Wittmann Wins DTM Race 1 From Back of Grid, Mueller in Race 2
Marco Wittmann and Nico Mueller won the weekend’s two DTM races at Misano, which included a remarkable drive from the back of the grid for Wittmann.
Wittmann failed to set a single timed lap in qualifying for Race 1, forcing the BMW Team RMG driver to start from the back of the grid.
He pitted at the end of the opening lap and took advantage of a mid-race safety car for Joel Eriksson’s stranded BMW M4 DTM to fight his way into the top ten.
Wittmann then went on to take the lead when the cars ahead of him made their mandatory stops. He continued on to finish ahead of pole-sitter Rene Rast despite running almost the entire race on one set of tires.
Rast finished eight seconds down in the best-placed Audi RS 5 DTM, while Loic Duval completed the podium.
On Sunday, Mueller put on a dominant display to move into title contention with a win from fourth on the grid.
The Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline driver managed the race from the head of the field after getting a good start off the grid, and finished 7.6 seconds clear of Philipp Eng.
Points leader Rast struggled off the line and was passed by Mueller and Robin Frijns, while he later picked up a puncture, although was able to bounce back to finish third.
Wittmann was forced to retire, meanwhile, after being forced wide into the gravel following a three-wide battle with Rast and Jonathan Aberdein.
MRS-GT Gives BMW First GT Masters Win of Season
MRS-GT Racing scored BMW’s first ADAC GT Masters victory of the season on Saturday, while Callaway Competition went on to collect its third win in Race 2 at the Red Bull Ring.
Nicolai Sylvest and Jens Klingmann gave BMW its first win in the German GT3 series since the start of the 2017 season with their MRS-GT-run M6 GT3 on Saturday.
Klingmann was forced to defend from David Jahn’s RWT Racing Corvette C7 GT3-R during the closing stages, but managed to remain out front to cross the line 0.289 seconds in the clear.
It marked Klingmann’s ninth GT Masters win and first since 2015, and the first ever for Sylvest, while also ending a nine-year win draught for MRS-GT.
The final podium position went to Timo Bernhard and Klaus Bachler’s KÜS Team75 Bernhard Porsche 911 GT3 R, behind Jahn and Sven Barth’s Corvette.
Callaway Competition managed to secure its third win of the season on Sunday with its Corvette, meanwhile.
Drivers Marvin Kirchhoefer and Marvin Pommer put on an impressive display to score the ninth win for Corvette on the Austrian circuit.
A tight battle played out behind them for the final podium positions, initially between Thomas Preining and Jahn, until Preining was forced to retire his Herberth Motorsport Porsche.
This allowed Maxi Goetz to move up to third before he made up another position in the pit stop while handing over to Indy Dontje, who held on to second until the line.
HCB-Rutronik Racing’s Kelvin van der Linde and Patric Niederhauser completed the podium behind the Mann-Filter Team HTP Mercedes-AMG GT3.
RAM Mercedes Wins Silverstone 500
Callum Macleod and Ian Loggie won Sunday’s Silverstone 500, the longest race of the British GT Championship season, for RAM Racing.
Macleod took the lead from Jonny Adam in the final four minutes of the three-hour contest, when Adam made contact with a GT4 car, allowing the Mercedes-AMG GT3 to take the lead.
Adam was forced to retire his TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3, although Nicki Thiim and Mark Farmer managed to move into second with their other TF Aston.
Adam and co-driver Graham Davidson had taken it in turns to lead throughout the race with the Balfe Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 of Rob Bell and Shaun Balfe.
A variety of different strategies were employed by different teams, with three mandatory pit stops, compared to the standard two in Blancpain GT Series’ three-hour races.
WPI Motorsport ultimately claimed the final podium position with its Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo shared by Dennis Lind and Michael Igoe, after initial third-place finishers Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Jr. were disqualified post-race.
GT4 honors went the way of Nick Jones and Scott Malvern, who picked up their first win of the season with their Team Parker Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4.
