Weekend in Review: 7 – 8 May
An historic back-to-back winner in British GT, the end of Motorsport Month Anglia, Formula 1’s first-ever visit to the streets of Miami and a double victory for Motorsport UK Academy athlete Jamie Chadwick in W Series are just some of the headlines after a bumper weekend of motorsport.
Here’s everything you need in ‘Weekend in Review’:
British GT Championship – Silverstone
Sandy Mitchell soaked up late-race pressure from Marvin Kirchhoefer to become the first two-time winner of the British GT Championship’s blue-riband Silverstone 500 event.
After something of a ‘proxy war’ until the final stint as pit strategies differed, the later-stopping Garage 59 McLaren emerged from the pits behind the Lamborghini Mitchell shares with Adam Balon, and a game of cat-and-mouse ensued between the pair around the full-length Grand Prix circuit for the remaining 35 minutes.
Although Kirchhoefer seemed to have a slight pace advantage, he couldn’t force an opening as the pair weaved through lapped traffic, and Mitchell duly took the chequered flag 0.529 seconds clear.
Nick Moss and Joe Osbourne rounded out the GT3 podium in an Optimum Motorsport-run McLaren, 16 seconds clear of Alex Malykhin and James Dorlin’s Redline Lamborghini, which briefly led but was hit with a stop/go penalty after being adjudged to have made excessive contact in the pass at the Club chicane.
In GT4, Newbridge Motorsport celebrated back-to-back victories at the Silverstone 500, Matt Topham and Darren Turner steering their Aston Martin Vantage to a convincing win, but the timesheets don’t tell the full story.
Steller Motorsport’s Audi led early on in Richard Williams’ hands, albeit under significant early pressure from Will Burns in the Century Motorsport BMW, Josh Miller’s R Racing Aston Martin and Marco Signoretti’s Academy-run Mustang.
Williams and Miller duly made contact and, with Signoretti also involved in an incident with a GT3 car, Burns came through the chaos to assume the lead. Topham and Turner’s advantage, however, lay in their Pro-Am minimum pit stop time, some 14 seconds shorter than the Silver Cup crews around them.
That ultimately made the difference as Topham and Turner kept it steady out front, leading home the Steller Audi of Williams and Sennan Fielding and third-placed Valluga Racing’s Porsche driven by Ross Wylie and Matthew Graham.
The British GT Championship resumes at Donington Park on 28-29 May 2022.
GB3 & GB4 Championships – Silverstone
Three different first-time winners in as many races highlighted the strength in depth of competition in the GB3 Championship after an action-packed trip to Silverstone last weekend.
Fortec Motorsport’s Joel Granfors converted pole position into a lights-to-flag victory in the opener, stealing an early march on the battling pair of Tom Lebbon (Elite Motorsport) and championship leader Luke Browning (Hitech GP).
Browning was able to dispatch Lebbon for second on the opening lap, and did subsequently make small inroads into Granfors’ lead, but was ultimately unable to get on terms, Granfors’ winning by 0.7 seconds.
Lebbon’s daring first-lap move on Granfors at Maggotts went a long way to winning him the second race on Sunday morning, before a fast-starting Cian Shields was able to pass pole-sitter David Morales (Arden) in the reverse-grid finale on the inside at Copse to take not his first GB3 win, but the first of his car racing career.
In GB4, Nikolas Taylor (Fortec) reduced the arrears to chief rival Alex Walker (Elite) at the championship summit with his second and third victories of the season respectively at Silverstone.
The pair had a race-long dice for the lead in the opener, Taylor’s decisive move coming at Club chicane on the second lap, before keeping Walker at arm’s length for the remainder of the 18-minute contest.
The championship rivals were at it again in race two, but this time it ended in tears. Walker led early on after coming out in front of a superb three-wide battle into Stowe on the opening lap but was unable to break away from Taylor and Hillspeed’s Max Marzorati behind.
Taylor attempted a move around the outside of the Loop, but contact damaged the suspension of Walker and put him on the sidelines. Taylor survived, and duly went on to record his second win of the weekend.
Debutante Lucas Romanek made it a winning debut in the category for Oldfield Motorsport in the reverse-grid finale. Starting fifth, he battled his way through to second on the first lap, before locking pole-sitter Logan Hannah (Laser Tools Racing) in his sights.
Four laps in, and a superb move around the outside of Stowe promoted him to top spot, and from there he went on to build a two-second winning margin.
In the championship, Walker leads by 12 points ahead of a tied Taylor and Marzorati for second, with both GB3 and GB4 set to resume at Donington Park on 28-29 May.
British Kart Championships – PF International
Contenders in the Honda and Rotax classes headed to PF International circuit this weekend for the Wera Tools British Kart Championship with fantastic wheel-to-wheel action shown in all of the classes.
