PRESS INFORMATION | 25 October, 2020 | Stavelot / Belgium

The #5 Mercedes-AMG GT3 run by HAUPT RACING TEAM with Hubert Haupt (GER), Sergei Afanasiev (RUS), Michele Beretta (ITA) and Gabriele Piana (ITA) secured the Silver Cup victory in the 72nd edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa. Team owner and driver Hubert Haupt had the honour of crossing the finish line at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchams after demanding 520 laps. The #4 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT entry claimed 7th place overall, as the eventful race was characterized by drive-through penalties and safety car phases towards the end of the Endurance classic.

  • Silver Cup victory for the #5 HAUPT RACING TEAM
  • #4 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT finishes as the best Mercedes-AMG GT3 in P7

The #5 Mercedes-AMG GT3 run by HRT, with Hubert Haupt, Gabriele Piana, Michele Beretta and Sergei Afanasiev racing in the Silver Cup, showed an impressive chase throughout the 24 hours at the legendary track in the Ardennes, with very changing track conditions. Coming from the 34th starting place, they quickly put their #5 in the top 20 and proved what the crew held in store. By the end and constantly having shown a strong performance behind the wheel of the reliable Mercedes-AMG GT3, the team crossed the finish line on the overall 18th position, while claiming the win in the Silver Cup at the debut of the HAUPT RACING TEAM at the 24h-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps.

The starting number 4 of the Mercedes-AMG Team HRT with extended works support, and drivers Maro Engel (GER), Luca Stolz (GER) and Vincent Abril (FRA) at the wheel, started the legendary Total 24 Hours of Spa in the second row, having secured the third position during the Super Pole shoot-out on Friday night by Maro Engel. Just a little over five hours into the race, the trio, eight at that moment, received a drive-through penalty due to not minding track limits in turn three. Nevertheless, the team made sure to fight back during the nighttime. They were always fighting for a podium spot, even led the race in the morning hours and had to settle for third place in the following laps. In the end, the competitive crew of the #4 concluded the 527 laps of the legendary 24-hour race as the best-placed Mercedes-AMG GT3 on 7th position.

Hubert Haupt, Team Owner and Driver HRT #5: “It’s a fantastic achievement for the HRT team, newly founded in June this year, to win the Silver Cup at the highlight event of the season. For me personally, it is finally the victory here in Belgium after seven attempts. It's a shame for the #4, who only came seventh after a hard fight. But for the team as a whole a great performance with the class win. Many thanks to the entire team for a top performance.”

Sean Paul Breslin, Team Principal HRT: “Finally the win in Silver Cup. Great to do it with Hubert and as the HAUPT RACING TEAM. We fought very hard for the overall win and this race is definitely the hardest one. With so many safety cars you end up sprinting to the finish and we gave it our best and finished in seventh. We now have to look forward to next year!”

Maro Engel, driver, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #4: „We gave everything and caught up again and again during the race. We wanted to make up time again at the last stop by not changing tyres, but in the end the tyres simply went down too much. We couldn't attack anymore. Many thanks to the whole team for a top performance during the whole event and congratulations to the #5 sister car for the Silver Cup victory. I'm very happy about that, especially for Hubert, who can celebrate the class victory here with his own team and as driver.”

Luca Stolz, driver, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #4: „I’ve got mixed feelings when it comes to the race. We did our best and Maro did a great job at the end. Nevertheless, our opponents were a bit better with the conditions we faced. The team did a fantastic job and we didn’t make any mistakes. We managed to bring the car home and to end up in the top 10, in one of the toughest GT3 races, is a success. We’ll be back next year and will be fighting for podium positions.”

Garbiele Piana, driver, Haupt Racing Team #5: „I’m really happy about this win. I tried it already very often together with Hubert, but we were unlucky in the last attempts, it started to feel like the race was cursed. When the splitter failed, I thought ‘oh my god not again’. But in the end, everything worked out and I think we deserved it. We were the quickest, we stayed clean, we didn’t get penalties and we made no faults. Congratulations to the whole team.”

About HRT
HRT stands for HAUPT RACING TEAM. Formed in July 2020 by racing driver and entrepreneur Hubert Haupt, the team enjoys success in GT3 racing. Among other things, HRT secured the 2021 DTM drivers' championship in just its second motorsport season. HRT lines up with extended works support from Mercedes-AMG in many of the team's outings. The outings and cars are prepared in Meuspath, not far from the Nürburgring. HRT is also involved in professional sim racing and is a sought-after partner for motorsport events of all sorts. HRT can call on a host of experts with a wealth of motorsport and engineering experience, which the diverse motorsport company leverages when implementing technical development projects for and with its partners. The headquarters of Haupt Racing Team GmbH is Grünwald near Munich. The team owner is racing driver and businessman Hubert Haupt. As well as motorsport, Haupt is primarily known as a successful property developer. With his real estate company, he implements high-quality living and building concepts in southern Germany – from innovative buildings to complete districts.