Welcome another Sportscar365 Weekend Racing Roundup. The end of the 2014 season is getting closer and this weekend the first championships were decided. In the United Kingdom the British GT Championship finished at Donington Park, while the Supercar Challenge raced at Brands Hatch. Add to that Italian GT at Vallelunga and a cancelled VLN race at the Nürburgring. On the other side of the world teams and drivers are still fighting for the titles in the GT Asia Series and the Australian GT championship.
GT Asia Series
With three races left in the 2014 season three teams are still battling for the championship after races nine and ten at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Clearwater Racing drivers Rob Bell and Hiroshi Hamaguchi lead the series with 127 points, against 125 for Keita Sawa and Mok Weng Sung. Davide Rizzo and Anthony Liu are third with 119 points.
Mok and Sawa made it three in a row in the first race this weekend, despite starting behind the Alessandro Pier Guidi. Sawa moved into the lead on the opening lap, ahead of Aguas, Pier Guidi, Mücke, Wirdheim and Mies. The leaders battled hard, sometimes making contact, but all without any major drama.
After the mandatory stops Mok dropped behind Nasrat Muzayyin, a result of a success penalty, but he would quickly pass the Singaporean driver in the Spirit of Race Ferrari. Despite pressure from BBT’s Liu late in the race, Mok held onto his lead and crossed the line in first place.
Pier Guidi and teammate Richard Wee won race two in Malaysia, after the Craft-Bamboo Racing Aston Martin Vantage of Mücke and Yu was given a time penalty after the race, for not having wheels on the car at the five minute signal.
On a drying track Yu took the lead just before the pitstops and handed over to Mücke, who increased the gap to the Clearwater Ferrari to 18 seconds, only to lose victory after the checkered flag due to the grid infringement.
Race 1 – 1. Clearwater Racing (Sawa/Mok) Ferrari, 2. BBT (Rizzo/Liu) Ferrari, 3. NB Team (Wiser/Guerrero) Aston Martin.
Race 2 – 2. Clearwater Racing (Pier Guidi/Wee) Ferrari, 2. NB Team (Wiser/Guerrero) Aston Martin, 3. Craft-Bamboo Racing (Mücke/Yu) Aston Martin.British GT Championship
Marco Attard won the 2014 British GT Championship at Donington Park this weekend, despite not finishing the final round of the season. The Ecurie Ecosse driver beat 2013 champion Andrew Howard, who also failed to finish.
With the Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3 out of the race after just ten laps, Oman Racing Team drivers Ahmad Al Harthy and Michael Caine were set to take the race win and the Drivers’ Championship. But 20 minutes before the end Caine lost the lead and dropped to fourth. Trackspeed drivers Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen went on to win the race.
Oman Racing Team secured the Teams’ Championship, while Beechdean AMR’s Ross Wylie and Jake Giddings scored enough points to take the GT4 title.Australian GT
The Australian GT teams headed down to Sandown Raceway for the second time this season, as the circuit near Melbourne hosted the penultimate round of the 2014 season. With Ricard Muscat and Tony Quinn taking the wins in the three 40-minute races, the season will be decided in New Zealand.
In race one it was Muscat who pulled away from the field at the start and opened up a huge lead over the rest of the field, before the pit stops. But Quinn managed to reduce the gap to 13 seconds as Muscat pitted, and a 20-second shorter stop resulted in Quinn taking the lead. Muscat closed the gap, but couldn’t attack Quinn as a crash resulted in an early end of the race.
Race two saw Muscat battle for the lead with Interlloy driver David Russell, until Russell suffered a puncture just as he passed the pit entry. This handed the lead to Muscat, who then made his stop and rejoined well clear of second placed Tony Quinn. They would remain in those positions until the finish.
On Sunday it was another battle between Quinn and Muscat. The Mercedes driver took the lead into turn one, then built up an eight-second lead before he came in for his stop. It wasn’t enough though, which resulted in Quinn taking the lead with 12 minutes to go. Muscat caught the Aston Martin, but was unable to pass him. At the finish there was just a car length between the two.
