The 2019 Blancpain GT Series reaches its final round at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya on September 27 – 29. In a replay of the Hungaroring, Orange 1 FFF Racing’s Andrea Caldarelli and Marco Mapelli and BLACK FALCON’s Maro Engel and Luca Stolz are head—to-head for the overall drivers title, the Italian duo just two points behind the German pilots in the standings.
48 entries will be on the grid at the Montmeló circuit, 17 in the Pro category, 14 in the Silver Cup class and eight each in the Pro-Am Cup and Am Cup category. The #50 1969 Tribute entry has yet, at the time of writing, to declare drivers, car and class.
BLACK FALCON’s Maro Engel and Luca Stolz head Orange 1 FFF Racing’s Andrea Caldarelli and Marco Mapelli are separated by two points going into Barcelona. The German duo will enter the final round firmly focused on beating the Orange 1 FFF Racing crew, having finished ahead on-track in both races at the Hungaroring but with insufficient margin to claim the World Challenge Europe title. Two points separate the two crews at the top of the overall drivers standings.
Team Principal of Orange 1 FFF Racing Team, Fu Songyang, was happy to claim the sprint prize but is now looking at the overall crown. Fu Songyang was also interested to review the progress of his two recent additions for Barcelona, Giacomo Altoè and Andrea Amici.
“Our first season in the Blancpain GT Series is close to the end but still one race is still missing, one of the most important of the season,” said Fu Songyang. “Our rivals are very strong and Barcelona is not the track which suits our car but I have no reason to think that we will nit be fighting until the last corner. The World Challenge Europe title gave us extra motivation for the Endurance Cup final, and I’m also really curious to see how Giacomo and Andrea will integrate with the team in this challenge.”
Engel, Stolz and Buurman won at Barcelona in 2018 to take the Endurance Cup title. Having lost out by the smallest of margins to Caldarelli and Mapelli for the World Challenge Europe title, expect the #4 crew to leave nothing on the table at Barcelona.
In the race for the Overall Teams title, Orange 1 FFF Racing currently enjoy an 11.5 point advantage over BLACK FALCON in the standings. With a second Pro car on the grid for FFF Racing, the team clearly believe that a clean sweep of overall drivers, World Challenge Europe and the teams title is within their grasp.
2019 has been the year of AKKA ASP and in particular the crew of the #90 Mercedes, namely Nico Bastian, Timur Boguslavskiy and Felipe Fraga. The French squad will win all the Silver titles this season with Bastian taking the drivers title in the category.
AF Corse has already secured the Silver Cup teams title courtesy of Niek Hommerson, Louis Machiels and Andrea Bertolini. The drivers title is still up for grabs however with AF Corse’s Bertolini and Machiels just two points clear of AKKA ASP Team’s Jim Pla and Jean-Luc Beaubelique.
With both crews evenly matched, this will be a battle to watch as the weekend unfolds.
Track action for the final round of the 2019 Blancpain GT Series gets underway on Friday September 27 with the Bronze test at 17:00 local (16:00 UK time). Pre-qualifying gets underway at 15:05 local time on Saturday September 28 with qualifying proper starting at 09:30 local time on Sunday 29. The three-hour race starts at 15:00 local time.