Weekend round-up: VLN, IMSA, British GT, ADAC GT, Italian GT

It was a very busy GT weekend, with a taste of prototypes. The VLN had their second race of the championship, while the IMSA went to Laguna Seca. Three other big national GT championships also had races, with the British GT Championship at Rockingham, the German ADAC GT Masters at the Sachsenring and Italian GT at Monza.

VLN – 41. DMV 4-Stunden-Rennen

The rain just before the start of the 41. DMV 4-Stunden-Rennen made picking the right type of tires very difficult. With a track that dried out quickly, almost all competitors had to switch to slicks in the first few laps. After that, a good battle between the number 5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Frank Stippler and the number 6 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Maro Engel gave the spectators something to cheer for. Stippler and his team mate Andreas Fjordbach eventually got ahead of Engel, Bernd Schneider, Adam Christodoulou and Manuel Metzger to take the win, despite a late rain shower.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 (F. Stippler/A. Fjordbach)
2 #6 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 (B. Schneider/M. Engel/A. Christodoulou/M. Metzger)
3 #8 Haribo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (U. Alzen/L. D. Arnold/M. Götz/J. Seyffarth)

IMSA – Laguna Seca

The Mazda prototypes dominated practice and qualifying, but they were not able to win the at Laguna Seca. After the driver changes in the two-hour race, the number 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier-Honda of Oz Negri and John Pew took the lead and won dominantly. Marc Goossens of the number 90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette and Eric Curran, driving the number 31 Action Express Racing Corvette, battled hard for second place. Goossens and Ryan Dalziel managed to cross the line ahead of Curran and Dane Cameron, giving the VisitFlorida.com machine second place.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS-Honda P2 (J. Pew/O. Negri)
2 #90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP (M. Goossens/R. Dalziel)
3 #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP (D. Cameron/E. Curran)

British GT – Rockingham

Nothing could stop the number 17 TF Sport Aston Martin, driven by Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam, from winning the British GT race at Rockingham. Starting from pole, Johnston pulled away immediately and Adam only had to worry when the safety car periods came to an end. In the end, the TF Sport Aston crossed the line five seconds ahead of the number 33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen, who had to defend his place against Ross Gunn and Andrew Howard in the number 1 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #17 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (D. Johnston/J. Adam)
2 #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (J. Minshaw/P. Keen)
3 #1 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (A. Howard/R. Gunn)

ADAC GT Masters – Sachsenring

Race 1

A safety car period during the pit window had a big impact on the first race of the ADAC GT Masters at the Sachsenring. This safety car played in the favour of some cars, including reigning champions Sebastian Asch and Luca Ludwig. The drivers of the number 1 Team Zakspeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 made the most of the situation and won their second race of the season. Second place was taken by Connor De Phillippi and Christopher Mies in the number 29 Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3, while Daniel Dobitsch and Edward Sandström took the first points for the number 25 APR Motorsport Audi with third.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #1 Team Zakspeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 (S. Asch/L. Ludwig)
2 #29 Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 (C. de Phillippi/C. Mies)
3 #25 APR Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 (D. Dobitsch/E. Sandström)

Race 2

The number 77 Callaway Competition Corvette made a huge step on the first lap, jumping from ninth to third. After that, Jules Gounon and Daniel Keilwitz were able to move further up the field, taking the lead on lap seven. Despite a safety car when running far in front, Gounon managed to hold on to the lead an take the victory. Philip Geipel and Rahel Frey were the biggest surprise on the podium, taking a hard fought second in the number 50 YACO Racing Audi, while Laurens Vanthoor and Florian Stoll were third in the number 24 APR Motorsport Audi.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #77 Callaway Competition Corvette C7 GT3 (J. Gounon/D. Keilwitz)
2 #50 YACO Racing Audi R8 LMS (P. Geipel/R. Frey)
3 #24 APR Motorsport Audi R8 LMS (F. Stoll/L. Vanthoor)

Italian GT – Monza

Race 1

The number 46 Black Bull Swisse Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Mirko Venturi and Stefano Gai started from pole, but lost the lead quickly to the number 11 Easy Racing Ferrari of Ferdinando Geri and Daniel Mancinelli. After the driver changes, Marco Mapelli and Filipe Albuquerque stormed to the front to win the race in the number 8 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3, ahead of the number 16 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán of Mirko Bortolotti and Jeroen Mul. The pole-sitting Black Bull Swisse Racing Ferrari finished in third with Venturi and Gai.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #8 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3 (M. Mapelli/F. Albuquerque)
2 #16 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (M. Bortolotti/J. Mul)
3 #46 Black Bull Swisse Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 (M. Venturi/S. Gai)

Race 2

The second race of the Italian GT championship had to start behind the safety car because of heavy rain. When the field was released, the number 46 Black Bull Swisse Racing Ferrari of Mirko Venturi and Stefano Gai took the lead and after that it only had to fend off Filipe Albuquerque’s number 8 Audi Sport Italia Audi. A spin of the Portuguese driver promoted Riccardo Agostini and Antonio di Folco to second in the number 25 Antonelli Motorsport Lamborghini, while Mirko Bortolotti and Jeroen Mul took their second podium of the weekend with the number 16 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini.

Top 3 overall classification

1 #46 Black Bull Swisse Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 (M. Venturi/S. Gai)
2 #25 Antonelli Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (R. Agostini/A. di Folco)
3 #16 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (M. Bortolotti/J. Mul)

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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.

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.