There’s action from Spa-Francorchamps, Mugello, Townsville, Zandvoort as well as Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in another international Sportscar365 Weekend Racing Roundup this week. From British GT to Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup, it’s all here!
Avon Tyres British GT Championship
Beechdean AMR Aston Martin drivers Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam won the two-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. Poleman Howard lost the lead to Liam Griffin, but the Oman Racing Team driver was given a penalty for jumping the start. That handed the lead back to Howard, but he was then overtaken by Stuard Leonard, before a double safety car bunched up the field.
Once the second safety car pulled in again Jonny Adam attacked Michael Meadows and soon after the restart the Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage was in the lead again. From that moment on nobody was able to catch Adam and the Scot went on to claim Beechdean AMR’s second win of the season, with Barwell Motorsport’s Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen taking second place, 18 seconds behind the winners.
Race – 1. Beechdean AMR (Howard/Adam) Aston Martin, 2. Barwell Motorsport (Minshaw/Keen) BMW, 3. Leonard AMR (Leonard/Meadows) Aston Martin.
Campionato Italiano Gran Turismo
Vincenczo Donativi and Vito Postiglione won race one of the Campionato Italiano Gran Turismo at Mugello this weekend, albeit by just a couple of tenths of a second. The frontrunners hit trouble early in the race and a safety car on lap 11 meant and several teams, including Ebimotors, opted to change drivers. Postiglione replaced Donativi and rejoined behind Emanuele Zonzini in the Audi. On lap 15 the Porsche passed the Audi and despite attempts to reclaim the lead, Postiglione went on to win race one ahead of Zonzini.
At the start of race two there was contact between Postiglione and Audi driver Marco Mapelli, with Zonzini taking the lead. Postiglione rejoined at the back, Mapelli was able to stay on track and keep second place. Zonzini came into the pit leading the race, but it was the Audi of Andrea Amici that led after all the stops were completed. Amici was unable to keep the ROAL Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 of Stefano Comandini behind him and on lap 21 the lead changed. Comandini won the race by nearly five seconds.
Race 1 – 1. Ebimotors (Donativi/Postiglione) Porsche, 2. Audi Sport Italia (Capello/Zonzini) Audi, 3. Ombra Racing (Frassineti/Beretta) Ferrari.
Race 2 – 1. ROAL Motorsport (Gagliardini/Comandini) BMW, 2. Audi Sport Italia (Mapelli/Amici) Audi, 3. Ombra Racing (Frassineti/Beretta) Ferrari.
Australian GT Championship
Round three of the Australian GT Championship was held at Townsville and in the one-hour long race one it was the Porsche GT3 R of Andrew MacPherson and Brad Shiels that took the checkered flag in first place.
After the race the officials handed the team a time penalty for not completing their Compulsory Pit Stop time, which added three minutes and 12 seconds to their total time. As a result the Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Tony D’Alberto and Grant Denyer inherited the race victory.
In the second race of the weekend it was the Skwirk / Beechwood Homes Audi R8 LMS ultra of Nathan Antunes that claimed victory. Courtesy of a shorter compulsory pit stop, Antunes jumped the Maranello Motorsport Ferrari out of the pits and even a late safety car period couldn’t prevent him from taking the race win, ahead of the Ferrari and three McLarens.
Race 1 – 1. Maranello Motorsport (D’Alberto/Denyer) Ferrari, 2. Darrel Lea (A. Quinn) McLaren, 3. Erebus Motorsport GT (Twigg/Emery) Mercedes.
Race 2 – 1. Skwirk / Beechwood Homes (Antunes) Audi, 2. Maranello Motorsport (D’Alberto/Denyer) Ferrari, 3. Darrel Lea (K. Quinn) McLaren
The Supercar Challenge teams raced at Zandvoort as part of the DTM support package, with one race on Saturday and a second on Sunday. Jeffrey van Hooydonk in the Corvette pulled away at the start, while Roger Grouwels (Viper) and Max and Max Koebolt (Volvo) battled for second place, until Koebolt had to park his car. After the pit stops Vandierendonck spun the Corvette and it was Henry Zumbrink’s Volvo who took the lead. Kelvin Snoeks (Viper) passed the Corvette a couple of laps later, but he was unable to attack the Volvo.
