Mercedes-AMG Motorsport also finishes on the podium in the third Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup race: Raffaele Marciello (ITA) and Michael Meadows (GBR) drive their Mercedes-AMG GT3 with starting number 88, run by AKKA ASP, to second place in the first race. Driving the sister car with starting number 90, Nico Bastian (GER) and Jack Manchester (GBR) secure the Silver Cup class win. Nicolas Jamin (FRA) and Denis Bulatov (RUS), also AKKA ASP, finish fifth in the race on Sunday and thus secure another Silver Cup win for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport.
- Race 1: Second place for the AKKA ASP Team #88
- Race 1: Victory in the Silver Cup for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 #90
- Race 2: Victory in the Silver Cup for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 #87
AKKA ASP claimed second place in the first race of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cups at Misano World Circuit. After third place at Zolder and second place at Brands Hatch, Raffaele Marciello (ITA) and Michael Meadows (GBR) thus also finished on the podium in the third Sprint Cup event of the season. Meadows started from fourth place on the grid for the 60 minutes’ race that got underway at 19.40 hrs on Saturday. The low-standing sun on the Adriatic coast left the Brit unfazed, stayed close to the front runners with his #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 and came in early to hand the car to his team-mate Marciello. With fresh tyres and in perfect race conditions, the Mercedes-AMG driver posted fast lap times. Thus, Marciello was able to make up decisive time on two opponents who came in later for their pit stops and gained two places. The Italian also closed up on the leader, but didn’t find an opportunity to start an overtaking move. After 37 laps, Marciello crossed the finish line only 0.6 seconds down on the race winner.
Nico Bastian (GER) and Jack Manchester (GBR) secured the second top ten result of the day with the #90 Mercedes-AMG GT3. Bastian defended his third place on the grid and took the lead after around ten minutes. Once racing resumed after a full-course yellow, the German showed the quickest response, overtook the remaining opponent in front of him and moved up into the lead. Bastian posted fast race laps and initially pulled clear at the front before the opposition was able to make up time with fresh tyres. After the driver change, Manchester rejoined the field in third place, but fought hard to secure the Silver Cup victory. In sixth place overall, he defended the class win. Thus, the duo further extended its points’ lead in the Silver Cup standings.
A Silver Cup class victory for the #87 Mercedes-AMG GT3
On Sunday, the field of 22 cars started into the second sprint race. The third Mercedes-AMG GT3 run by AKKA ASP with starting number #87 and drivers Denis Bulatov (RUS) and Nicolas Jamin (FRA) secured the best result of the day by finishing fifth. Having started from twelfth place on the grid, Bulatov made up three places before the driver change. Jamin built on the good performance by his team-mate. The pole-sitter from the previous day finished the race in fifth place overall after 38 laps, slightly over 15 seconds down on the winner. Thus, the two secured a Silver Cup class win and thus got some consolation for having retired from the first race while in the lead. That the Mercedes-AMG GT3 has chances to win again became clear on the Sunday. In the second race, the car with number 88 also started the race from pole position. Raffaele Marciello defended his leading position, but had bad luck in the race as he damaged his car while driving hard over the kerbstones. As a result, he and his team-mate Meadows lost positions and eventually finished tenth.
Raffaele Marciello, AKKA ASP #88:“Although Christopher Mies was very fast while in the lead, I was able to close up. I tried to apply pressure, but overtaking is incredibly difficult here. Second place is great for the championship. It is a long season and these points are important. In the second race, we were in a promising situation with pole position. Unfortunately, I hit the kerbs and damaged the car. Therefore, that was all we could do.”
Nico Bastian, AKKA ASP #90:“We had a good start and were able to defend third place. After Nicolas Jamin retired, I had a quick restart and was able to take the lead. In the second stint, Jack Manchester defended the lead in the Silver Cup, even though the Jaguar applied considerable pressure. We are happy with the class win. That was a great race.”
Nicolas Jamin, AKKA ASP #87:“When you start the race from pole position, you defend the lead at the start, then extend it and retire shortly after that, it is very disappointing, of course. On Saturday, we had good chances of winning the race. Therefore, it makes us even happier that we were able to move up from twelfth on the grid to fifth on Sunday and scored the win in the Silver Cup. This conciliatory result allows us to look ahead in a positive way.”