Black Falcon has won its appeal against a disqualification from the Blancpain GT Series finale in September, reinstating the German team and its drivers as Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup champions.
Maro Engel, Yelmer Buurman and Luca Stolz won the three-hour race at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on track, enough to secure both the teams’ and drivers’ Endurance Cup titles, but were stripped of their victory following post-race investigations.
The stewards found tape on the air inlet tract of the team’s No. 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3, which was deemed worthy of disqualification, although the team announced it would appeal the decision.
According to the stewards’ decision, representatives from Black Falcon acknowledged the presence of the tape but stated that “this has been normal practice for the team to present their cars in this condition” and that “no performance advantage is gained.”
Sportscar365 has learned that the tape in question was in a prominent position on the main air intake at the top of the engine bay and had been used on other Mercedes-AMG GT3s by other teams.
The tape had been removed from some cars prior to the Barcelona race following controversy surrounding tape on a Belgian Audi Club Team WRT-run R8 LMS GT3 at the Total 24 Hours of Spa, which caused Dries Vanthoor to lose his pole position.
The withdrawal of the Black Falcon car has been reversed with the team now the official race winner, but is now subject to a €5000 fine instead.
Engel, Buurman and Stolz are also confirmed as drivers’ champions, with Raffaele Marciello, who won the Sprint and overall titles, having been provisional champion during the investigation.