Christodoulou caps Blancpain GT season with top-five finish

Posted By Adam Christodoulou / Blancpain, Endurance, Race Update / AMG, Blancpain, Career / No Comments

Adam Christodoulou scored the best result of his Blancpain GT Series career with a fine fifth place finish in the final race of the year at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.

Sharing the No. 4 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Yelmer Buurman and Luca Stolz, Christodoulou put a season of bad luck behind him to register his second points score in as many rounds, after a gutsy drive to eighth in the Spa 24 Hours in July.

The 28-year-old Briton enjoyed a fraught battle with fellow AMG factory driver Maxi Buhk over fourth position for the duration of his stint, but despite losing out to the German on the final lap, was delighted to end the year with his best result of the season.

“Of course Paul Ricard would have been better as we were set for a podium there until the driveshaft went, but it was really good to finish off on a high and have a weekend where things went our way,” reflected Christodoulou.

“It was a fun race, but that one hour stint felt like three! I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed to have lost fourth on the last lap, but in general, our pace all weekend was very positive.”

In damp, overcast conditions atypical for the Spanish Grand Prix venue, Stolz topped the first qualifying group, while Christodoulou improved to go second in his session. When the track was at its fastest in Q3, Buurman was delayed by traffic, but still managed an excellent 10th in the 49-car field.

With the track fully dry for the start, the Dutchman made a good getaway to run seventh on the opening lap, despite contact from Marco Seefried’s Jaguar that forced him to run wide at turn four. Due to a Stuart Leonard’s Audi bottling up the pack, Buurman had to balance his designs on sixth place with a wary eye on his mirrors, but Black Falcon cleverly optimised the strategy by pitting the car on lap 27, enabling Stolz to emerge in clear air and undercut his rivals on fresh rubber.

Having vaulted up to fifth, the German capitalised on a mistake from Will Stevens’ Audi at the turn nine hairpin to take fourth before handing over to Christodoulou for the final dash to the finish.

The Briton initially held ambitions of taking third away from champion-elect Mirko Bortolotti’s Lamborghini, but a few laps stuck in traffic allowed Borolotti to make a break and Buhk’s identical Mercedes-AMG GT3 to close in. The two cars circulated as one for the final half hour, but Christodoulou’s hopes of fourth were dashed on the final lap when traffic allowed Buhk to sneak by.

“It’s always better to be the chasing car when you’re in traffic as the lead car has to slow down and anticipate what the backmarkers are going to do,” explained Christodoulou.

“Unfortunately I just made the wrong decision of where to overtake them, but that’s how it goes sometimes when the field is so closely matched, you don’t get a moment to relax. It’s definitely been a testing season for us, but we showed that when things go our way, we can be really strong.

“The pitstops were absolutely nailed perfectly and everybody on the team did a great job to move us forward five spots from where we started. I’d like to offer my thanks to everyone at Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon for their hard work all season and I’m already looking forward to coming back next year to fight for our first Blancpain GT Series win.”

Christodoulou’s next race will be his first competitive outing in the new Mercedes-AMG GT4 at the Spa 2x6H next weekend (October 7-8).

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