It was a busy weekend in Europe with races at Spa-Francorchamps, Red Bull Ring, Silverstone and Zolder, while in France the Le Mans week got underway with scrutineering. A number of drivers set to race at Le Mans were in action in Belgium, Austria or the United Kingdom. A look back on what happened this weekend!
ADAC GT Masters
Bulls dominated at the Red Bull Ring, with a win for the Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX in race one and the first ADAC GT Masters victory for the new Lamborghini Huracán GT3 in the second race.
On Saturday it was the MRS GT Racing Nissan of Dominic Jöst that took the lead and held it until the mandatory pit stops. In the pits the Reiter Engineering team was quicker, which meant Enge rejoined in front of the Nissan. 20 minutes before the end of the race the Nissan slowed down, handing second to the Corvette of Daniel Keilwitz. The German caught Enge, but was unable to pass him.
Race two was another battle between Corvette and Lamborghini. Keilwitz led the race, before handing over to Andreas Wirth. Wirth continued the fight with the Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini, now driven by Adrian Zaugg, until five laps from the end when the Corvette driver was forced to pit with a problem. Zaugg took advantage and netted the first Lamborghini Huracán victory in a sprint race.
Race 1 – 1. Reiter Engineering (Russell/Enge) Lamborghini, 2. Callaway Competition (Wirth/Keilwitz) Corvette, 3. Team Zakspeed (Asch/Ludwig) Mercedes.
Race 2 – 1. Grasser Racing Team (Zaugg/Bortolotti) Lamborghini, 2. Reiter Engineering (Russell/Enge) Lamborghini, 3. Schütz Motorsport (Eng/Bachler) PorscheGT4 European Series
The GT4 European Series joined the ADAC GT Masters at the Red Bull Ring for round three of the season. It was an event that was overshadowed by the heavy crash at the end of race two, which ended without injuries fortunately.
In race one the ZaWotec KTM X-BOW GT4 of Peter Ebner and Sascha Halek claimed a lights-to-flag victory. Behind him Joerg Viebahn and Camaro drivers Marcel Nooren and Jelle Beelen battled for second, with Viebahn unable to pass the Camaro until the pit stop. The Camaro fought back and there was contact towards the end, but the Aston did finish in second place.
The Sin R1 GT4 cars started race two from pole, but Hendrik Still had to fight Duncan Huisman, until the moment the Dutchman was forced to retire. Nooren passed the race leading Sin R1, now driven by Rosen Daskalov. The Dutchman went on to win, but the Bulgarian dropped to fourth, before being taken out by Viebahn in a violent accident on the run down to the flag. Both cars were destroyed, both drivers were okay.
Race 1 – 1. ZaWotec (Ebner/Halek) KTM, 2. Mathol Racing (Viebahn) Aston Martin, 3. V8 Racing (Beelen/Nooren) Camaro.
Race 2 – 1. V8 Racing (Beelen/Nooren) Camaro, ZaWotec (Uckermann) KTM, 3. Ekris Motorsport (Knap/Severs) BMW.International GT Open
Despite the introduction of the new GT Open Cup at Silverstone this weekend, the third round of the 2015 series attracted just 12 entries, a disappointing number of cars for a series that was one of the best in Europe only a couple of years ago.
In race one it was the Teo Martín Motorsport McLaren 650S GT3 of Alvaro Parente and Miguel Ramos that took its first win of the season. Parente led from the start, but it was the Villorba Corse Ferrari that took the lead during the stops. Eventually Ramos passed the Ferrari again and went on to win the race.
Race two was all about Ferrari again. Phil Keen held the lead from pole, kept Rugolo behind and then handed over to Shaun Balfe. Balfe returned to the track with a 11-second lead over Raffaele Giammaria, but the Italian closed the gap and took the lead on lap 24. Five laps later he crossed the line to score the team’s second race win of the season.
Race 1 – 1. Teo Martín Motorsport (Parente/Ramos) McLaren, 2. Villorba Corse (Balzan/Benucci) Ferrari, 3. AF Corse (Lathouras/Rugolo)
Race 2 – 1. AF Corse (Perez-Companc/Giammaria) Ferrari, 2. Balfe Motorsport (Balfe/Keen) Ferrari, 3. Villorba Corse (Balzan/Benucci) Ferrari.French GT Championship
The French GT teams raced at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend and it was Sport Garage that took its third win of the season on Saturday, while IMSA Performance Matmut secured a race win on Sunday, the first Porsche victory of the season.
Stéphane Lémeret, Arno Santamato and Eric Cayrolle claimed victory in race one. Lémeret took the lead, but the Sport Garage Ferrari dropped behind the Team Duqueine car during the pit stops. Cayrolle overtook Duqueine again before the final stops, in which no position was lost and Santamato went on to win race one.
Race two saw Christopher Haase making a late stop, which allowed Jean-Paul Buffin to take the lead. Buffin was hit though and ended up in the gravel. Raymond Narac cut through the field from ninth to second place, before handing over to Olivier Pernaut. Pernaut was able to keep Philippe Giauque behind and went on to win race two.
Race 1 – 1. Sport Garage (Lemeret/Cayrolle/Santamato) Ferrari, 2. IMSA Performance Matmut (Pernaut/Narac/Dumez) Porsche, 3. Team Duqueine (Combot/Duqueine/Beltoise) Ferrari.
Race 2 – 1. IMSA Performance Matmut (Pernaut/Narac/Dumez) Porsche, 2. Team AKKA ASP (Giauque/Beaubelique/Moullin-Traffort) Ferrari, 3. Sébastien Loeb Racing (Hallyday/Gaillard/Parisy)Supercar Challenge
Kelvin Snoeks and Roger Grouwels won the first of two Supercar Challenge races at Spa-Francorchamps with their Dodge Viper GT3-R. The Viper started from pole, set the fastest race lap and were unstoppable on Saturday.
It was different on Sunday when Jurgen Smet and Jose Manuel Perez gave the Renault RS01 its first victory in the series. The Viper led until the pit stops, after that it was the RS01 in first place. Grouwels eventually got back into second place, but was unable to catch Perez.
Race 1 – 1. Team RaceArt (Grouwels/Snoeks) Viper, 2. Martino Rosso Racing (Lanting) Ferrari, 3. Shipex SRT Racing (Vandierendonck/Van Hooydonk) Corvette.
Race 2 – 1. Monlau Competition (Smet/Perez) Renault, 2. Team RaceArt (Grouwels/Snoeks) Viper, 3. BlueBerry Racing (Van Elk) Mosler