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Weekly Racing Roundup (12.7.20)

Italian GT sprint finale and the rest of last weekend’s racing action, plus news and notes…

Photo: Italian GT

***Yuki Nemoto and Tuomas Tujula won the Italian GT Sprint Championship, beating Audi driver Riccardo Agostini by four points after last weekend’s season finale at Vallelunga.

***The Vincenzo Sospiri Racing pair claimed victory in Race 1 after a safety car period lined up nicely with Tujula’s decision to pit, enabling the No. 19 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo to jump from fourth to first. Nemoto then sealed the win ahead of the sister VSR car driven by Leonardo Pulcini and Danny Kroes. (results)

***In Race 2, which was held in damp conditions, Tujula spun into the gravel which ended his and Nemoto’s hopes of a double victory but the duo still secured the championship. Imperiale Racing’s Giovanni Venturini and Alex Frassineti took the win, while Agostini and Mattia Drudi only finished fifth, leaving the VSR crew with enough points to clinch the title despite failing to score. (results)

***The Ultimate Cup Series held its final round of the season at Paul Ricard. Saturday’s four-hour prototype race was won by a Cool Racing Ligier JS P3 Nissan driven by Bruce Jouanny and Nicolas Doquin. Overall honors in Sunday’s GT race of equal length went to Jean-Paul Pagny, Thierry Perrier and Jean-Bernard Bouvet who shared a Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo. (results)

***A 1972 Chevron B26 won the South African Endurance Series nine-hour race at Killarney. Franco, Silvio and Dino Scribante took overall honors while a Ginetta G55 GT3 featuring Jeroen Bleekemolen and Anthony Reid came second.

***Daniel Bilski has won this year’s Audi Sport Asia Trophy as the manufacturer’s best Bronze-rated driver on the continent. Bilski, who earned the Thailand Super Series title with Sandy Stuvik, beat 40 other participants to net a €50,000 spare parts credit reward.

***Mercedes-AMG factory driver Maro Engel finished 21st overall on his World Rally Championship debut at Monza. Engel, who was driving for his ADAC GT Masters squad Toksport WRT, placed 15th in the WRC2 category.

Image: RAM Racing

***RAM Racing will make its Gulf 12 Hours debut in Bahrain fielding a Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo for Ian Loggie, Sam de Haan and Callum MacLeod. The car’s livery will pay homage to the design seen on Klaus Ludwig’s 1992 DTM title-winning Mercedes 190E.

***Phil Keen has moved from Barwell Motorsport to WPI Motorsport for next year’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship campaign. Keen, who shared a Barwell Lamborghini with Adam Balon this season, will now partner Michael Igoe in the WPI Huracan. Igoe paired with four different Lamborghini factory drivers this year: Andrea Caldarelli, Franck Perera, Dennis Lind and Marco Mapelli.

***United Autosports has firmed up one of its European Le Mans Series LMP3 lineups with Jim McGuire, Andrew Bentley and Duncan Tappy staying on for another year with the team. The trio’s No. 32 Ligier JS P320 Nissan finished fifth in the 2020 rankings.

***Optimum Motorsport has appointed Ian Smith, Senior Development Engineer on the McLaren 720S GT3, as its technical director. Optimum ran McLarens in GTWC Europe Endurance Cup, British GT and International GT Open this year.

***CMR is keeping its options open for the next GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS season after running Bentley Continental GT3s this year. Team principal Charly Bourachot told Endurance-info: “We are working on it because the will of both parties is there, but we are also discussing with two other brands.” Bentley recently confirmed that it will no longer lend factory support to the Continental GT3 program.

***CMR, which is based in the south of France, is also set to continue fielding Toyota and Alpine machinery in GT4 competition, whilst adding TC France to its lineup for next year.

***Spanish team AF2 Motorsport intends to make its Michelin Le Mans Cup debut next year and also enter the Ultimate Cup Series with a Ligier JS P320 Nissan. An entry into one of the two Asian Le Mans Series events in February is also under consideration. The team recently tested GT Masters driver Carrie Schreiner at the Cartagena circuit.

Photo: Harry Parvin/Adrenal Media

***Scrutineering for the 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place on June 4-5 next year, on the Friday and Saturday one weekend before the race. It means technical checks will be completed prior to official testing on Sunday, June 6. In previous years scrutineering has taken place between the test day and the race.

***Le Mans organizer the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has launched a new prize rewarding competitors that display “social and environmental responsibility” during the event. Entries into the competition are subject to teams submitting voluntary applications.

***In a first, the new BMW M4 GT3’s steering wheel will be identical to the sim racing wheel produced by Fanatec. Additionally, iRacing says that its virtual version of the M4 GT3 will be made available as an Early Release model “in the coming months”.

***The Racing to End Alzheimer’s initiative achieved a new fundraising record during last month’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season finale at Sebring. The names and hometowns of 154 people affected by Alzheimer’s disease were added to the No. 80 BimmerWorld Racing BMW M4 GT4, with each name denoting a single donation to the cause. Funds raised go to several Alzheimer’s foundations across the U.S.

***Motorsport broadcaster Mark Cole has authored a new book detailing the history of the Le Mans-winning McLaren F1 GTR. The two-volume work includes race-by-race narratives, individual car histories and a foreword by celebrated designer Gordon Murray.

Photo: Porsche

***Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will return next year with the new 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which has been testing recently. The seven-round calendar includes support slots at the Grands Prix in China and Singapore. Zhuhai, Zhuzhou, Ningbo, Suzuka (supporting the IGTC 10-hour race) and a second date at Shanghai complete the schedule.

***The UK-based Sports Prototype Cup has announced its 2021 calendar including fixtures at Portimao, Paul Ricard and Donington Park. Three categories – Revolution UK Trophy, BARC Radical SR3 Trophy and Sports Prototype Open – will be in action. The season is due to start at Silverstone on Mar. 27 and end at Paul Ricard on Nov. 5-6.

***The 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed has been bookmarked for Jul. 8-11. Goodwood’s Revival Meeting is set for Sep. 17-19. Both events were canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

***JUBU Performance’s Lotus-based JP ZERO race car, which the Austrian company says is suited for SRO Motorsports Group’s GT2 category, has been out testing at Paul Ricard and the Red Bull Ring. According to JUBU, the car has covered 15,000 km. Deliveries of the JP ZERO range which includes a track-day version are set to start in May 2021.

***European Le Mans Series GTE driving times have been tweaked for the upcoming season. Bronze-rated drivers sharing a car with two Silvers must drive for at least 90 minutes, rather than 45 minutes. All GTE Bronzes must now meet the same requirement.

On this weekend: Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli (Kyalami)

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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