Black Falcon avenged its near miss in the first race by taking a comprehensive win in the second Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe race at Brands Hatch.
Starting third on the grid, Maro Engel made a great start in the team’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 to immediately put Team WRT’s Nick Foster under pressure for second but couldn’t find a way past the Audi driver.
GALLERY | QUALIFICATION REPORT | RACE 1 REPORT | INTERVIEW MARO ENGEL
Sticking to the back of the two leaders, Engel didn’t have time to make another move as the race was neutralised for more than ten minutes as David Perel’s risky lunge on Fred Vervisch at Hawthorn Bend instigated a chain reaction of crashes.
Perel’s move caused Vervisch to spin across the track, catching out Andrea Bertolini in the AF Corse Ferrari and the Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3s of Dries Vanthoor and Rik Breukers.
After the work to clear up the various broken cars and sweep up the acres of carbon fibre that littered the Grand Prix loop at Brands Hatch was complete, polesitter Fabian Schiller made a great restart to leave Foster and Engel trailing in the dust of the Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Despite a mistake from Foster allowing Engel to close right up on him, there were no changes in position until the pit window opened. That’s where Black Falcon shined once again. A rapid stop allowed Engel to hand over to Luca Stolz and get the car out ahead of Vincent Abril’s AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3, and a scorching out-lap allowed Stolz to leap Schiller when the latter pitted a lap later to hand over to Timur Boguslavskiy.
With clear air ahead of him and a set of new Pirelli tyres underneath him, Stolz made no mistakes as he powered off into the distance – aided by Abril being forced to pull the #88 off the road before Surtees with a loss of drive in his Mercedes.
That promoted Andrea Caldarelli, in the FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracén GT3 Evo, into second, but the Italian didn’t have the time to reel in Stolz and as the chequered flag fell he had an 11.643s deficit to the German.
Third went the way of Steijn Schothorst and Nick Foster. The former spent the final ten minutes of the race fending off race one winner Nico Bastian, but when the AMG driver was slapped with a drive-through penalty for overtaking under the Full Course Yellow, Schothorst had a trouble-free run to the flag.
Fourth went to Kelvin van der Linde in the #66 Attempto Racing Audi, the South African getting the better of Ricky Collard in the R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 after a final lap shoving match between the pair going round the Grand Prix loop.
The #90 of Schiller and Boguslavskiy failed to finish the race as the Russian was forced to pull the Mercedes-AMG GT3 off-track at the pit entry with smoke rising from underneath the bonnet of that car.
Despite their drive-through Bastian and Thomas Neubauer took a second Silver Cup win of the day, while Hiroshi Hamaguchi pipped Jean-Luc Beaubelique to the Pro-Am class win by 0.025s after the pair had a drag race to the line.
The next round of the Blancpain GT Series is the second round of the Endurance Cup at Silverstone next weekend (11-12 May).
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