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Weekly Racing Roundup (7.12.21)

Reports from GT Masters, NLS, GT Open and British GT plus news and notes…

Photo: GruppeC Photography

Title Race Tightens as Audi Crews Win at Zandvoort

Mathieu Jaminet and Michael Ammermueller saw their ADAC GT Masters championship lead come down to seven points after last weekend’s pair of races at Zandvoort.

The SSR Performance Porsche pairing finished sixth in race one, but failed to score points in race two as some of their rivals gained higher scores to reduce the 16-point gap.

Ricardo Feller and Christopher Mies won the opening 60-minute contest in their Land-Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.

Feller, who won a Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup round at Zandvoort three weeks ago, led away from pole and remained out front despite two safety car periods bunching the field.

Land lost its advantage in the pits to Grasser Racing Team, but the Lamborghini outfit’s driver Albert Costa was told to serve a drive-through for undercutting the minimum pit time. Mies then went on to win from Toksport WRT’s Maro Engel and Luca Stolz.

Recent GTWC Europe form at Zandvoort again transferred to GT Masters in race two, as Sprint Cup points leaders Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts took their first win of the German championship season.

Vanthoor resisted Raffaele Marciello to lead the opening stint from pole before Weerts drew out the two-second gap that he inherited after the driver swaps.

Marciello and Maximilian Buhk finished second after Buhk regained a place lost during the pit window. The HTP-Winward Mercedes-AMG drivers now sit second in the standings behind Jaminet and Ammermueller with four rounds and eight races to go.

RESULTS: Race 1 / Race 2 / Standings

Photo: Jan Brucke/VLN

Back-to-Back BMW Wins at NLS Double-Header

Whilst Audi teams dominated at Zandvoort, BMW came away with two wins from two in last weekend’s NLS double-header event at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

The BMW Junior Team prevailed in Saturday’s four-hour race as Dan Harper, Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen notched up their second consecutive victory.

Walkenhorst Motorsport then completed a highlight weekend for BMW on Sunday when Christian Krognes inspired the team to victory together with Ben Tuck and David Pittard.

Hesse’s early overtake on pole-sitter Kuba Giermaziak in the Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo set the BMW Junior Team M6 GT3 on course for its victory.

Falken Motorsports’ No. 4 Porsche 911 GT3 R chased the leading BMW into the final half-hour but was forced to retire after Martin Ragginger collided with a backmarker and the guard rail at Brunnchen whilst running 15 seconds back in second.

The third-placed Walkenhorst BMW then surrendered its podium position to a puncture, handing second to the Haupt Racing Team Mercedes-AMG crew. Konrad’s Lamborghini suffered two punctures and ultimately failed to finish.

Race two saw Walkenhorst overcome its initial disappointment to take its first NLS win since the 2020 season-opener.

Krognes started the day by setting a new unofficial lap record of 7:51.807 in qualifying, before making the winning move of the race with a crucial late overtake around the outside of Phoenix Racing’s Vincent Kolb at the fifth corner on the Grand Prix circuit.

Kolb and Frank Stippler settled for second, while Falken’s No. 3 Porsche took third. 

RESULTS: ADAC Reinoldus Endurance Race / DMV Grenzlandrennen

Photo: GT Open

VSR, AKM Win GT Open’s Hungary Races

Crews from Vincenzo Sospiri Racing and AKM Motorsport shared out the wins during round three of the International GT Open season at the Hungaroring.

VSR’s Frederik Schandorff and Michele Beretta won the opening race and were classified third in race two, which gave the Lamborghini duo a six-point lead over Andy Soucek – joined last weekend by Ben Barker – heading towards the halfway point of the campaign.

The first race started with Schandorff slotting into second behind AKM driver Loris Spinelli at the start. Spinelli built a healthy advantage in the first stint, but his Mercedes-AMG fell back a handful of positions during the driver change pit stops.

Beretta emerged from the pits in the lead and successfully defended from his VSR teammate Baptiste Moulin to secure his and Schandorff’s third win of the year. It also marked the third one-two finish for Vincenzo Sospiri’s team.

