It’s another action-filled weekend around the world for this week’s Sportscar365 Weekend Racing Roundup.
Despite a passing typhoon, the fifth round of the Super GT series took place at Fuji, Japan. Meanwhile, the ADAC GT Masters faced high temperatures in Slovakia for its fifth round of the season.
At Road America IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA, IMSA Cooper Tires Prototype Lites and the Mazda MX-5 Cup supported the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
ADAC GT Masters
PIXUM Team Schubert and Callaway Competition were the big winners of the fifth ADAC GT Masters weekend at the Slovakia Ring. With an air temperature of approximately 88 degrees Fahrenheit, the heat was on right from the start, but both teams kept their cool and got away with a win each.
On Saturday the RWT Racing Team Corvette of David Jahn took the lead at the start, only to drop behind the two PIXUM Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3s after the pit stops. Dominik Baumann controlled the second part of the race, beating teammate Jens Klingmann to victory, despite a late safety car period due to Jaime Alguersuari spinning into the gravel, after being hit by fellow Mercedes driver Maximilian Götz.
In race two it was Daniel Keilwitz who moved into the lead on lap two, then pulling away from Diego Alessi and Tomas Enge. When the Callaway driver came in for the mandatory drive change the lead had gone up to 7.5 seconds, teammate Wirth increasing the lead to 15.6 seconds. 13 minutes before the end of the race a safety car reduced the lead, but with one lap to go the race was restarted and Wirth managed to keep Von Thurn und Taxis behind. The Hürtgen/Baumann BMW Z4 GT3 finished in third place, enough to take the championship lead.
Race 1 – 1. PIXUM Team Schubert (Hürtgen/Baumann) BMW, 2. PIXUM Team Schubert (Sandritter/Klingmann) BMW, 3. RWT Racing Team (Jahn/Barth) Corvette.
Race 2 – 1. Callaway Competition (Keilwitz/Wirth) Corvette, 2. Reiter Engineering (Enge/Von Thurn und Taxis) Camaro, 3. PIXUM Team Schubert (Hürtgen/Baumann) BMW.
Super GT (GT500)
It was another Super GT weekend in extremely difficult conditions, with a typhoon passing the Fuji circuit area this weekend. Shortly after the race had started it started to rain heavily, but in the rain the No. 18 Weider Modulo NSX CONCEPT-GT of Naoki Yamamoto cut through the field and on lap eight Yamamoto moved into the lead.
The safety car was deployed two laps later due to deteriorating conditions, before the race was red flagged on lap 17. 30 minutes later it was restarted and soon the No. 18 was pulling away again. After the driver change Frederic Makowiecki continued to lead the race, before the safety car was deployed again with 10 laps remaining. The race finished behind the safety car, resulting in the first victory of the season for Makowiecki and Yamamoto.
Race – 1. Weider Modulo NSX (Yamamoto/Makowiecki) Honda, 2. Motul Autech (Matsuda/Quintarelli) Nissa, 3. Epson NSX (Nakajima/Baguette) Honda.
Super GT (GT300)
Kota Sasaki, driving the No. 61 Subaru BRZ R&D SPORT, started from pole position in the Super GT GT300 category at Fuji and immediately pulled away on the wet circuit. His lead disappeared when the safety car was sent out, before the race was red flagged due to the bad weather.
After the restart half an hour later Sasaki pulled away again, handing over the Subaru to teammate Takuto Iguchi with a lead of more than a minute. Katsuyuki Hiranaka in the Gainer Dixcel Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 closed in rapidly in the second part of the race, but the conditions deteriorated again, the safety car was deployed again and the race finished behind the safety car.
Race – 1. Subaru BRZ R&D Sport (Sasaki/Iguchi) Subaru, 2. Gainer Dixcel (Hiranaka/Wirdheim) Mercedes, 3. CrystalCroco (Hosokawa/Yamanishi) Lamborghini.
IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA
Three different drivers took wins in the three-race IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA weekend at Road America, all of them repeat winners this season. Sunday evening’s third race of the weekend served as a make-up round for Round 6 at Lime Rock Park, rained out in late May.
