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MSVR Club Car Championships at Silverstone

The MSVR Club Car Championships rolled into Silverstone on the National circuit, bringing a varied programme of excellent racing from the newly created Heritage Formula Ford, which caters for pre 1993 FF1600’s to the ever popular Mini Challenge classes where a fun spectacle is always guaranteed.

Twenty FF1600s lined up on a scorching Sunday at Silverstone to compete in the Jim Walsh Trophy for Jack Cavill Heritage Formula Ford. Oliver White, Lewis Fox and Jaap Blijleven took to the podium in both races taking first, second and third respectively.  Oliver White takes the Jim Walsh Trophy for 2018, a title he already holds and makes his wins at Silverstone three out of four this season.

The MINI Challenge is an immensely popular series with 4 classes JCW, Cooper Pro, Cooper Am and Cooper S. Some of the classes are on the support package of major series such as BTCC and British GT. Competing at Silverstone was MINI Cooper Pro/Am and Cooper S.

In the Pro/Am class Kyle Reid took the win in race one after holding the lead for the majority of the race until being passed by Simon Walton and Robbie Dalgleish, however this drop back was short lived with Reid regaining the lead Walton taking second place and Dalgleish taking third.

Race two saw the first 6 places reversed and Reid on the 4th row and Andy Jordan on pole. However this didn’t stop Reid from battling through, a slight spin on the grass shifted him back for a while, but eventually he made it up into second place behind winner Robbie Dalgliesh who had easily taken the lead within the opening laps, flanked on the podium by Simon Walton in third.

The Cooper S class was looking to be a romp home for Jono Davis, however a puncture put paid to a victory in the first Cooper S Class race of the day with the win going to Will Fairclough, Rob Austin in second and Andy Montgomery in third place.

Race two which like the Cooper Pro/Am Class also featured a reverse grid saw Jono Davis improve on his earlier result, taking the lead toward the end of the race while Will Fairclough who was carrying ballast struggled to match his earlier performance but finished in P2 just ahead of Andy Montgomery.

The F3 Cup Championship brought some great single seater action with Cian Carey taking two dominant wins compounding his second place in the driver standings. In race one he did battle with Shane Kelly throughout, but Carey had the edge, Kelly having to be content with P2 with Stuart Wiltshire in third place.

Race two saw a shuffle of places on the podium, Carey again taking the top step,this time with Wiltshire in P2 and Shane Kelly in third place. The race began with a delayed start due to Philip Jeans car stalling on the green flag lap, but as the lights went out Carey got off to a flying start passing pole sitter Tony Bishop, the previous race top three went into battle but it was a commanding race by Carey leaving Wiltshire and Kelly in his wake.

Race three was a different matter, there was drama from the off when Kelly’s Mugen F308 failed on the grid, he was pushed back to the pit lane but that was the end of his race. Carey held the lead but was under pressure from Wiltshire, the duo eventually making contact resulting in a retirement for Wiltshire, and a lead for Darragh Daly, with Baptiste Leonard just behind him. Carey managed to finish the race alongside Phillip Jeans, however a 5 second penalty for exceeding track limits put him further down the order into 5th place and giving Daly his debut F3 Cup win, with Baptiste Leonard in second place and Jeans in third.

The MSVR All-Comers is a great fun series, which attracts a varied array of cars from Caterhams to BMWs to TVR’s. Taking the podium in the same order in both races on Sunday was Tony Bennett in his Caterham, flanked by Mark Rusted in his TVR Cerbera in second place and AJ Owen in his Honda Civic in third place.

Another popular MSVR series is the Trackday Championship which also attracts an eclectic mix of cars and a huge grid split of 5 classes split into two races. Class B, C & D race saw Gary Burstow in his BMW 328i Coupe take the overall and class B win over a second ahead of Simon Hogg and George Wright in their Porsche 944 with Pete Jokinen in third place in his MINI Cooper S.

Top of class C was Sam Gay and Colin Tester in the Honda Civic, with Kevin Sterling in second place in his Ford Fiesta and John Griffiths and Tom Rogers in the DLR Motorsport Renault Clio in third place. First plass in Class D was Phil Burden in a Ford Fiesta, second was Rob Burnham and Tom Starkey in their Ford Puma, while third in class went to Roger Everett in his Ford Fiesta.

The more modest grid of the S & A Class found a number of DNF’s but Class S and overall winner was Ryan and Jamie Gibb in the BMW M3, with Callum McDougall and Ben Simonds in second place with the Caterham SuperSport and Warren Allen in third place in his Porsche Cayman. The only finisher in the A Class was Les and Nik Barton in the VW Golf Cup.

 

The MSVT Trackday Trophy also saw a large grid with a variety or entries but wins in their first race went to Jordan & Ray Honeybone in the Renault Clio. While the MSVT Teams Trophy race found top step of the podium going to Ty Boothroyd and Michael Pensaville in their BMW M3.

The ever popular Radical SR1 Cup saw a fantastic grid of fourteen cars. There was some incredibly close, thrilling racing especially between James Pinkerton and Ryan Harper-Ellam who took a win apiece and with just fractions between them in the first race where Pinkerton triumphed and just over two seconds in the second race which found Harper-Ellam on P1.

Pinkerton now leads the championship 28 points ahead of Harper-Ellam. Pinkerton was quoted saying: “This weekend has been great for the championship. I didn’t expect to extend the points lead as it’s clear that Ryan was really quick here.

“I think the switch to the newer Gen2 design bodywork has helped as it’s made the car feel a lot more stable in the high-speed stuff. But I was speechless after race one – it was an insane race! We were both pushing pretty aggressively but giving each other enough room and those final stages were so tense as I nearly threw it all away on the final corner but just managed to come out on top.

“I pushed too hard at the start of race two and that cost me ultimately as I over-drove the car and went backwards. But this has still been a great weekend.”

Third place in both races went to Will Hunt.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

BRSCC Races at Rockingham

Last weekend saw the return of the BRSCC Race Weekend to a scorching Rockingham. The club which is more than 70 years old runs some of the most popular and diverse championships in British motorsport.

A packed timetable at the Corby circuit saw great racing action from a variety of BRSCC Championships, from the Drayton Manor Park MG Metro Cup to the sports prototypes in the OSS Championship. After a busy morning of qualifying on the Saturday, the first race got underway, the Track Attack Race Clubs trio of series, the Nippon Challenge- races open to any Asian Brand, the Tricolore Trophy- open to production and modified Citroen/Peugeot or Renault. And finally Multi Marques, which is open to any brand of modified sports, coupe or saloon car.

