Barcelona-winning Mercedes disqualified for sporting breach
The race-winning Black Falcon Mercedes has been disqualified from the Barcelona Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup finale.
The #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in which Maro Engel, Luca Stolz and Yelmer Buurman claimed the BGTS Endurance Cup title has been exclude from the results for a breach of the sporting regulations.
Black tape was found on the air inlet tract in the engine compartment of the car at post-race scrutineering, which did not conform with the homologation of the Merc.
The stewards deemed that the presence of the tape represented a technical non-compliance and disqualified the car from the race.
Black Falcon argued that it was normal practice to race the cars with tape in place and that it offered no performance advantage.
Black Falcon has appealed the decision of the stewards and the results of the three-hour race remain provisional.
If the disqualification is upheld victory will go to the Auto Sport Promotion Mercedes driven by Raffaele Marciello, Daniel Juncadella and Tristan Vautier.
That would give Marciello a unique hat-trick of BGTS titles: he would win the Endurance Cup to go with his Sprint Cup and overall or combined championship victory.
Marciello Blancpain GT champion, Black Falcon takes Endurance Cup
Black Falcon's Barcelona disqualification overturned
The Spa 24 Hours has been moved forward by four weeks as a result of Formula 1's Belgian Grand Prix taking the endurance race's traditional slot on the last weekend of July.
Bike legend Valentino Rossi expects to continue in the GT World Challenge Europe next year for a second full season of car racing after ending his two-wheel career.
Mercedes claimed a first Spa 24 Hours victory since 2013 as the French Auto Sport Promotion team finally broke its duck in the Belgian enduro.