Weekend roundup

Monday, September 14, 2020

Aside from the races, Series and Championships already covered from the weekend, there are still a few more that we need to get wrapped up before we metaphorically get our backsides over to Le Mans in time for this weekend big one!

Over at the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit just to the north of Tokyo saw the D'Station Racing AMR team continue their busy schedule of racing in the national Super GT Series after their 24 Hours of Fuji last weekend at the opening round of the Pirelli Super Taikyu Series.

Having lost their originally intended co-driver in Nicki Thiim to the continuing travel headaches into and out of the country, replacement driver Kei Cozzolino has been doing a spirited job in the Danes absence but Lady Luck has never really been on their side with consecutive P10 finishes in the GT300 Class so far the best that he and Tomonobu Fujii have been able to finish with - valuable points of course but certainly nowhere near where they want to be at.

This weekends fourth round from Motegi looked to be the start of something better as Fujii Qualified their Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 in P7 ahead of Sundays race. Despite the threatening clouds above, Fujii ran a great opening stint to hold his P7 position by the time he pitted at the half way mark on lap 28.

With repeated Safety Cars and running order realignments as the Series does to preserve its two class strategy, Cozzolino had edged his way up to P4 in class and just one second behind the then P3 car before disaster struck them down again on the final lap as an undetermined fuel flow issue slowed the car sufficiently to be swallowed up by the chasing pack to eventually finish in P18.

The next round takes the teams back to Fuji Speedway again at the start of next month for their third race of the season there before moving back to Suzuka, Motegi and Fuji to see out the 2020 season.

Over at Magny-Cours, the French FFSA GT4 Series were running their second round of their new season having started off at Nogaro a couple of weeks ago.

AGS Events Racing were again the sole AMR representation in the Series but this time with four such AMR Vantage GT4's in the running order this time as their reigning Am Class Champion Julien Lambert finally secured a co-driver in Romano Ricci who would join him in the teams #10 car.

With the first of a two race weekend being conducted into the dark of Saturday evening, the race was to bear its expected level of chaotic scenes as thirty such GT4 cars of various performances and a similar number of drivers with various abilities thundering around the 4.4km unlit race track.

The #161 Am car of Didier Dumaine and Christophe Carriere were again successful in that race (like they were at Nogaro) claiming a P3 in Class for their efforts. During Sundays second (daylight) race the team went on to scoop another two podiums as Dumaine and Carriere went one better with a P2 finish as well as team boss Nicolas Gomar and Mike Parisy securing their third podium of the year so far with another Pro-Am P3 finish.

This Series now moves onto Paul Ricard at the start of next month.

Finally, the GT Cup Championships third round of the season from Donington Park at the weekend came with lots of Class success for the three Aston Martin Racing cars competing in both GT3 and GT4.

The realisation that the Ultimate Speed team had acquired themselves a new 2019 AMR Vantage GT3 for Mike Brown and Matt Manderson did come as something of a surprise but they obviously found it very accommodating as they came away with four out of four class podium finishes for their efforts.

Joining them of course were Championship regulars Whitebridge Motorsport team who themselves secured on P2 finish in the GTH (GT4) as well as a couple of P4 finishes with their normally aspirated Vantage whilst Newbridge Motorsport's 2019 Vantage GT4 scored well in each of the weekend's Sprint races for Matt Topham whilst it struggled in each of the Endurance races to an extent of delivery back to them two DNF's.

The #26 Ultimate Speed Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 has now been confirmed for next weekends British GT Championship race at Donington this weekend.

Photo credits - D'Station Racing / Super GT / GT Cup / Inked Hand Images / FFSA GT4
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