In a new addition to our coverage for 2018, Sportscar365 will provide a Weekly Racing Roundup each Monday, with a rundown of the previous week’s news and race results from a variety of series outside of our usual in-depth coverage.
Simpson Dominates 24H Proto Series Season Opener
Simpson Motorsport dominated the opening weekend of the 24H Proto Series, winning all three rounds of the Hankook 3x3H Dubai. Mike Simpson, John Corbett, Neale Muston secured the first and third race wins in their No. 6 Ginetta G57 while teammates Simon Murray and Charlie Robertson won Race 2 in the No. 4 car.
Jordan Sanders joined the Race 1-winning entry when the car he shared with Murray and Robertson was forced to miss the opening round with suspension issues. It later looked set to claim victory in Race 3 until it ran out of fuel in the closing stages, giving the lead to the No. 6 car.
Eight cars made up the field for the trio of three-hour races, with Simpson Motorsport’s pair of Ginetta G57s running in the P2 category. Three Ligier JS P3 Nissans, run by Speedworks Motorsport, Graff and Spirit of Race were the only P3 competitors while two Norma M20 FCs and a Radical SR3 RSX rounded out the field in the CN1 category.
Teams Gear Up for 24H Dubai
The 24H Proto Series event served as a precursor to this weekend’s Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai, which gets underway at 2 p.m. local time on Friday. The provisional entry list can be viewed here and features over 90 cars, including 11 A6-Pro entries.
Among the entries include the customer debuts of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-AMG GT4 cars, following extensive testing and development programs throughout the last year.
The BMW M4 GT4 made its competition debut in the race last year, entered by Schubert Motorsport.
News & Notes
***The GT4 European Series will organize an official pre-season test at Circuit Zolder on Thursday, March 8, ahead of the series opener at the Belgian circuit one month later. Race-by-race entrants and teams interested in the SRO’s other GT4 competitions are also invited to attend. The entry fee is included in the full-season fee for GT4 European Series competitors.
***Several teams have recently confirmed entries and lineups for the new-look GT4 European Series, including Reiter Engineering which will enter four KTM X-Bow GT4s in both the Silver and Pro-Am Cups. The German outfit has also confirmed four cars for the GT4 Central European Cup and is evaluating an entry into GT4 Belgium.
***Cedric Freiburghaus, who has competed in Reiter Engineering’s Reiter Young Stars program for the past two seasons, and Audi Sport TT Cup regular Milan Dontje are the latest drivers to be signed by Phoenix Racing to drive in its two Audi R8 LMS GT4s. They will join previously-announced drivers Gosia Rdest and Nicolaj Moller Madsen.
***Anglo-Spanish team Bullitt Racing has made the switch from the McLaren 570S GT4 to the Mercedes-AMG GT4 with two cars set to enter the GT4 European Series. Former Bentley factory driver Andy Meyrick will pair up with Stephen Pattrick in the Pro-Am category again while the second car’s driver lineup is yet to be determined.
***The Mercedes-AMG GT4 will also make its British GT Championship debut this year and Fox Motorsport is the first team to announce an entry. Mark Murfitt and Michael Broadhurst will drive the car in the team’s first full-season campaign since 2015.
***Following last month’s announcement of Jonny Adam and Flick Haigh spearheading Optimum Motorsport’s return to British GT’s GT3 class, team principal Shaun Goff has revealed that Mike Robinson and Graham Johnson have left the team. They won the GT4 championship in 2016 and had a mid-season chassis change last year from Ginetta to McLaren.