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Weekend Racing Roundup, 5.19

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

Photo: VLN

Photo: VLN

It’s another Sportscar365 Weekend Racing Roundup, updating you on what happened away from the Blancpain Sprint Series at Brands Hatch and the European Le Mans Series at Imola. This week we cover round four of VLN at the Nürburgring and the first round of the 2014 GT Asia Series from Korea and a brief update on the Super Race Car Series from Japan.

The fourth round of the VLN championship took place on Saturday and resulted in the first win of the season for Black Falcon and Mercedes. Lance David Arnold, Andreas Simonsen and Christian Menzel won the 45th Adenauer ADAC simfy-Trophy with their Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 after 18 laps of racing.

The BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 of Jörg Müller and Uwe Alzen finished in second place, just over half a minute behind the Black Falcon Mercedes. Frikadelli Racing Team (Klaus Abbelen, Sabine Schmitz, Patrick Huisman and Frank Stippler) completed the podium on the Nürburgring.

Black Falcon started the race from pole position, set the fastest lap during the race and ended on the top step of the podium, after the race was red-flagged with just under an hour remaining. An accident at ‘Döttinger Höhe’ resulted in a blocked track, littered with debris. The race director stopped the race and since the minimum distance to award full points was covered the race was not restarted.

Race – 1. Black Falcon (Arnold/Simonsen/Menzel) Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, 2. BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS (Müller/Alzen) BMW Z4 GT3, 3. Frikadelli Racing Team (Abbelen/Schmitz/Huisman/Stippler) Porsche 997 GT3 R.

Photo: GT Asia Series

Photo: GT Asia Series

GT Asia Series
The 2014 GT Asia Series got underway with two 60-minute races at the Korea International Circuit this weekend. In the first race it was McLaren factory driver Rob Bell in the Clearwater Racing McLaren MP4-12C GT3 who took the lead and held onto it until handing over the car to teammate Hiroshi Hamaguchi.

Keita Sawa stayed out for an extra lap, allowing his teammate Weng Sun to close the gap to Hamaguchi. A safety car period, as a result of Jeffrey Lee retiring his Audi R8 LMS ultra with a clutch failure, put the field back together again – despite picking up the wrong car and allowing Hamaguchi to pass as well. It took a while to sort everything out before the race was restarted. Upon the restart Craft Bamboo Racing’s Frank Yu tried to pass Weng Sun, but there was contact and moments later Weng Sun was out of the race.

Meanwhile Spirit of Race driver Anthony Liu had caught Hamaguchi and onto the final lap he was right behind the McLaren. Just when it seemed that Hamaguchi would win it he spun the McLaren at turn 10, handing the win to Anthony Liu and Davide Rizzo.

Anthony Liu held onto the lead at the start of race two and pulled away from Clearwater Racing’s Hiroshi Hamaguchi, Absolute Racing’s Matt Solomon and Craft Bamboo Racing’s Frank Yu. Hamaguchi lost a position to Solomon just before the mandatory pit stops. Liu pitted early and handed the Ferrari over to Davide Rizzo. Solomon handed his Audi over to Alex Yoong, who returned the car in the lead, courtesy of not having a pit stop penalty.

Soon though Rizzo was right behind the Malaysian driver again. Yoong used the advantage of his new tires to pull away again, but he was then forced to stop in the pits with damage and retired from the race with ten minutes remaining. The Spirit of Race Ferrari went on to win its second race, Rizzo finishing just two seconds ahead of the Clearwater Racing McLaren of Rob Bell.

Race 1 – 1. Spirit of Race (Liu/Rizzo) Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, 2. Clearwater Racing (Hamaguchi/Bell) McLaren MP4-12C GT3, 3. Craft Bamboo Racing (Luff/Yu) Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

Race 2 – 1. Spirit of Race (Liu/Rizzo) Ferrari Italia GT3, 2. Clearwater Racing (Hamaguchi/Bell) McLaren MP4-12C GT3, 3. NB Team (Wiser/Xin) Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

Photo: Direction Racing

Photo: Direction Racing

Super Car Race Series
Fuji Speedway hosted the second weekend of the Super Car Race Series. Only nine cars were on the grid for the opening weekend at Motegi last month, but there were 14 cars competing at Fuji Speedway this weekend.

Having already won the first two races the No. 27 Direction Racing / K’s Frontier Ferrari 458 Italia went on to win the third race of the season. On Saturday it was the Team KRM Porsche 911 GTR that finished the race in first place, 71 seconds in front of the Ferrari, but it was excluded after the race as it was found to be under the minimum weight.

Despite the setback on Saturday Team KRM didn’t give up and won its first race on Sunday. The Porsche passed the Ferrari on lap nine and then gradually pulled away from the K’s Frontier Direction Racing Ferrari, finishing nearly a minute ahead of the No. 27 car after 34 laps.

Race 1 – 1. K’s Frontier Direction Racing (Iida/Mizutani) Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, 2. Shift (Ito/Takeuchi) Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, 3. Age-Age-Racing (Naoryu) Ferrari 458 Challenge.

Race 2 – 1. Team KRM (Takagi/Takashi) Porsche 997 GT3 R, 2. K’s Frontier Direction Racing (Iida/Mizutani) Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, 3. Age-Age-Racing (Naoryu) Ferrari 458 Challenge.

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.

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