Now the 2016 Blancpain GT Series season is over, it’s time to look back at some of the highlights of the past ten races. In this top-10 series, we’ll take a look at the performances that were sometimes not that obvious, but played a crucial part in the outcome of the race. During the Total 24 Hours of Spa one of the more striking performances came from a man who made his debut this year. Although his car was almost dead last at a certain point, an inspired final hour by Felix Rosenqvist meant he and teammates Tristan Vautier and Renger van der Zande put the #88 AMG Team-AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG on the second step of the podium.
At the start of the 2016 Total 24 Hours of Spa nobody thought that one of the Mercedes-AMG penalised after qualifying would end up on the podium. Yet, that is exactly what happened. After taking their mandatory five minute penalty during the opening laps, the #88 Mercedes-AMG was still only in 58th after one hour of racing.
But then Rosenqvist, Vautier, Van der Zande and the whole AKKA-ASP team started their climb up the ladder: 45th after two hours, 26th after six, 12th halfway through. Some good driving during the night and Sunday morning meant the car was in fourth with one hour to go. One minute off the podium positions, so higher than fourth would be impossible, it seemed. But Felix Rosenqvist – doing the final stint on the #88 Mercedes-AMG – attacked hard and closed the gap considerably. And then the weather conditions changed dramatically. Parts of the track were inundated, leaving drivers – most of them still on slicks – with the precarious task of getting their cars back to the pitlane. Rosenqvist managed to lose little time, avoiding the mayhem at the chicane, and brought the car safely back to the pitlane. Excellent pitwork by the AKKA ASP-boys got the Swede quickly back on track and Rosenqvist remained faultless until the end, taking second in his very first Total 24 Hours of Spa.
Watch the highlights of the Total 24 Hours of Spa here.