Raffaele Marciello and Michael Meadows took a superb victory in the final race of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup season at the Nurburgring on Sunday, which gave the #88 AKKA ASP Team duo the championship title.
Marciello took the opening stint in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and shadowed initial race leader Luca Stolz in the #6 Black Falcon Mercedes, and both drivers left it as late as possible to make their one and only pit stop to hand over to their team-mates.
The hand over to Meadows was smooth and the team managed to get the #88 out of the pits ahead of the #6, and once the #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT duo of Christopher Mies and Alex Riberas dropped out of podium contention late on, the title was confirmed to be coming to AKKA ASP.
“Luca had a good start in the second race and I tried to keep up with him and stay ahead of the Audi,” said Marciello. “After that, I drove a controlled race and we had a good pit stop.
“I am super happy with the win and the Sprint Cup title. It is a great feeling. We also still have all the chances of winning the overall championship and with this weekend’s result, we have scored further valuable points for that.
“I really am totally happy.”
Team-mate Meadows was equally happy on Sunday and was full of praise for the Italian, who he feels has done a perfect job all season long, but like Marciello, he still has eyes on adding the overall Blancpain GT Series title to the Sprint Cup title at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya at the end of the month.
“The team has done an outstanding job all year long,” said Meadows. “We have improved from race to race. Raffaele is unbelievable, he is super fast and has done a perfect job.
“Winning the Sprint Cup for Mercedes-AMG is great and a real honour. But we have yet another important goal as we have our eyes set on the overall title in Barcelona.”
Jérôme Policand, the team principal of AKKA ASP Team, was delighted with the result of both the race and the championship, and he was full of praise for both drivers for the job they’ve done throughout the year despite a few hiccups along the way.
“We did it, that is a super feeling and an outstanding achievement by the entire team,” said Policand. “In the Sprint Cup, you have to do a perfect job in every race, otherwise, you have no chance.
“This season, we have had a few setbacks, but we never gave up. This weekend, we did everything perfectly, in spite of a difficult first qualifying. We knew that we had to win the second race and were able to increase the pressure on our opponents.
“With Raffaele and Michael, we have two super drivers within our team. I am really happy for the two of them. And I would like to thank Mercedes-AMG and everyone involved in our project that we started two years ago with the Mercedes-AMG GT3.”