WORLD WRAP: Mansell records British F4 podium triple
Monday 16th November, 2020 - 11:16am
British Formula 4 Championship
Australian Christian Mansell claimed a trio of podiums at the British Formula 4 season finale at Brands Hatch as Luke Browning clinched a narrow championship victory.
Mansell, who scored a maiden victory at Brands Hatch in August, recorded two thirds and a second across the weekend to complete the season in seventh.
Browning finished 10th in the 26th and final race of the season to seal the title over Zak O’Sullivan, who defeated Mansell by just 0.8s in a thrilling shortened final race.
Mansell led Carlin team-mate O’Sullivan after the latter encountered an off in the slippery conditions, with the lead changing on Lap 8 on the main straight.
Heavy rain hit the circuit, and with the entire field on slick tyres, the race was red-flagged. Fading light saw the race then declared with half-points awarded, with Browning clinging onto the title despite O’Sullivan claiming his ninth win of the season.
World Endurance Championship
The #7 Toyota of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez claimed the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship with victory in the Bahrain season finale.
The #7 beat the sister #8 car by over a minute in the winner-takes-all race, with a Safety Car midway through the race sparing the latter entry from losing a lap.
The #8 was never in serious contention due to the 0.54s performance penalty it was carrying under the LMP1 system of success handicaps, although Sebastien Buemi loomed to challenge in the fifth hour before Conway pulled away. The end margin between Kobayashi and Kazuki Nakajima was 64 seconds at the chequered flag.
The JOTA Sport squad finished one-two in LMP2, with Gabriel Aubry passing Antonio Felix da Costa with 10 minutes remaining to seal victory.
Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen led a Porsche one-two in GTE Pro, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Aston Martin duo Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen from claiming the drivers’ title.
GTE Am honours went to AF Corse Ferrari’s Emmanuel Collard, Nicklas Nielsen and Francois Perrodo, with Jörg Bergmeister, Egidio Perfetti and Larry ten Voorde taking the class win for Team Project 1 Porsche.
Australian rider Remy Gardner rose from 19th on the grid to finish seventh in a thrilling Valencia Grand Prix won by Ajo rider Jorge Martin, with the race setting up a four-rider Moto2 title battle for this weekend’s Portugal finale (November 20-22).
Enea Bastianini will carry a 14-point championship lead over Sam Lowes to Portimao, with VR46 duo Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi 18 and 23 behind respectively.
Fabio Di Giannantonio looked to have taken the lead from Bezzecchi for good when he went by at Turn 11 on the penultimate lap.
However, he crashed at Turn 6 next time around, handing the spot back to Bezzecchi before a bold overtake by Martin helped the Spaniard snatch victory.
Hector Garzo got home in second, the margin just 0.07s on the line, with Bezzecchi 0.2s down in third.
The Moto3 title battle will also go down to the wire in Portugal after Tony Arbolino took his first win of the season.
Albert Arenas’ championship lead is now seven points over Honda Team Asia’s Ai Ogura, with Arbolino just 11 points adrift. Ogura could only manage eighth in the race, with Arenas fourth behind Arbolino, Sergio Garcia and Raúl Fernández.
IMSA SportsCar Championship
Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor helped Acura Team Penske to a second consecutive IMSA Prototype title despite only finishing eighth in the Twelve Hours of Sebring.
The #7 Acura ARX-05 dropped 11 laps following a turbo intercooler issue while overall race honours went to Harry Tincknell, Jonathan Bomarito and Ryan Hunter-Reay for Mazda and Multimatic.
Late drama helped Mazda to victory, with the leading Acura Team Penske #6 car of Juan Pablo Montoya and Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani clashing twice with under three hours remaining. Montoya, Dane Cameron and Simon Pagenaud recovered to finish second, 10 seconds down on the #55 Mazda, with Oliver Jarvis, Tristan Nunez and Olivier Pla making it a Mazda one-three.
Australian Scott Andrews marked his IMSA DPi debut with fourth for the JDC-Miller Cadillac squad.
Ryan Briscoe and IndyCar champion Scott Dixon combined with Renger van der Zande to finish seventh for Wayne Taylor Racing, ahead of the championship-winning duo of Castroneves and Taylor, who were joined by Alexander Rossi for the event.