Runaway ST Europe Leaders Beaten for First Time
Loris Spinelli and Max Weering saw their unbeaten start to the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe season come to an end as Milan Teekens and Marzio Moretti won the opening race at Spa-Francorchamps.
A different driver also won the second race as Amaury Bonduel profited from a penalty for Spinelli and Weering to claim his first career Super Trofeo Europe victory.
At the start of Race 1, pole-sitter Loris Spinelli kept his Bonaldi Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO2 in the lead through La Source as Moretti overtook Bonduel for second.
The top three remained in that order through to a safety car at the start of the pit window, caused by a collision at the Bus Stop that resulted in Andrzej Lewandowski briefly gaining air time after clipping the rear of Gabriel Rindone’s car.
Almost all drivers pitted under the safety car, with Moretti’s Target Racing crew bringing Teekens out from an extremely busy pit lane with a narrow lead over Weering.
Teekens had a 0.2-second post-race time penalty hanging over his head due to a slight undercut of the minimum pit time, but the Dutchman took the checkered flag a couple of seconds ahead of Weering to secure his and Moretti’s first win of the campaign.
A problem with his car’s radio system meant that Bonduel missed the call to pit and subsequently dropped out of podium contention, but the BDR Competition driver bounced back in Race 2 to take overall honors.
Lewis Williamson, who was third in Race 1 alongside Massimo Ciglia, led through a chaotic opening stint that was impacted by several incidents in the 35-car field.
One of them involved Weering, who tagged Johan Boris Scheier into a spin at Bruxelles and earned a 10-second penalty as a result.
Williamson entered the pit window ahead of Brendon Leitch and Martin Kodric, whose co-driver Sandro Mur slid off at Courbe Paul Frere to trigger a safety car in the second stint, which cut Ciglia’s lead and brought solo driver Bonduel onto the Italian’s tial.
Bonduel had a good run out of La Source and passed Ciglia, however a charging Spinelli quickly overtook both. Crucially for Bonduel, he was able to stay within 10 seconds of Spinelli to secure the win.
Action-Packed Pair of GT4 Europe Races at Spa
Enzo Joulie and Lluc Ibanez maintained their healthy GT4 European Series Silver Cup championship lead with a pair of high points finishes at Spa-Francorchamps, as pairings from Code Racing and Sainteloc Racing claimed overall honors in each contest.
Joulie and Ibanez registered fourth in Silver and fifth overall at the end of Friday evening’s 60-minute encounter, before taking an overall podium on Saturday morning.
At the front, Code Racing’s Pro-Am combination of Antoine Leclerc and Loic Villiger won the opener in their Alpine A110 GT4 Evo.
Leclerc started from pole but was overtaken by W&S Motorsport Porsche driver Hendrik Still into Fagnes, which also resulted in Etienne Cheli sneaking into second for Toyota squad CMR.
Cheli went on to attack Still and the pair made contact heading through Les Combes, which caused the Toyota to run straight on into the barriers at the Turn 11 left-hander.
A safety car was produced and Still lined up to lead the field away at the restart, only for his Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR to cut out as he tried to launch off.
That mechanical misfortunate restored Leclerc as the leader. After the driver swaps, Am driver Villiger did extremely well to fend off a charging Romain Monti, whose Toyota had started from the back after his co-driver caused a red flag by crashing in qualifying.
The second race saw Joulie and Ibanez’s closest Silver Cup rivals Erwan Bastard and Roee Meyuhas claim their first win of the year in a Sainteloc-run Audi R8 LMS GT4.
After an early safety car for a nine-vehicle incident at the first corner, Bastard overtook Simon Tirman’s pole-sitting Autosport GP Alpine into Les Combes.
Meyuhas then drove clear from Tirman’s co-driver Pierre Sancinena during the second stint, but his lead was restricted by a late safety car.
The Sainteloc driver kept ahead of his nearest challenger Ibanez, whose NM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 was passed for second late on by Mike David Ortmann in a PROSport Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
Other Racing Action & News
***The third ADAC Racing Weekend meeting of the year took place at the Nürburgring, where the GTC series held its usual program of two sprint races and a longer two-driver contest. The latter was won by Finn Zulauf and Luca Engstler sharing a Rutronik Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II. Zulauf also won the first single-driver race, followed by Max Hofer who finished ahead of Timo Bernhard in Race 2.
***Helm Motorsports won the fourth round of the Super Taikyu season at Autopolis with its Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 driven by Yutaka Yoriba, Yuya Hiraki and Super GT driver Reiji Hiraki. They won the five-hour race by a margin of 42 seconds over D’station Racing’s Aston Martin trio of Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and Tsubasa Kondo. Results
***Stephane Ortelli made a brilliant move on Jordan Grogor’s Aston Martin DBR9 at Bruxelles, squeezing his WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra between the South African and a backmarker, to win the first of two 30th GT Anniversary races on the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa support bill. Grogor and Stuart Hall then won the second race, ahead of Harrison Newey and Joe Macari who shared a Maserati MC12 GT1. Click here for full race replays. Race 1 / Race 2
***ByKolles last week completed a one-day test with its Vanwall-badged LMH car at Oschersleben. Development driver Esteban Guerrieri completed 520 km at the German circuit in overcast conditions.
***According to the team, the focus of the test was to gather more data on the car, in a continuation of the two-day test at Lausitzring the weekend prior. The team did not alter the car between the two sessions.
***The FIA Motorsport Games has outlined the driver rules for its new LMP3 and GT3 combined endurance race at Paul Ricard in October. A Bronze-rated driver will be mandatory in each lineup, while the maximum permitted combination is Platinum/Silver/Bronze. The 150-minute race will include two mandatory pit stops for tires, fuel and a driver change.
2023 Calendar Announcements
***The Intelligent Money British GT Championship will race at Portimao for the first time next year, with the Portuguese venue replacing Spa-Francorchamps as the series’ overseas jaunt. The full 2023 calendar is Oulton Park (April 8-10), Silverstone 500 (May 6-7), Donington Park (May 27-28), Snetterton (June 24-25), Portimao (July 15-16), Brands Hatch (Sep. 9-10), Donington Park (Oct. 14-15).
***Monza, Dijon and Portimao have joined next year’s Fanatec GT2 European Series calendar. Imola, Spa and Misano have dropped off, retaining the six-round format. The 2023 calendar in full: Monza (April 15-16), Red Bull Ring (May TBA), Dijon (June 24-25), Portimao (July 15-16), Valencia (Sep. 16-17), Paul Ricard (Oct. 14-15).
***The GT4 European Series will remain at six points-scoring rounds next year, with Imola replacing Monza per the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup’s switch between Italian circuits.
***In 2023, GT4 Europe will head to Monza (April 15-16), Paul Ricard (June 3-4), Misano (July 1-2), Spa (July 28-30), Hockenheim (Sep. 2-3), Barcelona (Sep. 30-Oct. 1), Vallelunga 6 Hours of Rome (Oct. 28-29, non-championship)
***Another calendar reveal at Spa last weekend concerned the inaugural McLaren Trophy, which features de-regulated versions of the British manufacturer’s new Artura GT4 machine. The schedule consists of support slots at five GTWC Europe rounds, starting at Paul Ricard on June 2-4 before heading to Misano, the rebranded Crowdstrike 24 Hours of Spa, Hockenheim and Barcelona.
On this weekend: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (Road America), Super GT (Fuji), Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS (Queensland), ADAC GT Masters (Nürburgring), GT America powered by AWS (Nashville)