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Weekly Racing Roundup (10.14.19)

Reports from the GT Open finale and VLN 8 plus GT4 France and China GT champions…

Photo: GT Open

Costa, Altoe Win GT Open Title for Emil Frey

Albert Costa and Giacomo Altoe claimed the International GT Open championship at Monza on Sunday while their Emil Frey Racing outfit secured the teams’ honors.

It came after a season-long battle between Emil Frey’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evos and the McLaren 720S GT3s of Teo Martin Motorsport but a difficult race for the Spanish team on Saturday all but decided the championship in the favor of Emil Frey.

Costa and Altoe finished fourth in Race 1 with teammates Norbert Siedler and Mikael Grenier fifth; enough to wrap up the teams’ championship battle for Emil Frey Racing one race early.

Heading into Sunday’s finale, only Costa/Altoe and Siedler/Grenier could win the drivers’ championship, but a 14-point lead for Costa/Altoe required them to score just one point to beat their teammates, with 15 points available for a win.

They managed just this with another fourth-place finish , taking a 12-point lead in the final standings while Grenier and Siedler finish on equal points to Teo Martin’s best pairing of Martin Kodric and Henrique Chaves.

Kodric and Chaves restored some success for Teo Martin on Sunday, leading a 1-2 finish for its pair of McLarens, ahead of Fran Rueda and Andres Saravia, while Grenier and Siedler came home third.

Saturday’s win was picked up by Miguel Ramos and Fabrizio Crestani with their SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Photo: Gruppe C

Buhk, Marciello Lead Mercedes-AMG Podium Sweep in VLN 8

Maxi Buhk and Raffaele Marciello dominated Saturday’s penultimate round of the VLN season, taking the HTP Motorsport-run Mercedes-AMG Team Mann Filter entry to its first series victory.

The final results included a podium sweep for Mercedes machinery, with GetSpeed Performance’s Philip Ellis and Maxi Goetz second and Black Falcon Team AutoArena Motorsport third with Patrick Assenheimer and Manuel Metzger.

Walkenhorst Motorsport did initially finish second, however, but a post-race disqualification for its BMW M6 GT3 moved the other two Mercedes up a position from third and fourth.

Christian Krognes, David Pittard and Jody Fannin drove the disqualified Walkenhorst car which was found to have loose spring plate safety bolts.

Buhk and Marciello had a trouble-free race in their No. 48 Mercedes, dominating the race and increasing Mercedes’ streak of VLN wins to five.

SP9 Pro-Am honors went to another Walkenhorst BMW which placed seventh overall, while Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport had the best-placed GT4 car in 13th with its BMW M4 GT4.

RESULTS: VLN 8

Photo: SRO

News & Notes

***Gregory Guilvert and Fabien Michal became back-to-back FFSA GT4 France champions at Circuit Paul Ricard despite only scoring four points between the final two races of the season. The Sainteloc Racing drivers beat CMR’s Stephane Lemeret and Pierre-Alexandre Jean to the Pro-Am drivers’ title.

***The weekend’s race wins went to Mirage Racing’s Benoit Lison and Vincent Beltoise with their Alpine A110 GT4 on Saturday and AKKA ASP’s Mercedes-AMG GT4 pairing of Blancpain GT Series regulars Jim Pla and Jean-Luc Beaubelique on Sunday.

***FIST-Team AAI’s Nick Yelloly and Lam Yu and Toro Racing’s Adam Christodoulou and Eric Zang each claimed a win in the China GT finale at Shanghai. Yelloly’s Race 1 win secured him the drivers’ championship one race early, securing his first title since becoming a BMW factory driver.

***Black Falcon ran the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo in Saturday’s VLN race, with Yelmer Buurman and Luca Stolz sharing driving duties for the SPX-entered car. HTP will run the car at the next VLN race in two weeks’ time.

***The British GT Championship is already nearing capacity for 2020, with 30 of 35 full-season slots already confirmed after high demand in both GT3 and GT4. GT3 interest currently exceeds the 15 grid slots initially reserved, resulting in several GT4 entries being waitlisted.

***The 35-car limit reflects pit lane restrictions at some of the championship’s smaller venues, but additional entries will be permitted at Silverstone, Donington Park and Spa-Francorchamps.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

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