A large entry list saw Tony Hunter in his Silverstone Golf Club sponsored Renault Clio take the win in race one and two, with James Breeze, Chris Bassett, Don Hughes and Nick Gwinnett completing the podiums in race one and two respectively.

The Mazda MX-5 SuperCup, which currently runs as a support race on the new TCR UK series package, displayed some fantastic racing and a packed grid of 24 entries. The top of the championship standings sees a tight race between top three drivers Luke Herbert, James Blake-Baldwin and Jack Harding with very few points dividing them.

And so it was that those three dominated the first two races with Jack Harding taking the top step of the podium in race one and three and third place in race two. While James Blake-Baldwin took the win in race two and second place in race one, Luke Herbert took third place in race one and second place in race two. Completing the podium in race three was Steve Roberts in second place and 2017 rookie of the year Aidan Hills in third place.  

The popular Toyo Tires Porsche Championship also featured, with the added twist in their third reverse grid race, of a mandatory pit stop. This added a lot of fun to the final race and was a popular addition amongst the teams.

Race one saw the first win of the weekend for a dominant, championship leading Adam Southgate. Second place in Class A(Race Boxster) was Kevin Molyneaux and Jesse Chamberalin in third. While Gavin Johnson took the Class C win in his Porsche 924.

The second race on Sunday saw Karl Rossin join the grid on the back row after missing qualifying on Saturday and joining the Production GTi Championship for their qualifying session in his 924, eventually finishing the race third in class and thirteenth overall. Jamie Callender borrowed a Boxster to compete after being disqualified in race one, due to a missing roof and screen, however a repeat of overheating problems that had struck in race one brought his race to a halt on the sixth lap.

There was another second podium place for Kevin Molyneaux, with Garry Lawrence completing the Class A podium, Gavin Johnson and Hugh Peart hit the podium again in Class C accompanied by Rossin in third place.

Race three saw the reverse grid and Andrew Baker on pole however Nick Hull was quick to take the lead before Jesse Chamberlain took it from him. However a spin at Gracelands saw him rejoin in fourth place. Adam Southgate again powered on now in the lead and as the pit window, the grid began to peel off to complete the mandatory pit stops.

At the chequered flag Southgate took his third win of the weekend with Nick Hull in second place and Garry Lawrence in third. Class C saw Rossin on the top step of the podium with Hugh Peart in second and Richard Matthews in third.

Next up was the Fiesta Championship with MRF Tyres which saw pole sitter Ryan Faulconbridge take the win in race one joined on the podium by Myles Baker in second place and Richard Ashmole in third place. Race two on Sunday saw Faulconbridge again on the podium in second place with Harry Gooding taking the top step and Jamie Going in third place.

While race three saw Gooding again take the win with Going in second place and Tom Hutchins in third. This puts Gooding in the lead in the Championship standings, just 4 points ahead of Jamie White.

The Speed Group OSS Championship saw a grid of fifteen prototype machines take to the circuit from Radicals to a Juno to a Chrysler Jade. The championship races weren’t without their problems, the heat bringing challenges for many competitors. But in race one it was Josh Smith who took the chequered flag in his Radical PR6, with Patrick Sherrington in the MCR Sport who came second and Joe Stables in the Radical Pro 6 taking third place.

The podium positions were repeated in the second race however race three saw a change in order when in the opening laps Joe Stables had to retire with engine problems, leaving the top two positions in the hands again of Josh Smith and Patrick Sherrington while Daniel Prendergast took third place.  

In the very competitive Drayton Manor MG Metro Cup there were two races with Jack Ashton taking the win in race one, Dick Trevett in second place and older Ashton brother Andrew in third place. Race two found Andrew Ashton this time taking the win, Trevett again in second place and Przemyslaw Glodek in third place. The series continues at Donington in July.

The Speed Group F1000 races gave spectators a chance to see some fantastic single seater racing. The championship which was formerly Formula Jedi, sees machines on track powered by 1000cc motorbike engines. The series is a cost effective way into single seater racing and has been the launch pad for many successful drivers. First place in race one was Robert Sayell, second place Paul Butcher and third place Michael Watton who currently sits at the top of the championship results 4 points ahead of Dan Clowes.

In race two the podium was shuffled with Paul Butcher in first place, Robert Sayell in second and Watton again in third. But race three the final race of the weekend, saw Sayell again on the top step, Dan Clowes in second and Adam Walker in third. The championship continues on the the TCR UK support package at Castle Combe on July 14th/15th.

The Fiesta Junior Championship is a great stepping stone for young drivers moving up through motorsport, with entries open for competitors aged 14 to 17, giving the championship a deserved reputation as a highly competitive and flourishing junior series. With a modest grid of 9 entries there was still some great racing to enjoy for some promising youngsters. In race one Championship leader Magnus Kriklywi was set to take the top step of the podium but a 2 second penalty for a driving safety infringement saw him moved back to second place handing the win to James Waite, Oliver Turner joining them on the third step.

The second race of the weekend however saw Kriklywi redeem himself finishing just over a second ahead James Waite and Isaac Smith in third place. Abby Lock was awarded the Driver of the Meeting.

The Teekay Coupling GTi Championship is a very popular one make championship with a Mk 5 and Mk 2 class. The principles of the championship is to keep costs and modifications low and driving standards high. Race one saw Paul Blackburn take the chequered flag ahead of Simon Hill in second place and John Mawdsley in third. All three in the Mk5 class while top of Mk2 was Tim Hartland, Chris Webb and Dan Gibbs.

Race two belonged to Mk5s Martyn Walsh, with James Colbourne in second and Paul Blackburn in third. While Mk2 class winning line up remained the same as in race one.

Rounds 7 & 8 take place at Castle Combe on the TCR UK package.

Images ©Allison Remzi

Historic win for Toyota at Le Mans

The world’s most famous race saw Toyota take an historic 1-2 win, the first time the manufacturer has made the top step of the podium since entering the World Endurance Championships in 1985. The #8 car of Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi took a dominant win two laps ahead of the #7 of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and José Maria Lopez.

The rest of the LMP1 field, non-hybrids, struggled to keep apace and technical problems befell many including SMP’s Jenson Button. This led to a somewhat sterile race on the LMP1 grid, but making it to third step of the podium was the #3 Rebellion Racing of Mathias Beche, Thomas Laurent and Gustavo Menezes, with #1 sister car finishing in fourth place.

 Of the historic win Alonso commented; “It’s amazing, I’m still a little bit in shock right now. It was very stressful at the end when we were all watching. It’s been a very tense 24 hours. Maybe tomorrow, we’ll start to realise! I felt okay in the traffic. Sometimes you’re lucky for a few laps and then sometimes you’re unlucky and you get in a bad loop but the race suited my driving style and it all worked out.”