Sloan Urry took his second win of the season in Saturday’s race one, as he stayed ahead of the field in a caution-plagued 45-minute race. Michael Lewis ended second with Master’s Class driver Kasey Kuhlman in third. Angel Benitez Jr. had gotten Lewis for second on the final restart but dropped to seventh following an off-course excursion.
Lewis fought back in Sunday’s race two of the weekend for his third 2014 win (Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca sweep), with a flag-to-flag triumph over Urry. Jesse Lazare made it onto the podium in third; David Calvert-Jones was best of the Master’s Class competitors in sixth.
Sunday evening’s race three saw Benitez Jr. break through for his third win of the year, his first since sweeping the opening doubleheader at Sebring. Benitez Jr. won under caution over Lazare and Lewis, who each banked their second podium of the weekend. Kuhlman, in fifth, was best of the Master’s Class competitors. With finishes of fourth, eighth and sixth, Colin Thompson lost points to title rivals Lewis, Benitez Jr. and Urry during the weekend, but should still lead heading to Circuit of the Americas next month.
Race 1 – 1. JDX Racing (Sloan Urry), 2. Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian (Michael Lewis), 3. Wright Motorsports (Kasey Kuhlman)
Race 2 – 1. Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian (Michael Lewis), 2. JDX Racing (Sloan Urry), 3. Door Doctor/Moorespeed (Jesse Lazare)
Race 3 – 1. Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport (Angel Benitez Jr.), 2. Door Doctor/Moorespeed (Jesse Lazare), 3. Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian (Michael Lewis)
IMSA Cooper Tires Prototype Lites
Mikhail Goikhberg captured his sixth win in nine races in the opening IMSA Prototype Lites race of the Road America weekend, emerging victorious despite two yellow flags in the 11-lap, 30-minute sprint race. 8Star Motorsports’ Christian Potolicchio recorded his best finish of the year in second.
Andrew Novich broke through for his first win of the year in Sunday’s second race of the weekend, the 45-minute Round 10. Matt McMurry produced his best result of the year, finishing second after starting 10th. Meanwhile Potolicchio completed a double podium weekend, ending third. Goikhberg’s Sunday race featured a spin, and he ended a lapped down 19th by the end of the race. But he still holds the edge in the championship chase, up 55 points on Potolicchio (156-101) with four races (two at VIR, two at Road Atlanta) remaining in the season.
Race 1 – 1. JDC Motorsports (Mikhail Goikhberg), 2. 8Star Motorsports (Christian Potolicchio), 3. Performance Tech Motorsports (Hayden Duerson)
Race 2 – 1. Comprent Motor Sports (Andrew Novich), 2. JDC Motorsports (Matt McMurry), 3. 8Star Motorsports (Christian Potolicchio)
Mazda MX-5 Cup
Kenton Koch’s five-race win streak in Mazda MX-5 Cup ended this weekend in Road America, as Dean Copeland swept the weekend for his first and second wins of 2014. The series veteran was making his first MX-5 Cup weekend appearance since Sebring. Both races featured frequent drafting on the 4.048-mile circuit’s series of long straights. Copeland won both races by less than two tenths of a second.
In Saturday’s race one, Round 9 of the season, Copeland edged Nathanial Sparks by 0.137 of a second. He extended the gap to a still scant 0.145 of a second in Sunday’s Round 10, winning over Koch. Koch gained points on title rival John Dean II in both races and is poised to secure the championship the final race weekend at Road Atlanta, the first weekend in October.
Race 1 – 1. Copeland Motorsports (Dean Copeland), 2. Sick Sideways Racing (Nathaniel Sparks), 3. Atlanta Motorsports Group (Sebastian Landy)
Race 2 – 1. Copeland Motorsports (Dean Copeland), 2. Alara Racing (Kenton Koch), 3. Sick Sideways Racing (Nathaniel Sparks)
Tony DiZinno and Marcel ten Caat contributed to this article.