Mies, Feller Take GT Masters Points Lead
Christopher Mies and Ricardo Feller moved to the top of the ADAC GT Masters standings with a victory and a sixth-place finish at the Lausitzring last weekend.
The Montaplast by Land-Motorsport pairing gained the championship advantage after a poor weekend for former leaders Michael Ammermueller and Mathieu Jaminet who only managed seven points across the two races.
Feller led the opening stint of Race 1 from pole and handed the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo over to Mies with 3.5 seconds in hand to Maro Engel and Luca Stolz’s Toksport WRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, which started from third on the grid.
A safety car period for Jules Gounon’s Mercedes stopping on-track with an oil gave Engel an opportunity to fight Mies for the win, but the Audi factory driver stood his ground to take the checkered flag by a second.
In Race 2, Gounon and Igor Walilko combined for their first win of the season.
Gounon took pole in the Zakspeed Mercedes-AMG and managed to break clear from fellow AMG drivers Engel and Maximilian Buhk in the opening phase.
The Frenchman’s 24-year-old co-driver Walilko then managed to keep Stolz and Raffaele Marciello at bay through a safety car-affected second stint to secure the win.
HTP duo Buhk and Marciello moved up to second in the standings courtesy of a pair of top-five results that has put them only three points behind Mies and Feller.
Impul Nissan Profits from Aguri Drive-Through
Team Impul Nissan drivers Nobuharu Matsushita and Kazuki Hiramine became first-time Super GT race winners in Sunday’s 83-lap affair at Sportsland Sugo.
The drivers of the Calsonic-blue No. 12 Nissan GT-R GT500 benefited from a drive-through penalty for the Team Aguri Honda NSX-GT of Tomoki Nojiri and Nirei Fukuzumi that initially led away from pole.
Matsushita got off the grid in third but progressed to second when he overtook Toshiki Oyu’s Red Bull Mugen Honda after a battle that also involved Bertrand Haguette’s Honda.
The former FIA Formula 2 driver kept up the chase to Nojiri, who maintained his lead through to the first set of pit stops.
However, the Aguri Honda was called to serve a penalty for a pit procedure infringement, which it took under safety car conditions following a stoppage for the Bandoh Toyota GR Supra.
This incident handed the lead to Hiramine, who took victory by 8.5 seconds from the Honda driven by points leaders Naoki Yamamoto and Tadasuke Makino.
Takuto Iguchi Hideki Yamauchi claimed GT300 class honors in their Subaru BRZ.
RESULTS: Sportsland Sugo
Burns, Burton Secure British GT4 Title
Century Motorsport’s Will Burns and Gus Burton clinched the Intelligent Money British GT Championship GT4 title with a round to spare by winning Race 2 at Oulton Park.
Burns dispatched both Team Rocket RJN McLaren 570S GT4s to claim his and Burton’s third win of the season with the No. 57 BMW M4 GT4.
Third place came when Michael Benyahia eased off the throttle after contact with his teammate James Kell, whose lead soon fell to Burns when the places changed at Old Hall.
The overall wins at a wet Oulton Park went to RAM Racing’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo and WPI Motorsport’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.
Kevin Tse claimed a maiden British GT victory on his series debut alongside Tom Onslow-Cole in the opening 60-minute bout.
Tse overtook pole-sitter Kelvin Fletcher when the GT3 pack approached traffic, before handing over to Onslow-Cole who went on to take the checkered flag by a five-second margin over Sam and Richard Neary’s Team ABBA Racing Mercedes.
In Race 2, a spin into the gravel for the winning RAM car prompted a safety car period in which the team’s sister Mercedes emerged in the lead from a round of pit stops.
However, Ian Loggie was called to serve a drive-through for a pit exit infringement, handing the advantage to Michael Igoe who had taken over the WPI Lamborghini from Phil Keen.
Igoe increased the gap over Barwell Motorsport’s Adam Balon to 11 seconds at the end, as Lamborghini teams finished first and second. Dennis Lind and Leo Machitski lead the standings by 13.5 points heading into the season finale at Donington next month.
VSR Pairing Continues GT Open Title Push
Michele Beretta and Frederik Schandorff increased their International GT Open points lead with a strong weekend at the Red Bull Ring where they finished first and fourth.
The drivers of the No. 63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo won an eventful opening race that ended under red flag conditions due to heavy rain.
Schandorff was in the lead despite having an off-track moment with several other cars at Turn 3. The Dane exited the pits in third behind his VSR teammate Baptiste Moulin and leader Nick Moss, but managed to pass both drivers during his spell at the wheel.
Heavy rain arrived with around 10 minutes to go and Schandorff was one of several competitors to slide off into the Remus gravel, but was nonetheless classified as the winner.
Sam de Haan and Charlie Eastwood took second for TF Sport, ahead of Moss and Joe Osborne sharing an Optimum Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3.
De Haan and Eastwood then went one better in the second race as the guesting Aston Martin pair took victory from pole.
Eastwood built a seven-second lead over Olimp Racing Mercedes driver Karol Basz in the opening stint, while de Haan continued to extend the difference over Marcin Jedlinksi after the driver swaps.
Jedlinski ultimately slipped to fifth as Moulin and Yuki Nemoto climbed to second, while Nico Bastian and Florian Scholze’s AKM Motorsport Mercedes completed the podium.
Other Racing Action & News
***The GT Super Sprint Challenge returned to action last weekend after a four-month break with two races at Shanghai International Circuit. ‘Rioking’ won the opener in an Uno Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3, before Lin Nan took Race 2 honors in a TORO Racing Mercedes-AMG. A total of 17 GT3 cars headlined the event, along with some Cup and GT4 machinery.
***Valentin Hasse-Clot and Romain Leroux boosted their French GT Silver Cup title hopes with an outright victory and a class podium at Ledenon. The AGS Events Aston Martin pair won the first 60-minute race of the weekend, while their combined results gave them a 37-point lead with two races to go. AKKA-ASP’s Eric Debard and Simon Gachet won Race 2 as Pro-Am entries came to the fore ahead of the Silver runners. Race 1 / Race 2
***Michel Frey won both Sports Prototype Cup races on the Monza F1 support bill driving a Revolution A-One. Martin Verity and Mihnea Stefan shared out the victories in the Radical SR3 Trophy class.
***John Wartique and Niccolo Schiro shared out the Ferrari Challenge Europe wins at Spa-Francorchamps. Michelle Gatting leads Schiro by 29 points heading into the World Final decider at Mugello.
***Nissan has canceled its annual NISMO Festival for the second consecutive year due to coronavirus precaution measures.
***The NLS has released an eight-round 2022 calendar that includes a new 12 Hours of the Nürburgring race on Sep. 11. The new longest round of the season replaces the ‘double-header’ event that has taken place the last two years. Next year’s campaign is due to start on the weekend of March 25-26.
***Porsche New Zealand has opened applications for the second edition of its young driver scholarship initiative that will include a season in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia next year. The prize also includes media training and career planning. It is designed to give a New Zealand racing prospect a leg-up on the route to potentially becoming a Porsche factory driver.
On this weekend: European Le Mans Series (Spa-Francorchamps), Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS and supports (Watkins Glen), DTM (Assen)