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Weekly Racing Roundup (7.23.18)

Race reports from the SRO Speedweek, Blancpain GT Series Asia and Le Mans Cup…

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Jetstream Takes First British GT Win

Maxime Martin and Graham Davidson took their and Jetstream Motorsport’s first British GT Championship wins in the two-hour race as part of the SRO Speedweek at Spa on Sunday.

Aston Martin Racing factory driver Martin took the checkered flag eight seconds clear of Ryan Ratcliffe’s Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3.

Ratcliffe held onto the runner-up spot despite pressure from factory drivers Marco Sorensen, Jonny Adam and Yelmer Buurman in the later stages of the race.

While it is Jetstream’s first win of the season, it marks the fifth time in seven races so far that a team running an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 has been at the top step of the podium.

Two-time race winner Mark Farmer had a scary start to the race when his TF Sport Aston Martin was forced onto the grass on the run down to Eau Rouge.

The damage he picked up in the car he shares with Nicki Thiim caused it to drop oil on the circuit and catch fire, which subsequently gave the Beechdean AMR car radiator damage. 

The incident was judged to have been caused by Ram Racing’s Remon Vos, who was forced to serve a 60-second stop-hold penalty.

Century Motorsport picked up its fourth consecutive GT4 win with its No. 43 BMW M4 GT4 driven by Dean Macdonald and Jack Mitchell. 

Mitchell finished just 0.387 seconds ahead of a hard-charging Charlie Fagg in the No. 4 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4.


Photo: SRO

Fuji Win Gives Niederhauser Blancpain GT Series Asia Points Lead

Patric Niederhauser has moved into the Blancpain GT Series Asia championship lead after taking an unlikely victory with Nico Bastian at Fuji on Sunday.

Their No. 999 Mercedes-AMG GT3 rebounded from an eighth-place start in the second race of the weekend to lead a 1-2 finish for GruppeM ahead of Raffaele Marciello and Alexander Mattschull.

An early driver change helped Bastian make up ground in the second stint but a spin for Hiroshi Hamaguchi from the lead decided the race win.

Niederhauser now has an eight-point advantage in the standings with six of ten races completed, while Martin Kodric and Dennis Lind are second.

The win came after KCMG gave Nissan a home victory in Saturday’s Race 1 with its 2018-spec GT-R NISMO GT3 driven by Yuke Taniguchi and Alexandre Imperatori.

The second KCMG Nissan of Edoardo Liberati and Florian Strauss started from pole but finished third after serving a success penalty in the pit stops.

The two cars were separated by the second-place HubAuto Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of Nick Foster and Jono Lester.

Sunako Jukuchou and Takayuki Kinoshita completed a perfect weekend in the GT4 ranks with their BMW Team Studie-run M4 GT4.

They scored the class win in both races after taking two pole positions and setting the fastest time in all three Free Practice sessions.

RESULTS: Race 1; Race 2

Photo: SRO

Alpine A110 GT4 Scores First Win in GT4 European Series

Stephane Tribaudini and Pierre-Alexandre Jean gave the Alpine A110 GT4 its first win in the second GT4 European Series race at Spa on Sunday.

The CMR drivers took the new car to an eight-second lead from pole position ahead of Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton’s HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 which proved to be the only car able to challenge the Alpine.

Phoenix Racing claimed victory in the first race on Saturday with its Milan Dontje and Nicolaj Moller-Madsen-driven Audi R8 LMS GT4 taking its third win of the season.

Tregurtha started from pole but he dropped to fourth on the first lap, giving the lead to Team GT’s Paul Rees until he picked up a puncture shortly before the pit stops.

Moritz Kranz inherited the lead in his Muehlner Motorsport Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR but was given a one-second stop-hold penalty for his pit stop being too short.

This put Moller-Madsen into the lead, a position he wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the race. He was followed home by Ricardo van der Ende in second place.

RESULTS: Race 1; Race 2

Photo: Michelin Le Mans Cup

DKR, Kessel Score Third Wins of Le Mans Cup Season

DKR Engineering and Kessel Racing both scored their third wins in as many main-season Michelin Le Mans Cup races at the Red Bull Ring on Saturday afternoon.

The two teams have now won in LMP3 and GT3, respectively, in the first three main-season two-hour races of the season, only missing the victories in the 55-minute Road to Le Mans sprints.

The No. 3 DKR Norma M30 Nissan took the lead on the final lap when Leonard Hoogenboom passed the Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen Ligier JS P3 Nissan of Colin Noble.

Noble went off into the gravel but the collision was judged to be a racing incident with no further action taken.

He recovered to finish second and crossed the line 19 seconds behind the Hoogenboom and Jens Petersen-driven Norma. 

In GT3, Giacomo Piccini moved into the lead after taking over the No. 8 Kessel Ferrari 488 GT3 from Sergio Pianezzola in the pit stops, running ahead of Marco Cioci’s No. 71 AF Corse entry.

Krypton Motorsport briefly took the lead but a problem soon dropped Stefano Pezzucchi back down the order to give the lead back to Piccini.

RESULTS: Red Bull Ring

Photo: SRO

Ojjeh Completes Perfect Weekend in Blancpain GT Sports Club

Karim Ojjeh topped every Blancpain GT Sports Club session at Spa for the SRO Speedweek, extending his championship lead.

The Saudi Arabian driver won the Main Race in his Boutsen Ginion BMW M6 GT3 ahead of Patrick van Glabeke after taking the win in the Qualifying Race and leading in practice and qualifying.

Van Glabeke moved into the lead from third on the gird on the run down into the first corner, passing Ojjeh and Mario Cordoni with the Italian also overtaking Ojjeh.

The Boutsen Ginion pilot made his way back into second on the third lap before diving down the inside of van Glabeke for the lead on the brakes for Les Combes.

He remained out front for the rest of the 40-minute sprint to lead van Glabeke’s Ferrari by 8.2 seconds at the line.

Cordoni settled for third after failed attempts to pass his AF Corse teammate.

RESULTS: Main Race

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

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