Customer Racing: Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup: Second place for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the Blancpain GT Series season opener

08.
April 2018
Zolder

A successful season opener for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the Blancpain GT Series: in the second race of the Sprint Cup at Zolder, all four Mercedes-AMG GT3, each of them run by AKKA ASP, finished in the top ten. Classified in second place, Raffaele Marciello (ITA) and Michael Meadows (GBR) made it onto the podium for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport. The cars with starting numbers 35 and 90 made it onto the podium in the Silver class both in race one on Saturday and in race two on Sunday.

  • Second place in race two for the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3
  • All four Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the top ten of the overall classification on Sunday
  • A double podium in the Silver class in both races

Zolder – Mercedes-AMG Motorsport celebrated a successful start of the new Blancpain GT Series season. In the Sprint Cup at Zolder in Belgium, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 made it onto the winners’ podium during the first event already. Driving the car with starting number 88, run by AKKA ASP, Raffaele Marciello (ITA) and Michael Meadows (GBR) were second across the finish line in race two on Sunday. In summerly conditions, the duo started the 60 minutes’ sprint race at Circuit Zolder from fifth place on the grid and gradually worked its way up. Starting driver Marciello overtook one opponent and handed the car to team-mate Michael Meadows while in fourth place. Thanks to its faultless pit stop, the team even moved up into third positions. Like Marciello, the Brit showed a strong performance and also benefited from the drive-through penalty of a rival. After 39 laps, he scored the first podium finish of the new Blancpain GT Series season, less than seven seconds down.

The three other Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the field of 22 cars, all three of them entered by AKKA ASP, also finished in the top ten. Felix Serralles (PUR) and Nicolas Jamin (FRA) concluded their remarkable progress from 19th place on the grid in fourth position. In the opening stages already, Serralles drove the Mercedes-AMG GT3 with starting number 87 into twelfth place. Jamin continued the great effort and eventually came within two seconds of a podium finish. Russian driver pairing Vladimir Atoev and Alexey Korneev finished in ninth place. The duo with starting number 35 competed in co-operation with SMP Racing and finished second in the Silver class. Nico Bastian (GER) and Jack Manchester (GBR) completed the enjoyable result by finishing third in the Silver class and tenth overall with the #90 Mercedes-AMG GT3.  

On the previous day in the first of the two sprint races, these two cars had already finished on the Silver class podium. The Bastian/Manchester duo was classified in second place followed by Atoev and Korneev. Moreover, two further Mercedes-AMG GT3 made it into the top ten of the overall classification. Marciello and Meadows made up nine places and moved up from 17th on the grid to eighth place at the finish. Nicolas Jamin (FRA) and Felix Serralles (PUR) finished in ninth position.

Raffaele Marciello, AKKA ASP #88: “I am delighted to be able to race for Mercedes-AMG in the prestigious Blancpain GT Series. We had a great race. I had a good start, I was able to make up one place and I kept up the pressure and got everything out of it. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 simply is a joy to drive. Second place is a good start into the new season.”

Michael Meadows, AKKA ASP #88: “I was able to drive a controlled race and largely stay out of all the troubles. Of course, we benefited from the drive through penalty, but the Mercedes-AMG GT3 was also great to drive. Second place gives us a positive feeling for the races to come.”

Result race 1*:  

POS

overall

POS

class

Nr.

Car

Team

Drivers

1.

1.

(PRO)

63

Lamborghini Huracan GT3

GRT Grasser Racing Team

Christian Engelhart (GER), Mirko Bortolotti (ITA)

2.

2.

(PRO)

2

Audi R8 LMS

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT

Dries Vanthoor (BEL), Will Stevens (GBR)

3

3

(PRO)

1

Audi R8 LMS

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT

Alex Ribas (ESP), Christopher Mies (GER)

 

 

 

 

 

8.

7.

(PRO)

88

Mercedes-AMG GT3

AKKA ASP

Raffaele Marciello (ITA), Michael Meadows (GBR)

9.

8.

(PRO)

87

Mercedes-AMG GT3

AKKA ASP

Nicolas Jamin (FRA), Felix Serralles (PUR)

11.

2.

(Silber)

90

Mercedes-AMG GT3

AKKA ASP

Nico Bastian (GER), Jack Manchester (GBR)

16.

3.

(Silber)

35

Mercedes-AMG GT3

AKKA ASP

Vladimir Atoev (RUS), Alexey Korneev (RUS)

* excerpt, subject to confirmation by the organiser

Result race 2*:  

POS

overall

POS

class

Nr.

Car

Team

Drivers

1.

1.

(PRO)

66

Audi R8 LMS

Attempto Racing

Steijn Schothorst (NED), Kelvin van der Linde (RSA)

2.

2.

(PRO)

88

Mercedes-AMG GT3

AKKA ASP

Raffaele Marciello (ITA), Michael Meadows (GBR)

3

3

(PRO)

19

Lamborghini Huracan GT3

GRT Grasser Racing Team

Ezequiel Perez Companc (ARG), Andrea Caldarelli (ITA)

4.

4.

(PRO)

87

Mercedes-AMG GT3

AKKA ASP

Nicolas Jamin (FRA), Felix Serralles (PUR)

9.

2.

(Silber)

35

Mercedes-AMG GT3

AKKA ASP

Vladimir Atoev (RUS), Alexey Korneev (RUS)

10.

3.

(Silber)

90

Mercedes-AMG GT3

AKKA ASP

Nico Bastian (GER), Jack Manchester (GBR)

* excerpt, subject to confirmation by the organiser

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  • 18C0313_03
    #90 Mercedes-AMG GT3, AKKA ASP
  • 18C0313_02
    P2 Jack Manchester & Nico Bastian, P3 Alexey Korneev & Vladimir Atoev
  • 18C0313_04
    #35 Mercedes-AMG GT3, AKKA ASP
  • 18C0313_07
    #35 Mercedes-AMG GT3, AKKA ASP
  • 18C0313_01
    #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3, AKKA ASP
  • 18C0313_06
    #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3, AKKA ASP
  • 18C0313_05
    #87 Mercedes-AMG GT3, AKKA ASP
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