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Weekly Racing Roundup (7.22.19)

Reports from the weekend’s DTM, British GT, Le Mans Cup and Blancpain Sports Club races…

Photo: Audi

Wittmann, Rockenfeller Victorious as DTM Debuts at Assen

Marco Wittmann and Mike Rockenfeller each scored a race win in DTM’s maiden visit to Assen to mark the halfway point in the season.

Wittmann scored his third win of the season on Saturday, surviving a wet-weather race and different tire strategies from rivals.

Starting from pole position, the BMW driver opened up a narrow lead over championship leader Rene Rast although both dropped behind Nico Mueller when the Swiss driver made a late stop for fresh tires.

Mueller was forced to settle for second place after failing to hold off Wittmann, while Rast finished third. 

On Sunday, Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Rockenfeller picked up his first series win since Zandvoort in August 2017.

He pulled off this feat by carefully managing his tires in a race that saw many of his rivals struggle with high tire wear on the demanding Dutch circuit. 

Wittmann and Mueller finished second and third, both therefore picking up a double podium to help their title hopes. Wittmann had started from the back of the grid after mechanical issues in qualifying.

RESULTS: Assen

Photo: JEP/SRO

Optimum Aston Martin Claims British GT Win at Spa

Optimum Motorsport’s Ollie Wilkinson and Bradley Ellis won Sunday’s two-hour British GT Championship race as part of the SRO Speed Week at Spa-Francorchamps.

The pair had a fairly uneventful race at the front of the field, having started from pole position with the No. 96 Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

They eventually took the win by a margin of 10.5 seconds ahead of Ram Racing’s Callum Macleod and Ian Loggie, who survived a spin at La Source.

Macleod consolidated his runner-up position after coming out of a daring three-wide battle through Eau Rouge alongside Glynn Geddie and Rob Bell.

Geddie and Ryan Ratcliffe ultimately finished third, while Bell and Shaun Balfe just missed out on the podium with a fourth-place finish.

Sam De Haan and Jonny Cocker took the championship lead despite a pit stop success penalty and an opening-lap spin, toppling their Barwell Motorsport teammates Adam Balon and Phil Keen by 0.5 points.

Contact on the penultimate lap decided the GT4 win, with Tolman Motorsport’s Josh Smith and James Dorlin retiring with a punctured radiator.

This came after contact in a collision at the Bus Stop Chicane with Tom Canning, who went on to take TF Sport to its first GT4 class win since 2014.

Canning combined with Ash Hand in the No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage GT4.

RESULTS: Spa-Francorchamps

Photo: Michelin Le Mans Cup

Reigning Le Mans Cup Champions DKR, Kessel Win in Barcelona

Both of 2018’s Michelin Le Mans Cup teams’ champions won their class in Saturday’s two-hour race at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

DKR Engineering took its No. 3 Norma M30 Nissan to the overall and LMP3 win after the leading Graff Norma was given two drive-through penalties.

This allowed Laurents Horr and Francois Kirmann to take a 17-second victory over Nielsen Racing’s No. 2 Norma driven by Anthony Wells and Colin Noble.

The penalized Graff car, driven by Adrien Chila and Nicolas Schatz, finished fourth, behind United Autosports’ No. 24 Ligier JS P3 Nissan of Mike Guasch and Wayne Boyd.

Schatz and Chila were forced to serve a second drive-through penalty for failing to come into the pits for the first one within the required time.

Kessel Racing picked up the GT3 victory, meanwhile, with its No. 8 Ferrari 488 GT3 shared by 2018 drivers’ champions Sergio Pianezzola and Giacomo Piccini.

Ebimotors’ No. 88 Porsche 911 GT3 R took the lead at the start but was handed a drive-through penalty for a jump start, allowing the Kessel drivers to take their second win of the year.

RESULTS: Barcelona

Photo: SRO

Moller, Remenyako Claim Blancpain GT Sports Club Wins at Spa

Jens Reno Moller picked up his fourth Blancpain GT Sports Club win of the year on Saturday while Denis Remenyako took his maiden victory in Race 2 at Spa-Francorchamps.

Moller has further extended his championship lead heading into the last two races of the season at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in September, finishing first and second in the two contests held as part of the SRO Speed Week.

He did fail to secure the title at Spa, however, needing to finish 18 points clear of Murod Sultanov on Sunday to do so. The pair finished second and fourth on Race 2.

Remenyako came close to wrapping up his first series win in Race 1, trailling Moller for most of the race but dropping back with a mistake that cost him four seconds.

The Russian settled for second while Moller crossed the line in the lead.

Remenyako went one better the following day, taking the lead from third on the opening lap and never looking back to cross the line first in his GetSpeed Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

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