Spinelli, Weering Set Consecutive Wins Record
Loris Spinelli and Max Weering set a new record for the most consecutive wins in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe by taking their sixth victory of the season at Misano.
The Bonaldi Motorsport pairing swept the weekend’s pair of races in their Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO2 to further extend their huge points lead.
They eclipsed the five straight victories earned by Patrick Kujala during the 2015 campaign and now hold a 38-point advantage at the top of the Pro standings heading into the penultimate weekend at Spa.
In the opening race, Spinelli and Weering controlled proceedings from pole position, with the former establishing almost 20 seconds over Amaury Bonduel in the first stint.
Weering inherited the substantial buffer, however a safety car period after two cars came together at Turn 3 brought Bonaldi’s distant competitors onto its tail.
Despite that complication, Weering kept his lead after the restart to win by just over a second from solo driver Bonduel, as Target Racing’’ Marzio Moretti and Milan Teekens took third.
The second race, which finished under red flags, demanded a come-from-behind approach from Bonaldi.
Weering was seventh after dropping two places at the start, with his teammate Martin Kodric leading the way. An early pit stop released Spinelli to hunt down the front-runners and the Italian was in second when a safety car occurred with 12 minutes to go.
Spinelli then attacked Stephane Tribaudini, who had overtaken Kodric’s co-driver Sandro Mur, for the lead and found a way past at Turn 4, only a few moments before the race was neutralized due to two separate accidents.
Racing Spirit Pair Extend Championship Lead
Tom Dillmann and Alexander Mattschull increased their lead in the Michelin Le Mans Cup LMP3 standings by taking their third victory of the season at Monza.
The Racing Spirit of Leman pair prevailed in an incident-packed 110-minute Saturday race that included two safety car periods and six Full Course Yellows.
Their Ligier JS P320 Nissan came out on top in a battle with the MV2S Forestier Racing Ligier driven by Jerome de Sadeleer and Louis Rousset, with Dillmann moving the championship-leading car to the front with an overtake at Parabolica with 25 minutes to go.
The race started with MV2S dueling at the head of the field with Reiter Engineering.
Reiter driver Freddie Hunt led through the first safety car period on lap two, caused by an LMP3 car spinning into the gravel at Ascari.
But de Sadeleer dispatched Hunt at Curva Grande shortly after the restart, which swiftly followed into the second safety car for two cars coming together at the first chicane.
Reiter retook the lead after a round of pit stops as Mads Siljehaug emerged ahead of Rousset, but lost ground when he served a drive-through penalty for a steering wheel change on the grid.
Racing Spirit of Leman then picked up the chase, with Dillmann first passing Rousset before managing a series of FCY periods for various incidents to win by five seconds.
Josh Skelton and Jacques Wolff took third in the other Racing Spirit of Leman Ligier, with AT Racing’s Charles Milesi and Alexander Talkanitsa in fourth.
Lars and Mikkel O. Pedersen took class honors in their GMB Motorsport Honda NSX GT3 Evo22 after starting from the rear of the grid.
Mercedes-AMGs End Aston’s GT4 Europe Form
Teams running Mercedes-AMG machinery ended Aston Martin’s winning start to the GT4 European Series campaign by taking victory in both 60-minute races at Misano.
Jim Pla and Jean-Luc Beaubelique won Saturday’s contest in their Pro-Am class Mercedes-AMG GT4 run by Akkodis ASP, before Lluc Ibanez and Enzo Joulie prevailed on Sunday for NM Racing to take the Silver Cup points lead
The first four wins of the year went to Aston Martin Vantage GT4s, with half of those coming from Racing Spirit of Leman’s Gus Bowers and Konstantin Lachenauer who lost their Silver Cup championship advantage after registering two retirements in Italy.
The first race saw Pla overtake Ibanez for the lead at the end of the first stint before a mid-race Full Course Yellow generated a hectic pit window that jumbled the order.
The interruption was caused by incidents and debris around the track, including contact with another car that caused the points-leading Aston Martin to retire after exhaust damage caused the gearbox to overheat.
Beaubelique remained at the head of the field when he took over the Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG, but the NM Racing car had dropped outside the top 10 because the FCY coincided neatly with the Pro-Am pit window, elevating those cars to the front.
Beaubelique held on through a second safety car period to beat Kenny Herremans in the V8 Racing Chevrolet, which was later demoted to fourth for passing two cars under caution.
Ibanez and Joulie dominated the second race by leading every lap and subsequently moved from fifth to first in the standings courtesy of a maximum 52-point haul.
