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Weekly Racing Roundup (4.23.18)

Reports from the 12 Hours of Navarra, Blancpain GT Sports Club and LMP3 Cup…

Photo: 24H Series

Scuderia Praha Wins Inaugural 12H Navarra 

Scuderia Praha won the first-ever Hankook 12 Hours of Navarra held on Saturday and Sunday as part of the 24H GT Series.

The Czech team’s Bohemia Energy Racing-backed Ferrari 488 GT3 was driven by Jiri Pisarik, Josef Kral and Matteo Malucelli and completed 387 laps of the northern Spanish circuit.

It marks the team’s first series win since last year’s Portimao race, and was secured after a largely trouble-free run apart from contact early on. 

Car Collection Motorsport finished three laps behind in second place with its Audi R8 LMS GT3 driven by Gustav Edelhoff, Max Edelhoff and Elmar Grimm, meanwhile, also winning the A6-Am class.

PROsport Performance completed the top three with its Mercedes-AMG GT3 finishing just 1.6 seconds behind the Audi en route to the team’s best result yet since acquiring the new car.

Elsewhere in the field, QSR Racingschool took home the GT4 class win with its No. 254 Mercedes-AMG GT4 after gearbox problems and a broken wishbone denied Endurance Team Romania’s No. 446 Ginetta G55 GT4 a likely victory.

RESULTS: 12H Navarra

Photo: SRO

AF Corse’s Cordoni Dominates Blancpain GT Sports Club at Monza

Mario Cordoni completed a sweep of the opening Blancpain GT Sports Club weekend at Monza with pole position and victories in the qualifying race and main race.

Starting the main race from pole in his No. 70 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3, Cordoni held onto his lead into the first chicane and went on to win by 9.1 seconds over Karim Ojjeh.

The Boutsen Ginion driver dropped from second to fifth at the start but managed to fight back, passing Coach McKansy, Edward Lewis Brauner and Claude-Yves Gosselin over the course of the race.

Cordoni, Ojjeh and McKansy made it an all-Titanium Cup podium while Stephen Earle finished fourth overall and in the lead of the Iron Cup class.

Saturday’s Qualifying Race was red-flagged and prematurely ended after Earle hit the wall at the Ascari chicane which was soon followed by an incident at the Parabolica involving Brauner, Claudio Schiavoni and Klaus Dieter Frers.

RESULTS: Qualifying Race; Main Race

Photo: LMP3 Cup

Mectech Gives Norma First LMP3 Cup Win

Mectech Motorsport gave the Norma M30 Nissan its first LMP3 Cup Championship win at Donington Park on Sunday.

Bradley Smith and Duncan Williams won the second of a pair of 60-minute races in their No. 21 Norma, the only such car in the field.

Williams started from pole but fell back to fourth as Johnny Mowlem assumed the lead in his Red River Sport Ligier but was given a ten-second penalty for starting out of position.

In the second stint, Smith managed to force Charlie Hollings into an error at McLeans, putting the Norma back into the lead.

This came after Christian Olsen scored the Race 1 win in his Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen Racing Ligier JS P3 Nissan, driving on his own.

The Dane gambled and chose dry tires starting fifth but moved into the lead as the track dried, and finished ahead of Colin Noble and Tony Wells in a Nielsen Racing 1-2. 

RESULTS: Donington Park

News & Notes

***The Navarra race was originally set to be held in one 12-hour run on Sunday afternoon but the series announced on Saturday morning that, at the request of the teams, it would split the race into two parts. The first three hours were staged on Saturday evening before it was resumed at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.

***While the race was part of both the 24H GT Series and 24H Proto Series, no prototypes were entered. The next 24H Proto Series event is scheduled for July 5-7 at Portimao.

***United Autosports gave the Ligier JS P4 its race debut in the LMP3 Cup at Donington Park, with Matt Bell driving the Ford-powered prototype. The car ran in the newly-created PT4 category alongside seven LMP3 entries.

***The car’s pace wasn’t much slower than the JS P3 Nissan, with its best qualifying lap time of 1:07.012 around 4.5 seconds down on the LMP3 car’s pace.

***Next Monday’s Weekly Racing Roundup will feature reports from the British GT Championship two-hour race at Rockingham and Pirelli World Challenge TCR races at Virginia International Raceway.

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

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