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BLANCPAIN GT WORLD CHALLENGE EUROPE - MISANO: Poles, podium, Silver Cup victories and… some regrets!

01-07-2019

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BLANCPAIN GT WORLD CHALLENGE EUROPE - MISANO: Poles, podium, Silver Cup victories and… some regrets!
A high-tension weekend on the Adriatic coast for Team AKKA-ASP… Despite a magnificent second place in Race 1 (#88 Marciello-Abril), a superb pole position for Race 1 (#88 Raffaele Marciello) and two Silver Cup wins (#90 Boguslavskiy-Schiller then #89 Bastian-Neubauer), the French team has still some regrets, having seen a potential overall win disappear on Sunday further to a misunderstanding during the driver change. However, from the first moments on track, all lights were green and the team’s cars were at the top of the timing sheets.  In the overall Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe, Nico Bastian and Thomas Neubauer are currently third, but are also leading the Silver Cup. Raffaele Marciello and Vincent Abril are fifth overall.
 
A summer feel for this second round of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe at the Misano circuit on the Adriatic coast.  As far as Team AKKA-ASP was concerned, the sun was shining and the cars were competitive from free practice onwards.
 
Qualifying practice confirmed this good start.  In the first session, which set the grid for Race 1, Vincent Abril on the #88 was in the Top 5 while Nico Bastian (#89) claimed the pole for the Silver Cup (P7) just ahead of his team-mate Timur Boguslavskiy in the #90 (P10). In Pro-Am, Mauro Ricci quickly set about learning the track while limiting the risks and placed himself on the 13throw of the grid.
 
The second session was even better… Raffaele Marciello put the #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 on pole position while Fabian Schiller in the #90 was fourth with the Silver Cup pole. Setting a magnificent time, Jim Pla (#87) was victorious in Pro-AM, tenth overall. Unfortunately, Thomas Neubauer was less successful than his team-mates, the front drive of his #89 Mercedes-AMG having suffered when going over one of the sausages which marked the track limits, making its handling delicate.  The talented young Frenchman was 19th overall.
 
The first race took place on Saturday towards the end of the day, and promised to be thrilling.  There were no catastrophes at the start, with everyone trying to hold on to their position.  Vincent Abril and Nico Bastian lost a few places but with no serious consequences. On the third lap, Mauro Ricci gave himself a scare with a spin, but recovered perfectly.  Lap after lap, things began to heat up at the front, until the safety car was called out after 20 minutes of racing.  At that point, Vincent Abril was lying fourth, Nico Bastian sixth and leading the Silver Cup, Timur Boguslavskiy P9 (3rd in the Silver Cup) and Mauro Ricci was in P25.

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