British GT Championship drivers Stuart Middleton and Rick Parfitt are currently leading the Sunoco Challenge standings as the competition draws to a close for 2017.
Middleton, driving partner of William Tregurtha in the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 , currently leads the British GT GT4 driver standings by 25 points and heads the Sunoco Whelan Challenge points table with 76.39 points.
Previous winners of the Sunoco Whelen Challenge include Derek Johnston and Seb Morris. The prize is a fully-funded drive in the #31 Whelan Engineering Cadillac DPi at the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, including flights, accommodation and food, worth $250,000.
Rick Parfitt, driver of the #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 and who currently leads the GT3 Drivers Championship in the 2017 British GT Championship with previous Sunoco Whelan Challenge-winning driver Seb Morris, leads the Sunoco 240 Challenge by 5.5 points ahead of Jon Minshaw.
The prize for winning the Sunoco 240 Challenge is a race seat in a GT4 car, run by Racers Edge, in the 4-hour endurance race on the Friday before the Rolex 24 at Daytona, a package worth $50,000.
The Sunoco Whelan Challenge was launched in 2009 as a concept to promote the Rolex 24 at Daytoan and was a joint initiative between NASCAR chairman Jim France and Anders Hilderbrand, Managing Director of Anglo American Oil Company.
The Sunoco 240 Challenge was first introduced in 2011 as a competition for drivers who were not ready to race a Daytona Prototype.
After the announcement that Ginetta is to investigate JHR Developments and suspend the Dronfield, Derbyshire-based team from Ginetta competitions until further notice, current championship leader Sebastian Priaulx has announced that he will join HHC Motorsport for the remainder of the 2017 season.
Priaulx and his fellow JHR Developments drivers are not under investigation and Ginetta has confirmed that any outcome of its findings will have no retrospective impact on the drivers or their points.
Priaulx is relieved that a solution to his challenge for the 2017 title has been found.
“This has been a tough situation to deal with over the past few months and I’m relieved to be going into the final races with a clear mind,” said the Guernsey-based driver. “Since the appeal, we have enjoyed some really competitive races, including four race victories.
“Naturally we are disappointed to have had to split from JHR Developments, with whom I’ve had some great success over past eighteen months or so, especially at such a pivotal time of the season with only three meetings remaining.
“This is a matter between JHR Developments and Ginetta however and we have to respect the decision that has been made. I would like to thank both Ginetta and JHR for all they have done to help me stay on the grid for the rest of the season, and to all my sponsors for their understanding in this situation.
“HHC Motorsport are a highly successful and respected team in the Ginetta Junior paddock. I’m looking forward to working with them and I’m confident we can enjoy a successful end to the season together.”
Rounds 19, 20 and 21 of the 2017 Ginetta Junior Championship take place at Rockingham Motor Speedway on August 26 and 27.
With the FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue being held on weekend of April 1 – 2 at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, the Media Day launch for the British GT Championship at Snetterton on Tuesday March 28 (which also coincides with Day One of the Official Test for the European Le Mans Series) and the first round of the VLN series being held on the Nordschleife this weekend, the 2017 launch of three more major global and European series is almost upon us.
Some series and championships have already got underway, however, and last weekend saw the second rounds of both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the 24H SERIES.
The 24H SERIES arrived in Italy for the Hankook 12H Mugello and it was the #11 Scuderia Praha Ferrari F488 GT3 piloted by Jiri Pisarik, Josef Král and Matteo Malucelli that took the chequered flag and the top step of the podium. The Czech Republic-based team won with a four-lap advantage over second place finishers IDEC SPORT RACING with its #17 Mercedes AMG GT3 driven by Patrice Lafargue, Paul Lafargue and Dimitri Engelbert.
Continue reading The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (24.03.17)
Blyton Park Driving Centre near Gainsborough has been acquired by Ginetta and the Leeds-based manufacturer plans to develop the facility to enhance the customer experience.
The Blyton Park Driving Centre is based at what was formally an airfield. First opened in 1942, RAF Blyton was initially used to train Polish aircrew learning to fly Wellington bombers. At the end of the war, the airfield was allocated to the US Airforce at which time the grass runways were laid with tarmac. The airfield closed in 1954 and was acquired by Managing Director Richard Usher in 2011.
Today the facility offers seven different circuit layouts, including a rallycross configuration, and offers track hire, testing facilities and motorsport experiences.
Continue reading Ginetta Buys Blyton Park Driving Centre (23.03.17)
Garforth, Leeds-based United Autosports has confirmed its entry into the 2017 Michelin Le Mans Cup. Shaun Lynn and Richard Meins will be driving the team’s Ligier JS P3 as the Michelin Le Mans Cup expands to include the LMP3 class.
United Autosports won both the LMP3 Teams Championship and Drivers Championship in the 2016 European Le Mans Series. Alex Brundle, Christian England and Mike Guasch drove the #2 United Autosports entry to first place in both championships while the sister #3 entry, with the driver line-up of Matt Bell, Wayne Boyd and Mark Patterson finished fifth in the Drivers Championship and fourth in the Teams Championship.
Continue reading United Autosports Announces Shaun Lynn And Richard Meins for 2017 Michelin Le Mans Cup Entry. (07.02.17)
New UK free-to-air sports-dedicated TV channel Front Runner has announced that it will be adding to its motorsports coverage with highlights from the 2016 BRDC Formula 3 season.
Beginning on Sunday December 17, Front Runner will add BRDC British Formula 3 highlights to compliment its 24H Series highlights, also being aired on Sunday evenings.
“Front Runner already showcases a wide variety of sports and motorsport has always been an exciting area we’ve been looking to develop further,” said Front Runner’s Ryan Scarratt. “We’ve started by airing highlights from this year’s 24H Series on Sunday evenings at 6.00pm with repeats throughout the week. As that series continues, we’re delighted to be adding Formula 3 to our programming schedule too.”
Richard Hay, producer of British F3 – Season review said: “The British F3 Championship has a long and proud history stretching back over 50 years. Race winners and champions include names like Senna, Hakkinen, Button and Ricciardo.”
“Thanks to Jonathan Palmer it has been rejuvenated for 2016 and as the premier UK single-seater series it is the best place to see the Formula One stars of the future honing their skills”
Front Runner is available on Freeview ch91, FreeSat ch260, Talk Talk/GT ch91 and Sky ch468.