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Weekly Racing Roundup (12.6.21)

Report from 25H Thunderhill plus 2022 program announcements and other news…

Photo: NASA

Radical SR3 Wins 25 Hours of Thunderhill

A Radical SR3 run by Team One Motorsports triumphed at the NASA-sanctioned 25 Hours of Thunderhill in a race that was put on hold for 11 hours due to fog.

Jordan Missig, Josh Sarchet, Anthony Bullock and Jeff Shafer won the race from fourth on the grid, beating the second-placed Crowdstrike/Mosaic Motorsports Duqueine D08 Nissan of Colin Braun, Matt Bell, Naveen Rao, Jon Bennett and George Kurtz by six laps.

Missig took the lead in a chaotic opening stint that saw the pole-sitting Duqueine spin on the parade lap, followed by one of TVI Racing’s front-running Radicals overheating and dropping fluid that caused rotations for several other cars.

Despite a brief spin from Bullock, Turn One’s lead stood at two laps after seven hours of racing when action was suspended due to thick fog around the 3-mile Californian circuit.

Action resumed at 5 a.m. on Sunday, while the checkered flag was pushed back by three hours from its scheduled midday wave time to compensate for the overnight delay.

Crowdstrike/Mosaic caught and passed Turn One for the lead after the restart, only for the Duqueine to encounter a broken right rear axle that benefited the Radical crew.

After that lead reversal, Turn One Motorsports continued at the head of the field to secure its first outright Thunderhill win. Crowdstrike finished second despite their car’s setback while TVI Racing’s Eric Wagner, Matt Reed and Victor Franzoni were third.

RESULTS: 25H Thunderhill

Photo: Brian Cleary/SRO

News & Notes

***Crowdstrike Racing will receive technical support from Riley Motorsports in the 2022 Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS season, after previously working with DXDT Racing. The partnership will field a pair of Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos, including one for the Pro-Am pairing of Colin Braun and George Kurtz, who is also signed up for the single-driver GT America powered by AWS series.

***Following the announcement of his team’s new activity, Riley Motorsports boss Bill Riley said: “We are really looking forward to entering SRO with Crowdstrike and George Kurtz. And working with Mercedes-AMG and Colin Braun will make it a great season.”

***Another GTWC America commitment has come from Triarsi Competizione which has pledged a pair of Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020s, plus a single-car entry in GT America. Ryan Dalziel and Justin Wetherill will enter the Pro-Am class, while Charlie Scardina and team principal Onofrio Triarsi are set for the Am class in GT World Challenge.

***Sean Quinlan and FK Performance Motorsport were respectively named as the driver and team recipients of the annual BMW Sports Trophy that collates results from the manufacturer’s customer racing outfits. Quinlan, who will appear in IMSA next year, accrued points for the internal competition by racing a BMW M4 GT4 in Pirelli GT4 America and GT America. FK Performance Motorsport ran DTM Trophy champion Ben Green and also won the teams’ title.

***A handful of drivers who stood out to BMW in 2021 recently tested a BMW M6 GT3 at Almeria. Green, Robby Foley, Benjamin Lessennes, Thomas Neubauer, David Pittard, Ben Tuck and Marius Zug all got behind the wheel.

***The BMW M2 Cup will continue to support the DTM next year with a six-round schedule for its second season. The single-make series will appear at the Lausitzring, Norisring, Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Red Bull Ring and Hockenheim.

Photo: JEP

***WPI Motorsport will return to the Intelligent Money British GT Championship with its race-winning Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo. Phil Keen and Michael Igoe form the unchanged driver pairing. “I learned a lot and improved as a driver thanks to having some consistency, as well as a driver of his caliber, on the other side of the garage throughout the year,” said Igoe. “Ok, we didn’t win the title, but just being in contention at Donington after the issues we had earlier in the season was an achievement in itself. It was a no-brainer to continue together and build on everything we’ve learned throughout 2021.”

***A new addition to the British GT Championship grid for next season is the McLaren 570S GT4 that will be piloted by ex-Brabham development driver Will Powell and Ginetta racer Stuart Lines. The car will be run by Maximum Networks with Motus One.

***Toyota Gazoo Racing has opted against competing in next year’s Nürburgring 24 after canceling its participation in the last two editions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Clashes with the Japanese racing calendar that “could hinder the team preparation and setup” drove the decision. The N24 is taking place on a Super GT weekend, and one week before the Fuji 24 Hours.

***However, Toyota plans to enter its factory Gazoo Racing setup in some NLS rounds. The manufacturer has previously fielded Lexus SP-Pro machinery at the Nordschleife.

***United Autosports has confirmed that multiple LMP3 champion Wayne Boyd will team up with John Schauerman for a third consecutive Michelin Le Mans Cup term.

Photo: MPS Agency

***Motorcycle racing great Valentino Rossi has expressed interest in contesting the Rolex 24 at Daytona next year, as he weighs up his future options after his retirement from MotoGP. In an interview aired after October’s MotoGP round at COTA, Rossi described IMSA as a “very interesting championship” and singled out Daytona as one of the big races he would like to tackle.

***One of Rossi’s confirmed upcoming sports car racing drives will come at the Gulf 12 Hours, which he also contested earlier this year. The No. 46 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 lineup also includes Luca Marini and Alessio Salucci.

***Scott Sport will bring a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo to the Gulf 12 Hours on Jan. 8. The team run by former ELMS regular Aaron Scott is fielding an Am-class entry involving John Dhillon as one of the drivers. “This will be our first foray into long endurance racing as a team, but there are many members of the team who are very experienced in endurance racing such as competing at Le Mans,” said Scott.

***Marc Devis and Martin O’Connell won both Group C races during the inaugural Historic Dubai Grand Prix Revival meeting held at Dubai Autodrome. Second-placed Andy Soucek and Oliver Webb claimed C2/IMSA GTP class spoils in an Argo JM19D.

***Optimum Motorsport’s International GT Open pairings will represent the British squad in the Asian Le Mans Series. Pro-Am champions Ollie Millroy and Brendan Iribe form two-thirds of the team’s Inception Racing lineup, while Joe Osborne and Nick Moss are confirmed in the other McLaren 720s GT3. Third drivers for both cars are to be announced.

***German squad Racing One is increasing its GT4 stable and has purchased new Aston Martin Vantage GT4s ahead of the new season. The team plans to run multiple Astons in the GT4 European Series and ADAC GT4 Germany.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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