In race two, Spinelli and Gianluca Giraudi won after a rain shower upset the order after the pit stops.

Olimp Racing’s Karol Basz overtook pole-sitter Christian Klien at the start and led through to the pit window, in which Marcin Jedlinski took on new slick tires.

However, the arrival of rain led to the Polish driver spinning, while Klien’s co-driver Patryk Krupinski was involved in a tangle with a Cup-class Porsche. Spinelli emerged in the lead after that drama and led to the checkered flag from Schandorff.

The second-placed VSR Lamborghini was then demoted to third after receiving a 10-second time penalty for not serving its full pit stop handicap time.

Standings after Three Rounds

Photo: British GT

Neary Father-Son Duo Wins at Donington

Richard Neary and Sam Neary won Sunday’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship contest at Donington Park in their Team Abba Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3.

The father-son pairing emerged victorious in an eventful two-hour encounter that saw only 12 of the 23 starting cars reach the end.

Richard Neary started in the middle of the GT3 pack but had moved up to second after the opening tour, courtesy of his evasive driving to avoid a collision at Redgate involving Team Parker Racing’s Porsche and the Lamborghinis from WPI Motorsport and Barwell.

Neary trailed RAM Racing’s Ian Loggie at the first restart, but the race was soon back under safety car conditions for a multi-car accident in the GT4 ranks.

A better second restart saw Neary find a way past Loggie’s Evo-spec Mercedes-AMG into the Redgate right-hander.

Abba Racing’s lead expanded during the pit stops as title contender RAM observed a 10-second success handicap penalty, giving Sam Neary a healthy lead over Yelmer Buurman that the 19-year-old would go on to extend to 16 seconds at the checkered flag.

Buurman and Loggie left Donington tied on points at the top of the standings with Beechdean AMR’s Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam, who completed the podium.

GT4 class honors went to Will Burns and Gus Burton who led home a Century Motorsport BMW one-two from Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke and Chris Salkeld.

RESULTS: Donington Park

Photo: Drew Gibson/Goodwood

Other Weekend Action & News

***Rob Bell won the Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb shootout on Sunday with a time of 45.01s behind the wheel of a McLaren 720S GT3X. It marked McLaren’s first Goodwood shootout win since Nick Heidfeld’s famous former record run aboard an MP4/13 Formula 1 car in 1999. The 720S GT3X is a track-only product developed by McLaren Customer Racing.

***United Autosports Ligier drivers Gerry Kraut and Scott Andrews won an eventful Michelin Le Mans Cup round at Monza that included three safety car periods. GT3 honors went to Gabriele Lancieri and Paolo Ruberti of Iron Lynx. Their win came after TF Sport’s Aston Martin was disqualified for an improper rear wing position, and TFT Racing’s Porsche picked up a 30-second post-race penalty for refueling outside its mandatory pit stop. Results

***Natan Bihel will take a 17-point JS 2R category lead into the final Ligier European Series round of the season after winning the first of last weekend’s two races at Monza. The other JS 2R win went to Mathieu Martins and Olivier Pernaut. The JS P4 prototype category saw Patrice Lafargue/Dimitri Enjalbert and Jacopo Faccioni/Alessandro Cicognani share out top honors. Race 1 / Race 2

***Jan Marschalkowski and Theo Nouet ended the early-season dominance of Michael Schey and Gabriele Piana by sweeping the ADAC GT4 Germany round at Zandvoort. Schrey and Piana finished seventh in race one and second in race two maintain their points lead. Race 1 / Race 2

***The FIA World Motorsport Council last week confirmed that the sporting and technical regulations for the LMP3 Endurance Cup, which will form part of this year’s FIA Motorsport Games in Marseille, have been approved.

***The 24H Series will hold its next round at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in September following the cancellation of the 24 Hours of Portimao, which was due to take place this weekend. Portimao’s cancelation was caused by new quarantine rules for German citizens arriving home from Portugal and British citizens traveling out.

On this weekend: FIA World Endurance Championship (Monza), IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (Lime Rock Park), Super GT (Motegi)

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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