Parente Takes Second Win At Mid-Ohio (30.07.17)

Photo: World-Challenge.com

Alvaro Parente, driving the #9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 took his second victory of the weekend in the GT class in Pirelli World Challenge at Mid-Ohio. The Portuguese driver crossed the line 6.628 seconds ahead of Patrick Long in the #58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Third in the Pro class was Alec Udell, driving the #17 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

In a race which ran uninterrupted by cautions and safety cars, Parente took the lead from pole-sitter Long at the start of the second lap and maintained a lead of over 1.5 seconds for the majority of the 50-minute sprint, extending the gap in the final 15 minutes.

Continue reading Parente Takes Second Win At Mid-Ohio (30.07.17)

Third Win of The Season For James And Panoz At Mid-Ohio (30.07.17)

Photo: Panoz.com

Ian James, driving the #50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT, came home to take his third victory of the season in Race Two, Round Twelve of the GTS class of the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge at Mid-Ohio. Second across the line was the pole-sitter and winner of Race One, Lawson Aschenbach in the #10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.

Taking the final podium position was Harry Gottsacker, driving the #69 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta G55.

Aschenbach led the field away from pole-position and appeared to be controlling the race from the front but James, in the #50 car, was on Aschenbach’s rear bumper after twenty minutes of racing, pushing the Floridian driver to the point where race officials were starting to become concerned about Aschenbach’s defensive tactics.

The decisive move came at the start of the eighteenth lap when James took the lead going into Turn One. James then managed to pull out a lead of just under three seconds but Aschenbach remained a threat for the remainder of the 50-minute race, crossing the line 1.917 seconds behind the #50 car.

Ian James knew he was going to have to work hard to pass Aschenbach.

“I had a great battle with Lawson,” said James. “They set their car up to go fast on short stints and we did the opposite and it went in our favour.”

“I was working him round the back of the circuit so I was hoping to get him by surprise. I knew I would only have one chance as I know he’s a pretty good defensive driver, let’s say.”

The Am class was won by George Kurtz in the #04 GMG Racing McLaren 570S GT4, passing Tony Gaples in the #11 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4 on the final lap to win by .615 seconds. Third in the Am class was Bob Michaelian in the Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 Gt4.

“It was a great win,” said Kurtz. “We didn’t have a great start – we got checked up at the beginning but we were able to get our heads down and hustle through. It was a long way to go to beat Gaples. Unfortunately I had to wait until the last lap but that’s the only lap that counts.”

“I figured I could get him in the back straight-away and I really just wanted to stay tight and keep the gap close. It was the ‘King Of Late Brakers’ between the two of us! He’s a great driver and it was clean so we were able to get through and we got the win.”

The 50-minute race was largely incident-free with no yellow flags or Safety Cars. The sole retiree was Rodrigo Baptista in the #3 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR following damage the car sustained in Race One.

Following his second place, Achenbach maintains his considerable lead in the GTS Drivers Standings on 268 points. Ian James, however, moves into second place in the standings on 181 points, two points ahead of third-placed Martin Barkey in the #80 Mantella Autosport KTM Xbow GT4 on 179 points.

George Kurtz’s win means that he extends his lead over Tony Gaples in the Am class Drivers Standings by two points to 10 points.

Rounds 13 and 14 for the GTS class take place at Utah Motorsports Complex on August 11 – 13.

Parente Wins GT Race 1 At Mid-Ohio To Close Points Gap To Long (29.07.17)

Alvaro Parente, driving the #9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3, closed the points gap at the top of the Sprint GT Drivers Standings to just nine points behind Patrick Long after winning the first Pirelli World Challenge GT race of the weekend at Mid-Ohio.

Cadillac Racing took second and third places in the Pro category after Michael Cooper, driving the #8 Cadillac ATS V.R, crossed the line 6.857 seconds behind Parente. The sister #3 car, driven by Johnny O’Connell was .462 seconds further back.

Continue reading Parente Wins GT Race 1 At Mid-Ohio To Close Points Gap To Long (29.07.17)

Aschenbach Takes World Challenge GTS Race 1 Win At Mid-Ohio (29.07.17)

Lawson Aschenbach, driving the #10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4, won the first race of the weekend for the GTS class in Pirelli World Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

Second across the line was the Ian James in the #50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT. Taking the final podium position was Harry Gottsacker in the #69 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta G55.

Starting from second on the grid, Aschenbach took the lead in an incident-filled start which saw contact between the #3 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR driven by Rodrigo Baptisto and Fred Roberts in the #89 JCR Motorsports Maserati GT4 result in a lengthy FCY while Roberts was carefully extracted from his car. Thankfully Roberts was shaken but uninjured.

Continue reading Aschenbach Takes World Challenge GTS Race 1 Win At Mid-Ohio (29.07.17)

Double Victory For United Autosports In ELMS Round 3 At Red Bull Ring (23.07.17)

Photo: Jakob Ebrey

The #32 United Autosports Ligier JSP217 took the LMP2 class and overall victory at The Four Hours of the Red Bull Ring from Spielberg, Austria. The #32 car, piloted by William Owen, Hugo de Sadeleer and Filipe Albuquerque crossed the line just 4.554 seconds ahead of the #22 G-Drive Racing ORECA 07 driven by Memo Rojas, Nicolas Minassian and Léo Roussell.

Taking the final step of the class podium was the #39 Graff ORECA 07 driven by Eric Trouillet, Paul Petit and Enzo Guibbert.

2 and 32 a.a. 17.07.23

Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Continue reading Double Victory For United Autosports In ELMS Round 3 At Red Bull Ring (23.07.17)

“I Hope He Won’t Be Out Of LMP2 For Too Long” – Graff’s Matelli Replaced By Gustavo Yacamán For ELMS Round 3 (20.07.17)

Photo: DIRK BOGAERTS / ADRENALMEDIA.COM

After quietly jelling as a driving trio for the first two rounds of the 2017 European Le Mans Series, and following an impressive performance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the #40 Graff driver line-up of James Allen, Franck Matelli and Richard Bradley is no more.

25 year-old Matelli, who was enjoying his first full season in prototypes, has been replaced by Colombian Gustavo Yacamán.

FM a.a. 17.07.20

Franck Matelli (Photo: FIAWEC.com)

Although only 26 years old, Yacamán is already into his fifth full season in prototypes, having begun his sportscar career with a third place finish in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona driving alongside Michael McDowall and Filipe Nasr in the Michael Shank Racing Ford-powered Riley.

Richard Bradley, James Allen and Franck Matelli have enjoyed a solid start to the 2017 season. Racing together for the first time at Silverstone in round one of the European Le Mans Series, the #40 Graff ORECA 07 was qualified in P11 and finished fourth overall. For the second round at Monza, Richard Bradley qualified the car in the seventh place with the young Australian James Allen bringing the car home in eighth place.

The trio, a combination of youth and experience, really came together at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year. The #40 car qualified 13th in class and, in a race where the premier class fell by the wayside and the race could easily have been won by an entry in the LMP2 category, finished sixth overall and fifth in class.

No reason has been given for the replacement of Matelli by Yacamán.

The news of Matelli’s replacement came as a disappointment to Allen, after the Australian formed a solid driving bond with the young Frenchman.

“I am obviously disappointed for Franck and for the team to have a driver change at this point in the series,” said Allen, speaking to EnduranceandGT.co.uk. “Franck is a competent and reliable driver who will be missed. I hope he won’t be out of LMP2 for too long.”

The lights go out for the third round of the 2017 European Le Mans Series, The Four Hours of the Red Bull Ring, at 13:00 local time on Sunday July 23.