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Racing Roundup

Weekly Racing Roundup (12.16.19)

Reports from Gulf 12H, SRO America Winter Series at Thermal Club plus news…

Photo: Gulf 12 Hours

Attempto Gives Audi First Gulf 12H Victory

Attempto Racing finished 1-2 in Saturday’s Gulf 12 Hours, scoring Audi’s first victory in the standalone race at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit.

Christopher Mies, Dries Vanthoor and Rinat Salikhov combined in the No. 66 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo to finish 93 seconds clear of the team’s No. 55 car shared by Mattia Drudi, Nick Foster and Murod Sultanov.

The winning car was given a stop/go penalty early in the second half of the race for a pit stop infringement before the midway intervention but struck luck when another car caused a safety car.

This meant the No. 66 Audi returned to the track in second place, only 12 seconds behind its sister car. The two battled before the No. 66 car moved ahead, despite being handed a five-second time penalty.

Frontrunners Dinamic Motorsport and GPX Racing, both competing with a Porsche 911 GT3 R, dropped out towards the end of the race with broken steering (Dinamic) and electrical problems (GPX).

This set the stage for a third-place battle between the Monster VR46 Kessel Ferrari 488 GT3, with Valentino Rossi among the driver lineup, and the Uwe Alzen Automotive Audi.

MotoGP legend Rossi took the Ferrari for its final stint and kept the Uwe Alzen car at bay despite also being handed a five-second penalty. A late drive-through penalty for the Audi cemented Rossi’s advantage.

He crossed the line four laps down on the leader but in the lead of the GT3 Pro-Am class, while the Uwe Alzen Audi was a further lap behind and second in Pro-Am.

SPS Automotive Performance won in GT3 Am from fifth overall, while Balfe Motorsport led GT4 with a 1-2 finish for its McLaren 570S GT4s.

ARC Bratislava beat United Autosports to the LMP3 class honors as its Ginetta LMP3 completed the race one lap ahead of United’s Ligier JS P3 Nissan.


Photo: SRO

Diverse Field Takes Part in First SRO Winter Series Event

Over 25 cars from a number of categories took part in the first SRO Motorsports America Winter Invitational event at The Thermal Club at weekend.

The new winter series, announced in Las Vegas two months ago, comprises three weekends at The Thermal Club but all using different configurations of the California circuit.

The field for this weekend’s inaugural race included a combination of GT3, GT2, GT4 and TC cars split into three categories: GTSC (GT2 and GT3), GT4 and TC.

GMG Racing brought two Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsports for Jason Bell and Stephen Lawler, while a Ferrari 488 Challenge and Lamborghini Huracan GT3 also ran in the GT2 subcategory.

GT3 cars included Mercedes-AMG GT3s for Steven Aghakhani, and David Askew and a Porsche 911 GT3 R for Brent Holden.

A number of older generation GT3 cars also took part, including a BMW Z4 GT3 (Dmitri Novikov) and an Audi R8 LMS Ultra (James Sofronas).

The ten-car GT4 field featured cars from BMW, Porsche, Aston Martin, SIN and McLaren, while the TC entry comprised four BMW M240iRs and a Nissan 370Z.

The event was only open to Bronze drivers and included 90 minutes of practice sessions, two qualifying sessions and two 40-minute sprint races per class.

The other events are scheduled for Jan. 17-19 and Feb. 7-9, using the track’s 3.1 and 4-mile configurations.

Photo: Craft-Bamboo Racing

News & Notes

***Craft-Bamboo Racing will field a Mercedes-AMG GT3 at next month’s Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai for Jonathan Hui, Antares Au, Frank Yu and Kevin Tse, competing as official athletes of Hong Kong. The car will be entered as Team Hong Kong Craft-Bamboo Racing and will run a historic livery in the colors of the Mercedes-Benz 190E Evo II DTM that won at the Macau Grand Prix in 1991.

***Daniel Serra won his third Stock Car Brasil title on Sunday with a second-place finish at Interlagos. Driving for Eurofarma RC, Serra has now been crowned champion in the last three seasons of the Brazilian touring car championship.

***David Fumanelli will replace Yuki Harata in ACE1 Villorba Corse’s Ligier JS P3 Nissan for the remainder of the Asian Le Mans Series season. The Italian will line up alongside fellow countrymen Alessandro Bressan and Gabriele Lancieri, with Harata busy with other commitments.

***X Works will return to GT World Challenge Asia with an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo for Philip Tang and a TBA co-driver. The team regularly competes in Super GT and Super Taikyu but made a one-off appearance in GTWC Asia at Fuji earlier this year. Tang formed part of the winning lineup in the five-hour Super Taikyu race at Motegi in September.

***Group C cars from the 1980s will perform demonstration sessions at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour on Friday and Saturday of race weekend, while support races will take place for Aussie Racing Cars, Group S Historic Sports Cars and Combined Sedans.

***Toyota Gazoo Racing will bring its unique Lexus LC to the Nürburgring 24 for a third consecutive year to continue its aim of using the gruelling endurance race to text new technology. The LC will use a newly-developed twin-turbo V8 engine destined for use on future road cars, and will be driven by Hiroaki Ishiura, Masahiro Sasaki, Kazuya Oshima and Naoya Gamo.

***Rick Ware Racing tested its Riley Mk. 30 Gibson LMP2 car with Eurointernational at Virginia International Raceway last week. The team purchased the former BAR1 Motorsports car earlier this year, and is running Ligier machinery in Asian Le Mans Series with a view to field the Riley in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year.

***British GT4 driver Kelvin Fletcher won Strictly Come Dancing, the British celebrity dancing competition television show, on Saturday night. Fletcher, who acted in soap opera Emmerdale for ten years, has been in British GT for the past three seasons. He shared a Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4 with Martin Plowman this year.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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