Race 1 – 1. VIP Petfoods (Quinn) Aston Martin, 2. Erebus Motorsport (Muscat) Mercedes, 3. Interlloy (McMillan/Russell) Lamborghini.
Race 2 – 1. Erebus Motorsport (Muscat) Mercedes, 2. VIP Petfoods (Quinn) Aston Martin, 3. Maranello Motorsport (Bowe/Edwards) Ferrari.
Race 3 – 1.VIP Petfoods (Quinn) Aston Martin, 2. Erebus Motorsport (Muscat) Mercedes, 3. Interlloy (McMillan/Russell) Lamborghini.Italian GT Championship
Two weeks after winning the first race at Paul Ricard, Imperiale Racing’s Giacomo Barri and Mirko Bortolotti stood on top of the podium again at Vallelunga. Barri dropped to third at the start on Saturday, with Raffaele Giammaria holding on to the lead.
After the pit stops it was the BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari of Luigi Lucchini and Jeff Segal in the lead, but on lap 25 Lucchini was unable to keep Bortolotti in the Lamborghini behind. Bortolotti immediately pulled away and finished nearly three second ahead of Lucchini.
In race two it was Audi driver Marco Mapelli who got the lead at the start. He maintained a two-second gap to Casè until the pit window opened on lap 12. After all the driver changes had been made it was Dindo Capello leading the race, but on lap 18 Alessandro Balzan passed the Audi. Balzan wasn’t challenged in the remaining laps and finished over four seconds ahead of Capello.
Race 1 – 1. Imperiale Racing (Barri/Bortolotti) Lamborghini, 2. BMS Scuderia Italia (Segal/Lucchini) Ferrari, 3. Scuderia Baldini 27 (Giammaria/Casè) Ferrari.
Race 2 – 1. MP1 Corse (Balzan/Benucci) Ferrari, 2. Audi Sport Italia (Capello/Zonzini) Audi, 3. Team Malucelli (Frassineti/Malucelli) Ferrari.Supercar Challenge
The Supercar Challenge raced in the United Kingdom this weekend, with a double header at the Brands Hatch circuit.
Volvo driver Kelvin Snoeks took the lead at the start and kept Martin Short (Mosler) and Peter Kox (McLaren). Viper driver Roger Grouwels took the lead during the pit stops, but Short quickly caught the Viper and passed it. However, the Mosler suffered technical issues and Short was forced to retire. Snoeks was the given a drive-through for a short pit stop, but once he was back on track he quickly caught the Viper and went on to win race one.
In race two it was the McLaren of Peter Kox taking the lead at the start, followed by the two Volvo entries of Snoeks and Zumbrink. The gap between Kox and Snoeks was just a second right before the pit window opened. Kox, however, was unable to fight for the race win as he had to park the McLaren in the pit with technical issues. Snoeks dropped behind Zumbrink, but Zumbrink was unable to keep his teammate behind. Snoeks quickly moved into the lead and went on to win number two of the weekend.
Race 1 – 1. Day-V-Tec (Snoeks) Volvo, 2. Team Race Art (Grouwels/Van der Zwaan) Viper, 3. Martino Rosso Racing (Lanting/Herber) Ferrari.
Race 2 – 1. Day-V-Tec (Snoeks) Volvo, 2. Day-V-Tec (Zumbrink) Volvo, 3. Team RaceArt (Grouwels/Van der Zwaan) Viper.VLN
The 46. ADAC Barbarossapreis at the Nürburgring, the eighth round of the VLN season, was cancelled due to heavy fog.
“Visibility was so poor that we could not decide to start the race”, explained Clerk of the Course Peter Bröcher. “In addition to the poor visibility for the participants, it was in particular also the fact that the Medical Helicopter could not fly under the prevailing conditions which was a crucial factor in taking that decision. There was furthermore no kind of confirmation in the various weather forecasts that the situation would improve so that even the shortening of the distance was not an option.”