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Weekend Racing Roundup, 6.23

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

Photo: DPPI

Photo: DPPI

One week after the 24 Hours of Le Mans and racing continues all over the world. We’ve covered the Nürburgring 24 and the Pirelli World Challenge round at Road America in in-depth reports, but there was more this weekend.

Jerez hosted the third round of GT Open, British GT raced at Snetterton and the French GT championship was on the WTCC support bill at Spa-Francorchamps. Here’s the Sportscar365 Weekend Racing Roundup of June 23.

Championnat de France FFSA GT
The French GT championship supported the FIA WTCC at Spa-Francorchamps and Belgian Audi Club Team WRT used the opportunity to give André Lotterer and Benoit Tréluyer a run at the circuit ahead of next month’s Total 24 Hours of Spa.

Morgan Moullin-Traffort and Philippe Giauque scored their first win in a rather chaotic first race in the Ardennes. Enzo Ide and Raymond Narac were 1-2 before the pit stops, but handicap-times resulted in Narac’s teammate Nicolas Armindo taking the lead before suffering a puncture. Moullin-Traffort inherited the lead.

15 minutes before the end the safety car was deployed and with five minutes to go the race was restarted, with Moullin-Traffort now leading Lotterer. In the final minutes both Lotterer and Tréluyer went off at the Raidillon, while Armindo spun at the last corner. Moullin-Traffort went on to win his first race of the season.

On Sunday Morgan Moullin-Traffort held onto the lead into La Source, while Lotterer dropped from second to fourth. The German was soon back in third place, chasing Ludovic Badey and Moullin-Traffort. When the drivers came in for their mandatory stop Moullin-Traffort was eight seconds clear of Badey, with Lotterer right behind.

After the stops Jean-Luc Beaubelique led, but he suffered a puncture and as a result Philippe Giauque took the lead, with Enzo Ide right behind him. 40 minutes into the race Ide passed Giauque to take the lead. After a brief safety car period the race was restarted, Giauque suffered a puncture and Ide went on to win for WRT, finishing 2.7 seconds ahead of the IMSA Porsche.

Race 1 – 1. Team SOFREV ASP (Giauque/Moullin-Traffort) Ferrari, 2. Sébastien Loeb Racing (Hassid/Parisy) Audi, 3. Sainteloc Racing (Hallyday/Guilvert) Audi.
Race 2 – 1. Belgian Audi Club Team WRT (Lotterer/Ide) Audi, 2. IMSA Performance Matmut (Narac/Armindo) Porsche, 3. Sébastien Loeb Racing (Hassid/Parisy) Audi

Photo: FOTOSPEEDY

Photo: FOTOSPEEDY

International GT Open
The third round of the 2014 International GT Open series took place at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain. After four Corvette victories in the first four races of the season there were wins for Ferrari this weekend and an impressive series debut for the Nova Race Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.

The SMP Racing Ferrari 458 Italia of Daniel Zampieri took the lead at the start by passing the Team Novadriver Audi R8 LMS ultra of Cesar Campanico. After the mandatory stops the top two remained the same with Roman Mavlanov leading the race and Team Novadriver’s Aditya Patel in second place.

Mavlanov kept Patelo behind and went on to win SMP Racing’s first GT Open race of the season, ahead of the Team Novadriver Audi and the AF Corse Ferrari of Giorgio Roda and Paolo Ruberti. All three Super GT Corvettes had a race to forget. Two Corvettes retired with technical issues, while Nicky Pastorelli and Miguel Ramos only managed a seventh-place finish.

Scuderia Villorba Corse took their first win of the season in race two on Sunday. AF Corse’s Michele Rugolo started from pole and kept the lead, while behind him Giorgio Roda and Stefano Constantini went off into the barriers early in the race. As the pit window was about to open Rugolo led, followed by José Pérez Aicart and Niccolò Schirò.

Rugolo’s team mate Claudio Sdanewitsch was still leading after the pit stops, ahead of the SMP Racing Ferrari of Viacheslav Maleev and Craig Dolby’s Nissan. On lap 23 Dolby moved into second place, while Andrea Montermini moved into fourth. Five laps later a charging Montermini passed Dolby to take second and on the penultimate lap the Villorba Corse Ferrari took the lead, with Dolby also passing Sdanewitsch to finish second overall and first in GTS.

Race 1 – 1. SMP Racing (Mavlanov/Zampieri) Ferrari, 2. Team Novadriver (Campaniço/Patel) Audi, 3. AF Corse (Roda/Ruberti) Ferrari.
Race 2 – 1. Scuderia Villorba Corse (Montermini\Schirò) Ferrari, 2. Nova Race (Dolby/Bontempelli) Nissan, 3. AF Corse (Sdanewitsch/Rugolo) Ferrari.

Photo: British GT

Photo: British GT

Avon Tyres British GT Championship
Round four of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship brought the teams to Snetterton in Norfolk. After a three-hour race at Silverstone last month, the drivers faced two one-hour sprint races this weekend.

In race one on Saturday Marco Attard in the pole-sitting Ecurie Ecosse BMW and Jody Firth in a Trackspeed Porsche 997 GT3 R pulled away. AF Corse’s Pasin Lathouras was third, but Lathouras was not fast enough to keep up with the leading cars and he held up the other cars, allowing the leaders to pull away.

During the pit stops Trackspeed’s Phil Keen, who had eventually passed Lathouras, moved into the lead – courtesy of a shorter pit stop than the BMW. Attard’s team mate Jonny Cocker returned the BMW Z4 GT3 in second place, but he was unable to find a way past the Porsche. He settled for second place and important championship points.

On Sunday it was an entirely different podium at the end of the second one-hour race. The race was red-flagged after only a couple of minutes when John Gaw, Andy Schulz and Luke Hines crashed at Riches Corner and damaging the barrier. After the barrier was repaired the race was restarted, with Jonny Adam pulling away from Adam Carroll at the front.

The top two was unchanged after the pit stops and Andrew Howard managed to keep FF Corse’s Gary Eastwood behind. After an hour racing Howard crossed the line nearly 14 seconds ahead of Eastwood. Paul White finished third, another 10 seconds further behind.

Race 1 – 1. Trackspeed (Keen/Minshaw) Porsche, 2. Ecurie Ecosse (Cocker/Attard) BMW, 3. Triple Eight (Osborne/Mowle) BMW.
Race 2 – 1. Beechdean AMR (Howard/Adam) Aston Martin, 2. FF Corse (Eastwood/Carroll) Ferrari, 3. Strata 21 (Onslow-Cole/White) Aston Martin.

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

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