Connect with us

Racing Roundup

Weekly Racing Roundup (5.25.20)

24H Series esports report, GT racing news and calendars plus latest COVID-19 impact…

Photo: Michele Scudiero/WRT

Bortolotti, Koch Win Creventic Esports Race for WRT

Audi works driver Mirko Bortolotti, IMSA regular Kenton Koch and sim racer Marcin Skrzypczak won the first ever Creventic esports race on Saturday after 12 hours of virtual racing at Monza.

The trio drove an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo for eTeam WRT and completed 385 laps of the Italian circuit, crossing the line 80 seconds clear of WRT’s sister Audi.

The team has been rewarded with a set of Hankook Tires which can be used at any real-world upcoming 24H Series event.

Optimum Motorsport’s entry, running as Optimum by SIMMSA Esports, had looked set to finish second with its Mercedes-AMG GT3 until it made contact with a TCR.

The British team still managed to salvage third place with its lineup that included Nick Foster and Christopher Zoechling.

Other noteworthy entries included Leipert Motorsport, Earl Bamber Motorsport, and Reiter Engineering. In addition to GT3, the race featured GT4, 991 and TCR classes.

Photo: Global Mazda MX-5 Cup

Esports News & Notes

***Selin Rollan claimed his first win in the RicmoTech iRacing Global Mazda MX-5 Cup race at Road America on Tuesday evening. The five-time real-world MX-5 Cup racer winner started seventh but managed to make up ground when rivals fell back with multi-car contact midway through the race.

***Tom Blomqvist and Kelvin van der Linde claimed a win apiece in the latest DTM esports Classic Challenge rounds on Sunday afternoon, which used 2016-era cars at Monza. Both races had tense last-lap battles, in which Blomqvist passed van der Linde for the lead the first time round, before the South African made a last-gasp move on Ben Tuck for the Race 2 win later on.

***ByKolles Racing has established an esports team in partnership with Burst Esport, and will compete with a prototype in next month’s virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans. Drivers are set to be announced this week.

***Ex-Formula 1 drivers Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella have been included in the first confirmed driver lineup for the virtual Le Mans event. Massa and current WEC driver Fisichella will share a GTE-class Ferrari with Francesco Castellacci and sim racer Tony Mella. The entry is for Strong Together, an initiative founded and run by HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco.

***Two-time Le Mans winner Fernando Alonso claimed both Legends Trophy victories at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last weekend. Mazda DPi driver Harry Tincknell won the second of two Pro series races that were held on the same bill.

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

COVID-19 News & Notes

***IMSA has made multiple staff layoffs and furloughs in recent weeks, with WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series manager Ed Hall, Michelin Pilot Challenge series manager Jeff Smallwood, senior director of logistics Mike Simons, technical manager Rob Elson and director of member services Cindy Robinson among those no longer with the organization.

***It comes two weeks after IMSA’s VP of communications Gregg Elkin and Steve Focazio, the senior manager of automotive partnerships, were both also let go. It’s believed some of the laid-off staff have been offered voluntary early retirement. IMSA has declined to comment on the staff changes.

***Longtime Corvette Racing crew chief Dan Binks has retired from Corvette Racing following an 18-year run with the factory Pratt & Miller-run squad. Binks played a “major role” in numerous wins and championships, according to a statement from the team. “We wish Dan all the best as he pursues his own business full-time,” the statement said.

***As of last Monday, the Hardpoint Paddock Foundation has raised over $20,000 to support crew members and others in the motorsport community who have been hit hardest by the break in racing. IMSA driver Rob Ferriol is behind the effort and has promised to match all donations up to $100,000. Donations can be made here, or privately by contacting Ferriol directly.

***The UK government has introduced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for arrivals into the country. The rule will start on June 8 and does not have a published end date. People working in motorsport are not exempt from observing the quarantine, but those who live in the UK and travel to another country for work at least once a week are on the list of exemptions.

***Furthermore, the U.S. government has announced a new travel ban on foreign nationals arriving from Brazil, effective from May 28.

Photo: DTM

Other News & Notes

***DTM will organize a four-day pre-season test at the Nürburgring in two weeks’ time on June 8-11, which will embrace the ‘new normal’ environment with infection prevention measures, distancing and limits on attendees.

***“We’re extremely grateful to everybody at the circuit – they have put the infrastructure in place to allow us to test safely with all the relevant distancing rules,” said ITR managing director Marcel Mohaupt. “And we are extremely confident that we will be able to hold thrilling races in 2020, and that we will soon publish a new calendar that takes into account the requirements for a ‘new normal’ in motorsport as well.”

***International GT Open organizer GT Sport has canceled its Hockenheim round, reducing the GT3 series’ calendar to six events, beginning at Hungaroring on July 11-12.

***ADAC GT4 Germany has confirmed a new six-round calendar starting at the Nürburgring on August 14-16. The series will support the GT Masters events at Hockenheim, the Sachsenring, the Red Bull Ring, Zandvoort and Oschersleben.

***The Italian GT Championship plans to start its season at Mugello on July 19. A new calendar was issued last week with stops at Misano (Aug. 2), Imola (Aug. 30), Vallelunga (Sep. 20), Mugello (Oct. 4), Monza (Oct. 18), Monza (Nov. 8) and Vallelunga (Dec. 6).

***Wochenspiegel Team Monschau has confirmed a Ferrari 488 GT3 entry for this year’s 24H Portimao. The car will be driven by Georg Weiss, Leonard Weiss, Jochen Krumbach and Hendrik Still.

***The Financial Times reported on Sunday that Aston Martin chief executive Andy Palmer is set to leave his role and be replaced by Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers.

Daniel Lloyd and John Dagys contributed to this report

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

Click to comment

More in Racing Roundup