Super Trofeo Europe Back with a Bang at Misano
The opening round of Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe took place at Misano last weekend with two 50-minute contests that each involved race-deciding moves late in the day.
Milos Pavlovic and Raul Guzman won the first race on Saturday evening in their No. 41 Target Racing Lamborghini Huracan ST Evo, while Dean Stoneman took victory on his debut weekend in the series on Sunday.
Race 1 saw Guzman run the opening stint in seventh before a quick stop from the Target crew vaulted Pavlovic to third, behind Kevin Gilardoni and Marcus Paverud.
Paverud seized the lead from Gilardoni with a lunge into the Quercia left-hander, while Pavlovic also got through a couple of corners later.
The Target driver then moved into the top spot by capitalizing when Paverud got caught in traffic at Turn 14, only for Kikko Galbiati to briefly charge through into the lead on the penultimate lap when Pavlovic was similarly held up behind a backmarker.
However, Pavlovic regained his composure to stay ahead and beat Galbiati – who shared with Vito Postiglione – by a tenth of a second as Paverud and Sebastian Balthasar settled for third.
In Race 2, solo competitor Stoneman clinched his maiden Super Trofeo Europe win after overtaking Andrzej Lewandowski at Turn 4 with 10 minutes remaining.
The British driver took up pursuit of the race leader when Galbiati experienced a loose wheel and spun at Turn 11.
Stoneman crossed the line ahead of Lewandowski, who won Pro-Am twice with Karol Basz, while Pavlovic and Guzman finished third to establish an early points lead.
Maxson Continues Dominance in TC America at Sonoma
Tyler Maxson continued his dominance in TC America, tallying up his eighth win of the season by end of the weekend at Sonoma Raceway.
The 15-year-old, in Copeland Motorsports’ Hyundai Veloster N TCR, kept his undefeated streak intact by taking wins in all three TCR races in commanding fashion.
Victor Gonzalez Jr. finished second in the first two 40-minute races, with Roy Block making a late pass around the Honda Civic Type-R TCR to bag a runner-up result on Sunday in Race 3.
The TCR grid featured a season-low four entries, in a weekend that also saw a “correction” to WSC’s global Balance of Performance made Saturday night ahead of the final race.
Johan Schwartz and James Clay, each driving BMW M240iR Cup cars, claimed wins in the two TC races over the weekend, while the MINI JCW of Mark Pombo took top honors in Friday’s TCA race and Tyler Gonzalez winning in Races 2 and 3 with his Hyundai Veloster Turbo.
TC cars did not take part on Sunday due to Race 3 serving as the makeup round for Race 1 at St. Pete, which was only scheduled to feature TCR and TCA machinery.
Cauhaupe, Maulini Keep Cool in the Heat at Spa
Edouard Cauhaupe and Nicolai Maulini delivered Cool Racing’s first victory in Michelin Le Mans Cup with a dominant display in the two-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps.
Maulini led away from pole in the No. 37 Ligier JS P320 Nissan while Rory Penttinen moved Graff’s Ligier up to second with a move on the DKR Engineering Duqueine D08-M30 Nissan of Jean Glorieux at Bus Stop.
The lead was substantial enough for Cauhaupe to remain ahead despite a slow stop from the Cool Racing crew that reduced the gap between the top two cars to eight seconds.
Penttinen’s co-driver Matthias Kaiser couldn’t manage to close in the gap and instead the Liechtensteiner fell into the clutches of Glorieux’s driving partner Laurents Hoerr.
The DKR Engineering car got past the Graff Ligier at Les Combes, while Colin Noble also overtook Kaiser before the third round of pit stops, which was mandated due to an ongoing fuel consumption problem with the second-generation LMP3 machinery.
Cauhaupe held the lead through this final pit window and the short stint to the flag that followed, crossing the line 24.4 seconds ahead of Hoerr.
Noble and Tony Wells completed the top-three in their Nielsen-operated D08 as the Wayne Boyd/John Schauerman United Autosports Ligier finished fourth, beating the Graff Ligier that ran second early on.
GT3 class honors went to the Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3 pairing of Rino Mastronardi and Giacomo Piccini who claimed their second victory in as many races this season.
Polish Mercedes Team Wins on GT Open Debut
The delayed International GT Open season-opener took place at the Hungaroring as Polish Mercedes-AMG squad JP Motorsport and Ferrari stalwart AF Corse shared the wins.
