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Weekly Racing Roundup (7.26.21)

Reports from DTM, British GT and International GT Open, plus other racing action and news…

Photo: Gruppe C Photography

Ellis, Goetz Become First-Time DTM Winners

Philip Ellis and Maximilian Goetz each claimed their first career victories in the DTM series during the second round of the season at the Lausitzring.

Ellis prevailed in Saturday’s 55-minute contest in his Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, before AMG factory driver Goetz benefited from an issue on Kelvin van der Linde’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo to win for Haupt Racing Team the next day.

Sheldon van der Linde started race one from pole in his ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 and kept ahead through an early safety car following an accident for Esmee Hawkey.

Van der Linde maintained his net advantage through the pit cycle, but was overtaken Ellis – who had charged from seventh on the grid – into the banked Turn 1 with just under 20 minutes remaining.

Nico Mueller led for Team Rosberg until making his mandatory pit stop at the end of the penultimate lap, enabling Ellis to come through for his maiden DTM race success.

Ellis then carried his momentum into qualifying for Sunday’s race, setting the fastest lap to take pole. However, he was overtaken by AF Corse Ferrari driver Liam Lawson into Turns 2 and 3 on the opening lap.

Lawson pitted slightly later than his rivals and emerged behind ABT Sportsline’s Kelvin van der Linde and Goetz who powered past on the run out of the banked opening corner.

Points leader Van der Linde then set off in pursuit of his second win of the season, only for his car to briefly lose power 14 minutes from the end. The South African was easily passed by Goetz, who took the win, while Lawson edged out van der Linde for second.

RESULTS: Race 1 / Race 2

Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Machitski, Lind Take British GT Points Lead

Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini duo Leo Machitski and Dennis Lind moved to the head of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship standings by taking a dominant victory in the two-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps.

Their run to the checkered flag from pole position was delayed by a huge accident at the start, caused by Richard Neary’s Donington-winning Team Abba Mercedes-AMG surging into a gap between Adam Balon and Ian Loggie that closed up, resulting in contact.

Neary was then collected by a GT4 McLaren, while the stranded cars on the main straight prompted a safety car that required the field to pass through the pit lane.

When racing resumed, Machitski led away in the Barwell Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo from Beechdean AMR driver Andrew Howard.

Machitski controlled the opening stint, opening up a lead of around 20 seconds before handing over to Lind who went on to secure victory by more than double that margin.

Phil Keen and Michael Igoe finished second in their WPI Motorsport Lamborghini after coming out best in a race-long battle with the Balfe Motorsport McLaren pairing of Lewis and Stewart Proctor.

Howard and Ross Gunn, who was filling in for Jonny Adam at Spa, came through in fourth after losing ground to an eight-second stop-go penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

Ashley Marshall and Jack Brown claimed GT4 class honors in a Balfe-run McLaren 570S GT4.

RESULTS: Spa-Francorchamps

Source Edges Closer to GT Open Leaders

Andy Soucek edged closer to International GT Open points leaders Frederik Schandorff and Michele Beretta by finishing third and first alongside his co-driver Al Faisal al Zubair in last weekend’s races at Imola. 

The Lechner Racing pilot took one point out of the lead held by Schandorff and Beretta, who twice finished second in their Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini.

The title race protagonists, who are now five points apart, ended up crossing the line behind Loris Spinelli in race one as the AKM Motorsport driver took his second straight victory.

Spinelli, racing as a solo competitor, led from pole and gradually eked out a gap to Beretta over the opening stint. VSR then dropped behind Lechner in the pits, but Schandorff managed to pass Al Faisal on the penultimate lap as Spinelli won by four seconds.

Schandorff had pole for the second encounter and made a solid start, while Inception Racing McLaren driver Ollie Millroy advanced to second from row two on the grid.

Spinelli turned around the guesting Audi Sport Team Italia Audi at Tosa to take third, and subsequently picked up a five-second penalty for his AKM Mercedes-AMG.

The order shuffled around during the pit window as Soucek’s Lechner-prepared Porsche 911 GT3 R emerged in the lead, with Beretta six seconds down the road in second and the Inception McLaren several places further back. 

Soucek held off Beretta to win by 1.5 seconds, tightening up the title fight with six races and three rounds to go.

RESULTS: Race 1 / Race 2 / Standings

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

***Christoph Ulrich clinched the Fanatec GT2 European Series Am class title with a round to spare after winning his category twice at Spa. The Sportec driver also took two outright podiums in his KTM X-Bow GT2. Overall honors went to PK Carsport’s Bert Longin and Peter Guelinckx in race one, before Stefan Rosina and Sehdi Sarmini claimed KTM’s first GT2 European Series win for True Racing. Race 1 / Race 2 / Standings

***Crews from AGS Events and NM Racing prevailed in the FFSA French GT Championship round at Spa, which featured a field of more than 30 cars. Romain Leroux and Valentin Hasse-Clot won the opener in an Aston Martin Vantage GT4, before NM drivers Lluc Ibanez and Christopher Campbell took race two honors sharing a Mercedes-AMG GT4. Race 1 / Race 2

***Nico Verdonck gave Toyota its first victory in the DTM Trophy series by narrowly beating FK Performance BMW driver Ben Green in race one at the Lausitzring. Green then finished second again in the second race, behind Will Tregurtha who maintained his top position in the championship after two rounds. Race 1 / Race 2

Image: Absolute Racing

***Absolute Racing has revealed its Porsche 911 RSR-19’s livery for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Chinese outfit’s ‘One World, One Race’ message is designed to raise awareness of those fighting discrimination around the world.

***Duncan Tappy will stand in for Wayne Boyd at United Autosports at next month’s Road to Le Mans races. Tappy will team up with John Schauerman, whose Michelin Le Mans Cup co-driver Boyd is racing for United in the 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 class.

***Porche has donated €1 million ($1.179 million US) in emergency aid for areas affected by severe flooding in Germany this month. The donation supports Germany’s relief coalition Aktion-Deutschland Hilft in its efforts to help those caught up in the natural disaster.

***Vincent Abril was disqualified from the Monza DTM season-opener due to a fuel irregularity. A statement from the Automobilclub von Deutschland read that “a fuel sample taken from the No. 5 Mercedes-AMG GT3 after [race one] qualifying didn’t match the reference sample of the fuel distributed to the teams” for the event. Abril took pole and finished second in the first race, but has now had those points deleted.

On this weekend: Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup, GT4 European Series (Spa-Francorchamps), Super Taikyu (Autopolis)

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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