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Blancpain GT Series – Race Report Round 3
An exciting race at the second round of the 2019 Blancpain Endurance Cup saw BLACK FALCON recover from difficult starting positions to claim important points in both the Pro and Silver Cup classes. The challenging event was interrupted by multiple caution periods required to clear up accidents, but the team’s Pro-class Mercedes-AMG GT3 gained an amazing 30 positions through the three-hour race to finish seventh overall, while their Silver Cup AMG recovered from being hit by a competitor to come home seventh in class. The result means that BLACK FALCON continue to lead the Blancpain GT Series Teams standings.
In Pro, the #4 BLACK FALCON Mercedes-AMG GT3 starred Maro Engel (Germany), Yelmer Buurman (Netherlands) and Luca Stolz (Germany). The #6 BLACK FALCON Mercedes-AMG GT3 was entered in the Silver Cup category, with Hubert Haupt (Germany), Gabriele Piana (Italy) and Patrick Assenheimer (Germany) on its driving roster. With both entries looking fast, the team could feel confident going into the three-part Qualifying. However, disaster struck as red flags flew during Q1, twice interrupting the last seven minutes and preventing either AMG from setting a representative lap. This meant that despite #4 being quickest in Q2 and second in Q3, while #6 was consistently just 1.5 seconds away from pole in Q2 and Q3, both cars were mired in the tail-end of the 48-car field: #4 in 37th and #6 in 43rd. At the start of the race, all seemed well as the large field rolled across the line and made it cleanly through the opening corner. However, as the cars poured through the exit of the ultra-fast Maggotts/Becketts/Chapel complex that followed, a spinning Audi caused chaos in the mid-field, eliminating three cars on the spot – though fortunately both Maro in #4 and Hubert in #6 made it through unscathed while also making up places. When the 20-minute Full Course Yellow period required to clean up the accident finally came to an end, both Maro and Hubert continued to power forward, breaking into the top 20 as the first pit-stop window opened at the end of the first hour. Just as both cars prepared to come in and change drivers a second FCY was called, neutralizing the field for 15 minutes and allowing Yelmer to exit the pits in eighth and Patrick in an impressive 10th overall, leapfrogging ahead of cars who had stopped under green. Another accident at the halfway mark triggered a third caution period, this time 20 minutes long. Luca and Gabriele took over #4 and #6 respectively for the run to the flag – both now in strong positions, with #4 in eighth and #6 in 12th. However, with 45 minutes to go #6 lost 10 places thanks to being knocked off track by a Porsche; the perpetrator was penalized with a drive-through, but that wouldn’t help Gabriele. He put in a massive effort to recover to 20th at the flag. Luca pushed throughout his stint and was rewarded with seventh at the finish, #4 having started 37th. Although not the results that the team deserved, everyone’s excellent performances went a long way towards mitigating a difficult start to the race. There’s only a short break before the next round: a run into the night at the six hours of Paul Ricard.
General information about the Blancpain GT Series
In the 2019 season, the Blancpain GT Series features ten rounds of racing on Europe's most famous circuits. The championship is divided into two disciplines, each with its own classification: The Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, which consists of a 1000km race, three 3-hour races and the famous 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps, and the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe, which runs two one-hour races over five race weekends. BLACK FALCON takes on the role of defending team and driver champion in the Endurance Cup in 2019 and extends its commitment to the World Challenge Europe sprint discipline to win the overall Blancpain GT Series championship.
Race Calendar Blancpain GT Series 2019
13. – 14.04: Round 1, Monza, Endurance Cup
04. – 05.05: Round 2, Brands Hatch, GT World Challenge Europe
11. – 12.05: Round 3, Silverstone, Endurance Cup
31.05 – 01.06: Round 4, Paul Ricard, Endurance Cup
28. – 30.06: Round 5, Misano, GT World Challenge Europe
12. – 14.07: Round 6, Zandvoort, GT World Challenge Europe
25. – 28.07: Round 7, Spa, Endurance Cup
30.08 – 01.09: Round 8, Nürburgring, GT World Challenge Europe
06. – 08.09: Round 9, Hungaroring, GT World Challenge Europe
28. – 29.09: Round 10, Barcelona, Endurance Cup
TV broadcasting, live streaming and social media
For all qualifying sessions and races, a extensive live streaming service including live timing is available on the official Blancpain GT Series website, YouTube and Facebook channel. Further information about Team BLACK FALCON is available daily on the team's social media channels: