The Ferrari 488 GT3s of AF Corse and HB Racing ended the first race of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe with a second place in the Pro-Am class and victory in the Am class.
Threat of rain. Rain looked likely with a threatening sky and strong winds at the Zandvoort circuit, but the 4,307-metre-long track remained dry throughout the 60-minute race. The Ferraris started well, luckily avoiding Markus Winkelhock’s Audi when it careered across the track to collide with the barriers just as the Ferraris of Salikov and Machiels were passing. The inevitable intervention of the Safety Car compacted the group, and the race resumed in the 51st minute with the 488 GT3 of Rinaldi Racing in 20th place (second in the Pro-Am), that of HB Racing in 22nd (first in the Am) and that of Machiels in 24th (third in the Pro-Am).
Leading at the changeover. After their tyres had warmed up, both Salikov and Machiels moved up to the top of the Pro-Am class. With 33 minutes to go, Salikov handed over to David Perel, while Andrea Bertolini replaced Louis Machiels. As soon as he returned to the track, the driver of car no. 333 lost a tyre and had to re-enter the pits while leading the race. Andrea Bertolini thus picked up the baton as the rival to the Lamborghini of Keen, the new Pro-Am leader.
At the line. The official Competizioni GT driver tried to pull back on the Lamborghini but had to settle for second place under the chequered flag, while Perel finished the race in fifth. However, in the Am class, the Ferrari 488 GT3 of HB Racing crewed by Florian Scholze and Wolfgang Triller made it five wins in the last five races.