GT

FFF Racing take Blancpain GT Europe title after points tie

FFF Racing’s Andrea Caldarelli and Marco Mapelli claimed the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe title on countback after finishing tied on points with Black Falcon Mercedes at the Hungaroring.

The Lamborghini duo beat the pairing of Maro Engel and Luca Stolz to the championship after recording two wins to Engel/Stolz’s one.

Raffaele Marciello and Vincent Abril dominated proceedings all weekend, claiming clean sweep of poles and wins in varying weather conditions.

Championship protagonists Stolz and Mapelli endured vastly contrasting fortunes in qualifying, with the #4 Black Falcon Mercedes joining Marciello on the front row, while Marco Mapelli could only manage eighth in the Lamborghini.

Heavy rain on Saturday meant the field started race one behind the safety car, which allowed Marciello an easy run into Turn 1 on the first racing lap.

Stolz followed closely behind from Bortolotti and the R-Motorsport Aston Martin of Ricky Collard.

Collard was muscled out of fourth by the Audi R8 of Kelvin van der Linde, dropping the Aston to seventh.

Bortolotti then began closing onto the back of Stolz for second as Marciello broke clear in the lead.

The #63 Lamborghini forced his way past the Black Falcon on exit of Turn 2 as the pair made slight contact.

The order remained unchanged following the compulsory driver-change pit-stops with Engelhart – now in charge of the #63 – keeping the pressure on Abril.

The Lamborghini began to struggle for grip as the wet track began to dry in the closing stages, and this allowed Engel – the fastest man on track – to close right onto the back of the Huracan in pursuit of second.

Engelhart was resolute in defence and looked to have secured his position, but Engel eventually sliced past Engelhart around the outside of Turn 9 to claim a dramatic second on the final lap of the race.

The #563 Huracan of Mapelli and Caldarelli finished a distant fifth after a subdued race.

Caldarelli took over from Mapelli and was rapid in the FFF Racing machine, but could not make as much progress up the field.

The Italian got past the Aston Martin of Hugo de Sadeleer for fifth but that was all he could manage as the points lead was cut by five points.

Sunday’s finale was a dry affair throughout and it was once again the #88 Akka ASP Mercedes which proved the car to beat.

Abril maintained his lead from the start as Engel leapt a position to run third at the first corner.

The #563 – having started a lowly 13th – made steady progress and gained a position as Dries Vanthoor dropped to the back of the field following a puncture while fighting Sven Muller for fourth.

A charging Caldarelli then made his way up to eighth after a daring round-the-outside move on the Silver Cup Mercedes of Nico Bastian which resulted in slight contact.

Fast pit work from the FFF Racing crew then handed Mapelli a further two places as the #563 emerged in front of both the Audi R8 of Mies and the Porsche of Muller to put it into a championship-winning position.

Engel changed with Stolz, with the latter piling on the pressure on Engelhart for second.

Agonisingly for Stolz and Engel, the #4 could not find a way past Engelhart and instead had to defend the final laps from the #563.

Marciello and Abril consolidated their lead and duly took their third win of the year by over 16 seconds from Bortolotti and Engelhart, with the Mercedes duo leapfrogging their GRT rivals for third in the standings.

FFF Racing celebrated another title in the Pro-Am category as Phil Keen and Hiroshi Hamaguchi bounced back from a last-lap defeat in race one to secure victory in Sunday’s finale.

Race one result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 V.Abril, R.Marciello Akka ASP Team Mercedes 29 1h00m35.965s
2 L.Stolz, M.Engel Black Falcon Mercedes 29 2.352s
3 M.Bortolotti, C.Engelhart GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 29 3.330s
4 K.van der Linde, C.Schmid Attempto Racing Audi 29 9.315s
5 M.Mapelli, A.Caldarelli Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini 29 9.921s
6 S.Gachet, C.Haase Sainteloc Racing Audi 29 14.963s
7 N.Bastian, T.Neubauer Akka ASP Team Mercedes 29 29.315s
8 C.Weerts, C.Mies Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 29 30.405s
9 A.Vainio, H.de Sadeleer R-Motorsport Aston Martin 29 31.162s
10 R.Collard, M.Kirchhofer R-Motorsport Aston Martin 29 32.474s
11 S.Schothorst, N.Foster Attempto Racing Audi 29 35.487s
12 M.Drudi, M.Dontje Attempto Racing Audi 29 37.759s
13 F.Fraga, T.Boguslavskiy Akka ASP Team Mercedes 29 41.347s
14 K-L.Schramm, J.Green Phoenix Racing Audi 29 49.410s
15 S.Ortelli, D.Boccolacci Sainteloc Racing Audi 29 1m01.623s
16 R.Breukers, O.Tunjo Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 29 1m04.164s
17 E.P.Companc, D.Vanthoor Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 29 1m05.337s
18 F.Hutchison, F.Vervisch Phoenix Racing Audi 29 1m06.349s
19 S.Palette, M.Winkelhock Sainteloc Racing Audi 29 1m21.207s
20 T.Gamble, S.Davies Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 29 1m28.717s
21 J-L.Beaubelique, J.Pla Akka ASP Team Mercedes 29 1m31.723s
22 H.Hamaguchi, P.Keen Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini 29 1m32.410s
23 L.Machiels, A.Bertolini AF Corse Ferrari 29 1m32.686s
24 T.Proto, D.Menchaca Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini 29 1m38.057s
25 R.Salikhov, D.Perel Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 29 1m39.851s
26 A.Panis, J.Hawksworth Tech 1 Racing Lexus 29 1m44.667s
27 F.Scholze, W.Triller HB Racing Ferrari 29 1m53.366s
28 G.Roda, S.Muller Dinamic Motorsport Porsche 28 1 Lap

Race two result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps
1 V.Abril, R.Marciello Akka ASP Team Mercedes 33
2 M.Bortolotti, C.Engelhart GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 33
3 L.Stolz, M.Engel Black Falcon Mercedes 33
4 M.Mapelli, A.Caldarelli Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini 33
5 F.Fraga, T.Boguslavskiy Akka ASP Team Mercedes 33
6 S.Gachet, C.Haase Sainteloc Racing Audi 33
7 C.Weerts, C.Mies Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 33
8 N.Bastian, T.Neubauer Akka ASP Team Mercedes 33
9 A.Vainio, H.de Sadeleer R-Motorsport Aston Martin 33
10 K.van der Linde, C.Schmid Attempto Racing Audi 33
11 K-L.Schramm, J.Green Phoenix Racing Audi 33
12 F.Hutchison, F.Vervisch Phoenix Racing Audi 33
13 S.Palette, M.Winkelhock Sainteloc Racing Audi 33
14 S.Schothorst, N.Foster Attempto Racing Audi 33
15 R.Breukers, O.Tunjo Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 33
16 M.Drudi, M.Dontje Attempto Racing Audi 33
17 E.P.Companc, D.Vanthoor Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 33
18 S.Ortelli, D.Boccolacci Sainteloc Racing Audi 33
19 T.Gamble, S.Davies Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 33
20 R.Collard, M.Kirchhofer R-Motorsport Aston Martin 33
21 H.Hamaguchi, P.Keen Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini 33
22 A.Panis, J.Hawksworth Tech 1 Racing Lexus 33
23 T.Proto, D.Menchaca Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini 33
24 J-L.Beaubelique, J.Pla Akka ASP Team Mercedes 33
25 F.Scholze, W.Triller HB Racing Ferrari 33
26 L.Machiels, A.Bertolini AF Corse Ferrari 33
27 G.Roda, S.Muller Dinamic Motorsport Porsche 32
R.Salikhov, D.Perel Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 1

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