Lazarus Takes Bentley’s First GT Open Victory
A Bentley Continental GT3 won in International GT Open for the first time as Fabrizio Crestani and Yannick Mettler prevailed for Team Lazarus in last weekend’s first race at Monza.
Mettler got the best start and stayed ahead through the squeeze into the first chicane, while Optimum Motorsport’s Joe Osborne took second from AF Corse’s Vincent Abril.
The Lazarus Bentley stayed out front into the pit window, after which Crestani inherited a 10-second lead over Osborne’s McLaren 720S GT3 co-driver Nick Moss.
Teo Martin Motorsport McLaren driver Henrique Chaves battled with Moss for second while Charlie Eastwood rose through the field past the Am drivers ahead of him, in the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 started by his fellow recent Le Mans class winner Salih Yoluc.
Eastwood then hunted down the dueling McLarens on the final lap, profiting from a Chaves mistake into Parabolica and pipping Moss on the line for second behind Crestani.
The second race of the meeting went to Abril and Louis Prette in their AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo.
Abril and Prette won by 1.3 seconds from their championship rivals Chaves and Miguel Ramos, who now hold an eight-point lead heading into the final two rounds of the season.
The Teo Martin McLarens dominated the first stint, running in formation with Chaves leading from Allam Khodair, while Ramos and Marcelo Hahn continued in that order after the driver changes.
Abril was in fourth and after passing the JP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Patryk Krupinski set about chasing the two McLarens.
The AF Corse driver first overtook Hahn and was then brought right onto Ramos’ tail by a safety car following a spin for Yoluc, which gave him grounds to launch an attack into the first chicane to secure the win.
Allied Banks Double GT4 Win at Zandvoort
Allied-Racing duo Jan Kasperlik and Bastian Buus swept the GT4 European Series weekend at Zandvoort in their No. 22 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
In the weekend’s opening race, Kasperlik ran third in the opening stint behind the V8 Racing Chevrolet Camaro GT4.Rs of Jop Rappange and leader Duncan Huisman.
Huisman entered the mid-race driver swaps with a clear lead, while the Allied crew managed to get Buus out ahead of Rappange’s co-driver Thijmen Nabuurs, splitting the Camaros.
Buus went on to track down and pass Jorge Cabezas on his out lap, laying the foundations for Allied’s second straight win off the back of a prior victory at the Nürburgring.
Behind the leader, Valentin Hasse-Clot charged up to second in the Silver Cup-winning AGS Events Aston Martin Vantage GT4 started by Theo Nouet.
A late safety car bunched up the field but Buus held on, taking the checkered flag ahead of Hasse-Clot, Nicolaj Moller-Madsen in Allied’s other Porsche and the two Camaros.
In Race 2, Kasperlik and Buus extended their Pro-Am points lead with another victory, which this time came ahead of Castelli and Stephane Lemeret’s Toyota GR Supra GT4.
Buus shut the door on CMR driver Castelli heading into Tarzan for the first time and established a two-second lead before handing over to Kasperlik.
A safety car period for an accident that resulted in the No. 718 Centri Porsche Ticino hitting the barriers hard at Turn 2 brought Lemeret onto Kasperlik’s bumper, but the German driver kept the Silver class-winning Toyota behind him to clinch the win.
Rappange and Nabuurs finished third in their Chevrolet, beating Hasse-Clot and Nouet’s Aston Martin and the Huisman/Cabezas-driven Camaro.
*** Emanuele Maria Tabacchi clinched the Ferrari Challenge Europe title with a second-place finish in the weekend’s opening race at Misano. Michelle Gatting took the win, while Tabacchi’s dominance earlier in the season helped him to secure the championship one round before the Finali Mondiali season finale.
***In Race 2 Tabacchi came out on top, beating Gatting by less than a second while Frederik Paulsen finished third and also won the Trofeo Pirelli Am category.
***Ultimate Cup Series held its second round of the season at Magny-Cours. Jean-Paul Pagny, Thierry Perrier and Jean-Bernard Bouvet won Saturday’s four-hour GT race in their Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo. In Sunday’s prototype race of the same duration, Pietro Peccenini and Hugo Carini took victory in a Duqueine D08 Nissan run by TS Corse.
***The provisional 2021 International GT Open calendar has been announced with an expanded seven-round format. Portimao joins as the season-opener on Apr. 25, followed by Paul Ricard (May. 16), Spa (Jun. 20), Hungaroring (Jul. 18), Red Bull Ring (Sep. 12), Monza (Sep. 26) and Barcelona (Oct. 17).
***Balfe Motorsport has entered a McLaren 720S GT3 into the Gulf 12 Hours taking place next January. Father and son duo Stewart and Lewis Proctor will share driving duties with Shaun Balfe.
***The Volkswagen ID.R electric prototype broke the outright lap record at Bilster Berg during a preparation run for its participation in the Goodwood SpeedWeek next month. Test driver Dieter Depping clocked a time of 1:24.206 around the 4.2 km circuit, beating the previous record by nine seconds.
***ADAC GT Masters has confirmed fan access to its October rounds at the Sachsenring and the Red Bull Ring. A maximum of 6,000 fans per day is allowed per day at the Sachsenring, while half that number will be permitted each day at the Red Bull Ring.
***The official test days for next month’s Total 24 Hours of Spa take place this Tuesday and Wednesday.
On this weekend: Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli, GT World Challenge America powered by AWS, Pirelli GT4 America (all Indianapolis), Super GT (Fuji), ADAC GT Masters (Sachsenring), British GT (Snetterton)