After a quiet weekend, other than FIA WEC and Asian Le Mans, there was more GT action this weekend as the Supercar Challenge and Italian GT Championships held their final races of the season, with the championships still on the line heading into the final round. At a rather foggy Nordschleife the German teams raced in the ninth round of the VLN series. Here’s this week’s Sportscar365 Weekend Racing Roundup.
Black Falcon won the ninth round of the German VLN series at the Nürburgring Nordschleife on Saturday. Hubert Haupt, Manuel Metzger, Yelmer Buurman and Adam Christodoulou completed 28 laps on a foggy circuit.
The Black Falcon Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 qualified on pole position, held onto the lead at the start and fended off attacks by the Rowe Racing Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 of Christian Hohenadel and Klaus Graf during the race. A strong run by Hohenadel in the final hour saw him closing the gap to the leading Black Falcon car, but with less than 20 minutes to go a bearing failure sent the Rowe car into retirement.
Black Falcon went on to win, ahead of the new Twin Busch Motorsport Audi R8 LMS and the Manthey Racing-entered Porsche 991 GT3 R.
Race – 1. Black Falcon (Haupt/Metzger/Buurman/Christodoulou) Mercedes, 2. Twin Busch Motorsport (Busch/Busch/Basseng) Audi, 3. Manthey Racing (Tandy/Makowiecki) Porsche.
Campionato Italiano Gran Turismo
Scuderia Baldini 27’s Stefano Gattuso won the Italian GT Championship this weekend by winning the final race of the season at Mugello. Gattuso and teammate Matteo Malucelli beat Audi Sport Italia drivers Andrea Amici and Marco Mapelli in a direct battle in race two.
On Saturday Mapelli and Amici had won the first race of the weekend, while Mirko Bortolotti’s third place finish meant the Imperiale Racing driver was the points leader heading into the final race of the 2015 season.
The Lamborghini Gallardo retired on lap 9 of the second race, effectively ending Bortolotti’s chances to win the title. After the pit stops Gattuso was in fourth place, but the Ferrari driver quickly caught the leading Villorba Corse Ferrari and passed it on lap 23. Giovanni Berton was given a 25-second time penalty after the race, which meant Mapelli inherited second place in the race and also finished second in the championship.
Race 1 – 1. Audi Sport Italia (Mapelli/Amici) Audi, 2. Ebimotors (Postiglione/Donativi) Porsche, 3. Imperiale Racing (Bortolotti/Zaugg) Lamborghini
Race 2 – 1. Scuderia Baldini 27 (Gattuso/Malucelli) Ferrari, 2. Audi Sport Italia (Mapelli/Amici) Audi, 3. Audi Sport Italia (Zonzini/Capello) Audi.Supercar Challenge
Team RaceArt drivers Roger Grouwels and Kelvin Snoeks clinched the 2015 Supercar Challenge title with their Dodge Viper GT3-R. In the final race of the 2015 season at Assen the pair finished in fifth place, which was enough to secure the title.
Henry Zumbrink won the first race on Saturday with his Volvo S60 V8, though the focus was on the fight for the title between the Viper and the Corvette. At the start the Corvette failed to take the lead, while guest driver Peter Kox jumped the start and was penalized. The Viper returned to the pits for a quick check-up. Kox’ teammate Pronk failed to take a podium finish, dropping behind the Corvette (3rd) and Viper (4th).
In race two Van Hooydonk took the lead and pulled away after the start, with Pronk following him at distance. After the pit stops it was Peter Kox in the McLaren 650S GT3 against Nicolas Vandierendonck in the Corvette, a battle won by the experienced Dutch driver. The Corvette finished in second place, the Viper in fifth, but it was enough for Grouwels and Snoeks to win the title.
Race 1 – 1. Volvo Reede Racing by DayVTec (Zumbrink) Volvo, 2. Divitec Racing (Köhler/Kuijer) Solution F, 3. Shipex SRT Racing (Vandierendonck/Van Hooydonk) Corvette.
Race 2 – 1. Kox Racing (Kox/Pronk) McLaren, 2. Shipex SRT Racing (Vandierendonck/Van Hooydonk) Corvette, 3. Cor Euser Racing (Euser) Marcos.