Today is the day: FFF Racing’s Andrea Caldarelli and Marco Mapelli go into the final Blancpain GT sprint race as championship leaders two points ahead of Black Falcon drivers Maro Engel and Luca Stolz, but are starting from 13th place on the grid while Engel and Stolz line up fourth. Race 1 winners Raffaele Marciello and Vincent Abril again start the AKKA ASP AMG from pole position.
Raffaele Marciello came out on top for race 1 with less than a minute remaining in the first qualifying session taking pole and the bonus point. Marco Mapelli looked close to stealing pole from the AKKA ASP driver with a fastest first sector but traffic in the second sector killed his lap leaving the championship leaders in P6 whilst Maro Engel and Luca Stolz joined Marciello and Vincent Abril on the front row.
In qualifying 2 Vincent Abril matched his AKKA ASP teammate to take pole with 3 minutes of the session remaining. Maro Engel took the fight to the AKKA Team with an overall best first sector but traffic once again played it’s part forcing the German to back out of his lap. He eventually finished in P4 but importantly was ahead of the FFF Lamborghini of title rivals Marco Mapelli and Andrea Caldarelli. The Lamborghini crew took P6 but Caldarelli was penalised late on with a track limits infringement which saw his lap cancelled and the team dropped to P13.
Christian Engelhart took P2 in the Grasser Lamborghini ahead of Dries Vanthoor in the WRT Audi.
RACE 1 REPORT
A damp Hungaroring saw Marciello and Abril take an unchallenged flag-to-flag victory. Behind the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 the fight for the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe title was on between Black Falcon’s Luca Stolz and Maro Engel and FFF Racing’s Marco Mapelli and Andrea Caldarelli. The Lamborghini had been searching for just that extra bit of speed all weekend and finally found it in the race, finishing fifth after picking off several cars in the one-hour race. More importantly for the championship, however, was Stolz and Engel’s second place. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 pilots fell back a place in the first stint, but after the pitstop the unleashed Engel managed to retake second from Christian Engelhart in the #63 Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 on the final lap of the race.
AKKA ASP again lines up on pole position for the second race, while Grasser Racing starts second. Engel and Stolz, just two points behind FFF Racing after their second place on Saturday, start fourth. Caldarelli and Mapelli start the race from 13th.
Race 2 on Sunday starts at 13:45 CET.
WHAT’S HAPPENED SO FAR IN BLANCPAIN GT THIS YEAR:
- Paul Ricard pre-season test | Gallery | Interview Steven Palette
- Monza | Race report | Gallery | Interview Klaus Bachler | Interview Yelmer Buurman
- Brands Hatch | Race 1 report | Race 2 report | Gallery | Interview Maro Engel
- Silverstone | Race report | Gallery
- Paul Ricard | Pre-qualification report | Qualification report | Race report | Gallery | Interview Andrea Caldarelli
- Zandvoort | Gallery | Interview Raffaele Marciello | Interview Christopher Haase | Interview Simon Gachet
- Spa 24 Hours | Pre-qualification report | Pre-qualification interview Yelmer Buurman | Super Pole report | Super Pole interview Maro Engel | Race report: First three hours | Mid-race gallery | Race report: Midnight | Race report: Morning | Race report: Finish | Interview race winner Kévin Estre | Interview third-place finisher Yelmer Buurman | Gallery
- Nürburgring | Practice report | Qualification report | Race 1 report | Interview race 1 winner Andrea Caldarelli | Race 2 report | Gallery | Interview Jack Hawksworth