In LMP2 there was some controversy when post race #26 G-Drive Racing of Roman Rusinov, Andrea Pizzitola and Jean-Eric Vergne was disqualified from the top spot after it was discovered they had breached a technical regulation due to the “non-compliance of a part in the fuel restrictor.” the same applied to #28 TDS Racing Oreca of Francois Perrodo, Matthieu Vaxivierre and Loic Duval. Although the teams have appealed the decision, this promoted the #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut of Nicolas Lapierre, Pierre Thiriet and Andre Negrao to first in class with the #39 Graff of Vincent Capillaire, Jonathan Hirschi and Tristan Gommendy in second place and the #32 United Autosports of Hugo de Sadeleer, Will Owen and Juan Pablo Montoya completing the revised podium.

But it was in LMGTE where the racing really lit up and Porsche secured a fantastic 1-2 Pro class win in the German marque’s 70th year. Taking the win was fan favourite the #92 of Michael Christensen, Kévin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor.

Porsche’s commemorative liveries. pics copyright and courtesy of Porsche.de

The car which was liveried in the “pink pig” scheme chosen by the drivers and seen at Le Mans on the 917/20 in 1971 crossed the finish line one lap ahead of the #91 Rothmans replica liveried Porsche of Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki, with the #68 Ford Chip Ganassi of Joey Hand, Dirk Müller and Sébastien Bourdais in third place. The Fords, Ferraris and BMW’s gave the most competition to the class winners but ultimately lost out due to penalties and technical problems. The #95 Aston Martin Racing, only a week old and Le Mans its second race, of Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorenson and Darren Turner finished 8th in class while last years LMGTE winner Jonny Adam aboard the #97 Aston Martin finished 13th, a tricky weekend for Aston Martin.

LMGTE Am saw victory for Patrick Dempsey’s Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche team #77 of Matt Campbell, Christian Ried and Julian Andlauer who finished just ahead of #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Giancarlo Fisichella. Dempsey commented “Qualifying was chaotic. I was sure something would happen in the race, but I have never had a race go so smoothly before.  These young drivers had such a level of class. These are young stars emerging! Imagine, you’re in your first race here at Le Mans, at 18 years of age, and he took the lead! “

The Dempsey-Proton sister car #88 had led the class until early on Sunday morning when a spin off took it out of the race.

The #85 Keating Motorsports Ferrari of Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Luca Stolz finished in third place.

The next World Endurance Championship round is at Silverstone August 17th/19th.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick and Porsche.De

Le Mans 2018 Look ahead

With the countdown firmly on to the weekend and the pinnacle of endurance racing, we take a look at the Super Season so far and what is in store in one of the greatest motorsport events in the racing calendar.

The season got underway in Spa last month with the LMP1 #8 Toyota of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso taking the win. A superb start for Alonso in his debut WEC season. The McLaren Formula 1 driver was delighted with the result: “There’s been a lot of preparation into this project with winter testing, with simulator, with a lot of people in the factory building these two cars. Then you have to come to the races and deliver the results. I think we executed the race in the best way we could, and I’m extremely happy to win my first endurance race. Seb and Kazuki I think did an amazing job, made my life a little bit easier, and thanks to everyone in the team.”

In LMP2 the #26 G-Drive Racing of Jean-Eric Vergne, Andrea Pizzitola and Roman Rusinov took the class win, Vergne commented: “I think it was an amazing win. Obviously we don’t win in endurance without two good drivers and a good team, so big thanks to them. I think I did five stints in total.
The first two stints I drove, we pushed really hard. I think we extended the gap to 1m20-something. Then when I took back the car, we kept extending the lead, and then we had the Safety Car, so the lead went down to 12 seconds and I had to push again. Then I left, just didn’t do any mistakes, and went across the finishing line first.”

With such a great opening round delivered, Le Mans looks set to host another fantastic weekend of gruelling racing. The LMGTE Pro class will see a grid of seventeen entries, with Ford and Porsche both fielding four cars each.

Two of the Porsche entries will be in special liveries commemorating classic Le Mans liveries of the 70s and 80’s.

Paul di Resta

LMP2 Fields a huge grid of 20 entries with Jackie Chan Racing boasting 4 entries including two Ligiers as well as the Oreca’s. Algarve Pro Racing make their Le Mans return and United Autosports are joined on board their #22 Ligier by commentator and former F1 driver Paul di Resta.   

Charlie Eastwood

And there will be a number of familiar names making their Le Mans debut alongside di Resta and Alonso. Most prominently Jenson Button who will be on board the # SMP Racing LMP1. But other names familiar to motorsport fans include Pastor Maldonado, Mike Rockenfeller, Antonio Felix da Costa, Euan Hankey and Charlie Eastwood.

Fresh from his win in British GT last weekend Nicki Thiim will again be competing at Le Mans alongside fellow British GT Aston Martin drivers Marco Sorensen and Darren Turner.

Thiim also won the Silverstone round of Blancpain Endurance with new outfit R Motorsport in May.

Tennis Champion Rafael Nadal will be the official race starter as the 24hr event gets underway at 1.30 pm GMT, 2.30pm CET on Saturday. While Grand Marshall will be 6 times Le Man winner Jacky Ickx.

Free practice commences this afternoon followed by the first qualifying session, with the final two qualifying sessions starting tomorrow evening.

Le Mans 2018 look ahead images ©www.porsche.de  ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi 

British GT: Farmer and Thiim Triumph at Silverstone 500

It was another victory for TF Sports Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim as they took the GT3 win in the British GT Silverstone 500, the championships Blue Riband event. The duo also took the RAC trophy previously held by Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris. In an action packed race which saw multiple position changes at the front of the pack it was Barwell’s Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen that took second place after a great drive that saw them move up from twelfth place. In third place was Optimum Motorsports Jonny Adam and Flick Haigh in their first visit to the podium since their win at Oulton Park in April.

Riccardo Sanchez and Struan Moore who had began the race in pole position after a dominant qualifying run, looked set to repeat that performance holding a 16 second lead before the first round of pit stops, however when Struan Moore took over, the RJN Motorsport duo started to lose places.

Moore pitted again after completing just a few laps as his seat had come unclipped, slipped back in the Nissan GT-R Nismo and left Moore struggling to reach the pedals. Sanchez was duly sent back out and the pair eventually finished in fifth place.

Rick Parfitt Jnr had started the race in fourteenth place, was paired with former team mate Seb Morris who was drafted in at the very last minute when Ryan Radcliff was taken ill overnight.  Parfitt Jnr set a great pace getting past Jon Minshaw then Andrew Howard before spinning out after over steering, dropping Parfitt Jnr down to 13th place.

