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Weekly Racing Roundup (5.3.21)

Reports from NLS and TC America, plus other weekend racing action and news…

Photo: Jan Brucke/VLN

Porsche NLS Form Continues with Frikadelli 1-2

Frikadelli Racing Team posted Porsche’s second consecutive NLS victory as Earl Bamber and Mathieu Jaminet led a Frikadelli Racing Team one-two in Saturday’s four-hour race at the Nürburgring.

Bamber and Jaminet won by almost 10 seconds from their teammates Maxime Martin and Patrick Pilet in the sister Frikadelli-entered Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Porsche entries filled out the top four with Falken’s Martin Ragginger and Klaus Bachler completing the podium ahead of Manthey’s Michael Christensen and Lars Kern.

Bamber overtook pole-sitter Alexander Sims in the Schubert Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 at the start of the second lap with a bold move around the outside at Turn 1.

The Frikadelli Porsches were running close together in the second half of the race when Pilet was called to serve a stop-go penalty, which prevented the No. 31 crew from challenging Bamber and Jaminet for the win.

The final podium spot duel between Falken and round two winner Manthey was decided when Christensen made a mistake at Hatzenbach, enabling Bachler to pounce.

Behind the top four Porsche entries were the two ROWE Racing BMWs piloted by three-driver factory crews, while Audi Sport Team Land came through in seventh place.

The highest-finishing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo was the Bilstein-supported Haupt Racing Team car, while Glickenhaus Racing ended up 21st overall in the first race of the year for its 004C machine which was competing in the SPX division.


Photo: Sarah Weeks/SRO

Ricca Rolls to Overall Victory at COTA

Jeff Ricca claimed overall honors for a TC class car in Saturday’s opening TC America powered by Skip Barber Racing School race at Circuit of The Americas, which was marred by challenging track conditions.

Ricca took his Genracer Hyundai Veloster N TC to a 4.960-second win over fellow TC driver Eric Powell in the 40-minute race that started behind the safety car after a one-hour delay due to heavy rain and thunderstorms.

The No. 81 Classic BMW M2 CS Cup of Jacob Ruud was the highest-placed TCX class car in Race 1, finishing fifth overall with his rear-wheel-drive car.

TCA class honors in Saturday’s round went to Caleb Bacon in the Forbush Performance Hyundai Veloster Turbo TCA, who repeated in drier conditions in Race 2 on Sunday.

Ruud, meanwhile, took the overall win on Sunday in a commanding performance, with Kevin Boehm claiming TC class honors in his DXDT Racing Honda Civic Type-R.

RESULTS: Race 1 / Race 2

Photo: Italian GT

Other Weekend Action

***Fabrizio Crestani and Matteo Greco won the first two Italian GT Sprint Championship races held at Monza. The Easy Race Ferrari pair won the opening bout after going against the grain to fit slick tires while most of their competitors took wets. The race was initially held on Friday, but heavy rain forced its suspension after five laps and a delay to Saturday. Results

***Race two at Monza saw Antonelli Motorsport’s Pro-Am pairing of Luca Segu and Bar Baruch claim top honors in their Mercedes-AMG. Crestani and Greco finished ninth to come away with 22 points, putting them on equal terms with Audi Sport Italia’s Riccardo Agostini and Lorenzo Ferrari who placed fifth and second across the two races. Results

***Ritomo Miyata claimed pole position for the second round of the Super GT season at Fuji, which takes place on Tuesday. Three-thousandths of a second separated the Bandoh Toyota GR Supra driver’s time from that of Nirei Fukuzumi, who qualified second for the Aguri Honda squad. Results

***Michelle Gatting swept the Ferrari Challenge Europe weekend at the Red Bull Ring, giving the Iron Lynx driver a 20-point lead in the championship standings. Luka Nurmi and John Wartique finished second and third to Gatting on both occasions.

***Cooper MacNeil won the first race of the Ferrari Challenge North America series round at Sonoma after managing his tires to hold off a charging Jason McCarthy at the end.

Photo: HRT

News and Notes

***Former HWA managing board chairman Ulrich Fritz has joined Haupt Racing Team as its CEO. Fritz, whose role at the HWA race team and engineering group included responsibility for Mercedes’ title-winning factory program in the DTM, takes over the operational side of the HRT business from team owner Haupt who will focus on his driving roles in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the NLS.

***The DTM is rescheduling its round at the Norisring after the circuit’s original July date was deemed unfeasible due to the coronavirus pandemic and pending approval from the City of Nuremberg. “We are examining the possibilities for rescheduling to the autumn until the end of May,” said Motorsport Club Nürnberg chairman Wolfgang Schlosser. “The City of Nuremberg has assured us its favorable support.”

***Timo Glock will compete in the DTM with Schaeffler Paravan’s Space Drive technology installed in his ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3. The steer-by-wire system is also being used by Muecke Motorsport Mercedes-AMG driver Gary Paffett this season.

***The opening round of the ADAC GT Masters season at Oschersleben on May 15-16 will take place without spectators, the championship announced last Friday.

Image: Simon Green Motorsport

***Simon Green Motorsport has committed to an Intelligent Money British GT Championship program with a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo. Its drivers will be Ferrari Challenge UK champion Lucky Khera and 2014 British GT4 champion Ross Wylie.

***Century Motorsport has named both of its driver pairings for the British GT season. Will Burns and Gus Burton will race in Silver Cup, while Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke will team up with a new co-driver Chris Salkeld for the Pro-Am entry. Century’s BMW M4 GT4s are set to compete in a new Evo specification.

***Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe has pledged financial support to teams running Toyota GR Supra GT4s in the new Iberia-based Supercars Endurance series. The highest-finishing ‘TGR Trophy’ competitor will receive a €5000 prize.

***KCMG has launched its own dedicated driver academy. The KCMG Driver Development Project (KCMG-DDP) includes on and off-track tuition, driver management and financial support. 15-year-old Irish racer Alex Dunne, who drives in Spanish F4, is the initiative’s first confirmed member.

On this weekend: Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup (Magny-Cours), Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS (The Bend), Nürburgring 24 qualifying race (Nürburgring)

John Dagys contributed to this report.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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