Weekend round-up: N24QR, WEC, ELMS, British GT, IMSA, PWC, ADAC GT

It was a very busy week with lots of GT and endurance racing. The Nürburgring 24 Hours Qualifying Race took place, while Silverstone hosted the first round of both the World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Championship. The British GT drivers were at Brands Hatch for their opening round, while their German colleagues raced theirs at Oschersleben. In the United States, both the IMSA United Sports Car Championship and the Pirelli World Challenge held races at Long Beach.

Nürburgring 24 Hours Qualifying Race

Six hours of racing at the Nürburgring 24 Hours Qualifying Race with two new cars dominating the field. The number 30 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Maximilian Bukh, Christian Vietoris, Thomas Jäger and Dominik Baumann was the first to cross the chequered flag, ahead of Mercedes colleagues Uwe Alzen, Lance David Arnold, Maximilian Götz and Jan Seyffarth in the number 8 Haribo AMG. The third spot on the podium was taken by the pole sitting Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3 of Alexander Sims, Philipp Eng and Maxime Martin.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #30 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 (M. Bukh/C. Vietoris/T. Jäger/D. Baumann)
2 #8 Haribo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (U. Alzen/L. Arnold/M. Götz/J. Seyffarth)
3 #23 Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3 (A. Sims/P. Eng/M. Martin)

FIA World Endurance Championship – Silverstone 6 Hours

Round one of the FIA WEC saw some big surprises. After leading most of the first two hours, the number 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard crashed out while lapping a GTE-class Porsche. The number 7 Audi R18 e-tron of Benoît Tréluyer, Marcel Fässler and André Lotterer took over the lead and kept that position until the chequered flag. The number 2 Porsche of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb was a threat for the Audi, but a spin meant that the only remaining Porsche 919 had to accept a second place. Bruno Senna, Filipe Albuquerque and Ricardo González won the LMP2 class in their RGR Sport by Morand Ligier, while Ferrari swept the GTE categories: Davide Rigon and Sam Bird won the GTE-Pro in the AF Corse Ferrari, while Emmanuel Collard, Rui Águas and François Perrodo were victorious in GTE-Am with their AF Corse Ferrari.

Four hours after the race, however, the number 7 Audi was disqualified when a skid block didn’t meet the regulations. This promoted the number 2 Porsche to victory, Toyota to second, and the number 13 Rebellion of Mathéo Tuscher, Alexandre Imperatori and Dominik Kraihamer to third.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid (R. Dumas/N. Jani/M. Lieb)
2 #6 Toyota TS050-Hybrid (K. Kobayashi/M. Conway/S. Sarrazin)
3 #13 Rebellion R-One AER (M. Tuscher/A. Imperatori/D. Kraihamer)

European Le Mans Series – Silverstone 4 Hours

The first race of the European Le Mans Series season wasn’t a difficult one for the number 38 G-Drive Racing Gibson of Harry Tincknell, Simon Dolan and Giedo van der Garde. After half an hour, Tincknell had built a gap of over 25 seconds. A full course yellow handed the lead to Fabien Barthez in the number 23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier, but later in the race had to retire. The road was clear for the G-Drive machine to take the first victory of the season. Only one other car managed to end on the lead lap: Stefano Coletti, Julian Leal and Andreas Wirth managed to accomplish that feat in their number 32 SMP Racing BR01. Vincent Capillaire, Olivier Lombard and Jonathan Coleman ended in third with the #22 SO24 by Lombard Racing Ligier.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #38 G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S-Nissan (H. Tincknell/S. Dolan/G. van der Garde)
2 #32 SMP Racing BR01-Nissan (S. Coletti/J. Leal/A. Wirth)
3 #22 SO24 by Lombard Racing Ligier JS P2-Nissan (V. Capillaire/O. Lombard/J. Coleman)

British GT – Brands Hatch

The British GT got their season underway at Brands Hatch. The number 31 Team Parker Racing Bentley started from pole and driver Rick Parfitt Jr. pulled away from the rest of the field. A full course yellow played in the favour of the number 6 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini of Liam Griffin and Fabio Babini, but the biggest winners of the situation was the number 17 TF Sport Aston Martin. Derek Johnston stayed out a little longer than the others at the front, which made it possible for Jonny Adam to rejoin the track in first place. Parfitts co-driver Seb Morris held on to third, which became second when the number 7 AMDtuning.com BMW got penalized for illegal overtaking.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #17 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (D. Johnston/J. Adam)
2 #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 (R. Parfitt Jr./S. Morris)
3 #6 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (L. Griffin/F. Babini)

IMSA United Sports Car Championship – Long Beach

Right at the start of the IMSA race at Long Beach, the number 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette of Jordan and Ricky Taylor took the lead. After the pitstops, the pole sitting number 5 Action Express Racing Corvette of João Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi came closer to the Taylor-brothers. A safety car, which bunched up the field, appeared to be perfect for Barbosa, but he wasn’t able to threaten the Wayne Taylor machine. Instead, he had to defend from teammates Eric Curran and Dane Cameron in the number 31 Action Express Corvette, but the top three remained the same until the chequered flag.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP (J. Taylor/R. Taylor)
2 #5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP (J. Barbosa/C. Fittipaldi)
3 #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP (E. Curran/D. Cameron)

Pirelli World Challenge – Long Beach

Pole position was taken by the number 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren of Álvaro Parente. He held the lead at the start, with Patrick Long’s number 31 Effort Racing Porsche moving into second. After nine laps, Long was passed by the charging works Cadillac of Johnny O’Connell for second place. With twenty minutes to go, O’Connell passed Parente too and drove off to the win, or so he thought: Right after the race the number 3 Cadillac was penalized for a technical infraction, which handed the win to Parente and K-PAX Racing. O’Connell was demoted to second, while Long held on to third.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 (A. Parente)
2 #3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS.V.R (J. O’Connell)
3 #31 Effort Racing Porsche 911 GT3R (P. Long)

ADAC GT Masters – Oschersleben

Race 1

Race one became chaotic when several cars were awarded five penalty seconds because of a breach of the rules at the start. The correct order of the race only appeared right after the driver changes. Connor De Phillippi and Christopher Mies came out in the lead, because the number 29 Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 didn’t have to stay in the pit for an additional five seconds. Reigning champions Luca Ludwig and Sebastian Asch in the number 1 Zakspeed Mercedes-AMG did have to, and only in the penultimate lap managed to pass the Audi of Mies for the win. Behind the team mates of the number 29, the number 28 Land drivers Marc Basseng and Peter Hoevenaars secured third place.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #1 Zakspeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 (L. Ludwig/S. Asch)
2 #29 Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 (C. De Phillippi/C. Mies)
3 #28 Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 (M. Basseng/P. Hoevenaars)

Race 2

The Zakspeed AMG of Ludwig and Asch took the lead at the start of the second race. Christopher Mies in the Land Audi followed Ludwig, with the number 24 APR Motorsport Audi of Laurens Vanthoor in third. The driver changes didn’t make too much of a difference, except for the number 63 Grasser Racing Lamborghini of Rolf Ineichen and Christian Engelhart coming out in second. In the end, they inherited the victory when the Zakspeed AMG was penalized. Asch broke the rules at the restart, which resulted in a thirty second penalty and a 22nd place. De Phillippi and Mies took their second second place of the weekend, with Vanthoor and Florian Stoll in third with  the APR Motorsport Audi.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #63 Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (R. Ineichen/C. Engelhart)
2 #29 Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 (C. De Phillippi/C. Mies)
3 #24 APR Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 (F. Stoll/L. Vanthoor)

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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.