Morris took the seat and the Team Parker Racing #1 Bentley went on to finish in P6, they were set for P4 but a two place penalty was awarded post race due to Morris committing a yellow flag infringement.

Mark Farmer held pole position until the first pit stop when Marco Sorensen in the #17 TF Sport Aston Martin moved ahead, multiple order changes occurred, Beechdeans #99 Aston Martin with Darren Turner at the wheel also taking P1 for a while, but the pair struggled throughout with the performance of the Vantage eventually finishing in ninth place.  While Flick Haigh also fought her way up the order before handing the wheel to Jonny Adam in the final stint who consolidated their position.

Team ABBA’s Richard Neary made a return appearance at Silverstone alongside Adam Christadoulou, the team are currently entrants in the Britcar Endurance series, but just at over the half way point two bolts sheered from the front of the suspension mounting bringing the Mercedes AMG to a halt near the International pit straight and out of the race.

But it was Thiim and Farmer who remained unstoppable even despite losing places after a spin with Farmer at the wheel due to taking a hit from the #47Jetstream Motorsport Aston Martin. Thiim fought back hard after serving success penalties, with just a one second gap ahead of Phil Keen which he widened to 3 seconds, bringing the #11 Aston Martin home in first place for the second time this season. 

Mark commented: “The team played a master stroke(with strategy) and Nicki drove  the car like he stole it and the team executed the pit stops flawlessly. Nicki stated: It was a great weekend, we started off really good, it was perfect I am so happy to win this race”

GT4 found the #43 Century Motorsport BMW of Alex Schjerpen and Jack Mitchell take the win after some hard fought racing right down to the drop of the flag, securing a second back to back win for the Century Motorsport squad.

Equipe Verschuur’s Finlay Hutchison and Daniel McKay who had started the race on pole suffered with front suspension failure in the final hour forcing their retirement and handing the lead to #42 Century Motorsports Ben Green and Ben Tuck, however after serving their success penalty the duo dropped back towards the end of the race.

The Tolman Motorsport McLarens had mixed fortunes with two of the three having to retire but Lewis Proctor and Jordan Albert had a faultless drive moving from seventh into first place before being dropped back to second which they held for the remainder of the race. Ben Tuck did battle for third place with Academy Motorsports Matt Nicoll-Jones, with Tuck managing to hold Nicoll-Jones off initially but as Patrick Matthiesen also went into the fray however contact with the Academy Motorsport Aston Martin although giving a clear run to the finish line, also resulted in the positions being reversed post race.

While Matt George who was competing in two cars found himself without the drive in the Invictus Games Racing #44 when it was retired early on in the race. However the Aston Martin shared with James Holder faired better finishing seventh in class.

At the post race press conference Alex Schjerpen had this to say: “The BMW was flying and Century did a brilliant job of the pit stops, Jack went fastest and was flying as well! we knew the BMW would be good but didn’t know how good.”

The next British GT round takes place at Spa on July 21st-22nd.  

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi

British GT Silverstone Qualifying: Sanchez and Moore take pole

In his debut British GT outing Ricardo Sanchez put the RJN Motorsport Nissan Nismo on pole in GT3 for tomorrow’s 3 hour race at Silverstone. Sanchez, who partners Struan Moore, is a former GT Academy winner and recently took third place in the Silver Cup in the Blancpain GT Series at Silverstone.  While second place in qualifying was fastest in Free Practice 1, Mark Farmer and Nicky Thiim.

Farmer completing his session just 0.7 seconds behind Sanchez. The duo only just claiming second after mere fractions of a second kept third place Maxime Martin and Graham Davidson. Barwells Minshaw and Keen start from 13th, one place behind Championship leaders Yelmer Buurmen and Lee Mowle.

Equipe Verschuur claimed their first GT4 pole, Finlay Hutchinson and Daniel McKay comfortably holding off second position Academy Motorsports, Tom Wood and Jan Jonck.

Hutchinson remarked: “The car was perfect – I couldn’t fault it! This is the first time since Oulton Park that, as a team, we’ve maximised everything, and that Dan and I have managed to pull something out of the bag. I think this is his first endurance race so it’ll be a bit different to what we’re used to tomorrow.”

Third on the GT4 grid will be Fox Motorsports Mark Murfitt and Michael Broadhurst, Broadhurst also setting fastest time of the day and a British GT4 qualifying record in the second session, Murfitt was fastest in the Am category finishing his session seventh overall.

Elsewhere in GT4 Matt George held a good pace, his driving two cars in the event meant his Am Generation AMR Super Racing co driver James Holder went up against the pros in the second session giving Daniel McKay the advantage to put the Mclaren 570S on pole.

George’s second drive in the Invictus Racing #44 Jaguar alongside Paul Vice will start the race from 21st place.

British GT Silverstone Qualifying Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick  ©Allison Remzi

British GT Silverstone 500 look ahead

British GT  Silverstone 500 takes place this weekend for the series Blue Riband 3 hour race. The Silverstone 500 puts points and a half up for grabs as well as the prestigious RAC Trophy, last year won by 2017 champions Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Jnr.

The event will also field the largest entry list of the season with 36 cars on the grid. Entries to look out for include former GT4 championship contender Alex Reed who returns aboard the Team HARD with Trade Price Cars Ginetta alongside Benjamin Wallace Reed commented: “I came so close to winning the British GT4 title in 2017 and hoped to return for another run at it this year, so it’s great to be involved, especially as I’ll be back behind the wheel of a Ginetta, which I’m so familiar with. I’m confident in Team HARD’s ability to provide a competitive racecar and there’s no doubt in my mind that we have the potential to achieve something spectacular at Silverstone.”

While long time Team HARD driver Jordan Stilp joins Callum Hawkins-Row in the #34 Ginetta after Anna Walewska earlier announced her withdrawal from the Silverstone round alongside University of Bolton who will also no longer be working with Team HARD.

Invictus Games Racings Matt George will be the first competitor to drive 2 cars in the same race when he continues his mentorship with the Invictus Games backed squad driving alongside Paul Vice and also joins James Holder in the Generation AMR Super Racing Aston Martin.

Speaking at an Invictus Games Racing VIP event George said: “Yes I am fortunate to be racing Aston Martin as well as the Invictus Car, it’s something that has not been done before, I’ve been training very hard and eating healthily. It’s going to to be difficult, it’s going to be a fantastic challenge and it’s nice for us professionals to prove to these guys(the Invictus Games Racing am drivers) that we are working as hard as they are!

