All Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars that took part in Super Pole have had its times deleted and will have to serve a five-minute stop-and-hold penalty during the race, causing a major shakeup to the grid for today’s Total 24 Hours of Spa.
Mercedes-AMG cars swept the top six positions in qualifying but the No. 28 Audi Sport Team WRT Audi R8 LMS will will now start on pole, due to an ignition timing infringement from the German manufacturer.
The penalty follows a breach of the Articles 7 and 47 of the sporting regulations: “Non-sporting behavior – presenting a car with a technical non-conformity of which the competitor should have been aware.”
A second decision for each cars reads: “Ignition timing does not comply with homologated figures in homologation file…”
Mercedes still has the possibility to appeal the decision concerning this latter offense, although the five-minute stop-and-hold penalty is non-appealable.
The change comes in the wake of a dominating performance for Mercedes in the run up to the Belgian endurance classic, and had a distinct advantage in qualifying over its competition.
No Balance of Performance changes have been made to the cars, as it’s believed not to be within the rules to make any technical changes to cars during a race weekend.
It’s expected that all six Mercedes that took part in Super Pole will drop to the rear of the top-20, and not the overall running order.
The No. 74 ISR Audi of Franck Perera has also been dropped to the rear of the Top-20, with its times also deleted, due to exceeding track limits in Super Pole.
A final grid has still yet to be released. The race is scheduled to get underway at 4:30 p.m. local time, in just under three hours’ time.