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Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe - Race Report Round 4, Nürburgring
At the penultimate weekend of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe season at the Nürburgring, BLACK FALCON experienced a mixed race weekend in front of the home crowd. The two one-hour races on the 5.137 km Grand Prix track started promising at first. However, a drive-through penalty cost the #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 all hopes of a podium finish on Saturday. In Sunday's race Maro Engel (DE) and Luca Stolz (DE) crossed the finish line after a thrilling duel in fourth place overall.
In the first qualifying Luca Stolz secured an almost perfect starting position for the team with grid position two for Saturday's race. Afterwards team mate Maro Engel achieved the fourth fastest time in the second qualifying for the race on Sunday.
The first race on Saturday afternoon went almost perfectly until the obligatory pit stop in the middle of the race. Start driver Stolz got a good start and defended his second position. In the first 25 minutes of the race he was able to follow the leading Lamborghini without any problems, but couldn't find a way past him. After a quick pit stop including the driver change, the team released Engel into the path of another car in the pit lane. The race control imposed a drive-through penalty on the team for the incident, which flushed Engel out of the top 10 and threw him back to 13th place. After a strong race to catch up in the remaining 30 minutes, the BLACK FALCON AMG GT3 crossed the finish line in eighth place.
On Sunday Engel took the wheel of the AMG GT3 for the start of the second race. He was able to win a place in the first corner and then put the two leading Audi cars under pressure as third. In his stint, he always fought for second position in the leading group, while at the same time defending against the attack attempts of the fourth-placed car. After the driver change to Stolz, the team returned to the track in fourth place, directly behind its direct competitor in the championship. Despite some attempts to attack and several wheel-to-wheel duels, Stolz couldn't find a way around and was waved off in fourth place.
Already next week the season final of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe will take place at the Hungaroring in Budapest (Hungary). Maro Engel, Luca Stolz and BLACK FALCON still have every chance of winning the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Championship.
Comments on the race
Sean Paul Breslin (Team Manager BLACK FALCON GT): "It was another exciting weekend. Both drivers qualified well. Unfortunately a difficult position in pit lane lead to two poor pit stops and we didn’t manage to achieve the points dearly needed to win this championship. One more round to go!"
Maro Engel (Driver #4): "Unfortunately not the races we imagined. We had created a good starting position for ourselves. The car also ran very well in the race. Unfortunately, a few unfortunate circumstances came together that ultimately cost us the chance of a good race result. Nevertheless, many thanks to the team, which again did a great job. Now we are the hunters. Next week in Budapest we will attack fully and try everything to win the championship".
Further information about the BLACK FALCON team is available daily on the team's social media channels: