It’s another global Sportscar365 Weekend Racing Roundup as North America, Europe and Australia are all covered this week. One of the highlights of the weekend was the new SRT Viper GT3-R clinching its first competition victory in the Supercar Challenge Powered by Pirelli race at the famous Nürburgring.
ADAC GT Masters
Round three of the ADAC GT Masters season took place at the Lausitzring. HTP Motorsport drivers Maximilian Götz and Maximilian Buhk won the first race on Saturday. The Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 moved into second place at the start and inherited the lead when the pole sitting Callaway Competition Corvette of Daniel Keilwitz and Oliver Gavin lost time during the pit stops, due to a gearbox issue. The Corvette dropped to fifth but got into a three-way battle for third place, which it won on the last lap.
In race two it was the Corvette of Jeroen Bleekemolen that took the lead at the start of race two, but on lap two Dominik Baumann and René Rast overtook the Dutchman. Rast was unable to keep up with Baumann, who handed over the PIXUM Team Schubert BMW to Claudia Hürtgen with an eight second lead. Rast’s team mate Kelvin van der Linde reduced the gap to just 2.6 seconds, but was unable to challenge Hürtgen.
Race 1 – 1. HTP Motorsport (Götz/Buhk) Mercedes, 2.TONINO Team Herberth (Renauer/Siedler) Porsche, 3. Callaway Competition (Keilwitz/Gavin) Corvette.
Race 2 – 1. PIXUM Team Schubert (Baumann/Hürtgen) BMW, 2. Prosperia C. Abt Racing (Rast/van der Linde) Audi, 3. GW IT Racing Team Schütz Motorsport (Ragginger/Van Lagen) Porsche.
In only its tenth race (seven in North America and three in Europe) the new SRT Viper GT3-R notched up its first victory. At the Nürburgring Roger Grouwels and Arjan van der Zwaan won the first Supercar Challenge GT race on Saturday after a nice battle with the Volvo S60 V8 of Kelvin Snoeks. Snoeks initially led the race, but Van der Zwaan passed the Volvo before the pit stops. After the pit stops the gap the Volvo reduced the Viper’s lead to just under a second, which it remained until the finish.
On Sunday Kelvin Snoeks and his Volvo took the lead into turn one and were never seen again. Despite a safety car period and the mandatory pit stops Snoeks was able to keep everyone at bay and finished 3.7 seconds ahead of the Team RaceArt SRT Viper GT3-R.
Race 1 – 1. Team RaceArt (Grouwels/Van der Zwaan) SRT Viper, 2. Day-V-Tec (Snoeks) Volvo, 3. Martino Rosso Racing (Lanting/Herber) Ferrari.
Race 2 – 1. Day-V-Tec (Snoeks) Volvo, 2. Team RaceArt (Grouwels/Van der Zwaan) SRT Viper, 3. Martino Rosso Racing (Lanting/Herber) Ferrari.
IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA
Angel Benitez Jr. earned his third victory of the season, translating another pole-winning run into a race win Saturday at Lime Rock Park. The Venezuelan driver edged out the No. 25 NGT Motorsport Porsche of Christiana Nielsen by only 0.372 seconds.
Having started third on the grid, Nielsen passed Michael Schein for second on the second lap and never lost that spot. She cut the gap to Benitez in the closing laps but also was forced to keep an equal eye on her mirrors at the hard-charging Sloan Urry and Michael Lewis, who finished third and fourth, respectively. Nielsen became only the second female driver to earn a podium finish in the Platinum Cup class in the 10-year history of the series.
Round 6 of the season, also scheduled for Saturday, was abandoned due to unsuitable conditions on course caused by heavy rain in addition to a local curfew. IMSA has yet to announce if the round will be replaced later in the season.
Race 1 – 1. Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport (Angel Benitez Jr.), 2. NGT Motorsport (Christiana Nielsen), 3. JDX Racing (Sloan Urry)
Race 2 – Canceled due to rain/conditions
Australian GT Championship
The second round of the Australian GT Championship was held at the Phillip Island circuit and it was a weekend affected by bad weather, delays and safety cars. In the end, which came earlier than planned because of circuit time restrictions, it was the VIP Petfoods Aston Martin Vantage of Tony Quinn and Garth Tander that won the race.
Erebus Motorsport controlled the first part of the race, only briefly losing the lead when Richard Muscat checked if there was a problem with the car. In the final part of the race a charging Garth Tander caught the Mercedes and with just a couple of minutes remaining Tander passed Jack Le Brocq and went on to win the race when the checkered flag was shown after 82 laps.
Race – 1. VIP Petfoods (Quinn/Tander) Aston Martin, 2. Erebus Motorsport (Muscat/Le Brocq) Mercedes, 3. Il Bello Rosso (Edwards/Bowe) Ferrari.