Victory for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in Blancpain GT Series season finale.

Next to the race win, the cars from Affalterbach racked up another four top ten results.

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport celebrates a successful Blancpain GT Series season finale with victory for the #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of the AKKA ASP team. All Mercedes-AMG GT3 showed a strong performance at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya throughout the weekend and got their rewards in the three-hour race on Sunday afternoon: next to the race win, the cars from Affalterbach racked up another four top ten results (4th, 5th, 6th and 7th place). Moreover, AKKA ASP scored another podium finish with third place in the Pro-AM class for its car with starting number 89.

 

It was a faultless performance for the AKKA ASP team with starting number 88 and a great finale: in qualifying, Daniel Juncadella (ESP) put the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in third place on the grid and defended his position at the start of the three-hour race. The Spaniard managed to stay out of the sometimes hard position fights of the 49 GT3 cars. At the end of his stint, he even took the lead and handed the Mercedes-AMG GT3 without any damage to his team-mate Felix Serralles (PUR). Serralles confirmed the strong performance and even built up a temporary margin of almost three seconds.  On lap 58, he handed the car to final driver Tristan Vautier (FRA) while in the lead. The Frenchman then staged a thrilling duel for victory that was only decided on the final lap. Vautier successfully turned down a final attack by his rival and secured the first victory for AKKA ASP and Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in the 2017 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.

 

The further Mercedes-AMG GT3 of the teams HTP Motorsport, BLACK FALCON and again AKKA ASP rounded out the highly successful and closed performance with positions four (#84), five (#4), six (#85) and seven (#90). Right from the start, the Mercedes-AMG cars formed a small group within the top ten that staged hard but fair position fights. Eventually, HTP Motorsport’s car with starting number 48 could also have made it into the top ten, but was innocently pushed off the track just before the end.

 

A strong performance throughout the weekend
In first free practice, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 already showed their strength at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya: the cars from Affalterbach locked out the first four positions and in total, six Mercedes-AMG GT3 made it into the top ten. On a wet track at the start of qualifying, they were in contention for top lap times before times dropped during the final third of the session on a dry surface. Eventually, nine cars from Affalterbach ranked in the top 16 in qualifying.

 

In the overall Blancpain GT Series standings, last year’s champions Maximilian Buhk (GER) and his team-mate Franck Perera (FRA) concluded the season as runners-up in the drivers’ standings. Jean-Luc Beaubelique (FRA) ends up third in the Pro-AM drivers’ standings.

 

Daniel Juncadella, AKKA ASP #88: “Having to watch on the monitor during the last few laps was horrible. I really rooted for Tristan when he was involved in the duel for victory, but he handled it in a great way. Winning here in my home round is fantastic. Of course, you dream about that, but when it actually happens, I just can’t describe it. This is a perfect end to our season.”

 

Adam Christodoulou, Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON #4: “I had quite a thrilling duel with the HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3. Of course, I am a bit disappointed for having lost one position at the end, but for Mercedes-AMG, this is a great result in the season finale. Congratulations to the AKKA ASP team on a well-deserved victory.”

 

Daniele Perfetti, AKKA ASP #89: “A great result. I am happy. We were aiming at good results all season long and we often had bad luck. Nico has done a fantastic job. On the final lap, he secured the podium finish for us today. It couldn’t have been any better.”

Result Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, Barcelona*:

Pos

No.

Class

Car

Team

Drivers

1.

88 /

Pro

Mercedes-AMG GT3

AKKA ASP

Daniel Juncadella (ESP), Felix Serralles (PUR), Tristan Vautier (FRA)

2.

17 /

Pro

Audi R8 LMS

Team WRT

Stuart Leonard (GBR), Jake Dennis (GBR), Robin Frijns (NED)

3.

63 /

Pro

Lamborghini Huracan GT3

GRT Grasser Racing Team

Andrea Caldarelli (ITA), Christian Engelhart (GER), Mirko Bortolotti (ITA)

4.

84 /

Pro

Mercedes-AMG GT3

Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport

Maximilian Buhk (GER), Jimmy Eriksson (SWE), Franck Perera (FRA)

5.

4 /

Pro

Mercedes-AMG GT3

Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON

Yelmer Buurman (NED), Adam Christodoulou (GBR), Luca Stolz (GER)

6.

85 /

Pro

Mercedes-AMG GT3

HTP Motorsport

Dominik Baumann (AUT), Edward Sandström (SWE), Fabian Schiller (GER)

7.

90 /

Pro

Mercedes-AMG GT3

AKKA ASP

Raffaele Marciello (ITA), Michael Meadows (GBR), Edoardo Mortara (ITA)

21.

89 /

Pro-AM

Mercedes-AMG GT3

AKKA ASP

Ludovic Badey (FRA), Nico Bastian (GER), Daniele Perfetti (SUI)

30.

16 /

Pro-AM

Mercedes-AMG GT3

BLACK FALCON

Marvin Kirchhöfer (GER), Oliver Morley (GBR), Miguel Toril (ESP)

36.

87 /

Pro-AM

Mercedes-AMG GT3

AKKA ASP

Jean-Luc Beaubelique (FRA), Jules Gounon (FRA), Mauro Ricci (ITA)

38.

15 /

Pro-AM

Mercedes-AMG GT3

BLACK FALCON

Dore Chaponick (USA), Scott Heckert (USA), Brett Sandberg (USA)

40.

48 /

Pro

Mercedes-AMG GT3

MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport

Patrick Assenheimer (GER), Indy Dontje (NED), Kenneth Heyer (GER)

* subject to confirmation by the organiser