Paffett Wins Second DTM Title, Rast Scores Sixth Consecutive Win
Gary Paffett was crowned 2018 DTM champion at the Hockenheimring on Sunday, taking the top spot in the German series for the first time since 2005.
It came in spit of Rene Rast taking a double race win and increasing his run to an unprecedented six wins in succession.
It meant that Audi’s Rast finished just four points of Mercedes’ Paffett in the final standings, while Mercedes completed a title triple by adding the drivers’ championship to wins in the manufacturers’ and teams’ standings.
Paffett leaves DTM at the end of the season to join HWA Racelab’s maiden ABB FIA Formula E Championship effort.
Gerhard Berger, chairman of DTM organizer ITR, praised the Brit for his title success.
“Eventually, Gary kept his nerves in control and is a merited champion,” he said. “That he is leaving the DTM is sad, but everybody is making mistakes sometimes. No, jokes aside: I wish him good luck for his new challenge.
“Rene deserves great respect, he is one of the drivers in this field who is impressing me most. He is a very clever guy.
“First and foremost, he is not only talented, he is also hardworking and that leads to the fact that he simply is always up there at the front.”
FFF Wins Blancpain GT Series Asia Titles at Ningbo
FFF Racing Team by ACM and its drivers Dennis Lind and Martin Kodric were crowned Blancpain GT Series Asia champions at Ningbo on Sunday.
Lind and Kodric won the second race of the weekend after their two main championship rivals were hit with problems.
Alexander Mattschull retired late in the race with a fuel issue after co-driver Raffaele Marciello’s quick first stint, while HubAuto Corsa’s Nick Foster and Jono Lester, who won Race 1, were given a penalty for a short pit stop.
Foster was eventually classified second in the GT3 overall standings.
While Lind and Kodric won the GT3 overall and Silver Cup titles, their FFF teammates Hiroshi Hamaguchi and Marco Mapelli took home the GT3 Pro-Am honors.
GruppeM’s Reinhold Renger wrapped up the GT4 title after a win in Race 1 while Sunako Jukuchou and Takayuki Kinoshita won Sunday’s round to seal the runner-up spot.
RESULTS: Race 1; Race 2
Koebolt, Magnus Score GT4 Sprint Cup Europe Wins
Max Koebolt and Gilles Magnus each won a race in the inaugural GT4 Sprint Cup Europe, a non-championship single-driver event at the Hockenheimring.
Driving the No. 8 MDM Motorsport BMW M4 GT4, Koebolt won the opening race by holding off a charge from Magnus.
The young Belgian then went on to do one better in Sunday’s race, winning with his Selleslagh Racing Team-entered Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Just ten cars took part in the race, a number below organizer Stephane Ratel’s expectations.
The Frenchman explained at the Blancpain GT Series finale that the low number was down to the single-driver format, which proved unpopular with many teams.
RESULTS: Race 1; Race 2
Photo: Australian GT
Emery, Tander Win Hampton Downs 500; Australian GT Titles Decided
Geoff Emery and Garth Tander won the Hampton Downs 500 while both the CAMS Australian GT and Australian Endurance Championships were awarded.
Driving the No. 1 Audi R8 LMS GT3, Tander seized the lead from John Martin’s Porsche 911 GT3 R to take the lead, with the win giving co-driver Emery the Australian GT title.
The Australian Endurance title went the way of Max Twigg and Tony D’Alberto, who finished third in their WM Waste Management-entered Merecedes-AMG GT3.
Tander, D’Alberto and Dan Gaunt closed in on race leader Martin in the final stint, setting up a thrilling four-way battle to the checkered flag.
Martin initially kept Tander at bay with a number of defensive moves until the Audi finally made its way through for the lead.
Photo: 24H Series
Scuderia Praha Wins 12H Spa, PROsport Claims Championship
Bohemia Energy Racing with Scuderia Praha won the second running of the Hankook 12 Hours of Spa while PROsport Performance wrapped up the 24H GT Series European Championship.
Matteo Malucelli took his Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 to the checkered flag after sharing the car with Jiri Pisarik and Josef Kral en route to their third win of the season.
A sixth-place finish was enough for PROsport to claim the GT European Championship with its Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Charles Putnam, Joe Foster and Adam Christodoulou.
A6-Am honors went to SPS Automotive Performance’s Mercedes driven by Valentin Pierburg, Tim Mueller and Lance David Arnold.
Outgoing 24H GT Series champion Hofor Racing finished second in A6-Pro and fourth overall while Manthey Racing’s 2019-spec Porsche 911 GT3 R came home fifth overall.
RESULTS: 12H Spa
News & Notes
***Ligier has unveiled a new sports car, named the JS2 R, to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The JS2 R can be homologated in the FIA Free Formula Sports Cars category while the company will also form a new Ligier JS Cup championship. It will get underway in France next year and is dedicated to the new car.
***Next Monday’s edition of the Weekly Racing Roundup will include reports from the International GT Open and VLN finales.