Weekend Recap: Shortest-Ever N24, ELMS, SRO America Action & More
Catch up on a busy weekend of racing with full coverage on Sportscar365...
Manthey Racing Porsche drivers Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and Matteo Cairoli became first-time Nürburgring 24 winners in the event’s shortest race to date which ran to only 59 laps after being interrupted by a near 15-hour-long overnight red flag period.
Estre crossed the line 8.8 seconds clear of Sheldon van der Linde in the No. 98 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3, after emerging from his car’s final pit stop ahead of the South African who teamed up with Connor de Phillippi, Martin Tomczyk and Marco Wittmann.
Estre controlled the gap over the remaining four laps to clinch Porsche’s first Nürburgring 24 triumph since 2018 when Manthey – which now has seven wins to its name – prevailed with Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, Frederic Makowiecki and Richard Lietz driving.
Estre, Christensen and Cairoli were teamed up with Lars Kern, however the Porsche production car specialist was unable to take part due to illness.
G-Drive Takes First ELMS Win of Season
Nyck de Vries, Roman Rusinov and Franco Colapinto chalked up G-Drive Racing’s first European Le Mans Series win of the season in the 4 Hours of Le Castellet at Paul Ricard.
The drivers of the No. 26 G-Drive Racing Aurus-badged Oreca 07 Gibson were flanked by the two United Autosports crews on the LMP2 podium, while Team WRT finished fifth to maintain its points lead after winning the opening two rounds of the 2021 campaign.
De Vries crossed the line six seconds ahead of Tom Gamble in the No. 22 United-run Oreca 07 Gibson that also featured Phil Hanson and Jonathan Aberdein at the wheel.
After flying to pole on Saturday, de Vries watched Rusinov take the start but the G-Drive stalwart couldn’t hold his position as WRT’s Yifei Ye swept around the outside at Turn 1.
The Chinese driver led from Rusinov and Hanson through the remainder of the opening stint, which ended under Full Course Yellow conditions for a stopped LMP3 car.
Redemption for Winward in GTWC America Race 2 at VIR
Winward Racing has broken K-PAX Racing’s five-race win streak in Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS competition following a controlling victory by Mikael Grenier and Russell Ward at Virginia International Raceway.
The No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, which lost out on a chance of the win in Saturday’s race due to a controversial pit lane incident and penalty, came out on top in Sunday’s 90-minute contest.
Having started from pole, Grenier came under pressure from the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Jan Heylen, who eventually got around the Canadian shortly before the mid-race pit stop and driver changes.
While Heylen’s co-driver Fred Poordad emerged as the leader, Ward got around the Porsche to retake the top spot with 38 minutes to go and never looked back.
Antinucci Sweeps Lamborghini Super Trofeo VIR Weekend
Richard Antinucci claimed a sweep of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America weekend at Virginia International Raceway with victory in Race 2.
The Dream Racing Motorsport driver extended his Pro class points lead with his third win in four races this season, finishing 5.515 seconds ahead of the No. 44 ANSA Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo of Sergio Jimenez.
A late-race tire issue for the No. 16 Change Racing entry of Stevan McAleer, which had been second for the majority of the 50-minute contest, saw it stop on track on the second-to-final lap.
McAleer finished 18th in the 26-car starting field.
Antinucci led from the drop of the green flag and maintained the position through a full-course caution, restart and mid-race pit stop.