Another addition to the grid will be Ricardo Sanchez who joins Blancpain team mate Struan Moore in the #24 RJN Motorsport Nissan, fresh from the teams Silver Cup podium place at Silverstone in May.

With Lee Mowle and Yelmer Buurman leading the championship just four and a half points ahead of Barwells Minshaw and Keen and a very competitive Darren Turner and Andrew Howard on 66 points in third place, the top of the leaderboard is wide open with points and a half available at Silverstone.

The British GT event features Supercar Sunday, a chance to see a paddock full of owner driven supercars, and the three hour race takes place on Sunday at 13.10.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

British GT Snetterton TF Sport dominate

A glorious Snetterton welcomed British GT and a race one win for a dominant TF Sports Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim after the duo’s powerhouse performance in qualifying put the duo on pole in both races. 

Race One: While pole sitter Ben Tuck of Century Motorsport dominated the first period in GT4, it was a bad start for Aleksander Schjerpen in the #43 Century Motorsport M4, pitting on the first lap with a tyre issue.

The race quickly settled but it was an impromptu early stop for #99 Beechdean Aston Martin of Andrew Howard after just 4 laps with two punctures due to contact with Flick Haigh and Jonny Adams  Aston Martin, which later resulted in the duo receiving a 30 second penalty dropping them down the race order. The #86 Steller Performance Toyota GT86 of Dean Macdonald and Alex Quinn was also an early retirement with engine issues.  

Back in the race the #47 Aston Martin of Graham Davidson and the #1 Bentley of Rick Parfitt Jnr passed Minshaw, Farmers #11 Aston Martin dropping back into 4th place. Then began a prolonged safety car period after the Balfe Motorsport McLaren of Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson drew to a halt after earlier contact.

Almost everyone pitted when the pit window opened still under the safety car, which caused a few infingements and subsequent penalties. Nicki Thiim was first out of the pits and at the end of the safety car period took a strong lead ahead of Maxime Martin and Phil Keen behind him and Ryan Ratcliffe in tenth place.

The battling at the the top of the field continued but it was TF Sports Nicki Thiim who was matchless and continued to dominate bringing the Aston Martin home ahead of Maxime Martin and Phil Keen in 3rd place.

Meanwhile in GT4 Matthew George took an unexpected  lead in the #44 Invictus Games Racing Jaguar, a place that would cost them a stop go penalty after serving a too short pit stop that had handed him the lead.

There was also stop go penalties for #53 and #54 UltraTek Racing Teams Nissans for pit lane infringements, moving Charlie Fagg in the #4 McLaren into the lead, however after fighting to hold off Joe Osborne, by fractions of a second it was the Tolman Motorsport duo of David Pattison and Osborne that eventually took the lead and win in GT4 putting Will Moore and Matt Nicoll-Jones into 3rd place

Race two saw another fantastic win for TF Sport with Derek Johnston and Marco Sorenson taking the top step of the podium, topping a great weekend for the Surrey based squad. While the honours in GT4 went to Ben Tuck and Ben Green in their maiden British GT win in the BMW M4.

The race began with Ben Barnicoat in the #72 Track-Club McLaren needing recovery in the first lap, bringing out the safety car, which hampered Nicki Thiims chances of building a lead. Thiim continued to do battle with Sorenson holding a lead of just 2 seconds however the success penalty served at the halfway point put Thiim and Farmer behind Darren Turner and Andrew Howard now running in second place with Derek Johnston not relenting to pressure by Turner, the order in the top three remaining as the chequered flag fell.

Meanwhile Jon Minshaw went into battle with Flick Haigh, Haigh eventually moving into fourth place leaving Minshaw at the mercy of #47 Jetstream Motorsport Aston Martin which his the #33 Lamborghini sending Minshaw spinning, a move that saw Jetstream receive a 30 second penalty and Minshaw eventually finishing in fifth place.

GT4 saw some excellent close racing in the opening stint, Nicoll-Jones out in front until Jack Mitchell in the #43 Century Motorsport BMW took the lead. When the pit window opened, penalties and pit times changed the order Tolman Motorsports David Pattison in the #56 McLaren taking the lead, but eventually dropping back down the order into fourth place with Ben Green and Ben Tuck taking the win, Academy Motorsports Lewis Proctor and Jordan Albert in second and Balfe Motorsports Matt Nicoll-Jones and Will Moore in third place.

British GT continues at Silverstone on June 9th and 10th, where Invictus Racings Matthew George will be racing the squads Jaguar as well as Generation AMR Super Racing Aston Martin alongside James Holder in the Blue Riband Event, a huge undertaking that will see George essentially driving for the entire three hour race.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi

British GT Snetterton

 

 

Formula Renault Eurocup Silverstone: Victory for Fewtrell and Milesi

As a support race on the popular Blancpain GT Series as well as Formula 1, the Formula Renault Eurocup is a proving ground for the driver stars of the future. Former British F4 champion Max Fewtrell took the win on home soil in the first race, his second win this season.

Fewtrell was initially feeling the heat in race one from team mate Logan Sargeant however Fewtrell maintained pole and took a particularly good lead after the safety car period caused by contact between Frank Bird and Alex Peroni. Meanwhile Christian Lundgaard was involved in an incident with Raúl Guzmán for which he was penalized three grid positions for race two.

But it was a romp home for Fewtrell with Logan Sargeant in second and Yifei Ye in third place.

In the post race press conference Max Fewtrell Commented: “A win is always sweeter at home. I like this circuit and it’s been good to me! It would be hard to hope for a better comeback after the Monza weekend where I was run into twice. Today, my reaction at the start was a little slow. I forgot that there were three red lights and not five. I was somewhat comfortable in the race, but there were a few moments in turn 11! I know that it will be harder tomorrow. I will be in the first group on track, in contrast to Logan. He is really on it this weekend, but that won’t stop me from giving it everything I’ve got!”

In race two it was 17 year old Charles Milesi that took top step of the podium in his maiden Formula Renault Eurocup win. Milesi was under pressure from R-ace GP team mate Logan Sargeant but held the lead throughout making it a second one-two for R-ace GP with Sargeant in second place and Yifei Ye again completing the podium. Race one winner Fewtrell finished further back the field in fourteenth after an opening lap incident with Arthur Rougier, Thomas Maxwell and Frank Bird scuppered a double win chance.

The championship continues this weekend at Monaco on the Formula 1 support package.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi

 

Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe at Silverstone: return of the raging bulls

The one make series made its appearance at Silverstone on the Blancpain support package again this year. A stunning field of Huracans took to the Northamptonshire circuit on the scorching May weekend for some fantastic, close racing.

