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Weekend Racing Roundup, 3.17

Catch up on the latest action from around the world of sports car racing…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

In this week’s Sportscar365 Weekend Racing Roundup we will bring you race updates from Sebring where IMSA Prototype Lites and IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA joined the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Also featured this week is the inaugural Dunlop 12H Italy-Mugello.

IMSA Prototype Lites
The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda season kicked off with Mikhail Goikhberg sweeping both rounds and new talent rising at Sebring International Raceway.

Goikhberg, piloting the No. 10 JDC MotorSports Elan DP02, drove to 2.895-second victory in Thursday’s opening 30-minute round. He maintained a steady gap over the No. 27 Performance Tech entry of Craig Duerson, who finished second overall and first in the Masters class.

In Friday’s 45-minute Race 2, Goikhberg held off a hard-charging Dalton Sergeant, who scored a double podium finish in his sports car racing debut for 8Star Motorsports. The 15-year-old closed in on the JDC MotorSports driver in the final moments after passing Duerson with two laps remaining.

BAR1 Motorsports’ Brian Alder swept both races in the Lites 2 category, maintaining his undefeated record in Lites competition.

Race 1 – 1. JDC MotorSports (Mikhail Goikhberg) Elan DP02, 2. Performance Tech Motorsports (Craig Duerson) Elan DP02, 3. 8Star Motorsports (Dalton Sargeant) Elan DP02

Race 2 – 1. JDC MotorSports (Mikhail Goikhberg) Elan DP02, 2. 8Star Motorsports (Dalton Sargeant) Elan DP02, 3. Performance Tech Motorsports (Craig Duerson) Elan DP02

IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA
Angel Benitez Jr. completed his second consecutive event sweep in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA competition in last weekend’s season-opener in Sebring.

Benitez drove his No. 05 Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to a 3.103-second victory over Kelly-Moss Motorsports’ Colin Thompson in Thursday’s Race 1, leading every lap of the 45-minute race.

He repeated on Friday in a near mirror-image run, edging out Thompson by 3.735 seconds this time. Benitez led all 22 laps. Sloan Urry completed the podium in third in the Hertz-sponsored No. 20 JDX Racing entry

Gold Cup class honors went to William Peluchiwski (Race 1) and Patrick-Otto Madsen (Race 2).

Race 1 – 1. Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport (Angel Benetiz Jr.), 2. Kelly-Moss Motorsports (Colin Thompson), 3. Mark Motors Racing (Marco Cirone)

Race 2 – 1. Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport (Angel Benetiz Jr.), 2. Kelly-Moss Motorsports (Colin Thompson), 3. JDX Racing (Sloan Urry)

Dunlop 12H Italy-Mugello
AF Corse won the first Dunlop 12H Italy-Mugello this weekend after an intense battle with Dubai 24H winners Stadler Motorsport.

Problems in the first part of the race on Frday resulted in Felipe Barreiros, Ilya Melnikov and father and son Talkanitsa starting part two three laps down on the leading Hofor Racing Mercedes.

Hofor dropped out of contention for the win in the second part, handing the lead to Stadler Motorsport. A great comeback by the Ferrari team resulted in an exciting battle in the final hours and the race was decided in the final round of pit stops.

Stadler opted for new tires, AF Corse went for fuel only and that resulted in AF Corse moving into first place. They held onto that position until the finish.

Race – 1. AF Corse (Ferrari 458), 2. Stadler Motorsport (Porsche 997), 3. Hofor Racing (Mercedes)

Marcel ten Caat (@marceltencaat) is a contributor to Sportscar365 and other publications including Autosport.nl.

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