Barwell Motorsport Duo Win Silverstone 500
Sandy Mitchell and Adam Balon won British GT’s three-hour Silverstone 500 race on Sunday, sharing a Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.
Mitchell resisted the best efforts of Marvin Kirchhofer in the closing stages after sweeping around the No. 88 McLaren 720S GT3 as it emerged from its final pit stop.
Kirchhofer came up just half a second short of his fellow brand factory driver Mitchell, who duly became the first two-time winner of the blue riband British GT event.
Balon started the race from pole after Mitchell topped qualifying, and remained out front as three Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos came to blows behind him on the opening lap.
West in the Garage 59 McLaren ended the first stint in third place, behind Morgan Tillbrook’s McLaren and leader Balon.
The upper hand swapped between Barwell and Garage 59 during the middle portion as their Pro-Am driver lineups cycled through, but a consistent penultimate stint from Balon followed by Mitchell’s pace brought the Lamborghini out ahead for the run to the line.
Behind the lead battle, Nick Moss and Joe Osborne took third in their Optimum Motorsport McLaren, ahead of the Silver-Am class winning Redline Racing Lamborghini duo of Alex Malykhin and James Dorlin.
Jonny Adam and his 2018 British GT co-champion Flick Haigh completed the top five in a 2 Seas Motorsport Mercedes-AMG, for Adam’s first GT3 race in anything other than an Aston Martin.
Aston stalwart Darren Turner and his Newbridge Motorsport co-driver Matt Topham claimed GT4 class honors in an Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
RESULTS: Silverstone 500
Two Red Flags Impact Dramatic Fuji Race
Honda’s Nirei Fukuzumi and Tomoki Nojiri were declared the winners of an eventful Super GT contest at Fuji that included two red flags and yielded half points due to the race not achieving 75 percent completion.
The drivers of the ARTA No. 8 Honda NSX GT500 initially finished third but were promoted to victory after the No. 39 and No. 37 Toyota entries were handed 40-second penalties for crews working on their cars during the second red flag.
Wednesday’s 450 km race started with several overtaking moves, Sacha Fenestraz bringing the No. 37 TOM’s Toyota GR Supra into the lead from fourth on the grid.
Sho Tsuboi slotted into second aboard the sister No. 36 TOM’s Toyota before passing Fenestraz for the lead on lap 24.
An accident 20 laps later for a GT300-class Mercedes-AMG at 100R caused a Full Course Yellow period that developed into a safety car to facilitate barrier repairs.
After a 25-minute stoppage, the race resumed from a safety car but a clash between Tsuboi’s co-driver Guiliano Alesi and Ritomo Miyata in the No. 37 Toyota elevated Yuhi Sekiguchi’s No. 39 Supra into the lead and Mitsunori Takaboshi’s No. 3 NISMO Nissan Z into second.
On lap 58, Takaboshi tailed Sekiguchi down the long main straight but was too close to effectively react when the No. 39 Toyota driver jinked left to get around a slower car that was giving him a tow.
Takaboshi’s Nissan veered into the left-side barriers and spun several times at high speed, prompting an immediate second red flag.
The NISMO driver walked away from the site of the crash and was taken to hospital without major injuries.
With the race clock ticking down, there was only time for a brief safety car before the checkered flag came out and the two Toyota penalties were applied to round off the day’s high drama.
RESULTS: Fuji 450 km
Other Racing & News
***Sam Fillmore and Andrew Waite won the three-hour North Island Endurance Series race at Pukekohe in an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II run by the IMS Racing team that won the combined New Zealand Endurance Championship in April. Fillmore and Waite beat Mercedes-AMG duo Ant and Paul Pedersen ny 1.6 seconds, after 163 laps of racing.
***The timetable and official poster for this year’s TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa have been revealed. The race is due to start at 4:45 p.m. CEST (10:45 a.m. ET) on Saturday, July 30th. Support races come courtesy of the GT Anniversary by Peter Auto, Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe, GT4 European Series and Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine.
***The 2022 Audi Sport Asia driver lineup has been announced. Cheng Congfu is joined on the Audi-backed roster by Shaun Thong and Sandy Stuvik, while Yu Kuai and Cao Zhuo have been named in the new position of Audi Sport Asia Juniors.
***Two of the Audi Sport Asia drivers, Stuvik and Thong, are involved in the two-car Audi Sport Asia Team X-Works entry for Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia powered by AWS. Thong will team up with Yasser Shahin while Thong is partnering David Pun.
***B-Quik Absolute Racing has firmed up one of its entries for the 2022 Thailand Super Series, with Daniel Bilski and Philip Massoud teaming up to form an all-Australian pairing in the No. 27 Audi.
***Lamborghini Squadra Corse has launched the third season of its in-house esports competition, The Real Race. A new format has been introduced, with qualifier races feeding into the group stage phase, when two races will be held on each of six days to determine 15 grand final participants. A last chance race will raise the grand final grid to 16. The format held on Assetto Corsa Competizione with Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO2s will be played out in three regions: Europe/Middle East/Africa, North/Latin America and Asia-Pacific.
***Former F1 driver Roberto Moreno recently tested a Ligier JS P320 Nissan at Monza. The 63-year-old Brazilian, who finished second in the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix for Benetton, linked up with Team Virage. French publication Endurance-Info reported that the team also had its Oreca 07 Gibson there with Gabriel Aubry, Rob Hodes and Sacha Lehmann also driving.
***The Nürburgring confirmed on Sunday evening that a marshal passed away after collapsing during the second N24 Qualifier race. A statement posted on the Nürburgring’s official social media channels read: “Although doctors were immediately there and started the reanimation, in the end the 52-year-old had to be declared as dead. Of course in such moments the racing event completely fades into the background. We mourn the loss of a dedicated person who had been active at the Nordschleife for years. Our thoughts are with his family and all his relatives.”
On this week: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (Mid-Ohio), Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli, GTWC Australia (Bathurst), European Le Mans Series (Imola), GTWC Europe Sprint Cup (Magny-Cours), 24H Series (Hockenheim)