After a relatively calm weekend because of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it was an action-packed weekend again last weekend.
Here’s the roundup of what happened at the Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Slovakiaring, Red Bull Ring, Paul Ricard, Zolder, Fuji Speedway and Thailand’s Chang International Circuit.
ADAC GT Masters
The third race weekend of the 2015 ADAC GT Masters season was held at Spa-Francorchamps. After wins for the Lamborghini Gallardo and Lamborghini Hurácan in Austria it was time for BMW and Mercedes in Belgium, making it six different winners in six races in 2015.
On Saturday pole sitter and championship leader Sebastian Asch in the Team Zakspeed Mercedes led from GW IT Racing Team Schütz Motorsport Porsche driver Martin Ragginger. Behind them BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert driver Jens Klingmann didn’t have the best of starts, but once he had found the right rhythm he was unstoppable.
After a brief safety car period Klingmann passed Ragginger and Asch to take the lead, which he extended to 8.8 seconds when handing over to teammate Dominik Baumann. The Austrian driver held onto the lead and won the race, with Zakspeed’s Luca Ludwig finishing just over seven seconds behind.
In the rain-affected second race, which was red flagged on the formation lap, Ludwig began to chase Bernd Schneider from the start. They battled until the safety car was deployed because of the bad weather.
At the restart the Callaway Corvette joined the fight and took the lead, before making its pit stop. After the stops Hari Proczyk took the lead, with Asch taking second from Andres Wirth. When Proczyk was given a stop-and-go, Asch took the lead and kept it until the finish.
Race 1 – 1. BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert (Klingmann/Baumann) BMW, 2. Team Zakspeed (Asch/Ludwig) Mercedes, 3. Bentley Team HTP (Stolz/Bleekemolen) Bentley.
Race 2 – 1. Team Zakspeed (Asch/Ludwig) Mercedes, 2. Callaway Competition (Wirth/Keilwitz) Corvette, 3. kfzteile24 MS Racing (Stoll/Basseng) Audi.
Super GT (GT500)
Round three of the 2015 AUTOBACS Super GT Series was held at Thailand’s Chang International Circuit. In very hot conditions (37ºC / 98.6ºF) the No. 46 S Road MOLA Nissan GT-R of Satoshi Motoyama and Masataka Yanagida claimed victory, the team’s first win since the Autopolis round in 2012.
Yuji Tachikawa in the No. 38 ZENT CERUMO Lexus RC F took the lead, but after Motoyama had moved into second place on lap four Tachikawa’s lead began to disappear.
On lap 19 Motoyama had closed the gap and six laps later he passed the No. 38 Lexus. Motoyama got stuck behind a GT300 car, allowing Tachikawa to reclaim the lead, but on lap 34 Motoyama moved back into first place again. After the stops Yanagida was in the lead, with Hiroaki Ishiura chasing him, until the Lexus suffered a problem and was forced to retire.
Race – 1. S Road MOLA (Motoyama/Yanagida) Nissan, 2. ENEOS SUSTINA (Oshima/Kunimoto) Lexus, 3. KEIHIN (Tsukakoshi/Mutoh) Honda.
Super GT (GT300)
The No. 3 B-MAX NDDP Nissan GT-R of Kazuki Hoshino and Mitsunori Takaboshi won the GT300 class race at Chang International Circuit, the second consecutive victory for the team on the Thai circuit.
Hoshino passed pole-sitter Takeshi Tsuchiya in the No. 25 VivaC Toyota 86 MC on the opening lap, with the No. 10 GAINER TANAX GT-R moving into second place not much later. Hoshino pulled away from the GAINER Nissan and when the teams made their pit stops the gap was already 13 seconds.
After all the teams had made their stops Takaboshi was back in the lead and continued to pull away. Five laps from the end the No. 3 began to slow down a bit, cruising to victory.
Race – 1. B-MAX NDDP (Hoshino/Takaboshi) Nissan, 2. GAINER TANAX (Couto/Tomita) Nissan, 3. Studie (Muller/Ara) BMW.
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup
Christopher Zöchling from Austria won his first ever Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race in front of a home crowd. The Fach Auto Tech driver moved into third place at the start and then closed the gap to the cars in front of him.
On lap six he overtook pole-sitter Connor de Phillippi, with fellow Austrian Philipp Eng passing the American one lap later. The two Austrian drivers went on to take a one-two victory, while de Phillippi eventually dropped to fourth, behind Spaniard Alex Riberas. Eng is the new Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup points leader.
Race – 1. Fach Auto Tech (Zöchling), 2. Market Leader Team by Project 1 (Eng), 3. The Heart of Racing by Lechner (Riberas).
Patrick Huisman, Klaus Abbelen and Sabine Schmitz secured the 200th win for Porsche in the German VLN series on Saturday. Frikadelli Racing’s Schmitzz battled with the Wochenspiegel Team Manthey Porsche of Oliver Kainz in the opening laps, until Kainz had an accident while lapping a slower car.
