WORLD WRAP: Atkinson’s difficult Rallycross debut
Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship
Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle driver Scott Speed resumed his winning ways in Round 8 of the Red Bull Global Rallycross at Bader Field in Atlantic City.
After a month break, the championship saw Speed claim his third consecutive win with the former F1 driver moving into the lead on the season standings.
Bryan Herta Ford driver Patrik Sandell and Chip Ganassi’s Brian Deegan completed the podium.
Speed’s team-mate Tanner Foust was fourth after fading.
There were several withdrawals in the 12-car, eight lap final including series debutant Chris Atkinson in the Subaru Rally Team USA entry who suffered a puncture after enjoying a solid run.
Atkinson qualified for the final after finishing third in semi-final A.
Speed now holds a nine-point lead over Foust ahead of the next round in Seattle on September 17.
Red Bull understudy Pierre Gasly landed his third win of the season by taking the feature race at Spa.
Gasly (PREMA) defeated Jordan King (Racing Engineering) and DAMS star Alex Lynn.
Making a solid start from the front row Gasly powered into the lead after polesitter and team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi missed the getaway.
However, Italian Giovinazzi made amends by scoring victory in the sprint race from Rapax man Gustav Malja while Luca Ghiotto (Trident) was third.
Malja started strongly from pole before Giovinazzi began a charge from P3 when he moved up to second after nabbing position off Ghiotto at La Source.
Gasly will now carry a 17-point lead going into the Monza round next weekend ahead of Giovinazzi.
Ferrari protege Charles Leclerc held out a fast finishing Jake Dennis to take the opening 17-lap race at Spa.
Dennis (Arden International) was on a surge but fell 2.3s short as Leclerc pushed out his lead in the series.
Leclerc’s ART Grand Prix team-mate Nyck de Vries was third.
Arden International’s Jack Aitken broke the ice in the series to record his maiden win.
In a caution-strewn race, Aitken prevailed by 1.7s from Trident star Antonio Fuoco while Santino Ferrucci (DAMS) was third.
Leclerc was sixth behind fourth-placed Koiranen GP driver Matevos Isaakyan while Dennis was fifth.
Ahead of the next round at Monza next weekend, Leclerc shows the way on 161 points from Fuoco on 139.
Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen clinched a narrow win in the GTLM Class at Virginia International Raceway.
During the two-hour and 40-minute race, the Corvette duo managed to stay ahead of the Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand.
The race finished with a one-lap run to the flag following a late race caution.
The Porsche 911 RSR of Kiwi Earl Bamber and Fred Makowiecki was third.
The GTD race saw a breakthrough win for Paul Miller Racing as Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow recorded an all-the-way effort.
The Lamborghini Huracan GT3 duo managed to withstand a concerted fightback from the Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Lawson Aschenbach and Matt Bell.
Magnus Racing pair Andy Lally John Potter took the final podium place.
But in a post-race sequel Lally and Potter were excluded for a ride height breach with their R8 which saw the Stevenson Motorsports’ Audi of Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis elevated to third.
Blancpain GT Sprint Series
HTP Mercedes took the honours in the latest lancpain GT Sprint Series round at the Hungaroring.
The Maximillian Buhk and Dominik Baumann Mercedes AMG GT3 took advantage of an opening lap collision involving the ASP Tristan Vautier/Felix Rosenqvist Mercedes and the WRT Audi R8 of Enzo Ide and Australian GT champion Christopher Mies.
Ide’s dive at the first corner pushed Vautier wide allowing Buhk to sweep into the lead.
Co-driver Baumann maintained the lead after the mandatory pit stops before going on to take the chequered flag from Laurens Vanthoor and Frederic Vervisch in the #1 WRT Audi R8
However, Vanthoor and Vervisch were stripped of their second place after receiving a post-race penalty for an unsafe release in the pits. The sanction saw them drop to eighth position.
Ide and Mies inherited second while Rene last and Will Stevens brought the #28 WRT Audi R8 home in third.
The weekend’s qualifying race was won by the Ide/Mies Audi, who now leads the championship standings by 17 points ahead of the final round at Barcelona from October 1-2.
Sam Tordoff continues to lead the British Touring Car Championship after scoring only his second victory of the season at Rockingham.
The West Surrey Racing driver produced an impressive come from behind drive after starting from fifth row of the grid.
A opening lap incident involving several of the front runners aided Tordoff’s charge to fifth before he set his sights on the lead group.
Tordoff completed passes on Ashely Sutton (MG), Gordon Shedden (Honda), Mat Jackson (Ford) and Andrew Jordan (Ford) to claim the win.
Jordan came home in second while West Surrey Racing’s Rob Collard secured the final spot on the podium.
Team BKR’s Aron Smith ended the weekend by becoming the 12th different winner of the season when he emerged victorious in the reverse grid race.
The Volkswagen driver just held off Shedden by 0.4s to take the win, with The Team BMR Subaru of Colin Turkington in third.
Armed with 75kg of success ballast, Tordoff struggled to the finish in 16th position.
Team Dynamics driver Shedden won the opening heat of the round with a dominant drive to victory from Jackson and Team BMR’s Jason Plato.
Tordoff holds a five point lead in the championship ahead of the penultimate round at Silverstone from September 17-18.
British Formula 4 Championship
Australian driver Luis Leeds lost ground in the British Formula 4 Championship title race after a weekend of mixed results at Rockingham.
The Red Bull junior has fallen 35 points shy of the championship leader Max Fewtrell after scoring just one top five from the three races.
Leeds’ weekend began with a seventh place finish in the opening rain-affected heat, before bouncing back to finish second in the following race, behind title rival Sennan Fielding.
However, the Melbourne racer was unable to build on his podium result as he finished 10th in the final encounter.
It proved to a challenging weekend for fellow Aussie Zane Goddard who finished ninth, 10th and 12th in the three races.
James Pull, Fielding and Fewtrell shared the honours in the three races.
The championship heads to Silverstone for the penultimate round of the season from September 17-18.