Weekend round-up: IMSA, PWC, British GT, Zandvoort 12H

The weather had it’s part in all of last weekend’s races. The IMSA United Sports Car Championship and Pirelli World Challenge saw some rain, with one race of the PWC being cancelled, while rain also hit the track at the 12 hours of Zandvoort and the British GT at Silverstone.

IMSA United Sports Car Championship – Detroit

The IMSA United Sports Car Championship round at the Belle Isle circuit has been won by Eric Curran and Dane Cameron. The Action Express Racing drivers finished ahead of Ozz Negri Jr. and John Pew of Michael Shank Racing, who denied an Action Express Racing 1-2 finish.

The #5 Action Express Racing of Christian Fittipaldi and João Barbosa started from pole and led comfortably until the first full course yellow. Shortly after it went green, Wayne Taylor Racings Jordan Taylor overtook Barbosa, but Taylor was overtaken by Cameron in the final 30 minutes. Only ten minutes away from the end, Taylor was issued a drive-through penalty for contact. Seventh was all Ricky and Jordan Taylor got in the end. Cameron cruised to victory, but the fight for second place was much more intense. On the last lap, Ozz Negri took second away from Barbosa, who finished third.

Top 5 overall classification

1 #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP (E. Curran/D. Cameron)
2 #60 Michael Shank Racing Honda HPD Ligier JS P2 (J. Pew/O. Negri Jr)
3 #5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP (J. Barbosa/C. Fittipaldi)
4 #01 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost Riley DP (J. Hand/S. Pruett)
5 #90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP (R. Westbrook/M. Valiante)

Pirelli World Challenge – Detroit

Rain shook things up at the Belle Isle circuit in Detroit. Only one of the originally planned two races could take place. K-PAX Racing made the most of the weekend and grabbed the win in a dry race, with Kévin Estre behind the wheel of their McLaren 650S GT3.

The starting grid was decided by the standings in the championship after a big crash of Renger van der Zande in his Effort Racing Porsche 997 GT3R. It meant R. Ferri Motorsport’s Oliver Beretta started from pole position, and he kept the lead at the start. After only two laps, Beretta made a slight mistake and Estre was able to pass him. In the remainder of the race, the McLaren works driver pulled away and secured his third victory of the season. Beretta took second place ahead of Chris Dyson in the Dyson Racing Bentley, who passed JD Davisons Nissan in the second half of the race to become third.

Round 10: top 5 overall classification

1 #9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 (K. Estre)
2 #61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 (O. Beretta)
3 #16 Dyson Racing Bentley Continental GT3 (C. Dyson)
4 #3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V R (J. O’Connell)
5 #33 AE/ReplayXD Nissan Nismo GT-R GT3 (J. Davison)

British GT – Silverstone

Unexpected success for Von Ryan Racing during the British GT race at Silverstone. Last minute replacement drivers Gilles Vannelet and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs won their first race in the new-for-2015 McLaren 650S GT3.

Vannelet gained the lead at the first lap as pole man Andrew Howard in the Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 spun. Both he and co-driver Quaife-Hobbs didn’t make any mistakes, even though the weather was changing and two safety car periods distracted the rhythm of the leaders. The Von Ryan Racing McLaren was quicker during the whole race, but due to some slower GT4 cars, the gap to second placed Triple Eight Racings Lee Mowle and Joe Osborne was only 0.6 seconds. Third spot on the podium of the three-hour race was taken by reigning champion Marco Attard and Alexander Sims in the Ecurie Ecosse BMW.

Top 5 overall classification

1 #12 Von Ryan Racing McLaren 650S (G. Vannelet/A. Quaife-Hobbs)
2 #888 Triple Eight Racing BMW Z4 GT3 (L. Mowle/J. Osborne)
3 #1 Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3 (M. Attard/A. Sims)
4 #2 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (A. Al Harthy/D. Lloyd)
5 #7 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (A. Howard/J. Adam)

24h Series – 12H Zandvoort

Starting on Friday, stop the race after three hours and return to the track for the remaining nine hours on Saturday. Christiaan Frankenhout and Kenneth Heyer, drivers of the Hofor-Racing Mercedes SLS, took the victory after twelve hours of racing.

The three hours on Friday saw a impressive performance of Tom Coronel, who took his GDL Racing SLS to a one lap lead in the pouring rain. Amateur co-driver Ivo Breukers held on to fourth, after having to let Heyer, Tom Onslow-Cole and Bernd Schneider go. The nine hours on Saturday were being driven under dry conditions. During the second half of the race, Frankenhout, Heyer, Michael Kroll and Roland Eggimann went back into the lead of the race. A very fast pitstop during a Code 60 decided the race in their favour, leaving the Ram Racing Mercedes of Thomas Jäger, Onslow-Cole and Paul White behind.

Top 5 overall classification

1 #10 Hofor-Racing Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 (M. Kroll/R. Eggimann/C. Frankenhout/K. Heyer)
2 #30 Ram Racing Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 (P. White/T. Onslow-Cole/T. Jäger)
3 #2 HP Racing Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 (H. Proczyk/R. Renger/B. Schneider/C. Tilke)
4 #67 GDL Racing Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 (T. Coronel/I. Breukers/R. Breukers)
5 #4 Scuderia Praha Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 (J. Písarik/J. Jirik/P. Kox)

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Student journalism but most of all addicted to racing, Bjorn visits Circuit Park Zandvoort and TT Circuit Assen on a regular basis. Also writes for Autosportlive.nl.

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Bjorn Smit

Student journalism but most of all addicted to racing, Bjorn visits Circuit Park Zandvoort and TT Circuit Assen on a regular basis. Also writes for Autosportlive.nl.