In both Britain and Japan the national GT series raced their second raceweekends. The IMSA United Sports Car Championship ran their fourth race of the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, while the prototypes and GT cars of the World Endurance Championship drove the 6 hours of Spa.
World Endurance Championship – 6 hours of Spa
Two races, two wins for André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer. The drivers of the #7 Audi Sport Audi R18 e-tron quattro won the 6 hours of Spa, three weeks after winning at the 6 hours of Silverstone. Just like then, the #18 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas took second place, while the #17 Porsche of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber crossed the finish in third.
Three Porsches started the race at the front. The #17 was quickest in qualifying, ahead of the #19 of Nico Hülkenberg, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber and the #18. The #17 of Hartley, Webber and Bernhard stayed at the front for the first half of the race, but a stop-and-go penalty and problems with the rear suspension ruined their chance for victory. A new lap record set by Hartley didn’t help his team higher than third place. Victory was taken by Lotterer, Fässler and Tréluyer, some thirteen seconds ahead of the #18 Porsche of Jani, Lieb and Dumas.
Toyota wasn’t able to challenge the Audi’s and Porsches. Reigning champions Sébastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson finished eight in the #1 Toyota TS 040 Hybrid, which missed Kazuki Nakajima after the Japanese driver was injured during practice. Three places ahead of the #1, the #2 of Mike Conway, Alex Wurz and Stéphane Sarrazin ended the race in fifth.
Top 5 classification
1 #7 Audi Sport R18 e-tron quattro (B. Tréluyer/M. Fässler/A. Lotterer)
2 #18 Porsche 919 Hybrid (N. Jani/M. Lieb/R. Dumas)
3 #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid (T. Bernhard/M. Webber/B. Hartley)
4 #9 Audi Sport R18 e-tron quattro (F. Albuquerque/M. Bonanomi/R. Rast)
5 #2 Toyota TS 040 Hybrid (M. Conway/A. Wurz/S. Sarrazin)
United Sports Car Championship – Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda
The #90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP of Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante has won the fourth round of the United Sports Car Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. After two hours and forty minutes of racing, Ricky and Jordan Taylor in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP finished in second, ahead of the #60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2-Honda HPD of Oswaldo Negri Jr. and John Pew.
Started from third, Valiante took the lead directly after the start. He kept first place for fifteen laps, lost the lead for sixty laps to the Taylor brothers, but co-driver Westbrook regained the lead 29 laps before the end. In the end, Taylor and Taylor missed the win by only 1.3 seconds. Not on the podium were championship leaders João Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi who ended the race in fourth, driving the #5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP. They lost the championship lead to race winners Valiante and Westbrook. In GTLM, class victory was taken by Lucas Luhr and John Edwards in the #24 IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 GTLM, followed by teammates Dirk Werner and Bill Auberlen in the #25.
Top 5 overall classification
1 #90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP (R. Westbrook/M. Valiante)
2 #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP (R. Taylor/J. Taylor)
3 #60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2/Honda HPD (O. Negri Jr/J. Pew)
4 #5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP (J. Barbosa/C. Fittipaldi)
5 #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP (E. Curran/D. Cameron)
British GT – Rockingham
Alexander Sims and reigning champion Marco Attard have won the third round of the British GT Championship at Rockingham. The drivers of the #1 Barwell Motorsport/Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3 were the first to cross the finish line after two hours of racing. Victory in GT4 was taken by the #404 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of Jamie Chadwick and Ross Gunn.
Attard started the race from pole position and led the field into the first corner, but later on in the first lap, the #007 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Andrew Howard passed the BMW of Attard. Attart regained the lead after twenty minutes of racing and kept it until the pitstops. After the pitstops, Sims was in second place behind the #2 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Ahmed al Harthy and Daniel Lloyd. Lloyd made a mistake when lapping other cars, and that handed the lead to Sims. A late safety car didn’t give him any trouble on the way to victory. Lloyd and Al Harthy finished in second, ahead of their Oman Racing Team colleagues Rory Butcher and Liam Griffin.
Top 5 overall results
1 #1 Barwell Motorsport/Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3 (A. Sims/M. Attard)
2 #2 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (D. Lloyd/A. Al Harthy)
3 #6 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (R. Butcher/L. Griffin)
4 #30 RAM Racing Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 (A. MacKinnan/L. Plato)
5 #17 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (D. Johnston/M. Bell)
Super GT – Fuji 1
Victory in the second race of the Japanese Super GT Championship went to the #1 Motul Autech Nissan GT-R of Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli. The duo led the whole race and finished eleven seconds clear of the #12 Calsonic Impul Nissan GT-R of Hironobu Yasuda and João Paulo de Oliveira.
Matsuda and Quintarelli started the race from pole position and held on to the lead all race long, ahead of De Oliveira and Yasuda. Third place was in the hands of the #38 ZENT Cerumo Lexus RC F of Yuji Tachikawa and Hiroaki Ishiura, but on the third lap of the race, James Rossiter and Daisuke Ito in the #36 Petronas TOM’s Lexus RC F passed the #38. The first three remained in the same positions for the rest of the race, even after a safety car and the mandatory pitstops. The #38 didn’t finish the race, as a result of a collision with a contender in the GT300 class.
Top 5 overall classification
1 #1 Motul Autech Nissan GT-R (T. Matsuda/R. Quintarelli)
2 #12 Calsonic Impul Nissan GT-R (H. Yasuda/J.P.L de Oliveira)
3 #36 Petronas TOM’s Lexus RC F (J. Rossiter/D. Ito)
4 #17 Keihin Honda NSX Concept-GT (H. Mutoh/K. Tsukakoshi)
5 #39 Denso Kobelco Sard Lexus RC F (K. Hirate/H. Kovalainen)
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