Orange 1 FFF Racing Team took victory in the first Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe race at the Nürburgring on Saturday afternoon, moving Andrea Caldarelli and Marco Mapelli into the championship lead.
The No. 563 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo finished nine seconds clear of Grasser Racing Team’s similar No. 63 Lamborghini, which had started on pole.
Caldarelli made up several positions in the pit stops to come out behind Christian Engelhart and eventually made his way past the Grasser driver after following him closely for several laps.
The FFF team owner/driver was then able to open up a sizeable gap at the head of the field, while Engelhart was forced to defend from Christopher Haase for second.
Haase had to settle for third, with his Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo finishing just one-tenth behind Engelhart.
The race was rather clean, with no full course yellow or safety car periods. Local yellows were brought out early on for Mauro Ricci, but the Frenchman got his AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 going again without causing much disruption.
Caldarelli and Mapelli are now six points ahead of Luca Stolz and Maro Engel in the combined Blancpain GT Series standings after a difficult race for the Black Falcon pair.
Stolz ran second for the first stint, following Bortolotti by less than a second for most of the time before stops.
A drive-through penalty for an unsafe release, however, knocked the Black Falcon car down the order, with Engel only able to recover to an eighth place finish.
Attempto Racing finished sixth overall, taking the Silver Cup victory with its No. 56 Audi, ahead of AKKA ASP’s Nico Bastian and Timur Boguslavskiy.
Pro-Am honors went to Rinaldi Racing’s David Perel and Rinat Salikhov, while HB Racing’s Wolfgang Triller and Florian Scholze took the Am Cup win.
Race 2 will take place at 2:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. EDT) on Sunday.