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Racing Roundup

Weekly Racing Roundup (12.9.19)

Reports from 25H Thunderhill, Sebring Classic plus news from the past week…

Photo: NASA

Turn 3 Radical Wins 25H Thunderhill

Turn 3 Motorsport claimed victory in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill on Sunday with a near-dominant performance from its Radical SR3 RSX.

Peter Dempsey, Eric Wagner, Antoine Comeau and Neil Alberico shared driving duties in the ESR class entry and had an almost clear run to the checkered flag.

Their only problem was a failed ECU early in the race, which required replacing before sending back out on track. Throughout the remainder of the contest, the Radical went on to build an eight-lap lead in wet and muddy conditions.

Second place went to K2R Motorsports’ Ligier JS P3 Nissan that had Colin Braun, Matt Bell, George Kurtz and Naveen Rao as its driving crew, while a Praga R1 completed the podium.

Other cars of note included a BMW M4 GT4 that won the GT Challenge class and the ES class-winning Valkyrie Autosport 2009 Nissan GT-R NISMO.

ESR class pole was taken by a Lola B12/80, a former Mazda Prototype run in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship a few years ago.

The 25H Thunderhill is organized by the National Auto Sport Association and held at Thunderhill Raceway in northern California.

RESULTS: 25H Thunderhill

Photo: BBM Sport

Peugeot 908 HDi FAP Among Winners at Classic Sebring 12H

A 2007 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP was among the class winners at the HRS Classic Sebring 12 Hour at the weekend, adding to its victory at the Daytona Classic 24 Hour earlier in the year.

David Porter drove the Peugeot LMP1 car at the Sebring Classic event, beating Michel Frey’s Lola 2008 B07/18 to the Group C class ictory. Porter’s Peugeot won overall at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2011.

In other classes, a 2012 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup took Group D victory for Ebimotors drivers Gianluigi Candiani and Sabino de Castro, beating a 2010 Porsche Cup model.

Group A honors went to Marco Fumagalli’s 1970 Lola T165 to give McClendon International its third straight HSR Classics win after Toni Seiler claimed victory at Sebring last year and this year’s Daytona event in a 1969 Lola T70.

A 1974 Chevron B26 won Group B for Gray Gregory and Randy Buck, narrowly beating Alain Ruede’s 1982 Chevrolet Camaro IROC.

The four groups of historic cars each took to track for four different sessions during Saturday and Sunday, competing separately. Saturday’s sessions took place over a 12-hour period that ended just before midnight.

Photo: BMW

BMW, Mercedes Present End-of-Year Awards

Both BMW and Mercedes-AMG announced the winners of their respective internal awards at end-of-season galas in Munich and Barcelona.

Gabriele Piana was awarded the BMW Sports Trophy and €30,000 ($33,200) while Nico Bastian and Jeffrey Lee each picked up the top individual accolades in the Mercedes-AMG Drivers Championship.

Piana, who was runner-up in this year’s ADAC GT4 Germany and GT4 European Series, finished top of the BMW drivers’ table with 844 points, putting the Italian 142 points clear of second-placed Johan Schwartz.

The BMW teams’ competition was won by Hofor Racing which claimed titles in the 24H Series and GT4 Germany.

Mercedes-AMG’s drivers of the year were Blancpain GT Series Silver champion Bastian, who picked up the Pro award, and Jeffrey Lee who took the Pro-Am spoils for his race-winning efforts in Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia.

The Mercedes GT3 and GT4 team of the year awards went to AKKA ASP and Leipert Motorsport respectively.

Photo: Audi

News & Notes

***Zun Motorsport Crew took its second consecutive win in the Circuit Hero 700km at Zhuhai on Sunday with an Audi R8 LMS GT3 shared by Adderly Fong, Ma Ka Chun, Lin Yiming and Julio Acosta in a two-car GT3 field. An Audi also claimed victory in the more competitive TCR class with Team Liqui Moly NewFaster’s Philip Tang and Tse Ka Hing.

***GT2 cars will be among the Porsche machinery competing in the Porsche Sprint Challenge Asia winter series, with the Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport eligible alongside GT3, GT3 Cup and GT4 cars. The series follows a similar format to Porsche Sprint Challenge China and Porsche Sprint Trophy Thailand, and will comprise two events at Sepang on Jan. 17-18 and Feb. 29 – March 1.

***BMW officially unveiled its latest entry-level GT race car, the M2 CS Racing, at an event in Munich on Thursday. Customer deliveries of the successor to the BMW M240i Racing are set to start in mid-2020.

***The M2 CS launch coincided with the inaugural BMW Sim LIVE competition, which included races for top-level esports competitors and BMW factory drivers. America’s Mitchell de Jong claimed the 10,000 Euro prize pot in the main race after beating Laurin Heinrich in a photo finish.

***The Brabham BT62 made its Australian competition debut in the CAMS SuperSprint event as part of The Bend Classic. The Anglo-Australian supercar, built in Adelaide, had its race debut last month at Brands Hatch. Supercars and GT regular Ash Walsh drove the car in the inaugural Classic event at The Bend Motorsport Park.

***The Bend’s separate West and East circuits were used concurrently for the first time at the Classic event, utilizing separate pit lanes, with different parts of the overall layout acting as separate race tracks.

***A three-day pre-season test for DTM has been set for March 16-18 at Monza, allowing teams to familiarize themselves with the Italian circuit ahead of the series’ first race there on June 26-28. The season gets underway at Zolder on April 24-26.

***HHC Motorsport has confirmed plans to run at either one or two McLaren 570S GT4s in the GT4 European Series after a successful year campaigning the car in the British GT Championship. HHC previously ran a Ginetta G55 GT4 in GT4 European Series for Stuart Middleton and Will Tregurtha.

***Jared Thomas won a $100,000 prize pot to compete in the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup next year by winning the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout on Wednesday at the Michelin Laurens Proving Grounds in Mountville, SC. The Indiana-native is a senior at Purdue University majoring in Motorsport Engineering and has competed in Spec Miata since 2017. He’ll race in Global Mazda MX-5 Cup next year, competing for the $75,000 Rookie of the Year title.

***Alfa Romeo will be represented in the ETCR electric touring car platform when it officially debuts next year, with Romeo Ferraris unveiling its privately-built Guilia ETCR last week. The car joins other ETCR entries from Hyundai and SEAT subsidiary Cupra. Romeo Ferraris currently builds the Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR.

***A number of sports car drivers took part in the opening weekend of e-Trophee Andros at Val Thorens to kick off the first fully electric season of the French ice racing championship. FIA WTCR regulars and sometime sports car drivers Yann Ehrlacher and Aurelien Panis each won one of the first two rounds, while the field also included Nico Prost, Nathanael Berthon and Sebastien Loeb. Sainteloc Racing fields three cars, including Panis’.

Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report

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

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