Taking the win in race one in the Pro class was Imperiale Racings Vito Postiglione and Karol Basz in their second consecutive win of the season. Postiglione commented “I managed to keep my position at the start. I tried to keep up with the leaders and managed to do so. I then opted to anticipate the pit stop. A choice that in the end paid off, with Basz coming back ahead and then remaining in the lead until the end, despite the many lapped drivers”.

In the Pro-am class it was victory for Juan Perez and Loris Spinelli of Antonelli Motorsport also taking a second win in a row. While the AM category found VS Racings August Macbeth and defending champion Andrzej Lewandowski taking top of class. In the Lamborghini Cup Joseph Collado took his first win in his first full season in Super Trofeo Europe.

Race two found 17 year old member of the Young Drivers Program of Lamborghini Squadra Corse Giacomo Altoè, take the win alongside Daniel Zampieri. The win puts Altoe in the lead of the championship standings, he later said:  “I’d like to thank my teammate Zampieri, who helped me a lot throughout the weekend to get the most out of such a difficult track as the Silverstone one, which I’d never seen before. Race 2 was fantastic; on the penultimate lap I managed to take advantage of a small mistake made by Tweraser and took the lead. I think it was a well-deserved victory”.

More success came for Antonelli Motorsport with Juan Perez and Loris Spinelli taking first place in PRO-Am and a second trip to the podium that weekend.

Also making it back onto the podium in race two was August Macbeth and Andrzej Lewandowski. Macbeth commented: “I’m really happy. Debuting with two victories was extraordinary. I wish to thank the whole team and my teammate Lewandowski”.

While the winner of the Lamborghini cup was Gerard Van der Horst of Van Der Horst Motorsport.

Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe moves to Misano June 23rd/24th.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi

R-Motorsport Triumph at Blancpain GT Silverstone

As the Blancpain Endurance series returned to Silverstone it was the #76 of new team R-Motorsport’s Aston Martin driven by Matthieu Vaxiviere, Jake Dennis and Nicki Thiim that took a resounding win with more than 10 seconds ahead of second place #88 Mercedes AMG of AKKA ASP, with #114 Emil Frey Lexus taking third place.

There was some confusion after the mornings qualifying session due to the #76 Vantage being disqualified due to the data-logger not working, this would have put the car to the back of the grid, however the team lodged an appeal putting them on pole and in the event of their appeal being overturned race results would have been provisional.

At time of writing the #76 maintained its position and subsequent race win.

The #76 was never in any position to be seriously troubled by the #88 Mercedes of Adam Christodoulou, Tristan Vautier and Raffaelle Marciello. The AKKA ASP squad briefly took the lead after the first round of pit stops but with Jake Dennis now at the wheel of the #76, the lead position was quickly regained.

Jake Dennis commented: “I looked to my left coming out of the pits and I could see the Mercedes overtaking me. I pushed as hard as I could for a few laps to try and put some pressure on Tristan and the move paid off. We left each other enough space so there was good respect between us. From then on I just wanted to run a clean stint. The car was incredible all weekend. We’ve had a really strong package and my teammates have done an outstanding job.”

The #114 Emil Frey Lexus took third position and despite a a charge from Dries Vanthoor in the #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 the #114 held third giving Lexus their first podium place in the Blancpain GT Series.

In the Silver Cup class it was top step of the podium for Abdul Al Faisal, Hubert Haupt and Gabrielle Plana in the Black Falcon Mercedes AMG, although it had looked as though the #54 Emil Frey Jaguar was set to take the win until the last hour of the race when a lost wheel brought them to a halt at Luffield and dropped them out of the race and down the final class order into seventh place.

Taking second place was the Reiter Young Stars squad of Mads Siljehaug, Lenny Marioneck and Patric Neiderhauser in the Lamborghini Gallardo. The team is made up of several students who work closely with industrial partners competing in the Reiter Young Stars Cup.

Third step of the podium in that class went to Jordan Witt, Ricardo Sanchez and Struan Moore in the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 of RJN Motorsport.

Pro-AM Cup found class honours going to Ram Racings Darren Burke, Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey in the Mercedes AMG in a dominant win which saw Hankey take the final stint and a popular home win for the WEC driver.

In second place was the #42 Mercedes AMG of Strakka Racing helmed by Chris Buncombe, Nick Leventis and Lewis Williamson, Williamson also completing the fastest lap in class.   Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin in the AF Corse Ferrari 488 took third place while the #53 sister car completed the class in ninth place

The win in the AM Cup went to Garage 59’s Chris Harris, Alexander West and Chris Goodwin who finished just ahead of #89 AKKA ASP Teams Mercedes AMG of Phillipe Glauque, Eric Debard and Fabien Barthez with the Porsche 911 of Herberth Motorsport finishing class in third place.

British GT entrants Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw also competed, Minshaw on board the Barwell Lamborghini #77 which finished 42nd overall after contact with the #26 Audi took it into the International pit wall and out of the race.  

Keen was behind the wheel of the GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan which finished 17th overall. Meanwhile last years British GT champion Seb Morris who is contesting the series in the Team Parker Racing Bentley was taken out of the race early on after engine problems drew their day to a close.

The Series continues at Paul Ricard on 1st/2nd of June.

Blancpain GT Silverstone  Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick  ©Allison Remzi

BARC & Britcar Endurance Silverstone 2018 Gallery

Britcar Endurance returned to the Grand Prix circuit at Silverstone last weekend, with victory for Richard Neary in the Sprint Category of both races with Johnny Mowlem and Ivor Dunbar also doing a double win in both Endurance races.

 A large grid of entries included the new Honda Civic Type R run by Synchro, Alyn James put some very fast laps in for the factory squad, the team finishing 6th overall in the 2 hour endurance race.

Race 2 brought very different weather conditions to the first which was run in sunny dry conditions, while the two hour race run Saturday mid afternoon, saw a dry start, but when rain began to fall so the incidents on track also started stacking up.

The racing was never less than hard fought with the likes of Sarah Moore doing battle with Adam Morgan, earning her Britcar Driver of the Day, but Stewart Lines and Adam Morgan claimed overall third in the SEAT Cupra, battling the on track conditions that saw many cars struggling.

Among those that came to strife was the Porsche Cayman of Brad and Rick Nevinson as well as the EDF Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage which suffered gearbox issues, putting Mal Sandford and Ben Seyfried out of the race.

In the Ginetta corner it was Team HARD who dominated as opposed to Black Mamba Racing who had given Team HARD a run for their money at Rockingham.

Simon Rudd & Tom Barley took P1 & P2 in class in race 1 and 2 respectively, and Adam Hatfield & Callum Hawkins-Row taking P1 & P4.

