AKKA ASP do the double at Hungaroring

by Mike Widdowson

Orange1 FFF Racing reign supreme in their debut season to take the inaugural Blancpain GT world challenge European championship.

Orange 1FFF Racing have taken the championship after a long hard battle with Blancpain series stalwarts Black Falcon. The #4 Black Falcon AMG crew have toughed it out with the #563 Lamborghini all season bring the challenge right down to the final round in Hungary.

AKKA ASP with their #88 AMG Mercedes took the spoils in the final rounds with a double win at the Grand Prix circuit in Hungary. Going into the final weekend saw the Lamborghini pairing ahead by 2 points, a slim margin to hold against the black falcon crew. Black falcon had the advantage with Luca Stolz and Maro Engel starting in fourth but with the Orange1 FFF pairing way down in thirteenth on the grid.

Sundays race was a total domination from the AKKA ASP boys of Raffaele Marciello and the Vincent Abril. The #88 AMG outfit took the green flag and swiftly pulled out a lead to then fully runaway with the race and take the win.

Back in the main pack saw the title fight hot up as Maro Engel onboard the Black falcon #4 Machine picked off Dries Vanthoor to take third place on track. The #563 of Caldarelli and Mapelli were working there way up through the pack to jump to eleventh then continued to muscle their way up the field attempting to get to the eludes fourth position which would give them the title with a race to spare.

As the pitstops come into play the Lamborghini’s were some of the first stoppers out of the field. The #563 machine came in and made the quick stop and revealed how much time they’d been picking up through the field as others began to stop and return to the track behind the Orange1 FFF machine now in the hands of Caldarelli.

The Orange1 FFF pit crew had run faultless all season and at this moment, they’d not let the team down. Rapid work with no mistakes meant as the stops shuffled through the car was now sitting in fourth position, a key place that would just be enough for them to take the title if they can hold onto it.

Credit: SRO/Dirk Bogearts

Marciello was way in the front as they the #88 had been all weekend, the AKKA ASP Mercedes had been strong all season, with this second win of the weekend it would notch up 4 race wins in total for the French outfit, this final win gave them the teams championship title.

The #63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini would hold onto second position whilst Luca Stolz would take the third position. Marco Mapelli held onto the crucial fourth position handing the GT World Challenge Drivers crown to them for the season. Black Falcon tied with Orange1 FFF for points tally but down to race wins the Lamborghini squad take the title.

Pro-AM drivers title was also decided in the final race of the season. Two teams had the chances to win from this race but when the #333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari with David Perel onboard was mixed up in a first lap incident and subsequently retired from the race. This retirement left it all in the hands of another Orange1 FFF Racing Lamborghini, the #519 machine of Hiroshi Hamaguchi and Phil Keen. Not only did the pairing claim the drivers title, the Pro-AM teams title was claimed by them in the very same race.

Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe’s Silver cup title was won by Nico Bastian and Thomas Neubauer in the #89 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG. The final title is the AM cup with its single entry. Florian Scholze and Wolfgang Triller took the title in their #444 HB Racing Ferrari crossing the line still on the lead lap.

With the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe title hunt over, one round remains in the whole season in Europe with the final Blancpain endurance round left at Barcelona. The conclusion of the endurance series where black falcon can once gain battle it out with Orang1 FFF for the overall Blancpain title combining points from both the GT world challenge Europe and endurance races.

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