Lanan Wins Le Mans Cup Opener at Paul Ricard
Michael Benham and Duncan Tappy gave Lanan Racing its first Michelin Le Mans Cup win since last year’s Road to Le Mans at Circuit Paul Ricard on Saturday.
Tappy moved into the lead when the DKR Engineering Norma M30 Nissan of Laurent Hörr pitted with 22 minutes remaining to serve a drive-through penalty for overtaking over track limits.
Hörr regained some lost positions in the final few laps to finish runner-up, six seconds behind Tappy’s Norma.
Nielsen Racing’s Anthony Wells and Colin Noble completed the podium. Eight of the nine Normas in the field made up the top eight positions.
Reigning GT3 champions Sergio Pianezzola and Giacomo Piccini kicked off their title defense with a win for Kessel Racing.
They survived a two-minute stop-and-hold penalty late in the race which they were given running a red light at pit exit during a safety car period.
Two safety car periods interrupted the race; one for John Schauerman’s Cool Racing Ligier JS P3 Nissan and another for JM Littman’s Eurointernational car.
RESULTS: Paul Ricard
Reno Racing Gives Honda NSX GT3 Evo First Win in Sports Club
Honda’s updated NSX GT3 Evo scored its first race win in Blancpain GT Sports Club competition at Monza on Saturday.
Jens Reno Moller won both races on his debut in the single-driver Blancpain GT support series, driving a Honda run by his Reno Racing outfit.
He qualified on pole and won both races, finishing ahead of Mario Cordoni in Race 1 and Murod Sultanov in the second round.
Sultanov completed the podium in the opener, while Lee Mowle finished in third on Sunday’s race, picking up in the Titanium Cup win.
Coach McKansy scored Sunday Titanium Cup honors, while Stephen Earle won the Iron Cup in both races.
Equipe Verschuur Sweeps GT4 European Series at Monza
Daniel McKay and Benjamin Lessennes won both GT4 European Series races at Monza on Saturday and Sunday to sweep the opening weekend for Equipe Verschuur.
In the first race, Lessennes took the lead in his McLaren 570S GT4 at the second chicane, passing Michael Benyahia after a battle with him and Olivier Hart.
Benyahia and Charlie Fagg finished runner-up, 0.282 seconds behind Lessennes, making it a McLaren 1-2, ahead of Alec Udell and Simon Knap’s MDM Motorsport BMW M4 GT4.
On Sunday, Equipe Verschuur lost the lead to Junior Strous in the Sellesagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4 during the pit stops.
McKay then made his way past Strous on-track and eventually crossed the line nine seconds clear.
Phoenix Racing completed the podium with its No. 1 Audi R8 LMS GT4 driven by Nicolaj Moller-Madsen and Cedric Freiburghaus.
VLN Race Cancelled Due to Snow
Saturday’s VLN race, the second round of the season, was cancelled on the second lap due to snowfall at the Nürburgring.
The verges on the track between Fuchsroehre and Bergwerk, in the north-western section of the Nordschleife, were covered with snow by the second lap, forcing organizers to red flag the race.
They later made the decision at 1:45 p.m. local time to cancel the round, which was initially scheduled for four hours.
At least 80 minutes of the race must be completed for half points to be awarded, and 160 minutes for full points.
As the race lasted less than 80 minutes before being cancelled, no classification was established for the race, and no points will be distributed.
The next round will take place on April 27.
News & Notes
***Pietro Fittipaldi will drive for WRT Team Audi Sport in the Lausitzring DTM test this week. The Brazilian IndyCar driver will share turns at the wheel of the Audi RS5 DTM with full-season driver Jonathan Aberdein. WRT, which is preparing for its series debut as a customer squad, has yet to confirm Aberdein’s teammate for 2019.
***Dries Vanthoor set the fastest time during the official ADAC GT Masters pre-season test at Oschersleben. The Montaplast by Land-Motorsport driver’s 1:23.458 effort on the second day of testing was three-tenths quicker than the next-best time set by Lucas Luhr in the Iron Force Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
***Reigning GT Masters champion Robert Renauer will share the Herberth Motorsport Porsche with factory Young Professional Thomas Preining this year. Renauer clinched the 2018 drivers’ title alongside Mathieu Jaminet, who is now racing for Porsche in the Michelin Endurance Cup.
***Kenneth Heyer and Uwe Alzen shared out the wins on the second weekend of DMV GTC series action at Hockenheim. Alzen held off Heyer to win a damp race 1 in his Audi R8 LMS GT3, while Heyer took the spoils in race 2 with his Mercedes-AMG GT3 finishing three seconds ahead of Marc Busch’s Audi.
***Jenson Button and Nick Cassidy were among several Super GT drivers to express concern at a lack of English-language and international streaming options for the Okayama season-opener, following the end of NISMO TV’s live coverage.
***This year’s annual Silverstone Classic will feature a special ‘Twilight Tribute to Le Mans’ featuring three races for cars that previously competed in the French endurance classic. The spectacle was announced by nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen last week.
Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report.