Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe: Two Brands Hatch wins for Mercedes
Two different Mercedes crews have won two races in the season-opening round of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe at Brands Hatch. The competition, previously called Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, kicked-off with 25 cars on the grid.
AKKA ASP Team’s Thomas Neubauer and Nico Bastian have won the opening race in the #89 Mercedes-AMG GT3, also taking the winner’s trophy as the best Silver Cup crew. They beat the pole-sitting #4 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG, driven by Luca Stolz and Maro Engel, while Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart crossed the finish line third in the #63 Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3. Rinat Salikhov and David Perel took the Pro-Am class victory in the #333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 GT3.
In the second race, Silver-rated driver Fabian Schiller started the race from pole in the #90 Akka ASP Mercedes. He defended the lead during his stint but earned a drive-through penalty because of speeding under full-course yellow. That gave the lead and eventually the victory to the #4 Mercedes. The top podium spot placed Maro Engel and Luca Stolz to the top of the standings after two races.
They shared a podium with Andrea Caldarelli and Marco Mapelli, who was sharing the #563 Orange1 FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan. The #55 Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS finished third, driven by Steijn Schothorst and Nick Foster. Nico Bastian and Thomas Neubauer took another Silver Cup victory, despite serving a drive-through penalty for passing during a full-course yellow period.
Photos: Dirk Bogaerts Photography,