Soucek, Al Zubair Take GT Open Points Lead
Andy Soucek and Al Faisal Al Zubair led the International GT Open drivers’ standings after last weekend’s second round of the season at Spa-Francorchamps.
The Lechner Racing duo won the first 60-minute contest in their Porsche 911 GT3 R, before taking third behind the two Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evos in race two.
Frederik Schandorff and Michele Beretta won the second race to reduce Soucek and Al Zubair’s advantage to one point.
Soucek ran third in the opening leg of race one but spent most of his stint behind two safety cars due to separate accidents for a Porsche Cup car and Nick Moss in one of the Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3s.
The driver swaps occurred shortly after the second safety car, and resulted in Lechner jumping the two VSR Lamborghinis for a lead that Al Zubair would hold to the end.
The VSR cars were down to fourth and fifth after the pit stops, behind Brendan Iribe’s McLaren and Robby Foley in the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Pirelli GT4 America co-champion Foley took second with a move up the inside of Iribe at Stavelot.
In race two, Schandorff emerged from the pits in the lead ahead of his VSR teammate Baptiste Moulin, after Beretta initially ran fourth behind Foley and two Pro-Am cars.
Schandorff ended up taking a comfortable win from Moulin and Yuki Nemoto, while Dinan ceded third to Soucek after his car sustained a puncture approaching Blanchimont.
Aston, Merc Crews Claim Zandvoort GT4 Wins
AGS Events and AKKA-ASP took a race win each on an eventful weekend of GT4 European Series action at Zandvoort.
After torrential rain caused Friday’s practice session to be canceled, Joel Sturm took pole for the Allied-Racing Porsche squad ahead of race one.
Sturm led the opening stages as Cesar Gazeau made up two places from fourth on the grid. The race was then red-flagged for half an hour following a heavy accident for Gus Bowers aboard one of the United Autosports McLaren 570S GT4s.
Bowers walked away from the crash, which United later said was likely caused by an ABS failure, while an extensive clean-up operation prompted the race to be stopped.
At the restart, Gazeau’s co-driver Konstantin Lachenauer overtook Nicolaj Moller-Madsen in the pole-sitting Allied Porsche.
Sainteloc Racing Audi driver Gregory Guilvert also got past Madsen in the latter stages, as Lachenauer secured his and Gazeau’s first win of the campaign under a safety car.
Race two saw Pro-Am pairing Jean-Luc Beaubelique and Jim Pla claim top honors in their AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG GT4.
In a more straightforward affair, Pla led away from pole with Guilvert running second.
AKKA-ASP left its driver out for two laps longer than Sainteloc did, which gave Beaubelique a 17-second advantage for the closing stint.
The race was then neutralized following isolated incidents for a Team Fullmotorsport Audi and a Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport BMW, handing AKKA-ASP the victory.
Other Racing Action
***Ben Green and Michael Schrey shared out the wins on the DTM Trophy’s season-opening weekend at Monza. Green won the first encounter from pole in his FK Performance Motorsport BMW M4. Schrey advanced three places at the start of race two in his BMW, before overtaking pole-sitter Will Tregurtha at a restart from an early safety car. Tim Heinemann later passed Schrey and crossed the line first, but lost the win to a time penalty for gaining time off-track at one of the chicanes. Results
***Kevin Gilardoni and Leonardo Pulcini continued their early-season form in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe by winning the second race at Zandvoort. The Oregon duo also took third in race one, which went the way of Sebastian Balthasar and Noah Watt. Race 1 / Race 2
***Niccolo Schiro added to his sweep of the Brno weekend to win both Ferrari Challenge Europe races at Circuit Ricardo Tormo near Valencia. Thomas Neubauer was second on both occasions.
***The first round of the new Sports Car Championship Canada series took place at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last weekend. Marco Signoretti won the first race in a Multimatic Motorsports-prepared Ford Mustang GT4.
***2Seas Motorsport will make its first race appearance since its Gulf 12 Hours win back in January, with a Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo in the Silverstone 500 British GT round. Hunter Abbot and Martin Kodric will represent the U.K-based, Bahrain-owned squad in the Silver-Am category.
***British driver Nick Moss sustained two fractured vertebrae in an accident during the first GT Open race at Spa. Optimum Motorsport, which runs the Inception Racing program, confirmed stated in a social media post that Moss was in “good spirits and otherwise healthy”.
***Tickets for the 24 Hours of Le Mans went on sale this morning at 10 a.m. CEST. The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has confirmed that Mulsanne and Arnage corners will be publicly accessible, along with the main public area around the start-finish.
***The Nürburgring has named a corner on the Nordschleife in honor of double 24-hour race winner Sabine Schmitz, who passed away in March at the age of 51. The Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve is the first left-hander after the transition out of the Grand Prix circuit.
On this weekend: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Lamborghini and Porshe one-make series (all Watkins Glen), NLS (Round 4), Intelligent Money British GT Championship (Silverstone)