They finished ahead of ERC Sport’s similar Mercedes, while Beechdean AMR rounded out the podium with its Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
RESULTS: Silverstone 500
Emil Frey, Teo Martin Split GT Open Successes at Spa
Emil Frey Racing and Teo Martin Motorsport continued to dominate the International GT Open by each scoring a race win in the series’ trip to Spa.
Mikael Grenier and Norbert Siedler took their third win of the season in Race 1, driving their No. 14 Emil Frey Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.
Siedler took the lead fairly late in the race by passing Miguel Ramos (SPS Automotive Performance) and Adrian Amstutz (Imperiale Racing).
The Emil Frey driver remained out front until the checkered flag but the increasing rain caused several cars behind him to struggle, with some going off track or slowing down.
Ramos eventually took second in his SPS Mercedes-AMG GT3 ahead of Henrique Chaves’ and Martin Kodric’s Teo Martin McLaren 720S GT3.
That same pairing went on to finish second Sunday’s Race 2, as part of a Teo Martin 1-2.
The other car, of Fran Rueda and Andres Saravia claimed the victory after retiring from Race 1 when Rueda was hit by Frederik Schandorff’s VSR Lamborghini while swerving to gain heat into his tires.
Chaves and Kodric now lead the standings on 52 points, one ahead of Grenier and Siedler who only finished ninth on Sunday.
Gonzalez, Filippi Score TC America TCR Wins at Sonoma
Victor Gonzalez scored a surprise TC America TCR win at Sonoma on Saturday before Mason Filippi picked up his third win in Race 2 on Sunday.
Gonzalez took advantage of a late-race clash between long-time leader Mason Filippi and Nate Vincent to move up to second, before going one better and overtaking Hurczyn at the final hairpin.
It came as a surprise win for VGMC Racing and Gonzalez with his Honda Civic Type-R TCR, with Hurczyn finishing second in his FCP Euro Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
Filippi put on another strong showing in Sunday’s Race 2 and managed to remain in the lead for the full 40-minute race, taking his third win of the season with his Hyundai Veloster N TCR.
The Copeland Motorsports driver led the full race despite a pair of safety car periods, to finish three seconds clear of Gonzalez.
Hurczyn and Vincent placed third and fourth in their FCP Euro Volkswagens, meanwhile.
News & Notes
***SRO Motorsports Group organized the inaugural running of Le Vendôme 80 at the weekend, a 1980s-inspired rally which saw 40 entrants take their classic cars from Paris to Vendôme, between Le Mans and Orléans.
***Cars registered for the event included a Lamborghini Countach 5000 QV, Aston Martin Volante X Pack, Ferrari Testarossa, BMW Alpine B7 Turbo, Renault R5 Turbo 2, Lotus Esprit Turbo, Mercedes 300E Brabus 3.6 and several Porsche 911s.
***“We are delighted to return to rallying, especially with an event dedicated to the flamboyant 1980s,” commented SRO founder and CEO Stephane Ratel. “The Le Vendôme 80 is inspired by other famous classic rallies, but while there are prestigious classic rallies for 50s to 70s cars, such as the Mille Miglia and the Tour de France Auto, nothing similar existed for the 80s.
“We wanted to fill this gap, by adding a ‘total look’ aspect. The project of a 90s rally is already in progress, after which we will look at the 21st Century. This is an important project for SRO, for we want to develop our ‘automotive entertainment’ events.”
***Team Parker Racing has lent its support to Racing Pride, a new initiative launched last week to support and raise awareness of LGBTQ+ people in motorsport. Launched by driver Richard Morris and journalist Christopher Sharp, it has also had support from equality charity Stonewall, Damon Hill, Sky Sports and Autosport.
***“We are fully supportive of Racing Pride and its long-term goal to bring awareness to the positive achievements of LGBTQ+ members of the motorsport community,” said Stuart Parker, managing director of Team Parker Racing.
“It is disheartening that members of the LGBTQ+ community feel they have to hide their sexuality in and around motorsport, and we are happy to play a part of helping show that this is an inclusive industry where individuals can be themselves.”