It was another busy weekend on the circuits around the world, with GT3 cars racing at Snetterton, the Nürburgring, Sydney Motorsport Park and Miller Motorsports Park. Spa-Francorchamps and Virginia International Raceway saw Porsche Cup action and the Pirelli World Challenge, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America also raced this weekend. Reports from those three series can be found elsewhere on this site.
Avon Tyres British GT Championship
Two one-hour races were held at Snetterton this weekend, with Aston Martin claiming victory in both races.
Liam Griffin and Rory Butcher won the first race of the weekend, scoring their second victory of the 2015 season. The Oman Racing Team Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 beat the two TF Sport Aston Martin entries, as well as the Beechdean AMR Aston of championship contenders Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam.
TF Sport’s Andrew Jarman started from pole position and led for much of the first part, before being passed by Griffin. Ahmad Al Harthy moved into second place, his team’s pit work resulting in the lead after the pit stops. Teammate Alex MacDowall lost the lead to Butcher after a clash with a GT4 entrant. Butcher went on to lead the Aston Martin one-two-three-four finish.
Race two was cut short due to bad weather. Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam took the win, which means they are now just two points behind the championship leaders with one race at Donington Park remaining.
Adam passed pole-sitter and championship leader Alexander Sims (BMW) on the first corner of the first lap and pulled out a 12-second lead before the pit stops. Howard maintained that lead during his stint.
Jamie Chadwick and Ross Gunn claimed the Avon Tyres British GT4 Championship title.
Race 1 – 1. Oman Racing Team (L. Griffin/R. Butcher) Aston Martin, 2. TF Sport (A. Jarman/J. Fannin) Aston Martin, 3. TF Sport (D. Johnston/M. Bell) Aston Martin.
Race 2 – 1. Beechdean AMR (J. Adam/A. Howard) Aston Martin, 2. Team Russia by Barwell Racing (J. Minshaw/P. Keen) BMW, 3. 22GT Racing (M. Farmer/J. Barnes) Aston Martin.VLN
ROWE Racing won the sixth round of the 2015 VLN Series, with Klaus Graf and Christian Hohenadel sharing the wheel of the team’s Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 this weekend. After victories for Audi, Porsche, BMW and Ford in the previous rounds, ROWE Racing gave Mercedes its first win of the season, after starting from pole position.
Team Black Falcon completed a Mercedes 1-2, as Hubert Haupt, Adam Christodoulou and Andreas Simonsen finished in second place, 1:11.682 minutes behind the race winners. The Black Falcon car took the lead early in the race, but lost time after their first stop due to yellow flag zones. Frikadelli Racing took third place, after the Falken-Porsche hit trouble on the last lap.
Race – 1. ROWE Racing (K. Graf/C. Hohenadel) Mercedes, 2. Black Falcon (H. Haupt/A. Christodoulou/A. Simonsen) Mercedes, 3. Frikadelli Racing (K. Abbelen/S. Schmitz/P. Huisman) Porsche.Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup
Porsche Junior Sven Müller won race six of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday evening. The German driver was the best of 33 drivers entered for the Belgian round of the championship, claiming his second race win of the season.
Pole-sitter Michael Ammermüller crashed out of the race on lap 3, resulting in a safety car period. On the restart Müller put race leader Philipp Eng under pressure and forced him into an error on lap seven. Müller overtook Eng and went on to win the race.
On Sunday the pair finished the other way around. Eng started from pole position and was able to fend off Müller during the race. Müller was right behind Eng from start to finish, but was unable to pass his rival.
Race 1 – 1. Team Lechner Racing Middle East (Sven Müller), 2. Market Leader team by Project 1 (Philipp Eng), 3. Fach Auto Tech (Christopher Zöchling).
Race 2 – 1. Market Leader team by Project 1 (Philipp Eng), 2. Team Lechner Racing Middle East (Sven Müller), 3. MRS GT-Racing (Christian Engelhart).IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama
Three different drivers won in an abnormal IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA weekend at Virginia International Raceway, as the two scheduled Rounds 11 and 12 ran with the twice-delayed Round 4 from NOLA Motorsports Park back in April.
Elliott Skeer kicked off the weekend with a flag-to-flag win from pole in Saturday’s lone race, Round 11, by 6.950 seconds over Wright Motorsports teammate Michael Schein in the 22-lap, 45-minute race.
That’s a misleading victory margin and runner-up though, as Skeer had executed a brilliant strategic defense against Angel Benitez Jr. for the rest of the race. Benitez, fighting a steering rack issue, pressed and eventually spun off at Turn 3. Jesse Lazare, meanwhile, was eliminated off the line in a start-line accident, having been stuck in gear.
Sunday morning’s Round 12 featured a more straightforward affair, with Benitez winning from pole in the 23-lap, 45-minute race. Benitez car needed to be repaired after his off on Saturday, which had also followed from another crash earlier in the weekend. Skeer was second, 1.837 seconds back.
Meanwhile Sunday afternoon’s Round 4 was finally completed after being canceled due to rain at NOLA back in April, then being delayed a second time after more rain at Watkins Glen in June. Skeer had the pole for more than four months, but wasn’t able to convert it into the win. Instead Lazare rebounded from his early weekend troubles to score a pivotal win for the title, having taken the lead from Skeer on Lap 14 of the 25-lap, 45-minute race and holding him off from there by 0.188 of a second.
Skeer now leads Lazare by 19 points, 207-188, with four races remaining this season at Circuit of the Americas and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in September.
Race 1 — 1. Wright Motorsports (Elliott Skeer), 2. Wright Motorsports (Michael Schein), 3. NGT Motorsport (Lucas Catania)
Race 2 — 1. Kelly-Moss Motorsports (Jesse Lazare), 2. JDX Racing (Angel Benitez Jr.), 2. Wright Motorsports (Elliott Skeer), 3. NGT Motorsport (Lucas Catania)
Race 3 — 1. Kelly-Moss Motorsports (Jesse Lazare), 2. Wright Motorsports (Elliott Skeer), 3. Wright Motorsports (Santiago Creel)Australian GT Championship
Sydney Motorsport Park hosted two races of the Australian GT Championship this weekend and it was the JAMEC PEM Audi of Ryan Millier and Christopher Mies that won the first race.
Ryan Millier withstood huge pressure on his maiden Australian GT event with the JAMEC PEM Audi team to lead the Skwirk Audi of Nathan Antunes across the line. Graeme Smyth and Jono Lester claimed third place with their TFM Ferrari; their first Australian GT podium.
In a wet second race it was the Maranello Motorsport Ferrari of Grant Denyer that scored a victory. Klark Quinn (McLaren) and Nathan Antunes (Audi) completed the podium. Highlight of the race was the Motorschool Racing Ginetta G50 of Hayden Cooper. Cooper made it all the way into third place overall, when a mechanical failure forced him into retirement on the final lap.
Tony DiZinno contributed to this report