Rast Dominates Nurburgring Weekend
Rene Rast became the first driver in DTM history to sweep both poles and race wins on a single weekend at the Nurburgring.
The Audi factory driver opened a perfect 56-point round by pipping BMW’s Bruno Spengler to the line in Saturday’s race.
Rast then doubled up with another lights-to-flag run on Sunday, beating Mercedes driver Paul di Resta who took second with a move on Spengler.
Despite scoring a podium in race two, Di Resta lost his championship lead to Gary Paffett after failing to score in Saturday’s opener.
The Scot switched places with Paffett after contact with Phillip Eng’s BMW in race one dropped him out of the points, while his Mercedes team-mate finished third.
Di Resta then limited the damage in race two by beating Paffett, but the Englishman’s fifth place meant he ended the weekend with a two-point advantage with two rounds to go.
Honors Shared in Donington LMP3 Bout
Mectech Racing and Nielsen Racing/Ecurie Ecosse took a victory each in the British LMP3 Cup Championship’s visit to Donington Park.
Bradley Smith and Duncan Williams won Saturday’s rain-affected hourlong contest from pole, although Williams lost the lead to Speedworks Motorsport’s Dominic Paul who squeezed past at the Melbourne hairpin.
Mectech’s Norma M30 Nissan reclaimed the lead from the Speedworks Ligier in the pits but Smith duly came under pressure from Colin Noble, who moved the Nielsen/Ecurie Ligier up to second in drying conditions.
Noble came to within a second of Smith, but couldn’t find a way past, although he and Tony Wells went on to claim victory in Sunday’s dry race.
Paul surged into the lead early on but spun out, handing the advantage back to the pole-sitting Nielsen/Ecurie car which Noble guided home ahead of the Mectech Norma.
Herberth Porsche Wins 24H Barcelona
Herberth Motorsport took the spoils in the 24 Hours of Barcelona as the German outfit set a new distance record for the 24H Series event.
Daniel Allemann, Ralf Bohn, Alfred Renauer and Le Mans GTE-Am winner Matt Campbell completed 677 laps of Circuit de Catalunya in their Porsche 911 GT3 R which won by three minutes from the Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3.
The Czech-run Ferrari led most of the contest but lost time in a Code 60 period shortly before dawn that saw the Herberth machine jump ahead in the pits.
From there, the Porsche never relinquished its lead with Allemann bringing the car home for a repeat of Herberth’s 2016 Barcelona win.
IDEC Sport Racing completed the overall podium with its Mercedes AMG GT3 shared by Patrice Lafargue, Marvin Klein and Dimitri Enjalbert, while the Monlau Competicion Seat Cupra won the TCR class.
News & Notes
***Mick Schumacher sampled a DTM car for the first time on the championship’s visit to the Nurburgring. The current FIA European Formula 3 points leader and son of seven-time Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher performed demonstration laps in a Mercedes-AMG C63 after an invite from series director Gerhard Berger.
***“Being thrown in at the deep end is thrilling,” said Schumacher, who had to contend with wet weather on his run. “I had great fun – it was quite an experience. The power of a DTM car is very impressive.”
***Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam head into the British GT season finale with an extended 27.5-point championship lead after their Optimum Motorsport team successfully appealed a stewards’ decision. Haigh and Adam’s Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 was handed a 30-second post-race penalty at Snetterton for contact with a rival, which dropped the Optimum pair from fourth to ninth. However, the ruling’s reversal means the 10 points they lost have now been restored to their account.
***Alessio Picariello and Xu Jia won both China GT Championship races last weekend in their Audi R8 LMS GT3. The pair overcame 50kg of success ballast to claim a sweep of the weekend at Shanghai International Circuit.
***A host of Le Mans winners and sports car aces took part in the 20th annual Goodwood Revival Meeting at the 2.3-mile circuit in southern England. Andre Lotterer, Romain Dumas, Derek Bell, Darren Turner, Mike Conway and more competed in the renowned historic racing fixture, while Oliver and David Hart won the blue-riband race for pre-1966 sports cars in their AC Cobra.
***GTE-Pro drivers Turner and Andy Priaulx also got on the winners’ list with Turner winning the Fordwater Trophy for production GTs and Priaulx claiming victory in the St. Mary’s Trophy for saloon cars.