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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Marciello Takes 24H Spa Pole in AKKA-ASP Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG driver Raffaele Marciello leads Super Pole shootout for 24H Spa…

Photo: Kevin Pecks/SRO

Raffaele Marciello clinched pole for the Total 24 Hours of Spa as the AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG driver produced the best time during Friday’s top 20 qualifying shootout.

Marciello, who was the 17th driver out in Super Pole, produced a time of 2:32.166 to deliver Mercedes-AMG’s second consecutive front-spot start for the Belgian enduro.

Kelvin van der Linde qualified second for Audi Sport Team WRT in the car that led the way during preliminary qualifying on Thursday.

Van der Linde was the last to head out for Super Pole and set a time of 2:32.386 on the first of his two attempts, which put the South African 0.22 seconds off Marciello.

Marciello shares the No. 88 Mercedes-AMG with Felipe Fraga and Timur Boguslavskiy, while van der Linde is co-driving the No. 31 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo with Dries Vanthoor and Christopher Mies.

Van der Linde and Bortolotti, and the AKKA-ASP trio, are first and second in the GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup championship heading into Spa, which also forms part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli.

Mercedes-AMG and Audi locked out the top five positions as last year’s pole-sitter Maro Engel qualified third for Haupt Racing Team, ahead of Audi Sport Team Attempto’s Frederic Vervisch and Audi Sport Team Sainteloc’s Christopher Haase

Vervisch was one of a handful of drivers to have a time deleted for track limits at Raidillon, but the Belgian recovered on his second tour to earn a place on row two.

Thomas Preining was the best Porsche competitor in sixth, with the Austrian clocking in at 2:32.990 aboard the 911 GT3 R run by defending 24H Spa winner GPX Racing.

In seventh was AF Corse Ferrari driver Alessandro Pier Guidi, while Andrea Caldarelli was eighth for Lamborghini outfit Orange 1 FFF Racing Team.

Caldarelli narrowly beat his fellow Lamborghini factory driver Albert Costa, who put Emil Frey Racing’s No. 163 Huracan GT3 Evo ninth.

Seven Porsches qualified for Super Pole after an impressive showing from the manufacturer on Thursday, however all but two of the 911s will start tomorrow’s race outside the top ten.

Kevin Estre finished 10th for KCMG while Patrick Pilet, Julien Andlauer, Frederic Makowiecki, Matteo Cairoli and Laurens Vanthoor were all in the bottom half of the Super Pole leaderboard.

Silver Cup pole-sitter Benjamin Hites, who was the only driver from a class outside Pro taking part in the shootout, established the No. 89 AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG in 19th overall.

RESULTS: Super Pole

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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