Weekly race report (4.26.21) – Sportscar365
Herberth Porsche wins the 12H Paul Ricard
Precote Herberth Motorsport claimed his second victory of the season in the 24H Series at the 12 Hours of Paul Ricard which took place in two parts over the weekend.
Robert Renauer, Alfred Renauer, Daniel Allemann and Ralf Bohn backed up their 12H Mugello victory last month with a repeat result in the south of France with their Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The German quartet came out best from an early battle with the 2020 Middlecap Racing Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo of Josef Kral, Miroslav Vyboh and Matus Vyboh.
Herberth’s Porsche finished one lap ahead of its closest rival, while three more laps separated the white and blue Ferrari from the third Rutronik Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo, driven by Pierre Kaffer, Elia Erhart, Michael Doppelmayr and Swen Herberger.
The Audi of Car Collection Motorsport placed fourth after an entertaining early duel with the Reiter Engineering KTM X-Bow GTX.
Despite winning his No.91 car, Herberth experienced early retirement for his sister No.92 machine after a collision in the first lap which also forced Ferrari Kessel Racing out of the race.
MP Racing’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 was also involved in the incident but managed to recover to place 11th overall, behind the top two cars in the TCE touring car category.
RESULTS: 12H Paul Ricard
GT3 teams meet for pre-season testing
The ADAC GT Masters and the International GT Open both held their official pre-season tests last week, in Oschersleben and Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya respectively.
In Germany, Thomas Preining completed the fastest lap in the Porsche 911 GT3 R KÜS Team75 Bernhard which he shares with defending champion Christian Engelhart.
Preining set his fastest time in the fifth and final session, narrowly beating Zakspeed Mercedes-AMG driver Jules Gounon in first place by just 0.011 seconds.
“I settled into the new team well and also coordinated better and better with Christian,” said Preining. “We used the test perfectly to find a setup that works for both of us. The car drives great, now I can’t wait for the race weekend.
Dries Vanthoor was the third fastest on the WRT team with a time of 1: 23.983 in the first of three sessions on Wednesday.
The first day of Tuesday consisted of two sessions led by defending champion Michael Ammermueller in the Porsche SSR Performance.
In Barcelona, Loris Spinelli set the fastest time in the GT Open test at the wheel of AKM Antonelli Motorsport’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.
The Italian submitted a 1.42.595 leaflet at the end of the second and final day to lead squarely.
Three of the five sessions of the second day were led by a Mercedes-AMG Madpanda Motorsport, while Vincenzo Sospiri Racing of Frederik Schandorff and the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Frederik Schandorff and Michele Beretta led on the first day.
*** Gary Paffett’s Muecke Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo will challenge the DTM with Schaeffler Paravan’s “ Space Drive ” cable steering system, which has no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the rack. The technology has been tested over the last few seasons of the GTC Race series. Paffett sampled Space Drive during the official DTM preseason test last month.
*** A total of 21 entries are on the provisional list for the second season of the DTM Trophy. It includes teams using GT4-based machines from Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, KTM, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche. BMW is the best represented brand with nine M4s.
*** Mathieu Jaminet will return to the ADAC GT Masters, driving the Porsche SSR Performance team, winner of last year’s title. The 2018 Series champion will team up with defending champion Michael Ammermueller.
*** Team Rocket RJN has added a third McLaren 570S GT4 to its Intelligent Money British GT Championship team. 2020 Class finalist James Kell and Jordan Collard will team up in addition to the pair of GT4 entries previously announced by RJN that are part of the McLaren Driver Development Program.
*** Balfe Motorsport has also announced a McLaren GT4 entry for British GT. Jack Brown and Ashley Marshall will be driving.
*** Former LMP1 driver Mathias Beche is driving a Ligier JS P320 Nissan in the Ultimate Cup Series this year. The entry for Mirage Racing is an early phase of the team’s plan to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2023 in partnership with Vaillant.
*** Sandy Stuvik will continue his third straight Thailand Super Series title in an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo driven by B-Quik Absolute Racing. Audi Sport Asia official driver will team up with Philip Massoud after winning the 2020 title alongside Daniel Bilski.
*** Absolute has also announced a Porsche 911 GT3 R entry for the China GT Championship. Defending Macau GT Cup winner Ye Hongli and Bian Ye form the Pro-Am couple.
*** FAW-VW Audi Racing Team has also announced an entry into the China GT which will be led by Absolute. Cheng Congfu and Anthony Liu will drive the team’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.
*** The British GT Esports Championship concluded on Sunday with a race from Assetto Corsa Competizione to Donington which was won by Angus Fender in a BMW M6 GT3. James Baldwin had already completed the GT3 title and did not make the season finale. Rider Sim Nils Naujoks clinched the GT4 title with victory in a 19-car field.
*** 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and former IMSA driver Bill Whittington was killed in a plane crash in Arizona last week according to multiple reports. Whittington, 71, and his brother Don had spent time in jail after being convicted of drug trafficking and other charges.
*** Former American Le Mans Series champion Scott Tucker won his appeal against the Federal Trade Commission who will not see former Level 5 Motorsports team owner pay $ 1.3 billion in restitution borrowers from Tucker’s payday loan companies. The United States Supreme Court unanimously rallied behind Tucker, who remains in jail on criminal charges separate from a 2017 case.
*** Long-time PFC brake employee Darrick Dong died of illness last week. Dong had been a regular in the sports car racing paddocks of North America for over 20 years.
This week-end: FIA World Endurance Championship (Spa), Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS, Pirelli GT4 America, GT America (all COTA), Super GT (Fuji), NLS (Round 3)
John Dagys contributed to this report.