Super Stoneman Wins European Lambo Title
Dean Stoneman took a victory and a second-place at Paul Ricard to clinch the 2020 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe title.
The Bonaldi Motorsport driver came in with a points deficit to Kevin Gilardoni but moved to within half a point of the top spot by overtaking the Italian to win Race 1.
Stoneman, whose last title came a decade ago in the 2010 FIA Formula 2 Championship, then fought to achieve a podium result in Race 2 while Gilardoni’s title aspirations disappeared after a spin.
The first race started with Stoneman needing to defend the lead from Gilardoni’s co-driver Dorian Boccolacci while Milos Pavlovic and Jonathan Cecotto ran third and fourth.
At the mandatory pit stops, Boccolacci handed over the Oregon Team Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO to Gilardoni who emerged in the lead because Stoneman needed to wait an additional three seconds to compensate for him running the race solo.
Gilardoni was due to have 1.69 seconds added to his final race time for undercutting the minimum pit time requirement, but this proved rudimentary as Stoneman got past on-track to take the win.
The time penalty for the Oregon car enabled Alberto di Folco and Kevin Rossel to assume second place in the classification, dropping Gilardoni and Boccolacci to third.
Stoneman started Race 2 from pole and lost a handful of positions in the opening exchanges, although two of these came back to him quickly.
First, di Folco was ordered to give a position back for going outside track limits to get ahead, before Gilardoni spun off at Turn 2 and dropped down to 11th.
Stoneman was back in front heading into the pit stops, but a malfunctioning speed limiter required him to apply extra caution and helped enable di Folco’s co-driver Rossel and the Leipert Motorsport car of Sebastian Balthasar and Noah Watt to get ahead.
Balthasar barged past Rossel at Turn 5 with 10 minutes remaining to grab the win, while Stoneman also took Rossel to confirm himself as champion with Gilardoni further behind.
European GT4 Honors for French Aston Pairing
AGS Events won the GT4 European Series teams’ championship while its drivers Valentin Hasse-Clot and Theo Nouet scooped the Silver Cup drivers’ title at Paul Ricard.
Fifth place in the first of two 60-minute encounters was enough for Hasse-Clot and Nouet to become champions in a campaign that saw the pair win twice and take maximum points as the highest-placed Silver Cup finisher on four occasions.
Additionally, their AGS Events teammates Gilles Vannelet and Nicolas Gomar achieved Am Cup honors.
Xavier Lloveras and Lluc Ibanez swept the Paul Ricard weekend with two Silver Cup and overall victories in their NM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Ibanez tracked pole-sitter Antoine Potty’s CMR Toyota GR Supra GT4 through the opening stint and got close enough to enable NM Racing to bring Lloveras out ahead of Timothe Buret.
A charge from the V8 Racing Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R of Thijmen Nabuurs kept Buret occupied for the remaining time, enabling Lloveras to set off towards the checkered flag.
Despite losing fourth position to the AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG of Jean-Luc Beaubelique and Jim Pla on-track, Hasse-Clot and Nouet secured the title by finishing one place ahead of their nearest rivals Stephane Lemeret and Gael Castelli in the other CMR Supra.
Hasse-Clot retired early in the second race with a mechanical problem for the AGS Aston Martin Vantage GT4, while Pla led the opening stint in the Pro-Am ASP machine.
Pla led from Nabuurs by five seconds heading into the driver swaps, after which Jop Rappange chased down and overtook Beaubelique to put V8 Racing in front.
More drama was yet to come, however, as Ibanez worked his way up to second before dispatching the Camaro into the final corner with a handful of minutes left on the clock.
Bastian Buus and Jan Kasperlik had already clinched the Pro-Am championship heading into the final round.
News & Notes
***Reigning champion Sandy Stuvik and Daniel Bilski won the Thailand Super Series with their Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo prepared by B-Quik Absolute Racing. The pair finished third in the first one-hour contest before winning Race 2 to earn the title at Buriram.
***The Nürburgring Langstrecken Serie has released its provisional calendar for 2021. There are nine races, including a double-header event in July after the format proved successful during the condensed 2020 campaign. The full calendar can be found below.
***After the final three rounds of the current season were canceled, Walkenhorst Motorsport was declared winner of the NLS Speed Trophy for SP9/GT3 teams, while BMW won the inaugural manufacturer’s title by a single point from Mercedes-AMG.
***Ferrari’s 2020 Finali Mondiali season-ending event will take place at Misano next March. The original world final was originally scheduled for Nov. 7-8 but had to be canceled amid rising coronavirus infection rates in Italy and other European countries.
***Endurance-info reports that the Vision Automobiles Paris bio-methane race car project is still active with continued plans to enter the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a Garage 56 experimental participant despite delays during the coronavirus pandemic. “We are still on schedule for the project,” said program co-founder Thomas Castex. “Everything is being done to be present at Le Mans in 2023 even if we know that we have to work harder.”
***GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup driver Ryuchiro Tomita will contest this weekend’s Super Taikyu round, driving an Audi RS 3 at Motegi. Tomita made his GTWC Europe debut this year sharing a WRT Audi with Kelvin van der Linde.
2021 NLS Schedule (provisional)
On this weekend: Macau Grand Prix GT Cup (Guia Circuit), Super Taikyu (Motegi)