Cole Denholm topped the Honda Cadet final, narrowly beating Noah Barham, with Albert Friend completing the podium.
It was a busy weekend for the Rotax classes with Mini Max, Junior Max and Senior Max all competing. Scott Marsh claimed P1 in the Mini Max final with Sebastian Minns and Joshua Graham in second and third respectively.
The Senior Rotax class were next up in their final, with a strong performance from the top three finishers – race winner Callum Bradshaw, second-placed Sean Butcher and Caden McQueen, who rounded out the podium.
The day ended with the Junior Max class with a positive start to Harry Burgoyne Jr, Harry Linden and Brandon Carr’s 2022 campaigns as they ended the day in first, second and third respectively.
The next rounds of the British Kart Championship will be held at Warden Law and will consist of the IAME, KZ2, TKM and Bambino championships.
Around the Clubs
Sunday marked the three final events of Motorsport Month Anglia: the South Suffolk Classic, Coulson’s Autosolo and Debden Sprint.
There were over 50 classic cars that drove through the South Suffolk countryside and visited places such as Parham Airfield and Bentwaters Cold War Museum along the way. The event raised £600 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance Charity.
Carver Barracks hosted two events on Sunday, the Coulson’s Autosolo and Debden Sprint, and Anglia Motor Sport Club were also joined by members of the Motorsport UK Academy.
On the international stage
FIA Formula 1 World Championship – Miami, United States
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen continued his fightback in the Formula 1 World Championship with a comfortable victory on the series’ much-publicised debut in Miami.
Charles Leclerc landed in the ‘Sunshine State’ as the points leader, and duly put his Ferrari on pole position ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz and an all-Red Bull second row, Verstappen leading Perez.
The reigning World Champion made the best getaway, relieving Sainz of second on the outside of Turn 1, then Leclerc of the race lead down the main straight at the start of Lap 9.
Although a late VSC-turned-full Safety Car spiced up the action late on, Verstappen always looked in control out front and took a third win in four races to close the deficit at the championship summit between himself and Leclerc to 19 points.
Sainz rounded out the podium after fending off Perez, who pitted under the safety car for fresh medium tyres in a bid to overhaul the Spaniard, whilst Mercedes recovered well from a bruising Saturday to take fifth and sixth with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton respectively.
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain hosts the next race on 21-22 May 2022.
W Series – Miami, United States
Jamie Chadwick kicked off the defence of her W Series title in perfect fashion with a double victory at the season-opening rounds in Miami.
After leap-frogging stalled pole-sitter Nerea Marti, then winning through in a race-long battle with Emma Kimilainen to win the opener, the Brit enjoyed a more comfortable run to victory on Sunday, converting pole into a lights-to-flag win by two seconds over Marti.
Alice Powell recovered from an unfortunate crash in the opener to round out the podium on that occasion, adding to a silverware-laden weekend for the Brits after Jess Hawkins’ maiden trip to the podium the day prior in third.
A brace of points finishes for Abbi Pulling and Sarah Moore kicked off their respective campaigns on the front foot, with Abbie Eaton unlucky to miss out, having charged through in the first race from the seventh row of the grid to sixth before contact with a rival put her out of the race.
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosts the next event on 21-22 May 2022.
FIA World Endurance Championship – Belgium
Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Kamui Kobayashi, Jose-Maria Lopez and Mike Conway took victory at the 2022 6 Hours of Spa in a dramatic and rain affected event.
Over half of the race was run under race suspensions due to incidents and heavy rain triggering three red flag, six safety car and five full course yellows periods.
But through it all came the No.7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercar, which ensured that the Japanese manufacturer scored its sixth consecutive victory at the legendary Belgian venue and its second in the Hypercar category.
Jose-Maria Lopez took the chequered flag 27-seconds ahead of the second placed Alpine ELF Team squad of Matthieu Vaxiviere, Nicola Lapierre and Andre Negrao, after largely controlling the final two hours of the race.
Prior to that, the race was led initially by the pole-sitting Glickenhaus 007LMH car, then the No.8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercar and the WRT LMP2 entry, as a series of rain showers left the track un-raceable for periods of the six hours endurance test.
Glickenhaus Racing’s trio of Olivier Pla, Pipo Derani and Romain Dumas took the final step on the podium. The result came after a memorable week in which the American constructor took a maiden WEC pole.
The next round on the schedule of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship is the 24 Hours of Le Mans which will take place over the weekend of the 11/12 June.
For a full version of this report, see https://www.fiawec.com/en/news/toyota-claims-dramatic-win-at-spa-thrilling-lmgte-pro-victory-to-af-corse-ferrari/7333