The FIA World Endurance Championship, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Blancpain Endurance Series were all on track this weekend, but there was even more. The ADAC GT Masters teams raced at the Sachsenring, while GT4 European Series and Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo joined the Nürburgring Blancpain event. In Texas the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA joined the two sportscar series at Circuit of the Americas. Read it all in this week’s Weekend Racing Roundup.
ADAC GT Masters
ADAC GT Masters championship leaders Prosperia C Abt Racing increased their lead at the Sachsenring with a double victory for René Rast and Kelvin Van der Linde.
In race one Van der Linde saw his lead disappear when the safety car was deployed twice in the first seven laps. Christian Engelhart kept his Porsche right behind the Porsche until the pit stops. After the driver change Rast managed to pull away from Jaap van Lagen, but then the safety car was deployed again. The race was restarted with five laps to go, but Rast kept his Audi ahead of the Porsche and won the race.
Rast started race two from third on the grid, but almost instantly took the lead ahead of teammate Nicky Thiim. The German handed over his Audi to teammate Van der Linde, but things weren’t as easy for the South African as it started to rain during his stint and the Audi lost a piece of its floor panel. Despite being on slicks on a wet track Van der Linde did not make a mistake and crossed the line in first place.
Race 1 – 1. Prosperia C Abt Racing (Rast/Van der Linde) Audi, 2. GW IT Racing Team Schütz Motorsport (Engelhart/Van Lagen) Porsche, 3. PIXUM Team Schubert (Baumann/Hürtgen) BMW.
Race 2 – 1. Prosperia C Abt Racing (Rast/Van der Linde) Audi, 2. Tonino Team Herberth (Renauer/Schwager) Porsche, 3. Prosperia C Abt Racing (Hamprecht/Thiim) Audi.
GT4 European Series
The GT4 European Series joined the iRacing.com Nürburgring 1000 event last weekend for its penultimate round of the 2014 season. A sensational first race on Saturday saw five cars fight for the lead in the final minutes. Porsche driver Bertus Sanders tried to defend the lead by forcing BMW driver Ricardo van der Ende towards the pit wall, but lost two positions when Camaro driver Duncan Huisman passed him on the other side.
Huisman ran wide at turn 1, allowing Van der Ende to take the lead. On the last lap Huisman tried to pass Van der Ende, but it was the championship leading car that crossed the line in first place. The top five finished within 1.3 seconds. A post-race penalty for Van der Ende resulted in Huisman and Luc Braams taking their first win of the season.
In race two Argentinian Fran Viel Bugliotti (Ginetta) scored his maiden victory in the GT4 European Series. He overtook BMW driver Bernhard van Oranje late in the race and held onto the lead to win the race. The BMW of Van Oranje and Van der Ende finished in second place, taking the GT4 Pro class victory and reinforcing its championship lead.
Race 1 – 1. V8 Racing (Braams/Huisman) Camaro, 2. PROsport Performance (Viebahn/Sanders), 3. V8 Racing (Nooren/Verheul) Camaro.
Race 2 – 1. Nova Race (Bugliotti) Ginetta, 2. Racing Team Holland (Van Oranje/Van der Ende) BMW, 3. V8 Racing (Braams/Huisman) Camaro.
IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA
The penultimate IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA weekend of the season at Circuit of the Americas served up two intense, dramatic and abnormal races in one day. Round 13 and Round 14 were both held Friday, to open and close the day on-track with nearly 12 hours in-between races.
Michael Lewis took his fourth win of the season in Friday morning’s Round 13, which ran on a damp track after morning rain soaked the 3.4-mile circuit. Lewis crushed the field, leading flag-to-flag and scoring the win with a margin of victory of 24.446 seconds. Championship rivals Colin Thompson and Angel Benitez Jr. rounded out the podium.
Come Friday night though, things intensified as Sloan Urry waited for Lewis and Thompson’s side-by-side, several lap and several minute long lead battle to die down. With 12 minutes to go, Urry got around Lewis for second and got around Thompson three minutes later. Urry’s margin of victory for his second 2014 win was 5.394 seconds, but that was a highly misleading number with the top two usually only separated by a tenth or two.
The results will make for an intense Platinum Cup championship battle heading to the season finale at Road Atlanta in two weeks. Thompson leads Lewis by one, 218-217, with Benitez Jr. (208) and Urry (198) still in with a shout provided the top two lose some points.
Race 1 – 1. Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian (Michael Lewis), 2. Kelly-Moss Motorsports (Colin Thompson), 3. Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport (Angel Benitez Jr.)
Race 2 – 1. JDX Racing (Sloan Urry), 2. Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian (Michael Lewis), 3. Kelly-Moss Motorsports (Colin Thompson)
Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe
Jeroen Mul dominated the Nürburgring round of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe. In the rain the Dutchman claimed his fourth victory of the season in the first race, eventually finishing 12 seconds clear of the Bonaldi Motorsport car of Milos Pavlovic and Edoardo Piscopo, the leaders ahead of the German round.
Thick fog meant the race was started behind the safety car, which stayed out for 20 minutes. The conditions became even more difficult when it started to rain and race control decided to finish the race behind the safety car as well. Mul controlled the race and took the championship lead, as Pavlovic and Piscopo suffered a puncture and dropped down the order.
Race 1 – 1. Automobili Lamborghini RT Germany (Mul), 2. Bonaldi Motorsport (Piscopo/Pavlovic), 3. Autocarrozzeria Imperiale S.R.L. (Di Folco)
Race 2 – 1. Automobili Lamborghini RT Germany (Mul), 2. Autocarrozzeria Imperiale S.R.L. (Amici), 3. Bonaldi Motorsport (Bortolotti/Josephsohn)
Tony DiZinno contributed to this Weekend Racing Roundup