The fight for the 2018 Blancpain Endurance Series title will go down to the wire with the #4 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon machine on pole position. The #4 crew of Maro Engel, Yelmer Buurman and Luca Stolz began the weekend one point shy of leader Raffaele Marciello, but levelled the scores by taking the pole position bonus at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Second on the grid will be the #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT crew of Chris Mies, Alex Riberas and Dries Vanthoor, who remain in contention for the Endurance Cup title. Mies and Riberas can also challenge Marciello for the overall crown, but will almost certainly need to win today’s race to do so.
The #43 Mercedes-AMG Team Strakka Racing car will start third, extending Maxi Buhk and Maxi Goetz’s outside shot at the title. Alvaro Parente completes their line-up in Barcelona.
Qualifying was particularly successful for the German marque. Marciello’s #88 Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP Team car will start from fourth after a rapid lap from the Italian – the fastest of all three qualifying sessions – vaulted his crew up from eighth. The new Sprint Cup champion will be assured the overall title should he finish where he starts, with Dani Juncadella and Tristan Vautier joining him in the #88.
For the fifth Endurance race in succession, Silver Cup pole went to the #54 Emil Frey Jaguar, which is contesting its final Blancpain GT Series event this weekend after seven years of service. The bonus point also helps the #54 crew of Mikael Grenier, Adrian Zaugg and Alex Fontana’s outside shot at the class title.
Pro-Am pole went to the #42 Strakka Racing Mercedes-AMG of Nick Leventis, Chris Buncombe, Lewis Williamson, who extended their class points advantage. P1 in Am Cup went to the #89 AKKA Mercedes, which will start a remarkable 25th overall thanks to Fabien Barthez and Eric Debard.
The final three hour race will stream live right here on In Pit Lane at 10:30PM AEST.
Source: SRO/Blancpain GT Series Media