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Racing Roundup

Weekly Racing Roundup (5.18.20)

Supercup, Trans Am, DTM and MX-5 esports races plus lots more news…

Image: Porsche

Ten Voorde Crowned Porsche Supercup Esports Champion

Larry ten Voorde was crowned champion of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition after winning both races at Monza on Saturday.

Driving a Team GP Elite car in the iRacing-based esports series, ten Voorde beat series-long rivals Ayhancan Guven and Dylan Pereira to the title after less consistent performances from both.

Guven lost his lead from pole position in Race 1 when he slid off track on lap four, allowing ten Voorde to pass for the lead, before Guven made another mistake on the final lap, dropping back to fourth.

Ten Voorde pulled off a lights-to-flag win in the second race, aided by chief pursuer Periera driving off-track and falling back to fourth. Guven made up positions to finish second but had little chance of usurping ten Voorde’s lead.

Image: Trans Am

Hurley, Francis Take Trans Am Esports Wins in Spain

SRO America’s GT Rivals wasn’t the only U.S.-based esports series using Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya last weekend, as the Trans Am by Pirelli Esports Championship also paid the Catalan track a visit.

The two wins went to series frontrunners Josh Hurley and Ernie Francis Jr., each of whom battled a different driver in their own duels to the checkered flag.

In Race 1, Hurley kept Tyler Kicera at bay to take his third victory of the series, before Francis went on to take pole for the reverse-grid Race 2 by charging from the back fo the field to tenth.

Thomas Merrill managed to move into the lead at the first corner, but ended up in a close battle with Francis, until Merrill was forced to switch his attention to defending second position from Dylan Archer, allowing Francis to build up a lead.

Photo: Global Mazda MX-5 Cup

Esports News & Notes

***Brian Lockwood won the second round of the Ricmotech iRacing Global Mazda MX-5 Cup on Tuesday evening, but Matt Cresci stayed out front in the championship standings. The 40-minute race was staged on Circuit of The Americas.

***Dutch sim racer Jarno Opmeer won both DTM Esports Classic Challenge races on Sunday. This week, the series used 2014-spec cars on the Norisring street circuit. Kelvin van der Linde finished runner-up in both contests.

***Porsche has confirmed that it will submit four factory entries into next month’s virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans, under the Porsche Esports Team banner. Drivers have yet to be confirmed.

***Former Corvette IMSA regular Jan Magnussen and five-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Emanuele Pirro shared out the wins in last weekend’s Legends Trophy fixture at Zandvoort. With two events to go, Pirro is second in the points standings behind Jenson Button.

Photo: MPS Agency

COVID-19 News & Notes

***Sepang International Circuit opened its doors on Tuesday after two months of closure. The Malaysian track is permitting groups of up to ten people but with mandatory social distancing (of three feet) and the use of masks and hand sanitizer.

***Road America will install ‘sneeze guards’ across its site ahead of its first events later this year. The protective polycarbonate screens are being produced by CTECH Manufacturing, a long-time partner of the Wisconsin race track.

***The Nürburgring Langstrecken Serie has confirmed its work on a concept to hold upcoming races at the Nordschleife in a safe and hygienic manner. The studies have been undertaken by the Institute for Hygiene and Public Health at University Hospital Bonn.

***A report from the institute read: “Provided that the requirements are met, the long-distance series can be organized on the Nürburgring to the exclusion of the public from a hygienic-medical point of view are generally recommended in coordination with the responsible health authorities.”

***ADAC GT Masters teams Land Motorsport and T3 Motorsport tested their Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos at the Lausitzring last week. Both teams applied strict hygiene regulations for their returns to the track. Several ADAC GT4 Germany outfits also took part in the session.

Photo: Lamborghini

Other News & Notes

***Lamborghini has released a revised schedule for Super Trofeo Europe, featuring support races during the GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS rounds at Misano (Aug. 7-9), Nürburgring (Sept. 4-5), Barcelona (Oct. 9-11), Spa (Oct. 20-24) and Paul Ricard Nov. 13-15.

***The brand will continue its Young Driver and Junior Driver programs with support from Raffaele Giammaria, its head of Squadra Corse training programs, and five-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Emanuele Pirro. The most impressive drivers will be invited to a shoot-out event in Italy at the end of the year, with the best of that group getting official factory support next year.

***The new FFSA GT GT4 France schedule includes five race weekends after a test event at Nogaro on June 30 – July 1. The SRO Motorsports Group-run series will race at Nogaro (Aug. 21-23), Magny-Cours (Sept. 11-13), Paul Ricard (Oct. 2-4), Albi (Oct. 16-18) and Ledenon (Nov. 6-8).

***GT Cup Open Europe will visit Hungaroring instead of the Red Bull Ring for its new season-opener on July 11-12, followed by rounds at Paul Ricard (Aug. 22-23), Monza (Sept. 26-27), Spa (Oct. 17-18) and Barcelona (Oct. 31 – Nov. 1). These are all International GT Open events, using every weekend apart from the TBC opener at Hockenheim (June 27-28) and Red Bull Ring (Sept. 12-13).

***Reigning 24H European Series champion Josef Kral has joined Praga Cars as head of motorsport, and will serve as an adviser to Manchester-based VR Motorsport, the team that campaigns the Praga R1T Evo in the Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship. Kral, 29, drives a Ferrari 488 GT3 for Scuderia Praha in Creventic competition.

***Brabham Automotive has delivered its first BT62 Competition model that is set to appear in Britcar. The car will be driven by its owner Paul Bailey and 2014 British GT4 champion Ross Wylie.

***Dinamic Motorsport has signed Adrien de Leener for its GTWC Europe Endurance Cup campaign in the Silver class ranks. De Leener, who has contested three FIA World Endurance Championship rounds this season, will share Dinamic’s Porsche 911 GT3 R with Andrea Rizzoli and Mikkel Pedersen.

***Japan’s first 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Masanori Sekiya has left his position as TOM’s team manager after 37 years with the decorated race outfit. The 70-year-0ld will continue to work as the head of the Inter Proto Series and the Toyota Motorsports Club.

***Acronis has joined Toyota Gazoo Racing as its Official Artificial Intelligence Partner. The company, which already works with other top-level race teams including Formula E teams’ champion DS Techeetah, will share its expertise in machine learning and AI to process data for Toyota’s LMP1 team.

***From 2021, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus will award the Glickenhaus Endurance Cup to the manufacturer that has the best average finish in the 1000 Miles of Sebring, Nürburgring 24, 24 Hours of Le Mans and with a road-legal vehicle in the Baja 1000. At the moment, Glickenhaus itself appears to be the only eligible entrant.

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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