Hello and Welcome, to Season 9, Week 4 of ThePitCrew.co.uk’s championship highlights, I’m the voice of ThePitCrew, Terry Farish, and we have some fantastic racing in store for you this week at Monza and Paul Ricard for the GT3 Weekday Championships!
Pree Masand in the #73 Lamborghini would lead the field into turn one, with newcomer Ben Smith in the “Pink Panther” Jaguar in second place position, a spin from the Gulf Racing Bentley of Ryan Ware would cost him a major amount of positions at the start of the race. Christian Vos in the #28 Ferrari, Pree Masand and Ben Smith would be able to get through unscathed, however, with Victor Jansen in the Madpanda Motorsport car bringing up the rear.
The rest of the race would be hard-fought all the way down and up the grid, with Simone Salvi having an issue coming through parabolica but being able to hold onto the car, to take the position away from Matthew Mansel in the #30 Audi due to it lacking speed coming down the start-finish straight.
Victor Jansen on Lap 7, would take the position from Christian Voss coming through Ascari thanks to a mistake from Christian, causing him to go wide through the exit and onto the outer reaches of the track.
Ascari was the cause of a lot of issues for drivers in the first race, also claiming Roberto Biffi who would lose control of the Lexus coming into Lap 8, allowing for Xavier Ketelaars to be able to make the pass and take the position, not without a close encounter with the front-end of the Lexus however.
It wouldn’t be long before Roberto Biffi would be back on the back of Xavier Ketelaars and coming down the start-finish straight, the Lexus had the power and would regain the position that he lost a couple of laps beforehand!
Ascari wasn’t just a cause of heartache for everyone, it was also a cause of some fantastic racing, with Max Burgess taking the inside line and overtaking the #31 Audi of Roland Racz to take the position.
As we’ve come to expect from the GT3 Double Dash, however, Pree Masand did finish in the first place from pole position, claiming the victory once again here at Monza, taking his points ever further into the lead, with an extra 25 added to his total from race one, after getting away clean at the start, and running right up to Lap 17 in the lead, the #78 Lamborghini would take the first step on the podium.
In second it would be the newcomer of Ben Smith, and in the third step on the podium, it would be Victor Jansen.
Once again, Pree Masand would start in Pole Position in the race, with Ben Smith in the Pink Panther Jaguar in second-place position, the majority of the grid was 2, 3 wide going into the first chicane at Monza.
However, Ryan Ware in the Gulf Racing Bentley would fare far better going through the exit alongside Victor Jansen in the Madpanda Mercedes AMG, the #616 would be able to hold onto third and would have John Doe Germany in the #490 pinning it to his rear as they came into the second chicane, eventually though, Ryan Ware did manage to hold him off.
Ascari was a hotspot again for passes, with Ian Watkins in the British Racing Green AMR V8 Vantage being able to take the position from Adam Jankowski going into the chicane with a fantastic move around the outside.
Rob Spleen would find a pass on the Aston Martin of Sebastian Leinmuller going into Lesmo One, and Christian Voss would use the raw power of the Ferrari to try to make a move around Ryan Ware, however failing to succeed the first time, he did come back and try again one whole lap later, this time out of the back of Ascari, coming into parabolica, the 616 Bentley, did manage to hold Christian Voss off for the final stages of the race, whilst attempting to close down to Ben Smith, eventually, Ryan Ware finishing in 4th, however, it was Pree Masand, once again to claim the 25 points for the win in the #78 Lamborghini and taking home another win in the GT3 Double Dash!
John Doe Germany would earn a step on the podium in the second race in second place, with Ben Smith in the Jaguar picking up third!
On to the GT3 Sprint Cup and we took to Le Castellet, Paul Ricard, a circuit infamous amongst racers everywhere, however, we saw some fantastic action within the races, with Manuel Benz in his favoured Pole Position that we’ve come to know and awe on, and Timi Lehtonen in second place on the grid, it would be an interesting start to the race, Sebastian Leinmuller would find himself in a brilliant position to gain some positions, along with Ben Lopard in the Orange and Blue Bentley, due to a mistake on the opening few corners from Lasse Wiiman, he would be able to take over the Audi for 4th place position.
It would be fighting up and down the grid at Paul Ricard, with drivers finding out the strengths and weaknesses of their car choices, Sebastian Leinmuller going side by side with Ben Lopard going into the fast right-hander of Turn 10, Signes with Ben Lopard just holding on in the #30 Bentley in Lap 18.
Newcomer Mark Vestergaard would put up an amazing fight against Lukasz Smialek in Lap 19, with the 960 car attempting a move around the outside which he would be able to force Lukasz into a deep braking line to then be overtaken by Mark, this wouldn’t be the end for Lukasz with Thomas Pirello eventually overtaking him as well.
It was Manuel Benz who would take home the win here at Paul Ricard however for week 4, and the #33 car claimed first place position once again, in a return to form after finishing in 3rd place at Imola last week, this would give him the 25 points he needed to keep afloat at the top of the championship leaderboards, Timi Lehtonen would place in second and Ben Lopard would take the 3rd step on the podium.
Beginners cup – race
In the beginners’ cup, Elliot Barron Barron would claim first place in the Lamborghini with Jose Carlos taking second place, Adam Jankowski would take the 3rd step on the podium and take home 42 points.
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