ups includes a former winner of the 24-hour race.
Title defender Madpanda Motorsport racing in Silver Cup again
Five Mercedes-AMG GT3s, more than in any other class, are racing in the Silver Cup. After the outstanding victory last year, Madpanda Motorsport seeks to defend its title in this category. To achieve this, team owner Ezequiel Perez Companc (ARG) will be supported in the #90 Mercedes-AMG GT3 by Patrick Kujala (FIN), Oscar Tunjo (COL) and Sean Walkinshaw (GBR). Further Silver Cup entries are the #3 GetSpeed car with drivers Sébastien Baud (FRA), Valdemar Eriksen (DEN) and Jeff Kingsley (CAN) and the #87 AKKODIS ASP Team car with Thomas Drouet (FRA), Tommaso Mosca (ITA) and Casper Stevenson (GBR).
Haupt Racing Team is participating with two cars in Silver Cup: #4 with Frank Bird (GBR), Jannes Fittje (GER), Jordan Love (AUS) and Alain Valente (SUI) and #777, officially running under the Al Manar Racing by HRT banner and driven by Al Faisal Al Zubair (OMA), Axcil Jefferies (ZIM), Daniel Morad (CAN), and Fabian Schiller (GER).
Newly created for 2022, the Gold Cup is part of the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa classification for the first time. In total, four Mercedes-AMG GT3s will be competing for class honours in this category. Drivers of the #5 Haupt Racing Team car re Hubert Haupt (GER), Arjun Maini (IND), Gabriele Piana (ITA) and Florian Scholze (GER). GetSpeed is running #44 with Patrick Assenheimer (GER), Michael Blanchemain (FRA), Axel Blom (FIN) and Jim Pla (FRA). Winward Racing is entering the #57 car for Lucas Auer (AUT), Lorenzo Ferrari (ITA), Jens Liebhauser (GER) and Russell Ward (USA). The fourth car is the #93 SKY – Tempesta Racing entry raced by Eddie Cheever (ITA), Christopher Froggatt (GBR) and Jonathan Hui (CHN).
SPS automotive performance is running one Mercedes-AMG GT3 each in the Pro-Am and the Bronze classes: in the Bronze Cup, Reema Juffali (KSA), George Kurtz (USA), Ian Loggie (GBR) and Valentin Pierburg (GER) are alternating behind the wheel of the #20 car. With the #75 GT3, running under the SunEnergy1 Racing by SPS in the Pro-Am category, Dominik Baumann (AUT), Philip Ellis (SUI), Kenny Habul (AUS) and Martin Konrad (AUT) will be sharing driving duties.
Comprehensive support programme in the exhibition area in the paddock
While these eight teams and 50 drivers are responsible for the entertainment at the 7.004 kilometres long track with its rich heritage, Mercedes-AMG is also providing an exciting support programme off the track again. At a dedicated exhibition area in the paddock, fans can not only admire the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG from up-close, but also a future car version with E PERFORMANCE technology.
Prior to the 24-hour race, there will be multiple interviews and autograph sessions with the drivers in the exhibition area. Moreover, the racing action will be broadcast on a large video wall.
With the Bronze Test, the on-track action at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps already starts on Tuesday, 26th July. The drivers’ parade on Wednesday will be followed on Thursday by two further practice sessions, pre-qualifying and qualifying. Friday’s activities include the regular Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series round, warm-up and Super Pole while the 24-hour race starts on Saturday afternoon at 4.45pm.
Christoph Sagemüller, head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport: “We are really delighted that we have such a strong brand presence again in the world’s most significant GT3 race. Just our line-up in the various classes already shows which relevance this 24-hour race has for us as a brand and, of course, also for our teams. Our sporting ambition is accordingly high. And without any doubt, we have the potential to not only fight for class victories, but also for the overall win. Because of the return of the fans at the track, this motorsport classic will again be an extraordinary experience for everyone involved. With a comprehensive support programme in our exhibition area in the paddock, we will also contribute to this away from the racing action.”
Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “Every year again, the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa are a special experience for the teams, the drivers and for us as a brand. In 2022, the field again has an absolute high-class entry. Every manufacturer absolutely wants to win here. However, with our 13 Mercedes-AMG GT3s, we are optimally prepared and overall, we should be in a position that is good enough to be at the front in every class. Accordingly, I am very much looking forward to this unique race and I wish all our eight teams the best of luck.”
Maximilian Götz, driver, Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed #2: “For me, together with the Nürburgring, the 24-hour race at Spa is the highlight of the year. In 2013, I was already able to win here once and exactly that is the big goal again for now. I am confident that it can work out. With Luca Stolz and Steijn Schothorst, I have fast colleagues by my side and with the double podium result at Nürburgring, the team has already shown that it has everything it takes to conclude such a race in a successful way.”
Raffaele Marciello, driver, Mercedes-AMG Team AKKODIS ASP #88: “In the past years, we already had the pace for the overall win. Our pole positions in 2020 and 2021 also reflected this. But all good things come in threes, as they say, and therefore, I believe that this time, we will be able to be in contention at the front until the end. Jules, Daniel and I are a well-attuned team and we already raced together here last year. We feel well prepared for the 24-hour race with all its challenges.”