The Wochenspiegel Team Manthey Porsche returned to the pit and was retired, allowing the Frikadelli Porsche to take a comfortable lead. On its final pit stop the rear of the Porsche caught fire, but Abbelen was able to continue and went on to win the race after 27 laps, finishing 46 seconds clear of the second-placed Black Falcon Porsche.
Race – 1. Frikadelli Racing Team (Abbelen/Huisman/Schmitz) Porsche, 2. Black Falcon Team TMD Friction (‘Gerwin’/Metzger) Porsche, 3. Raceunion Teichmann Racing (Hennerici/Menzel) Porsche.
Supercar Challenge Powered by Pirelli
The Supercar Challenge Powered by Pirelli teams raced at Zolder and it was Dutchman Henry Zumbrink in the Volvo S60 V8 who won the first race of the weekend.
Jeffrey van Hooydonk took the lead and led comfortably until the pit stops, when he handed the car over to Nicolas Vandierendonck. After the pit stops Zumbrink was in the lead, ahead of the Corvette and the Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R of Roger Grouwels. Grouwels passed the Corvette on lap 32, but couldn’t catch the Volvo.
In race two, Vandierendonck lost two places at the start, but got a position back when Zumbrink was forced to park his Volvo. After the pit stops Van Hooydonk picked up the pace and set the fastest lap of the race. When Grouwels was given a drive through penalty for a short pit stop the Corvette inherited the lead and went on to win the race.
Race 1 – 1. Volvo Reede Racing by DayVTec (Zumbrink) Volvo, 2. Team RaceArt (Grouwels) Viper, 3. Shipex SRT Racing (Vandierendonck/Van Hooydonk) Corvette.
Race 2 – 1 . Shipex SRT Racing (Vandierendonck/Van Hooydonk) Corvette, 2. Team RaceArt (Grouwels) Viper, 3. BlueBerry Racing (Van Elk) Mosler.
Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe
Bonaldi Motorsport driver Patrick Kujala scored his fifth win in as many races at Circuit Paul Ricard in the first race of the weekend. Daniel Zampieri led from the start until the pit stops, but teammate Roman Mavlanov had to serve a stop-and-go penalty for a pit stop infringement. Kujala took the lead and managed his fifth win in a row.
In race two Antonelli Motorsport drivers Zampieri and Mavlanov ended Kujala’s domination. The Finnish driver took the lead early on, but was eventually passed by Mavlanov. Kujala’s day got worse when he spun first and was given a stop-and-go later. Zampieri took over from Mavlanov and secured their first win of the season.
Race 1 – 1. Bonaldi Motorsport (Kujala), 2. Imperiale Racing (Cerqui/Barri), 3. Raton Racing (Niederhauser/Liberati).
Race 2 – 1. Antonelli Motorsport (Zampieri/Mavlanov), 2. Vincenczo Sospiri Racing (Michimi/Cozzolino), 3. Team Lazarus (Campana/Crestani).
GT4 European Series
The GT4 European Series joined the ADAC GT Masters at Spa-Francorchamps for the fourth round of the season. The yellow Sin R1 GT4 of Rosen Daskalov did not race at Spa after its massive crash at the Red Bull Ring, but Jorg Viebahn was back on track, albeit with a BMW M3 GT4 rather than a new Aston Martin.
Bulgarian driver Pavel Lefterov won his first race of the season on Saturday. Ricardo van der Ende pulled away at the start, but was given a drive-through penalty, allowing Duncan Huisman to take the lead.
Huisman was then attacked by Ginetta driver Luke Davenport, but as the two fought, Lefterov took advantage and passed them both into Les Combes. The Lotus Evora GT4 would lead the rest of the race.
Lefterov started race two from pole position and on a wet Spa-Francorchamps circuit the Bulgarian driver kept the Camaro drivers at bay. With Lefterov in the lead Huisman was given a set of new wet tyres, but on a drying track he was unable to close the gap as he had to look after the tires in the end.
Race 1 – 1. ASC Bulavto Racing (Lefterov) Lotus, 2. V8 Racing (Huisman/Van Es) Camaro, 3. V8 Racing (Beelen/Nooren) Camaro.
Race 2 – 1. ASC Bulavto Racing (Lefterov) Lotus, 2. V8 Racing (Huisman/Van Es) Camaro, 3. V8 Racing (Beelen/Nooren) Camaro.
Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia
The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia Series got its season underway at Fuji International Speedway, with 17 cars competing in the opening round. David Rizzo started race one from pole position and he fought with Afiq Yazid for the overall win.
Sri Lankan and Indian drivers Dilantha Malagamuwa and Armaan Ebrahim went on to win the second race of the weekend, which was a wet race. Pole-sitter Davide Rizzo also lost a place to Yudai Uchida and finished in third place.
Euro Series by Nova Race
Round two of the Euro Series by Nova Race was held at the Slovakiaring. Salvador Tineo Arroyo, racing a Ginetta G50, won the first race of the weekend on the 5.922 km long circuit in Slovakia. The Reiter Engineering KTM X-Bow of Naomi Schiff and Reinhard Kofler won the second race on Sunday.