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GT World Challenge Europe

Caldarelli, Mapelli Win Title as AKKA ASP Sweeps Weekend

Caldarelli, Mapelli take GT World Challenge Europe title as Marciello, Abril win Race 2…

Photo: FFF Racing Team

Raffaele Marciello and Vincent Abril swept the weekend by winning Sunday’s Race 2 at the Hungaroring while Andrea Caldarelli and Marco Mapelli were crowned Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe champions. 

AKKA ASP’s Marciello and Abril executed a flawless performance throughout the weekend, taking both pole positions and both race wins with their No. 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3.

The championship battle unfolded behind them, concerning the three cars battling for second position on track.

Mapelli crossed the line fourth in Orange 1 FFF Racing Team’s No. 563 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, taking the title along with co-driver and team owner Caldarelli.

It was decided in the final stint with Stolz in third and Mapelli fourth, both running behind Grasser Racing Team’s Mirko Bortolotti, who crossed the line second.

Those positions resulted in a tie between Mapelli and Stolz’s cars, which both finish the season with 92.5 points. Stolz and Maro Engel only picked up one win, however, while the FFF pair won twice, giving them the championship advantage. 

Caldarelli and Mapelli did this despite starting back in 13th, while Engel got away from fourth spot on the grid with his Black Falcon Mercedes.

A rapid opening stint from Caldarelli, coupled with a quick pit stop that gained the Italian-Chinese team two seconds in the pit lane, soon moved the car up through the field.

Mapelli exited the pits in fourth, where he stayed for the remainder of the race despite closing in on Engel in the final few laps. 

The race ran under the safety car for a few laps early on after David Perel crashed on the opening lap, ending his and Rinat Salikhov’s Pro-Am title fight.

This automatically gave the Pro-Am title to Phil Keen and Hiroshi Hamaguchi, also driving for FFF, while also taking the class win in the race.

Nico Bastian and Thomas Neubauer claimed the Silver Cup title for AKKA ASP, having finished second in class while teammates Felipe Fraga and Timur Boguslavskiy took the class’ race win.

Grasser Appeal Could Reverse Title Outcome

Engel and Stolz could still be crowned GT World Challenge Europe champions, subject to the outcome of an appeal made by Grasser Racing Team earlier in the year.

The Austrian team appealed Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart’s disqualification from Qualifying 2 at Zandvoort in July.

The pair finished second in that race, the results of which remain provisional until the appeal is heard.

If it goes against Grasser, and the No. 63 Lamborghini is disqualified from the second Zandvoort race, both the Black Falcon and FFF cars will gain a position in the points, moving to third and sixth, respectively.

This would give Engel and Stolz an additional two points while Caldarelli and Mapelli would only gain 1.5 points, therefore giving the German pair a 0.5-point advantage in the standings and subsequently the championship.

It’s not currently known when Grasser’s appeal will be heard.


Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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