Lucchini, Sultanov Share Blancpain GT Sports Club Wins
Luigi Lucchini and Murod Sultanov each claimed a race win in the Blancpain GT Sports Club rounds at Circuit Paul Ricard on Saturday and Sunday.
The SRO Motorsports Group’s all-Bronze GT3 series was on the support bill for the Blancpain GT Series’ Paul Ricard 1000km, along with GT4 European Series.
BMS Scuderia Italia driver Lucchini took the lead at the first corner of Race 1, passing double Monza winner Jens Reno Moller’s Honda NSX GT3 Evo.
Moller tried to make up ground to Lucchini, who was driving a previous-gen Ferrari F458 Italia GT3, throughout the race but failed to do so, forcing him to settle for second at the line.
Sultanov and Pavel Strukov came together from second and third, with Moller running fourth at the time, forcing Sultanov to retire and giving Strukov a penalty.
Sultanov was able to bounce back on Sunday to score his maiden series win with his Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3.
He had a strong start but dropped back when he was forced wide by Moller, who was later given a drive-through penalty, allowing the Russian to re-take the lead with 30 minutes on the clock.
He successfully held off attacks from Lucchini and Robert Zwinger, allowing him to take his first win ahead of Coach McKansy.
Udell, Knap Score Back-to-Back GT4 European Series Wins
Alec Udell and Simon Knap swept the GT4 European Series weekend at Circuit Paul Ricard, winning both races in their MDM Motorsport BMW M4 GT4.
In Saturday’s Race 1, Knap passed Euan McKay for the lead with 20 minutes remaining and went on to lead a BMW sweep of the podium positions at the line.
McKay and Ricardo van der Ende placed second in their independently-build Ekris M4 GT4, ahead of the second MDM car driven by Koen Bogaerts and Mark van der Aa.
Van der Ende had led the first stint, with Udell trailing him until the pit stops, when McKay initially kept his Ekris car out front.
Udell and Knap claimed their second win in Sunday’s race, leading from lights to flag after starting from pole.
Van der Ende was forced to serve a penalty for a short stop by the Ekris crew, allowing Daniel McKay (Equipe Verschuur) to slot into second and Max Koebolt (Leipert Motorsport) in third.
McKay shared his McLaren 570S GT4 with Benjamin Lessennes and finished 5.7 seconds behind Udell.
News & Notes:
***Victory in the Fuji 24 Hours went to the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 run by GTNET Motor Sports and driven by Teruhiko Hamano, Kazuki Hoshino, Kiyoto Fujinami and Kazuki Hiramine. The finished 27 laps ahead of the similar Nissan of MP Racing.
***Team DreamDrive claimed TCR class victory, with an Audi RS 3 LMS. Naoto Takeda, Takuya Shirasaka and Shozo Tagahara won with a three-lap advantage.
***The race was the third round of the Pirelli Super Taikyu Series, which will resume at Autopolis next month.
***Harrison Newey and Chad McCumbee will race Multimatic Motorsports’ ‘guest’ Ford Mustang GT4 in this weekend’s Silverstone 500, the longest race on the British GT Championship schedule. It will be Newey’s GT4 debut while McCumbee returns after driving at Oulton Park.