Moritz Wiskirchen and Alexander Hartvig finished second for Allied-Racing, while Bowers and Lachenauer failed to finish again after their Aston Martin overheated.
Other Racing Action
***Anders Fjordbach and Kevin Weeda delivered Brabham’s first victory in the GT2 formula by narrowly winning the first race of the Fanatec GT2 European Series round at Misano. Fjordbach charged from eighth to the lead in the second stint, with a late safety car bringing the factory-entered Brabham BT63 GT2 onto the tail of Stefan Rosina’s True Racing KTM X-Bow GT2. The Dane made the pass for the win at Turn 10 on the final lap.
***The second GT2 race of the weekend had an even closer finish, as the top four Audi R8 LMS GT2s crossed the line just 1.064 seconds apart. Nicolas Saelens took the win, and the series lead, alongside his PK Carsport co-driver Stienes Longin. As Henry Hassid battled with Saelens, two other Audis closed in for a dramatic ending. The Brabham finished 10th after incurring a drive-through for track limits. Race 1 / Race 2 / Standings
***There was an exciting finish to the first race of the Bangsaen Grand Prix street circuit event, which kicked off the new Thailand Super Series campaign. Pitsanu Sirimongkolkasem fought off Sandy Stuvik on the final lap to win by just 0.173 seconds in the Vattana Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo started by Chonsawat Asavahame. The second race saw Vattana’s Italian pairing of Andrea Gagliardini and Jacopo Guidetti win by 44 seconds.
***Theo Oeverhaus won an incident-packed first DTM Trophy race at the Norisring that involved four safety cars in 30 laps. The Walkenhorst Motorsport driver started 14th but benefited from the neutralizations to climb through the field. He overtook Tim Heinemann for the lead at the third restart and went on to win by three-tenths. In Race 2, Louis Henkefend earned his first series win as both Oeverhaus and Heinemann were given five-second penalties for causing collisions. Race 1 / Race 2
***Haytham Quarajouli maintained his Ligier European Series JS P4 class lead by winning the second race at Monza. Cedric Oltramare won the opener before finishing second to Quarajouli for a double podium weekend. Runaway JS R2 category leader Gillian Henrion swept the class in Italy. Race 1 / Race 2
***Iconic cars and drivers descended on the Circuit de la Sarthe for the Le Mans Classic, with grids covering different eras of the famous 24-hour race. Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw won the Group C race in a 1988 Jaguar XJR-9, while three-time Le Mans winner Kazuki Nakajima and Masanori Sekiya took a class victory sharing a Toyota 85C raced in period by Nakajima’s father. Click here for all results.
News & Notes
***Radical Motorsport has launched an optional halo-style safety feature to its SR3 XX and SR10 racing models. The Cockpit Safety Structure, which is made from T45 stainless steel alloy, has been developed to improve occupant safety in both left and right-hand drive variations. The option will be available for models purchased from July onwards and can be retrofitted if it was not specified at the point of build. Radical is considering a retrofit service for cars produced before July.
***BMW’s new GT4 car will take part in its first 24-hour race at Portimao this weekend. The BMW M4 GT4 Concept, which was officially launched last month, has already raced twice in the NLS. A modest five-car GT3 field is at the top of a 23-car entry list for the latest 24H Series event run by Creventic.
***A pre-registration list for the Gulf 12 Hours has been issued, provisionally setting a total of 53 cars including 38 GT3s provisionally for the race at Yas Marina Circuit on December 11. Notable sign-ups in the top category include AF Corse, Akkodis ASP, Sainteloc Junior Team, Barwell Motorsport, Beechdean AMR, Haupt Racing Team and defending winner 2 Seas Motorsport.
***An Aston Martin V12 Vantage and a BMW M4 GT3 will join the International GT Open field this weekend. The previous-gen Aston will be run by GFS Racing for Hungarian driver Janos Santa, while the series’ first M4 GT3 entry comes from Trevor Racing with the lineup of Dennis Waszek and BMW factory ace Jesse Krohn.
***Le Mans podium finisher Alain de Cadenet passed away on Saturday at the age of 76. A successful privateer at the 24-hour race, de Cadenet made 12 Le Mans appearances and recorded his best result of third overall in 1976. He was also a renowned broadcaster, presenting sports car racing coverage on Speed Channel, ESPN and others.
On this weekend: FIA World Endurance Championship (Monza), 24H Series (Portimao), International GT Open (Hungaroring), NLS (Round 4)