Also on track was the MSA Superkart Championship, OSS Championship, Classic FF1600, Kumho BMW Championship and the Caterham Graduate Championship.

In the Superkarts Championship Paul Platt takes a resounding lead after just two rounds while former champ Gavin Bennett had a continuation of his problems in the Cadwell Park round, retiring from all three Silverstone races.

 

 

 

While the OSS Championship saw a huge grid of 42 entries ranging from Radicals to the stunning

Manderson Whiteland of Matt Manderson and some fantastic sports car racing across the weekend.

Images  ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi

Mowle & Buurman take the win at British GT Rockingham

ERC Sport’s Lee Mowle and Yelmer Buurman took the win in a gripping afternoon of British GT racing at Rockingham. The duo were originally flanked on the podium by TF Sports Derek Johnson and Marco Sorenson, however a post race 30 second penalty given after Derek Johnson made contact with Rick Parfitt Jnr sending him spinning across the track at Tarzan, saw the duo lose their podium place, promoting Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod to second and Beechcroft’s Darren Turner and Andrew Howard to third place.

There was problems for the #68 Toyota on the opening lap, bringing an early pit stop for Tom Canning with gear selection problems. Meanwhile Parfitt Jnr who had started in eleventh place made good progress moving up into eighth place. On the eighth lap Sean Balfe came into strife after spinning off into the wall on the banking before Deene.

The first Safety Car of the race was deployed reducing the lead that Jon Minshaw had established. After the Safety car period ended it was Sam De Haan in the #69 Barwell Lamborghini in second place with Flick Haigh in the #75 Aston Martin in third place. Meanwhile Mark Farmer in the #11 TF Sport Aston Martin was suffering electrical problems that seemed to cause the Vantage to cut out on the banking.

On lap 12 Flick Haigh ran off at Tarzan after slipping on an oil patch, but rejoined dropping down into 10th. There were serious problems for Ana Walewska who pitted with electrical issues in the Team Hard Racing Ginetta that took her out of the race. Meanwhile Andrew Howard passed Parfitt Jnr moving up into eighth place.

In GT4 Charlie Fagg did battle with HHC’s Patrik Matthiesen for class lead. The #56 Tolman Motorsport McLaren span into the gravel at Chapman Curve bringing out the second safety car.

As the period closed Flick Haigh fought through up into fifth place, Sam De Haan drew back into third while #47 Graham Davidson moved into second place, however after Davidson handed the #47 Aston Martin to Maxime Martin, a further safety car period neutralised their advantage, and Buurman took the lead.

The #33 Lamborghini had to serve the 20 second success penalty after the Oulton Park round and any chance of a recovery and win was dashed after Barwell was handed a 10 second stop/go penalty for a pit infringement. Barwell’s bad luck continued when Sam De Haan’s Lamborghini was sidelined with a clutch problem taking the #69 Huracan out of the race.

Buurman took the lead, and romped home with the win.

Darren Turner moved into third place but was pursued hotly by Callum MacLeod just a second behind him,

eventually passing him and putting the Team Parker Racing #7 duo on the podium.

GT4 saw HHC Motorsports Patrik Matthiesen and Callum Pointon took their maiden win, UltraTek Racing Team RJN’s Stephen Johansen and Jesse Anttila took second place, with Academy Motorsport’s Matt Nicoll-Jones and Will Moore on the third step of the podium.

The championship continues at Snetterton on May 26th/27th.

Images  ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi

Minshaw and Keen on pole in Rockingham British GT Race

The Championship continues this weekend at Rockingham with Barwell Motorsports Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen taking an early lead in the Championship standings. A clerks ruling after the Oulton Park round declared the extremely wet second red flagged race, which never got beyond four laps behind the safety car, to be defined as a race(as more than two laps were run) and therefore championship points were awarded.

Fastest in free practice one was the ERC Sport Mercedes AMG of Lee Mowle and Yelmer Buurman, who currently sit in second place in the standings, with Minshaw and Keen just points of a second behind them and TF Sports Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim third fastest.

In GT4 it was a full house for Tolman Motorsport  with the #5 McLaren of Lewis Proctor and Jordan Albert  quickest just ahead of #56 sister car driven by Michael O’Brien and Charlie Fagg, just ahead of #56 David Pattison and Joe Osborne.

There were multiple red flags in free practice two as the wet weather worsened, but it was the #75 Optimum Motorsport of Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam that were quickest ahead of TF Sports Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim with the sister #17 TF Sport of Derek Johnston and Marco Sorensen third fastest.

Top of class in GT4 was #50 HHC Motorsport of Mike Newbould and Will Burns, followed by Team Parker Racings Nick Jones and Scott Malvern just ahead of Adam Balon and Ben Barnicoat in the Track-Club McLaren 570S

As the afternoons qualifying got underway, in GT3 AM Flick Haigh had a storming session, completing with a fastest lap of 1.32:844, doing battle with Jon Minshaw, who was second fastest on 1.33:828. Haigh commented that “the first corner was a balancing act but you have to push on” Lee Mowle was unable to finish the session after plowing the ERC Sport Mercedes AMG into the wall on the first lap.

However when the Pro’s took to the wheel Phil Keen put in a blistering performance with a fastest lap of 1:29.318, despite Jonny Adams best efforts and reducing the difference between the Barwell car and the Aston Martin it will be Keen and Minshaw on pole position for the two hour race tomorrow with Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam second on the grid and Nicki Thiim and Mark Farmer third on the grid.

GT4 sees Tolman Motorsports Michael O Brien and Charlie Fagg at the front of the class grid with the #5 Tolman Motorsport of Lewis Proctor and Jordan Albert in second position and Ben Green and Ben Tuck in the Century Motorsport BMW M4 in third. 

The two hour Rockingham British GT race takes place on Sunday at 1.10.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi

Season kicks off for VSCC Formula Vintage at Silverstone

The opening round of the 2018 Vintage Sports Car Club Formula Vintage series took place at Silverstone last weekend. Drawing a large crowd of spectators, with action on and off track and unparalleled pit access, the VSCC events popularity is well deserved.

Dating back to 1949, the spring opener is a showcase for the best in historic racing, Formula Vintage was re-launched last year having previously been VSCC Racing.

On track action included the AR Motorsport Morgan Challenge, the series runs 9 classes  and is open to all 4 wheeled, road going Morgans. Other races included the Freddie Giles Memorial Race for Frazer Nashes, the GP Itala and Lanchester Trophies race for Vintage Racing Cars and the Fox & Nicholl Trophy for pre-war sports cars.

In addition here were guest competitors from the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association, Morgan Aero Challenge and FISCAR(Fifties Sports Cars).

There was also a lunchtime Pre-War track parade accompanying the eighteen races across the weekend.

Off track there was the MSA British Autotest Championship, a low speed course run for five classes of cars from saloons to sports cars. While on the Sunday the VSCC’s Autotest took place, a series of all forward driving tests. For the family there was also a funfair, vintage entertainment as well as trade stands.

Some of the cars on display around the paddock as well as on track included a stunning Lorraine Dietrich 16.5. Originally built in 1909 the Edwardian marque was restored over ten years by Richard Scaldwell, who has competed in the Chateau Impney Hill Climb in it.

Another car attracting some attention was the beautiful 1959 Lotus 15 owned by Rod Spollon. In its the day the marque was driven by the likes of Graham Hill, Innes Ireland and Roy Salvadori.

Formula Vintage continues at Oulton Park on May 19th.

VSCC Formula Vintage Gallery all images ©Andy Fitzpatrick  & Allison Remzi

Britcar Endurance Championship 2018 Opens at Rockingham

As the Britcar Endurance Championship 2018 opened at Rockingham it was a double win for Richard Neary in the Sprint category. Neary who has competed the last few years in British GT in the stunning Team ABBA Mercedes AMG, alongside Martin Short, saw off challenges by the Ferrari 458 of David Mason and Ross Wylie in race one and the Ferrari 488 of John Seale in race two.

Neary finished more than a minute ahead of Mason and Wyle in the opening race, while in the second race just under 3 seconds ahead of John Seale.

The endurance category was dominated by the two Black Mamba Racing Ginetta GT4’s, #22 driven by Andy Demetriou and Luke Williams, and Chris Papageorgiou and Jayde Kruger in #6. Demetriou/Williams took the endurance win in race one and third overall, with the #6 car taking second in class, barely seconds behind.

Taking third and fourth in class was the Team Hard Ginetta pairings of Simon Rudd and Tom Barley in #24 and #285 of Darron Lewis and Adam Hatfield.

In the second Endurance race it was another great show for Demetriou/Williams who took first overall and first in class, with the Track Focused KTM X Bow of Mike McCollum and Sean Cooper taking second and Team Hards Rudd/Barley completing the podium in third place.

Also out on track was Stewart Lines who currently competes in the newly launched TCR UK series. Alongside him in the Maximum Motorsport SEAT Cupra was BTCC competitor Adam Morgan.

From the TCR UK series was Darrelle Wilson in the beautiful Porscheshop 911 alongside Ian Heward. While it was also great to see  BTCC Rob Austins old Audi A4 “Sherman” in the hands of Alex and Robert Day.

The Championship continues at Silverstone on May 12th.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

2018 Blancpain GT Series kicks off at Zolder

Last years champions Christian Engelhart and Mirko Bortolotti took the win in the first race of the opening round of the 2018 Blancpain GT Series at Zolder. The duo in the GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan, took a comfortable win just over 3 seconds ahead of the #2 Audi R8 of Belgian Audi Club Team WRT.

The first time Audi have been beaten at Zolder since 2014. The Audi had started the race on pole and looked to continue their dominant performance at the Belgian track, however a barnstorming performance by Engelhart and Borlotti brought the Huracan home, the first time at Zolder for Lamborghini since 2013.

Race two saw Robin Frijns in the #17 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT lose his pole place after having his fastest lap deleted when he hit a cone outside track limits and caused a red flag in qualifying.

Handed the pole place was Borlotti and Engelhart however a poor pit stop time caused by a seatbelt problem cost the race one winners their race.

The #2 Team WRT Audi was looking set to succeed however a drive through penalty for leaving the pit lane in an inappropriate manner handed pole and the win to the #66 Attempto-Audi of Steijn Schothorst and Kelvin van der Linde.

 

The Championship continues at Monza on 21st-22nd April

 

Images courtesy of Blancpain GT Series     www.blancpain-gt-series.com

 

WEC Prologue 2018

The 30 hour WEC Prologue 2018 test at Paul Ricard took place last weekend allowing a first glimpse of some new entrants and a taste of what the 2018 Super Season has in store.

Toyota led the way early on while testing their new cooling system and aero package unrestricted. But once the cars returned to LMP1 Equivalence of Technology regulations after Friday, their times dropped closer to the LMP1 privateer times.

After TVR teased its return to motorsport in the days prior to the test it was revealed they had teamed up with Rebellion racing for the Super Season, the Rebellion R-13 carrying the TVR branding on its stunning new livery, the #1 car finishing 4th overall in the weekends testing with Andre Lotterer at the wheel.

#1 Rebellion Racing (CHE) Rebellion R13-Gibson LMP1 – Andre Lotterer (DEU), Neel Jani (CHE), Bruno Senna (BRA), Mathias Beche (CHE), Gustavo Menezes (USA), Thomas Laurent (FRA) WEC Prologue , Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, Var, France

Former F1 driver Pastor Maldonado made his WEC debut in LMP2 with DragonSpeed and set the fastest time in the class of 1:40.771, with Nicolas Lapierre being second in class in the Signatech Alpine A470.

#36 Signatech Alpine (FRA) Alpine A470-Gibson LMP2 – Nicolas Lapierre (FRA), Andre Negrao (BRA), Pierre Thiriet (FRA) WEC Prologue , Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, Var, France

In GTE Pro it was the Porsche Motorsport GT team that topped the timings with Gianmaria Bruni setting the fastest time in the #91 911, with the sister #92 car second in class ahead of the two Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK cars.

GTE Am the #88 Dempsey Proton Porsche led the timings, meanwhile in the ELMS test the teams #77 car sustained serious damage early on meaning the #77 WEC car ran in its place.

There are several new drivers including Fernando Alonso, Antonio Felix da Costa on board, as well as up and coming young drivers such as Jazeman Jaafar and Oliver Rowland. And with new cars in the WEC Super Season such as the Ginetta Mecachrome there is much for endurance fans to look forward to over the next year.

The season begins in Spa on May 3rd/5th.

Images ©Paul Foster www.fozzyimages.co.uk

British GT Oulton Park Haigh and Adams make history but rain stops play

Mixed fortunes in difficult wet conditions at Oulton Park kicked off the 2018 British GT season. But it was a storming, historic win for Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam in race one. The race started with four Aston Martins in the top six, with the #17 TF Sport on the second row and #11 TF Sport Aston on the third row next to the #99 Beechdean Aston of Darren Turner and Andrew Howard.

As the race got underway under the safety car due to wet weather conditions, it was an unstoppable Flick Haigh who led the way in the Optimum Motorsport Aston with the #1 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental of Rick Parfitt just behind.