WORLD WRAP: Penske claims maiden IMSA victory

Monday 7th May, 2018 - 11:07am

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Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

Acura Team Penske claimed its first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win at Mid-Ohio courtesy of Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor.

The pair headed home the team’s sister car driven by Juan-Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron.

Penske dominated the two hour, forty minute race with one of its cars leading every one of the 125 laps.

“I’m driving with one of the best organisations in the world, one of the best manufacturers in the world,” Taylor said.

“We visited Acura’s factory for the NSX on Thursday and really got to see all that goes into these beautiful cars, and it really gives you a good sense of pride.

“On top of that, to win for the first time back for Mr Penske is outstanding and to start the month of May off for Helio with a win is awesome.

“There was so much pressure to get the car from him in the lead. He did an awesome job, so I had to fight to make his efforts worth it.”

Third went to Oliver Jarvis and Tristian Nunez in the Mazda Team Joest DPi entry.

In GTLM, Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor combined to hand Porsche victory.

They inherited the lead courtesy of a late stop for the Connor De Phillippi BMW M8 GTE, which finished second in class.

Dominik Baumann and Kyle Marcelli won the GTD class in a Lexus RC F GT3 over Katherine Legge and Alvaro Parente in an Acura NSX.

Rounding out the class podium was the Lamborghini Huracan of Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow

Australian Kenny Habul was classified 33rd in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 he shared with Maro Engel.

The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship now moves to the Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle on June 1-2.

Stuart Leonard and Frederic Vervisch

Blancpain GT

Belgian Auto Club Team WRT claimed both Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup victories at Brands Hatch.

The Audi team took pole positions in both races, before Dries Vanthoor and Will Stevens headed the first race.

Team-mates Stuart Leonard and Frederic Vervisch then took victory in Race 2, with team-mates Alex Riberas and Christopher Mies second in both races.

In Race 1, Vanthoor opened a small gap in the opening stint before a battle developed for the lead between the two leading Audis, Kelvin van der Linde in a third Audi R8 and the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Raffaele Marciello.

A late puncture ruled van der Linde out of the battle, dropping to eighth, with the WRT Audis taking a 1-2 from Marciello and co-driver Michael Meadows.

Vervisch led from pole at the start of Race 2, edging a small advantage over team-mate Mies in the opening stint.

A strong start saw van der Linde climb to third, before another lead battle after the pit stops.

Having taken over from Vervisch, Leonard narrowly hung on to top spot over Riberas to make for another WRT Audi 1-2.

Steijn Schothorst was third in the Attempto Racing Audi he shared with van der Linde.

Silverstone hosts the next round of the Blancpain GT Series, an Endurance Cup round, on May 18-20.

Timo Glock

DTM

Timo Glock and Gary Paffett have shared the spoils at Hockenheim for the opening DTM event of the season.

The highlight proved a Race 2 battle between the pair as they squabbled over the lead, the duo almost constantly swapping positions.

It allowed Joel Eriksson and Mike Rockenfeller to join them, with the latter claiming second ahead of Paffett at the flag.

“This was pure racing, I really had to squeeze everything out of the car and I didn’t have time to relax,” said Glock.

“That is what is typical for the DTM. This was the best race ever, and I have done many races in my career.”

Earlier, Paffett claimed his first victory in five years in the opening DTM race season after starting on pole position.

Lucas Auer temporarily took the lead during the race, but lost the spot again following the pit stops.

Paffett them led home from Auer with Glock rounding out the podium.

DTM’s second round will be held at the Lausitzring on May 18-20.

Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli pic: Super GT website

Super GT

The Nissan GT-R of Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli won Round 2 of the Super GT series at Fuji Speedway.

Leading the early laps, Quintarelli lost out to Heikki Kovalainen in a Lexus LC500 on lap 23, who held the advantage through his stop on lap 37.

