The Ferrari 488 GT3 of Rinaldi Racing driven by Rinat Salikhov and David Perel closed the gap on the leaders to just four lengths after a commanding performance in the Pro-Am class, while Kessel Racing won the Am Cup. The Ferraris enjoyed an extremely positive Race-1 of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe on Saturday at the Nürburgring circuit. There were no major dramas.
Never in question. After starting from class pole, Rinat Salikhov dropped a couple of positions at the start but recovered them quickly to extend his lead over the Lamborghini of FFF Racing. He gave way to David Perel with 33 minutes to go. Louis Machiels in the Ferrari 488 GT3 of AF Corse stopped at the same time, handing the wheel to Andrea Bertolini who, in turn, tried to mount a comeback on the Lamborghini now driven by Keen. Without Safety Cars or any particular episodes, the race reached its natural conclusion with Salikhov and Perel winning ahead of Hamaguchi-Keen and Bertolini-Machiels.
Thrilling finale. In the Am class, the race was more uncertain. After a brilliant start, Scholze – in the 488 GT3 of HB Racing – had to return to the pits after just under ten minutes. At that point the other Ferrari, crewed by Stephen Earle and Rory Penttinen for Kessel Racing, appeared set for an easy win, but, in the end, Wolfgang Triller crossed the line first for the championship leaders. However, due to a contact in the last lap that the race officials deemed avoidable, the Austrian team suffered an eight-second penalty thus ceding first place to the crew of Kessel Racing.
Programme. The second and final race at the Nürburgring is set for Sunday, starting at 2:30 pm local time.