Callaway Corvette, Herberth Porsche Share GT Masters Wins
Callaway Competition’s Corvette C7 GT3-R won the opening ADAC GT Masters race of the season while reigning champion Herberth Motorsport claimed victory in Race 2 at Oschersleben.
Markus Pommer and Marvin Kirchhoefer came out on top in a rain-affected Saturday race at the central German circuit, leading a trio of Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos to the line.
Kirchhoefer took over the Corvette in fifth position and moved up to third, running behind the RWT Racing Corvette and Schutz Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 which had fought for the lead earlier in the race.
Sven Barth spun the RWT car in the wet conditions while Aidan Read was passed by Kirchhoefer and Kelvin van der Linde, allowing the Callaway driver to take the lead to the line and van der Linde to secure second place for HCB-Rutronik Racing.
2018 champion Robert Renauer and his new co-driver Thomas Preining won Sunday’s race in their Herberth Porsche 911 GT3 R, meanwhile.
Preining ran in second position behind Mirko Bortolotti for most of his opening stint but Renauer took the lead in the pit stops after problems for Orange1 by Grasser.
This included Christian Engelhart, now in the car started by Bortolotti, mistakenly being given and serving a drive-through penalty for a short stop that was later found to be a timekeeping error.
Renauer survived a duel with Ricardo Feller to take the win by 1.5 seconds over Feller and Dries Vanthoor’s Montaplast by Land Motorsport Audi.
Emil Frey Lamborghinis Sweep GT Open at Paul Ricard
Emil Frey Racing won both International GT Open races at Circuit Paul Ricard over the weekend, taking victory on its maiden run with the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.
Albert Costa and Giacomo Altoe claimed Saturday’s win ahead of the pair of Teo Martin Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3s, while Norbert Siedler and Mikael Grenier won Race 2 on Sunday.
Costa and Altoe had a fierce battle with the Mercedes-AMG GT3s of Antonelli Motorsport and SPS Automotive Performance in the early stages before having to hold off both Teo Martin cars later in the race.
Teo Martin’s new McLarens had a strong debut with Martin Kodric and Henrique Chaves finishing 0.539 seconds behind the Emil Frey Lamborghini.
The Race 1 winners finished fourth on Sunday while teammates Siedler and Grenier secured victory for the Swiss Emil Frey operation.
They again overcame challenges from the SPS and Antonelli Mercedes which eventually filled out the podium.
Manthey 1-2 in First Full-Length VLN Race of Year
Manthey Racing scored a 1-2 finish in Saturday’s VLN race, the first round of the season which has run to its full four-hour length.
Nick Tandy and Richard Lietz shared the No. 912 Porsche 911 GT3 R to take victory after 24 laps of the Nürburgring Nordschleife, ahead of Dennis Olsen and Otto Klohs in the team’s No. 12 car.
The track dried throughout the course of the race after heavy rainfall at the start, although Lietz ran the last few laps on worn rain tires in dry conditions.
Manthey’s third Porsche, driven by Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen, scored pole but dropped back when Estre was given a penalty for jumping the start, while Christensen later ran out of fuel at the pit lane entry.
The car did finish second on track but was penalized for the team adding too much fuel in one of the stops, going over its 107-liter limit by 2.37 liters.
It therefore dropped back to fourth in the final classification, denying Manthey a podium sweep, while Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon inherited third.
RESULTS: VLN 3
McCann, Casey Win TC America TCR Races in Virginia
Michael McCann Jr. and Britt Casey Jr. claimed a win each in the TC America TCR races at Virginia International Raceway, sweeping the weekend for McCann Racing.
Both drivers are competing in Audi RS 3 LMS TCRs prepared by McCann Racing, but McCann is in the TCR Cup class with a DSG gearbox while Casey runs in the overall category with the newer sequential model.
Casey led most of Race 1 but had an unexpected power drop-off on the final lap, allowing teammate McCann to pass and take the win with an eight-second margin.
He finished ahead of FCP Euro’s Michael Hurczyn in a Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, while Victor Gonzalez completed the podium in his VGMC Racing Honda Civic Type-R TCR.
Casey was later disqualified from the race for a technical infringement and was therefore forced to start Sunday’s second 40-minute contest from the back of the field.
Despite this setback, he still managed to take the win, having made his way up through the field during the first half of the race.
He passed Hurczyn for the lead after ten laps with a lunge down the inside at the Left Hook.
Hurczyn’s FCP Euro teammate Nate Vincent rounded out the podium.
ADAC GT4 Germany, GT Cup Open Europe Kick Off
Two new championships, ADAC GT4 Germany and GT Cup Open Europe, got underway at the weekend in support of ADAC GT Masters and International GT Open.
ADAC GT4 Germany effectively replaces the SRO Motorsports Group’s GT4 Central European Cup and features a grid of GT4 cars supporting the German GT3 championship.
Twenty-four GT4 cars took to Oschersleben for the opening pair of races, including seven different brands.
Race 1 was won by RN Vision STS’ BMW M4 GT4 driven by Gabriele Piana and Marius Zug, while True Racing led a KTM X-Bow GT4 1-2 in Race 2 with its car shared by Reinhard Kofler and Laura Kraihammer.
The other championship to debut was GT Cup Open Europe, a series reserved for a variety of car classes below GT3 spec, including GT4, Super Trofeo and Porsche Cup.
Seventeen cars took part, with both races being won by Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeos.
Vincenzo Sospiri Racing scored a 1-2 in Race 1 led by Hans-Peter Koller and Edoardo Liberati, while Antonelli Motorsport’s Glauco Solieri claimed the Race 2 win.