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Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe - Race Report Round 5, Hungaroring
BLACK FALCON has achieved two podium places in the season finale of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe at the Hungaroring. Maro Engel (DE) and Luca Stolz (DE) took second place in the #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the penultimate race of the championship on Saturday afternoon. The tenth and last race of the season on Sunday was finished by the BLACK FALCON AMG GT3 in third place and thus provided the closest of all possible championship decisions: Engel and Stolz scored exactly the same amount of points as the leaders, who eventually won the championship instead of the BLACK FALCON duo due to the number of race wins. However, Engel and Stolz regained the lead in the Blancpain GT Series overall championship at the Hungaroring, which will host its season finale at the end of September with a 3-hour race in Barcelona.
In the first qualifying Luca Stolz secured a nearly perfect starting position for the team with second place on the grid for Saturday's race. Afterwards team mate Maro Engel achieved the fourth fastest time in the second qualifying for the race on Sunday.
The penultimate race of the Blancpain GT World Challenge was expected to heat up the tension in the fiercely contested drivers' standings. After a good opening stint from Stolz, Engel took the wheel of the AMG in the middle of the race and made up almost ten seconds on the second-placed Lamborghini. In the last lap he started the long-awaited overtaking attempt and forced himself into second place across several corners. Engel and Stolz thus reduced the gap to the championship leaders to only two points.
Engel started the last championship race after another good performance in qualifying from fourth on the grid. Right at the start he won a position and brought the BLACK FALCON AMG GT3 to the pits in third place for the driver change. After a routine pit stop Stolz battled the rest of the distance with the second-placed Lamborghini, while the championship leaders caught up from behind and turned the duel into a three-way fight. Despite several attempts, Stolz couldn't find a way past and crossed the finish line in third place, equivalent to second place in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe Driver Championship.
Comments on the race
Sean Paul Breslin (team principal): “The team can be extremely proud of what we achieved in our first venture in a full sprint season. A lot has been learned, and of course we are heart broken to lose such a close battle. However, FFF had a great season, zero mistakes and are worthy winners. We will be back next year, stronger and ready to fight again. Thank you to the whole team.”
Maro Engel (driver): "It's probably the saddest third place in a race we've ever had. It's a shame to lose the championship on a tie. The team worked so hard. However, we unfortunately lost the decisive points for the World Challenge Europe last weekend. On the bright side, we're now leading again in the Blancpain GT Series overall standings and are fully focussing on this championship with the finale in Barcelona".
Luca Stolz (driver): "Maro was the man of the day on Saturday. He drove a great race, made up almost ten seconds and finished second. Unfortunately the third place in the second race was not enough. We have to give it our all in Barcelona so that we can secure the overall standings there in any case."
Further information about the BLACK FALCON team is available daily on the team's social media channels: