International GT Open Silverstone, Storming UK debut of Lexus RC F GT3 & 1-2 finish for BMW Team Teo Martin

International GT Open Silverstone, Storming UK debut of Lexus RC F GT3 & 1-2 finish for BMW Team Teo Martin

While hitting the podium for the second time that weekend was the Emil Frey Lexus duo of Albert Costa and Philipp Frommenwiler, who ran an incredible race charging to third place in the final minutes.
As the series descended on Silverstone it was the #54 Lexus RC F GT3 of Emil Frey Racing Lexus that took the win in race one, with a faultless run by Albert Costa and Philipp Frommenwiler at the wheel, scoring their 3rd 1st place in their maiden European season.  It was a first outing for the car in the UK as the Swiss team continue their development of the GT3 , following on from a successful outing at last years VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring.

Second place went to Imperiale Racing’s Giovanni Venturini and Marco Mapelli. Imperiale Racing entered three Lamborghini Huracan’s for the event, capitalizing on the current Championship standings which finds Venturini in first place with team mate Thomas Biagi in third place who also took bottom step of the overall podium in race along with co driver Raffaele Gianmaria.

The race saw some close battles but few incidents. The trio of Imperiale Racing Huracans kept the pressure on the rest of the field, with contact between team mates in cars #51 and #28 at one point. And a great performance by second place Marco Mapelli pushing on the winning #54 Lexus.

Phil Keen who is currently second place in the British Gt Championship standings with Jon Minshaw, helmed the Lee Mowle Mercedes AMG along with fellow British GT competitor Ryan Ratcliffe.

Ryan Ratcliffemore

The duo who started on the second row of the grid finished in eighth place. Riki Christadoulou and Craig Dolby in the Lamborghini Gallardo Rex of Nigel Mustill / Wessex Vehicles finished race one in thirteenth place. Also competing was British racing stalwart Jonny Mowlem alongside Ivor Dunbar who finished in 24th place over all.

In the Pro-Am class it was Shaun Balfe and Rob Bell in the Balfe Motorsport Mclaren who took first place while second in that class was SPS Automotive Performance’s Valentin Pierburg and Tom Onslow-Cole in the Mercedes AMG.

Onslow-Cole has previously raced in the British Touring Car Championship and British GT. Third place in Pro-Am went to Brits Jordan Witt and Michael Meadows in the Jordan Racing Bentley GT3, Witt was the 2016 GT Cup overall and GTO winner, while Meadows has competed in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Porsche Supercup, British Formula Three and is currently competing in the Blancpain series in the AKKA ASP Mercedes AMG.

The Am class was won by Sports and You’s Luis Silva and Anconio Coimbra in the Mercedes AMG, joining them on the podium in second place was MS Racing’s  Alexander Hrachowina and Martin Konrad also in a Mercedes AMG while completing the podium was Alex Moiseev and Davide Rizzo in the Kaspersky Motorsport Ferrari 488.

 

Race two on Sunday found considerably cooler conditions than Saturday and a few drops of rain throughout the hour race. None of which detracted from the on track battles which found a 1-2 win for BMW Team Teo Martin, the first time the team mates have been on the podium together.

Crossing the finish line first was the BMW M6 driven by António Félix da Costa and Lourenço Beirão da Veiga just fractions of a second ahead of Victor Bouveng and Fran Rueda in the #65 BMW. While hitting the podium for the second time that weekend was the Emil Frey Lexus duo of Albert Costa and Philipp Frommenwiler, who ran an incredible race charging to third place in the final minutes.

Pro-Am winners Jordan Witt and Michael Meadows finished in 10th place overall just ahead of second place Pro-Ams Hiroshi Hamaguchi and Vitantonio Liuzzi in the FFF Racing Team by ACM Lamborghini Huracan, finishing third in that class was Shaun Balfe and Rob Bell in their second podium appearance of the weekend.

Am class found Alex Moiseev and Davide Rizzo also back on the podium joined by 2-3 finish for the Sports and You team with Marcio Basso and Nonô Figueiredo in second and Luis Silva and Anconio Coimbra this time in third place.

As the championship looks ahead to the next round at Monza at the end of the month, there are few points to separate the top drivers in the standings, those being Giovanni Venturini, Albert Costa, Philipp Frommenwiler and Thomas Biagi.

 

 

Allison Remzi      Images   ©Andy Fitzpatrick & ©Allison Remzi

 

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