WORLD WRAP: Power shines on Supercup debut
German driver Michael Ammermüller claimed the opening victory in the 2015 Porsche Supercup which also saw Australia’s Sam Power impress on debut.
The 29-year-old prevailed after securing pole position with Kuba Giermaziak (PL/VERVA Lechner Racing Team) second and Christian Engelhart (D/MRS GT-Racing) completing the podium.
“What a perfect weekend. Pole position and victory after a flawless race. It can continue like this,” Ammermüller said.
Power, running with the MOMO-Megatron Team PARTRAX, managed a solid 10th in the 28-car field, while fellow Australian Spike Goddard was 17th on debut.
McLaren F1 junior driver Stoffel Vandoorne scored his second GP2 race win of the season from a fast finishing Mitch Evans in the feature race at Barcelona.
After a slow pit stop Evans (Russian Time) was forced to make up ground before passing Racing Engineering’s Alexander Rossi on the second last lap of the 37 affair.
The sprint race saw Briton’s highly rated DAMS driver Alex Lynn crack his first win in the series.
Lynn prevented ART Grand Prix’s Vandoorne from carrying off the double with Pierre Gasly (DAMS) securing third place.
Disaster struck Mitch Evans on his way to the grid with the engine in his Russian Time machine cutting out, ensuring he did not compete in the sprint race.
“It’s always frustrating when you have a problem that stops the car, and it’s even harder to deal with when it happens before the race has started,” a gutted Evans said.
“It’s a real shame because we were so strong yesterday and another good haul of points was likely.”
Russian Time team principal Svetlana Strelnikova said the problem was an electrical issue with the team yet to pin-point how it occurred.
The next round of the GP2 Series is scheduled for the streets of Monaco from May 23-24.
ART Grand Prix completed a clean sweep of victories in GP3 with reigning FIA European F3 champion Esteban Ocon and Marvin Kirchhofer sharing the spoils at Barcelona.
After powering into the lead on the opening lap, Ocon emerged as the star of the GP3 season opener as he controlled the race from start to finish.
The Frenchman, who has recently joined Mercedes young driver program, was rarely threatened during a race which saw the introduction of the Safety Car, after an incident involving Seb Morris and Ralph Boschung.
Despite losing his comfortable lead, Ocon made no mistakes on the restart as he calmly took the chequered flag from polesitter Luca Ghiotto and Arden’s Emil Bernstorff.
A strong start from Kirchoffer helped him to victory in the reverse grid Race 2.
The German leapt to second from fourth at the start before passing early leader Antonio Fuoco on the second lap.
Once in the lead, he took control of the race eventually taking the flag with a 6.7s margin over Jimmy Eriksson and Carlin racer Jann Mardenborough.
It proved to be a difficult weekend for Australian Mitch Gilbert, who finished 22nd in both encounters.
Gordon Shedden is the new leader of the British Touring Car Championship having secured his second win of the season at Thruxton.
The 2012 champion completed a commanding victory in Race 1 at the Hampshire venue as he led home his Honda team-mate Matt Neal.
Wix Racing’s Adam Morgan inherited third after poleman Aron Smith suffered a puncture in the latter stages.
Team BMR’s Jason Plato notched his 90th BTCC victory after holding off West Surrey Racing’s Rob Collard in Race 2.
Collard initially led the 16 lap sprint before Plato managed to out drag the BMW at the chicane on the second lap.
Plato was unable to pull away from Collard with just 0.4s splitting the pair the chequered flag.
Shedden held off a hard charging Jack Goff in the Triple Eight MG to secure third.
The Wix Mercedes of Morgan dominated the reverse grid final race to claim his second career BTCC win.
Morgan made no mistakes at the start as he moved into a comfortable lead from 2013 champion Andrew Jordan in the Pirtek MG.
The intervention of the Safety Car, caused by Team BMR’s Warren Scott, threatened to undo all of Morgan’s hard work.
However, Jordan was unable to pounce on the restart leaving Morgan to come through to take an impressive win.
Sam Tordoff held onto to third just ahead of reigning champion Colin Turkington.
Ford Focus driver Mike Bushell was sidelined from all there races after suffering a serious leg injury in a qualifying crash with Simon Belcher.
Bushell was taken to hospital with fears of a broken femur but he was later diagnosed with ligament damage.
Shedden leads the championship by eight points from Turkington ahead of the series’ visit to Oulton Park on June 6-7.
Blancpain Sprint Series
Laurens Vanthoor and Robin Frijns recorded a dominant double victory in the third round of the Blancpain Sprint Series at Brands Hatch.
The WRT Audi pair untouchable on the GP loop securing pole position followed by two impressive victories.
Having resisted early pressure from the Reiter Engineering Lamborghini of Nick Catsburg, Vanthoor and Frijns took the opening qualifying race by a huge 26 seconds from the BMW Z4 of Valdeno Brito and Atila Abreu.
A pitlane penalty for Catsburg and his team-mate Albert von Thurn and Taxis halted their charge in the second half of the race.
As a result, the Nissan GT-R of Craig Dolby and Sean Walkinshaw, the son of former TWR boss Tom Walkinshaw, finished third.
Vanthoor and Frijns repeated the feat in the main race to claim a comfortable victory over the Brito/Abreu Team Brazil BMW with the Attempto Racing McLaren of Kevin Estre and Rob Bell coming home in third.
Belgium’s Zolder circuit will host the next round of the championship on June 5-7.
Australian young gun Anthony Martin picked up a podium finish in the latest round of the USF2000 Championship at the Indianapolis Grand Prix circuit.
The Western Australian powered his way to third in Race 2 at the famous American circuit after finishing fourth in the opening encounter.
Fellow Australian Luke Gabin kick started his USF2000 campaign having finished fifth and fourth in the two races.
Martin holds fourth in the championship standings behind leader Nico Jamin, who scored a double victory at Indianapolis.
New Zealander Nick Cassidy is just one point adrift of championship leader Kenta Yamashita after scoring a victory and two third place finishes in the second round of the Japanese F3 Championship.
The Aucklander took victory in the opening race for the Petronas team with a 0.7s margin over team-mate Yamashita.
Cassidy was unable to prevent Yamashita for taking victory in the following two races, with the Kiwi having to settle for third place behind Mitsunori Takaboshi and Nirei Fukuzumi respectively.
The championship heads to the Okayama International Circuit on May 23-24.