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Black Falcon's Engel and Stolz win second Brands Hatch Blancpain race

Black Falcon Mercedes pair Maro Engel and Luca Stolz won the second Brands Hatch Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe race of the season-opener, after surprise poleman Fabian Schiller dropped back

Reigning Endurance Cup champions Stolz and Engel had finished runner-up to Silver Cup competitors Nico Bastian and Thomas Neubauer in a Akka ASP Mercedes in the first race of the day.

In race two, surprise pole sitter Fabian Schiller, in Akka ASP's #90 Mercedes, also from the Silver Cup, led early on and quickly built a lead of 3.5 seconds after the opening stint was interrupted by a lengthy safety car period.

Just after half distance, however, he received a drive-through penalty issued for speeding under the safety car, as he proceeded at 94.1km/h rather than the permitted 80km/h.

After pitting relatively late the Schiller Mercedes, now in Timur Bogulavskiy's hands, dropped to eighth place.

It was later announced that the penalty was being suspended until after the race. Schiller argued that the speed was set while he was catching up with the safety car, which was some way ahead amid some confusion.

This all left Stolz in a clear lead. His co-driver Engel had run third in the opening stint behind leader Schiller and Nick Foster in the #55 Attempto Racing Audi in second, and the Black Falcon Mercedes vaulted to the front through the pitstop phase.

Stolz then build a commanding lead over second-placed Vincent Abril in the #88 Akka ASP Mercedes shared with Raffaele Marciello.

Abril then rolled to a halt with 15 minutes left having gradually lost drive, related to a suspected clutch problem, which let Andrea Caldarelli's Orange 1 FFF Huracan, who'd taken over from Marco Mapelli, through to finish second, 11.6s shy of Stolz.

Foster and Steijn Schothorst, whose R8 had crashed out at the first turn of race one, finished third. The car still had gravel in it going to the race two grid as the team didn't have time to remove the floor between races.

Race one overall winner Bastian lost fourth place with a late drive-through penalty for overtaking under the full course yellow.

However, the car still got the Silver Cup victory as Bogulavskiy, who was set to re-take the Silver Cup lead, stopped his smoky Mercedes before the pit entrance.

Blancpain GT Series Asia champion Hiroshi Hamaguchi, paired with Phil Keen aboard the #519 FFF Racing Huracan, pipped Jean-Luc Beaubelique, paired with Jim Pla in the #87 Akka ASP Mercedes, on the line to take the Pro-Am win by just 0.025s.

The safety car in the opening stint was caused by a multi-car crash at the exit of Hawthorn's nine minutes into the hour-long race.

It occurred when David Perel in an Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 nudged Phoenix Racing's Frederic Vervisch in the #11 R8 into a spin, and several cars were caught up in the resultant melee.

Andrea Bertolini's #52 AF Corse Ferrari 488 was out on the spot while WRT Audi pair Rik Breukers and Dries Vanthoor, #10 and #1 respectively, continued only as far as the end of the lap.

Vervisch continued as did Sainteloc Racing's Christopher Haase in the #25 R8 after repairs to his right-hand door.

Perel got a drive-through penalty for causing the collision, costing him the Pro-Am lead.

Christian Engelhart's Grasser Racing #63 Lamborghini Huracan was apparently carrying some of Bertolini's errant bodywork, and shortly afterwards got a drivethrough for colliding with Keen just before the safety car period.

Markus Winkelhock, joined by Steven Palette in the Sainteloc's #26 Audi, was nudged out into the Paddock gravel on lap one.

McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner Tom Gamble in the #17 WRT Silver Cup Audi, partnering with Shae Davies, retired in the pits at end of that lap with rear damage.

Race two result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 L.Stolz, M.Engel Black Falcon Mercedes 39 1h01m05.000s
2 A.Caldarelli, M.Mapelli Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini 39 11.643s
3 S.Schothorst, N.Foster Attempto Racing Audi 39 14.190s
4 K.van der Linde, C.Schmid Attempto Racing Audi 39 15.164s
5 R.Collard, M.Kirchhofer R-Motorsport Aston Martin 39 17.168s
6 C.Weerts, C.Mies Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 39 20.369s
7 S.Gachet, C.Haase Sainteloc Junior Team Audi 39 24.825s
8 N.Bastian, T.Neubauer Akka ASP Team Mercedes 39 33.575s
9 M.Dontje, M.Drudi Attempto Racing Audi 39 38.433s
10 C.Engelhart, M.Bortolotti GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 39 38.671s
11 A.Vainio, Sadeleer R-Motorsport Aston Martin 39 43.807s
12 F.Hutchison, F.Vervisch Phoenix Racing Audi 39 50.363s
13 K-L.Schramm, F.Stippler Phoenix Racing Audi 39 54.444s
14 H.Hamaguchi, P.Keen Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini 39 1m19.604s
15 J-L.Beaubelique, J.Pla Akka ASP Team Mercedes 39 1m19.629s
16 R.Salikhov, D.Perel Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 38 1 Lap
17 W.Triller, F.Scholze Team HB Racing Ferrari 38 1 Lap
18 T.Boguslavskiy, F.Schiller Akka ASP Team Mercedes 36 3 Laps
19 V.Abril, R.Marciello Akka ASP Team Mercedes 27 12 Laps
- L.Machiels, A.Bertolini Spirit of Race Ferrari 5 Retirement
- R.Breukers, O.Tunjo Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 5 Retirement
- E.P.Companc, D.Vanthoor Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 5 Retirement
- S.Davies, T.Gamble Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 0 Retirement
- N.Stievenart, S.Ortelli Sainteloc Junior Team Audi 0 Withdrawn
- T.Proto, D.Menchaca Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini 0 Not started
- S.Palette, M.Winkelhock Sainteloc Junior Team Audi 0 Retirement

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