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Marciello, Meadows Give Mercedes First Win of Season

Raffaele Marciello, Michael Meadows give Mercedes first Blancpain GT win of season…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

Michael Meadows held off a group of charging Audis to take victory in the second Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup race of the weekend at Hungaroring, giving Mercedes-AMG its first win of the season.

Meadows and Raffaele Marciello led the entirety of Sunday afternoon’s rain-soaked race to extend Marciello’s lead in the overall championship.

It was the first win of the season for both drivers, AKKA ASP and the German manufacturer, despite coming close on several occasions and securing four pole positions.

Their No. 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 finished 1.139 seconds ahead of the Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Simon Gachet and Christopher Haase after an impressive stint from the Frenchman.

Chaos unfolded behind Meadows on the final laps between the Audis of Gachet, Alex Riberas, Steijn Schothorst, Dries Vanthoor and Stuart Leonard.

Gachet passed Riberas, who came to Hungary as championship leader in both the Sprint Cup and overall standings, after the Spaniard went wide.

This dropped the No. 1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT car back and eventually allowed Attempto Racing’s Schothorst to pass going into the final corner complex.

Meanwhile, WRT teammates Leonard and Vanthoor had contact, spinning the Belgian off track, while the Brit was later given a 30-second post-race time penalty for the incident.

Schothorst eventually finished third, behind Meadows and Gachet, while Riberas and co-driver Christopher Mies took home fourth-place points.

This means they are tied with Marciello and Meadows at the head of the Sprint Cup standings, while Marciello opens up an 11-point advantage over them in the overall championship.

Race 1 winners Christian Engelhart and Mirko Bortolotti ran in third position for much of the race until they were dealt a drive-through penalty for a pit stop infringement.

One of the Grasser Racing Team mechanics and a wheel were still in the working lane when the car left the pit box, as a result of the crew member slipping.

Luca Stolz and the sole Black Falcon Mercedes ran second during the first half but co-driver Hubert Haupt dropped back in the second stint and eventually finished 12th.

The Silver Cup class win went to AKKA ASP’s Nico Jamin and Denis Bulatov while Sainteloc’s Nyls Stievenart and Markus Winkelhock claimed Pro-Am honors.

Carlo van Dam and Piti Bhirombhakdi led Pro-Am for a while until the Thai driver spun off track into the gravel, bringing out the Full Course Yellow and safety car, which set the field up for a restart with eight minutes to go.

The first three laps of the race were held behind the safety car as a result of the wet conditions. 


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

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