At the stop, Sho Tsuboi took over the wheel from Kovalainen, maintaining a more than five second advantage to Matsuda, who’d replaced Quintarelli in the second placed Nissan.

A faster second stop saw Quintarelli resume control of the race following the team’s second stop, demoting Kovalainen who’d once again climbed into the Lexus.

Quintarelli then banked a series of fastest laps to extend a lead, before managing the gap to the chequered flag.

In third was Yuji Tachikawa and Hiroaki Ishiura in a Lexus LC500.

New Zealander Nick Cassidy, last year’s series winner, was seventh with co-driver Ryo Hirakawa.

Round 3 of the Super GT season is at Suzuka on May 19-20.

Felipe Drugovich

Euroformula Open

Felipe Drugovich has extended his Euroformula Open championship advantage following two wins in as many starts at Paul Ricard.

The Brazilian claimed pole and the victory in Saturday’s race, repeating the feat in Race 2 to take maximum points from the weekend.

Bent Viscaal briefly took the lead at the start of Race 1, only for Drugovich to quickly find a way back through.

He then extended his advantage to win the 15 lap race over Viscaal with Matheus Iorio in third.

Calan Willliams, who’d qualified eighth, was a retirement with a gearbox failure while running just outside the top 10.

There was no repeat battle for the lead in Race 2, with Drugovich leading from lights to flag.

Behind him Iorio was second ahead of Cameron Das while Viscaal fell to sixth.

Williams came home 13th after becoming embroiled in a tight battle that saw him pushed off the road at Turn 3.

The next round of the Euroseason Open season heads to Spa-Francorchamps on June 9-10.

Lirim Zendeli

German F4

Lirim Zendeli scored two wins in three starts in German Formula 4 at Hockenheim.

The German won ahead of New Zealander Liam Lawson in the opening race of the weekend, with Oliver Caldwell third.

Jack Doohan, making a guest appearance in the championship, ended the race in eighth.

Zendeli then repeated the job in Race 2, where Lawson again followed him to the line with Frederik Vesti completing the podium and Doohan sixth.

In Sunday’s race, Mick Wishofer claimed his first German Formula 4 race win, heading pole-sitter Niklas Krutten.

Zendeli was third with Doohan coming home fifth, one place ahead of Lawson.

The German Formula 4 Championship now heads to Lausitzring on May 18-20.

Hayden Paddon pic: Geoff Ridder

New Zealand Rally Championship

Hayden Paddon repeated his opening round dominance in Round 2 of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship in Whangarei.

The World Rally Championship driver once again won every stage of the gravel event at the International Rally of Whangarei.

Paddon and co-driver Malcolm Peden finished over seven minutes clear of the field in his Hyundai i20 AP4, while Ben Hunt (Subaru Impreza WRX) was second again.

Last year’s Australian Rally Champion Nathan Quinn joined the field and finished third in a Ford Fiesta R5.

He overtook Emma Gilmour on the final day, though she moved up to third in the championship with a fourth overall in Whangarei in her Suzuki Swift AP4.

Round 3 is the Lone Star Canterbury Rally on June 3, while Haddon’s part-time WRC campaign resumes in Portugal on May 17-20.

Philipp Oettl (#65) wins Moto3

Moto2, Moto3

Lorenzo Baldassarri has taken out the Moto2 race in Jerez, Spain.

The Italian dropped from pole to fourth at the start but was second by the end of Lap 1 and rode his Pons HP40 entry into a lead he would not relinquish on Lap 3.

Francesco Bagnaia retains the championship lead with a third placing but Alex Marquez crashed out on Lap 11.

Remy Gardner missed the round after breaking both legs in a motocross crash.

Moto3 was won by first-time grand prix winner Philipp Oettl.

The German’s cause was helped when an error from Aron Canet with four laps to go saw four riders go down, but Oettl still had to resist Marco Bezzecchi at the very end.

Bezzecchi leads the championship as the field heads to Le Mans, France for Round 5 on May 18-20.

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