Wittmann, Rast Take First Wins of Turbo DTM Era
Marco Wittmann and Rene Rast each scored a victory in the DTM opener at Hockenheim, the first races of the series’ new turbo formula.
While BMW Team RMG’s Wittmann scored the first win, the weekend as a whole was dominated by the factory Audi RS5 Turbo DTMs, which took the five remaining podium spots between the two races.
Rene Rast led an Audi 1-2-3 in his Team Rosberg entry on Sunday, finishing ahead of Nico Mueller and Robin Frijns, while Mike Rockenfeller and Frijns finished behind Wittmann in Race 1.
Audi and BMW factory entries filled the top positions in both races, although R-Motorsport did score a couple of top-ten results, with Paul di Resta finishing eighth on Sunday and Daniel Juncadella ninth on Saturday.
Di Resta started the first race from third position after an impressive qualifying result in his Aston Martin Vantage DTM, but the Scot was later forced to retire from the race.
WRT Team Audi Sport’s best result came with a tenth-place finish for Pietro Fittipaldi in the first race.
Its other driver Jonathan Aberdein gambled by running slick tires in the wet conditions on Saturday but this was to no avail as the track didn’t dry enough.
ZENT Cerumo Lexus Wins Thunderstorm-Affected Super GT Race at Fuji
Lexus Team ZENT Cerumo claimed victory in Saturday’s Super GT race at Fuji, which was red-flagged for a thunderstorm at the Shizuoka circuit.
Driving the No. 38 Lexus LC 500, Yuji Tachikawa and Hiroaki Ishiura engaged in a race-long battle with Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli’s No. 23 Nissan GT-R.
The two cars swapped positions on several occasions until Tachikawa reclaimed the lead with ten laps remaining and stayed out front until the end of the 500 km race.
Tachikawa had started from seventh position but made his way through the field in the rain before the red-flag period to pass polesitter Quintarelli and second-placed Nick Cassidy after 13 laps.
Reigning champions Jenson Button and Naoki Yamamoto finished third in their Team Kunimitsu Honda NSX-GT, putting all three GT500 brands on the podium.
GAINER’s Katsuyuki Hiranaka and Hironobu Yasuda took the GT300 class win in their No. 11 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
Yasuda took the lead early on after starting fourth in class, and the pair remained out front for the rest of the race despite pressure from Shinichi Takagi in the No. 55 ARTA Honda NSX GT3 Evo.
Emery on Top in Australian GT at Barbagallo
Geoff Emery was crowned winner of Round 2 of the CAMS Australian GT Championship after winning one of three races at Barbagallo.
The Valvoline Audi driver took victory in the third and final 40-minute race at the track near Perth, Western Australia, on Saturday.
It came after he finished runner-up in the weekend’s previous two races, giving him the most points of the weekend.
Seventeen-year-old Ryan How won Friday’s opener, becoming the youngest winner in Australian GT history after seeing off a determined charge from Emery.
Peter Major went on to claim victory in Race 2 after taking the lead from Emery during the pit stops.
How looked set for a second win in the final race until a mechanical failure hit his Audi R8 LMS Ultra at the final corner, allowing Emery to inherit the lead and claim victory.
Earlier in the race, How had been engaged in a battle for the lead with Major, who was later also forced to retire when a toe-link failed on his Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX.
True Racing, Leipert Share GT4 Wins at Brands Hatch
True Racing and Leipert Motorsport each score a win in the GT4 European Series rounds at Brands Hatch on Sunday.
Patric Niederhauser and Reinhard Kofler took their first win of the season in Race 1, driving True Racing’s KTM X-Bow GT4, while Max Koebolt and Jan Kisiel combined to win Race 2 with the No. 2 Leipert Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Niederhauser started the opening race from fifth on the grid but the team took the lead during the pit stop and Kofler was able to run the entirety of his stint out front.
The race was interrupted twice in the first half after Niki Leutwiler was pushed off track by a KTM and then the No. 66 Bullitt Racing Mercedes crashed separately into the pit wall.
Kofler ultimately finished three seconds ahead of Akhil Rabindra, whose PROsport Performance Aston Martin Vantage GT4 had started from pole with Florian Thoma at the wheel.
The Leipert Mercedes led for all of the second race after Kisiel took the lead from Equipe Verschuur’s Daniel McKay on the run down to Druids on the opening lap.
A quick stop allowed Koebolt to remain in the lead after the stops despite a gamble from McKay to stop earlier, and he stayed out front for the rest of the race, surviving a restart after a late-race safety car period.
News & Notes
***Mahindra Racing Formula E reserve driver Sam Dejonghe will race for Inter Europol Competition in the remaining European Le Mans Series rounds this season. The 27-year-old Belgian will co-drive the Polish squad’s Ligier JS P3 Nissan with Paul Scheuschner.
***Fist Team AAI claimed both victories in the second meeting of the 2019 China GT Championship at Ningbo. Nick Yelloly and Lam Yu claimed both wins in their BMW M6 GT3, with BMW factory driver Yelloly holding off Jazeman Jafaar and Adam Christodoulou to win race 1. The Briton’s Am co-driver Yu then made the pass for the win in the weekend’s second race, extending the AAI pair’s championship lead in the process.
Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report.