Race 1 saw ex-Formula 1 driver Christian Klien and his co-driver Patryk Krupinski earn a victory for JP Motorsport on its first-ever GT3 race appearance, while Vincent Abril and Louis Prette won the second race in their Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo.
Klien started the first encounter from pole in the pre-Evo gold and black Mercedes and commanded the opening stint, while Stefano Coletti slotted into second after a lightning getaway in the No. 28 Lazarus Team Bentley Continental GT3.
Krupinski kept the JP Motorsport car ahead after the driver swaps before Coletti’s co-driver Petru Razvan Umbrarescu spun out, triggering a safety car.
Shortly after the restart, another safety car intervention was called after an airborne accident for Stanislaw Jedlinski’s Mercedes.
This pulled the curtain on the race with little time left, handing a surprise win to Krupinski and Klien who led home from the two Teo Martin Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3s.
In Race 2, Abril ran third in the opening stint behind Teo Martin’s Khodair and Chaves, but a shuffling of the order during the pit stops resulted in Prette moving to the front.
The Monegasque driver built a 10-second lead on the TF Sport Aston Martin of Salih Yoluc, who was passed by the GetSpeed Mercedes Evo of Fabian Schiller on the final lap.
Other Weekend Action
***NM Racing Team’s Mercedes-AMG GT4 won the third race of the GT4 European Series season held at Misano. The team’s Spanish pairing of Lluc Ibanez and Xavier Lloveras finished ahead of Imola double winners Bas Schouten and Gabriele Piana (results).
***In the second GT4 race at Misano, AGS Events scored its maiden European Series victory with its Aston Martin Vantage GT4 driven by Valentin Hasse-Clot and Theo Nouet.
***GT Cup Open Europe’s sophomore season kicked off at the Hungaroring with a pair of 1-2-3 results for Porsche Cup machinery. Jaume Font won Race 1 for Baporo Motorsport, before Aldo Festante triumphed in Race 2 for Ombra Racing.
***Ayhancan Guven clinched his first Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup win of the season in round five at Silverstone, which supported the Formula One 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. Guven led from lights to flag as Larry ten Voorde and points leader Dylan Pereira finished second and third.
***Kelvin Balthazar swept the Ligier European Series round at Spa aboard his Milo Racing Ligier JS P4. The Belgian racer twice won from his teammate Sacha Lehmann, while Nerses Isaakyan – the brother of ELMS racer Matevos – and Mathieu Martins won in the JS 2R class.
Other News & Notes
***The DTM will allow up to 10,000 spectators to attend each race day of its meeting at Assen on Sept. 4-6. Fans will be required to observe social distancing practices, while grandstands will be separated and seating allocated to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
***A total of 13 drivers aged between 17 and 25 are in the running for the Aston Martin Racing Academy end-of-year accolade, which comes with a prize of financial and training support from the British manufacturer in 2021. The initiative, which is only for drivers competing in Vantage GT3 and GT4 machinery, includes three racing in North America.
***The candidates are: Jamie Caroline, Roman de Angelis, Cedric Freiburghaus, Valentin Hasse Clot, Robert Hefler, Patrick Kibble, Kenton Koch, Antonio Ledesma, Connor O’Brien, Theo Nouet, Akhil Rabindra, Nate Stacy and Dan Vaughan.
***Squadra Corse’s victory in Race 1 of GT World Challenge America powered by AWS at Sonoma, marked the 300th win for the Ferrari 488 GT3 in global competition. The mid-engined car, which has collected more than 500 podium finishes, made its debut in 2016.
***This year’s SEMA Show has been canceled due to “COVID-19 and concerns that event facilities and services will be unavailable”, according to event organizers. The annual automotive trade show was due to take place in Las Vegas on Nov. 3-7.
***Bob Riley, Bill Riley and Jim Matthews have launched a new project to build a next-generation set of Ford GT40 Mk. IV prototypes following their acquisition of Kar-Kraft Assets. The partnership aims to produce 10 period-correct continuation cars with the first production run planned for 2022.
***Longtime driver manager Mike Perry passed away last week after a short illness. Perry had managed some of the top sports car drivers in the world including Michael Krumm and Lucas Luhr and more recently the likes of Ben Hanley and Alessio Picariello.
John Dagys contributed to this report