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Racing Roundup

Weekly Racing Roundup (7.15.19)

Reports from VLN, Australian GT, GT Open, GT4 Euro, TC America and Saleen Cup…

Photo: VLN

Black Falcon Leads Mercedes 1-2 in VLN 4

Black Falcon came out on top in a close battle with rival Mercedes-AMG team GetSpeed Performance in VLN 4 on Saturday.

Patrick Assenheimer and Manuel Metzger took the No. 6 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 to a two-second victory over Philip Ellis and Marek Böckmann’s GetSpeed car.

The race ended with Metzger and Ellis engaged in a close battle for the lead that did result in some light contact between the pair.

Walkenhorst dropped back from the lead battle in its last pit stop, two laps before the finish, and finished third but only 14 seconds off the lead.

Christian Krognes, David Pittard and Jody Fannin drove that team’s No. 34 BMW M6 GT3.

Konrad Motorsport took the SP9 Pro-Am win with its fifth-placed Lamborghini Huracan GT3, while Walkenhorst claimed SP9 Am honors from eighth overall.

Black Falcon Team Identica was the best-placed GT4 car with its SP10-entered Mercedes, finishing ahead of Team AVIA Sorg Rennsport’s BMW M4 GT4.


Photo: Australian GT

Van Gisbergen, Talbot Win Australian GT Enduro at The Bend

Shane van Gisbergen and Liam Talbot won Saturday’s three-hour race at The Bend Motorsport Park, the second round of the CAMS Australian Endurance Championship.

A bold strategy call paid off for Trofeo Motorsport when it elected to call van Gisbergen in for his third and final compulsory stop with 68 minutes on the clock during a safety car period.

The Lamborghini Huracan GT3 dropped a lap down by the time the race restarted but was able to make it to the line without another stop.

Rival teams completed their final stops later on, with van Gisbergen able to solidify a 38-second lead in the process, running ahead of Ryan Simpson.

A puncture took Simpson’s McLaren 720S GT3 out of contention late on, moving Garth Tander into the runner-up position, where he would finish, 15 seconds behind van Gisbergen.

Tander shared his Audi Sport Team Valvoine R8 LMS GT3 Evo with Geoff Emery and finished ahead of pole-sitters Peter Hackett and Dom Storey’s Eggleston Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Photo: GT Open

Emil Frey, Teo Martin Drivers Level on GT Open Points After Red Bull Ring

The lead of International GT Open’s championship standings is tied between Emil Frey Racing and Teo Martin Motorsport driver pairs after the latest round at the Red Bull Ring.

Victory in the first race in Austria put Albert Costa and Giacomo Altoe into the lead by two points, but Martin Kodric and Henrique Chaves closed the gap by finishing fourth in Race 2.

Costa and Altoe gave Emil Frey Racing its fifth win of the year on Saturday, making the move into the lead in the pit lane.

Altoe finished 14 seconds clear of the Senkyr Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 of Beitske Visser and Richard Gonda, while Kodric and Chaves were third.

The Race 1 winners had a less successful run on Sunday, with their Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo finishing fifth, one position behind their Teo Martin title rivals.

The win in GT Open’s 200th race went to Jonny Adam and Ollie Wilkinson, driving an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 for Optimum Motorsport, meanwhile.

With 8 of 14 races completed, Costa/Altoe and Chaves/Kodric are tied on 70 points.

RESULTS: Race 1; Race 2

Photo: SRO

Phoenix, MDM Share GT4 Wins at Zandvoort

Phoenix Racing’s Nicolaj Moller-Madsen and Cedric Freiburghaus and MDM Motorsport drivers Alec Udell and Simon Knap all stood on the top step of the podium in the GT4 European Series rounds at Zandvoort.

Freiburghaus and reigning champion Moller-Madsen picked up their first win of the season on Saturday, driving the No. 1 Phoenix-run Audi R8 LMS GT4. 

The Dane passed Pirelli GT4 America regular Nicolai Elghanayan for the lead after the pit stops, and went on to win by six seconds.

Elghanayan settled for third in his KTM X-Bow GT4 after being passed by V8 Racing’s Olivier Hart late in the race.

Udell and Knap celebrated their third win of the year on Sunday, with the latter making the deciding move on Euan McKay shortly before the pit window opened.

MDM’s No. 25 BMW M4 GT4 finished 1.2 seconds ahead of Ekris’ M4, driven by McKay and Ricardo van der Ende. 

The start of Race 2 was marred by a heavy accident on the run down to the start line that took six cars out of the contention. 

The race was red-flagged for the lengthy clean-up period, although all drivers involved escaped uninjured.

RESULTS: Race 1; Race 2

Photo: Gavin Baker/SRO

Hurczyn Opens Up TC America TCR Points Lead With Portland Win

Michael Hurczyn holds a 44-point lead in the TC America TCR standings after a win and a third-place finish in the weekend’s races at Portland International Raceway.

The FCP Euro driver finished third in Race 1 at the Oregon circuit, which Mason Filippi won, before claiming his third victory of the year on Sunday. 

Filippi stayed out front for the entirety of Race 1, surving pressure from Hurczyn’s teammate Nate Vincent to take his Hyundai Veloster N TCR to a narrow win.

Vincent ran second for most of Race 2, but this time trailing his teammate Hurczyn, who started from pole in the No. 71 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.

The pair finished separated by 0.981 at the line, with Filippi completing the podium.

A lengthy Full Course Yellow period halted the race midway through after a crash for TCA driver Robert Crocker. The field went green again for a short five-minute shootout to the checkered flag.

RESULTS: Race 1; Race 2

Photo: SRO America

Saleen Cup Holds Inaugural Race 

The one-make Saleen Cup held its inaugural race at Portland International Raceway on Sunday.

Despite supply issues forcing the first race of the weekend to be canceled, a field of six Saleen S1 Cup cars took part in a 50-minute contest that was ultimately won by Paul Terry and Brandon Davis.

Terry overtook Zachary Lee for the lead after 18 minutes with a dive up the inside into the Turn 6 left-hander.

Davis then consolidated the red and white No. 2 car’s advantage through the mid-race driver changes and went on to build a 50-second advantage over Lee’s co-driver Bryce Miller to the checkered flag.

Carter Fartuch and Austin Riley completed the top three ahead of Johan Schwartz and Molly Saleen as four cars finished.

An incident at the opening corner put the Cameron Lawrence/David Kemper car out with a broken wheelbase following contact with another car, while Hanna Zellers and Martina Kwan retired after completing eight laps.

The Saleen Cup’s next races are set for the SRO America weekend at Watkins Glen on August 31-September 1.

Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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