Zumbrink also won the second race on Sunday, but it wasn’t a lights-to-flag victory. Max Koebolt’s Volvo took the lead early on, ahead of Grouwels and Zumbrink. After a safety car period Zumbrink passed Grouwels. The mid-race pit stops reshuffled the order and it was Zumbrink who took the lead from Koebolt’s co-driver Pol Stoffel as the latter rejoined from the pits. Stoffel dropped down the order and Snoeks was unable to catch Zumbrink, who claimed his second win of the weekend.
Race 1 – 1. Volvo Reede Racing by DayVTec (Zumbrink) Volvo, 2. Team RaceArt (Grouwels/Snoeks) Viper, 3. Shipex SRT Racing (Vandierendonck/Van Hooydonk) Corvette.
Race 2 – 1. Volvo Reede Racing by DayVTec (Zumbrink) Volvo, 2. Team RaceArt (Grouwels/Snoeks) Viper, 3. BlueBerry Racing (Kohler/Kuijer) Solution F.
IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama
Elliott Skeer completed his first weekend sweep of the season in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA at the series’ lone trip north of the border to Canada, at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The Porsche scholarship winner led flag-to-flag in Saturday’s 34-lap Round 7, and beat Angel Benitez Jr. by 1.286 seconds. The win propelled the series rookie into the championship lead by one point over Jesse Lazare, who finished third.
Sunday’s Round 8 followed nearly an identical script, with Skeer again beating Benitez following a 34-lap, flag-to-flag romp. Marco Cirone, a Masters class driver, finished third ahead of Lazare.
The series resumes with Round 9 and 10 at Road America next month. Skeer now holds a seven-point lead over Lazare, 121-114.
Race 1 — 1. Wright Motorsports (Elliott Skeer), 2. JDX Racing (Angel Benitez Jr.), 3. Kelly-Moss Motorsports (Jesse Lazare)
Race 2 — 1. Wright Motorsports (Elliott Skeer), 2. JDX Racing (Angel Benitez Jr.), 3. Mark Motors Racing (Marco Cirone)
IMSA Cooper Tires Prototype Lites
Kenton Koch and Clark Toppe, the two “twin towers” in the IMSA Cooper Tires Prototype Lites series, split Rounds 7 and 8 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Koch won his fifth consecutive, and sixth overall, race of the year in Saturday’s 30-minute, 17-lap race. Koch took the lead from polesitter Matt McMurry on the opening lap and never looked back, and beat Toppe by 3.012 seconds.
Toppe took the win in Sunday’s Round 8, for his second win of the year. The Texan led flag-to-flag in the 45-minute, 35-lap race and beat Koch by 7.131 seconds; McMurry in third helped JDC Motorsports to its second podium sweep of the year (Round 3, NOLA).
Koch leads Toppe by 30 points, 156-126, with Rounds 9 and 10 coming next month at Road America.
Race 1 — 1. JDC Motorsports (Kenton Koch), 2. JDC Motorsports (Clark Toppe), 3. Performance Tech Motorsports (Robert Alon)
Race 2 — 1. JDC Motorsports (Clark Toppe), 2. JDC Motorsports (Kenton Koch), 3. JDC Motorsports (Matt McMurry)
Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup
Chad McCumbee and Patrick Gallagher won the pair of Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup rounds at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Rounds 7 and 8 of the season, the first races for the series after a two-month break since Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May.
McCumbee, who scored his first Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge win at Watkins Glen two weeks ago, followed it up with both his and ModSpace Racing’s first win in the MX-5 series, the team he and regular co-driver Stevan McAleer co-own. The Sunday morning race featured four yellow flag periods over 20 laps; McCumbee won by 0.401 of a second over Peter Portante.
Points leader Gallagher won his second race of the year in the Sunday afternoon race, following a Lap 23 pass of Dean Copeland in the 25-lap, 45-minute race. Gallagher beat Nathaniel Sparks by 1.223 seconds, while Portante recovered from a mid-race drop to 15th place to make a last-lap, last-turn, door-banging pass of Copeland for the final podium position.
Gallagher leads John Dean II by one point and Sparks by 30 heading to Road America for Rounds 9 and 10, which will run on the NASCAR Xfinity Series weekend August 28-29 and not on the IMSA weekend August 7-9.
Race 1 — 1. ModSpace Racing (Chad McCumbee), 2. Atlanta Motorsports Group (Peter Portante), 3. Sick Sideways Racing (Drake Kemper)
Race 2 — 1. Atlanta Motorsports Group (Patrick Gallagher), 2. Sick Sideways Racing (Nathaniel Sparks), 3. Atlanta Motorsports Group (Peter Portante)
Tony DiZinno contributed to this report