In this week’s Sportscar365 Weekend Racing Roundup we bring you race updates and results from the opening round of the VLN series at the Nürburgring, the first round of Australian GT from Sandown and Super Taikyu series in Japan.
The 2014 VLN season kicked off with the 60. ADAC Westfalenfahrt and it was a successful Saturday for Phoenix Racing. The Audi R8 LMS ultra of Laurens Vanthoor, Marc Basseng and Frank Stippler qualified on pole position and went on to win the four-hour race on the Nordschleife.
Stippler started the race and was still in the lead when he handed the Audi over to Vanthoor. Vanthoor held onto the lead during his stint and it was Basseng who got into the car for the final stint. As he passed a Renault Clio Basseng hit the slower car, resulting in an earlier than planned final pit stop. This briefly handed the lead to the No.2 BMW of Alzen and Wlasik, until they also made their stop.
Black Falcon and BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert completed the podium.
Race – 1. Phoenix Racing (Stippler/Vanthoor/Basseng) Audi R8 LMS ultra, 2. Black Falcon (Bleekemolen/Simonsen/Arnold) Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, 3. BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert (Klingmann/Baumann/Tomczyk) BMW Z4 GT3.
The opening round of the Australian GT championship took place at Sandown Park, Melbourne this weekend and it was Erebus Motorsport GT driver Richard Muscat who scored a double victory, having failed to make qualifying.
Muscat started race one from the back, made up several positions and took the lead after the timed compulsory pit stops, in which he was given a shorter time penalty than his rivals, virtue of failing to qualify. Muscat was unchallenged after the pit stops and eventually finished 20 seconds ahead of Klark Quinn’s McLaren.
On Sunday Muscat went on to claim back-to-back wins. The Mercedes driver retained the lead at the start and pulled clear of his rivals. A safety car period reduced his lead and as a result he dropped behind the Aston Martin DBRS9 of Ben Eggleston after the compulsory pit stops. Muscat battled for the lead with Eggleston, Tony Quinn and John Bowe and eventually took the lead. He finished the race more than two seconds clear of Bowe.
Race 1 – 1. Erebus Motorsport GT (Richard Muscat) Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, 2. VIP Petfoods (Klark Quinn) McLaren MP4-12C GT3, 3. Maranello Motorsport (John Bowe) Ferrari 458 Italia GT3
Race 2 – 1. Erebus Motorsport GT (Richard Muscat) Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, 2. Maranello Motorsport (Peter Edwards/John Bowe) Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, 3. Eggleston Motorsport (Ben Eggleston) Aston Martin DBRS9
Twin Ring Motegi was the location for the opening round of the Japanese Super Taikyu series. The event was dominated by bad weather, resulting in very difficult conditions for all the teams in the five hour endurance race.
In the pouring rain the Kondo Racing Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 of Tomonobu Fujii, ‘Gamisan’ and Daiki Sasaki notched their first win of the season. After completing 132 laps the Nissan finished a lap clear of the second placed Faust Racing BMW Z4.
The second GT3 (ST-X) car was the Direction Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra of Taiyou Iida, Tetsuo Ogino, Takashi Kobayashi and Shinichi Takagi.
Race – 1. Kondo Racing (Fujii/’Gamisan’/Sasaki) Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, 2. Faust Racing (Hori/Yamano/Yamano) BMW Z4, 3. Direction Racing (Iida/Ogino/Kobayashi/Takagi) Audi R8 LMS ultra.