Weekly Motorsport Round-Up — August 3, 2017

Motorsport fans had plenty to work with this past weekend. As we head into the later summer months we’re going to break down the racing action from Formula One, Blancpain and the Pirelli World Challenge. So without further ado, let’s get to it.

Formula One: Hungarian Grand Prix

Heading into the sport’s summer break, this past weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix made sure to leave a lasting impression. Thus far, craziness and unpredictability have defined the 2017 season. With both in abundant quantities in this past weekend’s race, it was a fitting finale for the season’s first half. Who knows what’s going to happen when F1 returns at the end of the month.

Head over to the Hungarian Grand Prix discussion thread for more.

Blancpain Endurance Series: Total 24 Hours of Spa

Before Formula One heads to the Belgian circuit, the Blancpain Endurance Series hosted the 69th running of the Spa 24 Hours this past weekend. After 546 laps of the famed circuit, it was Audi that crossed the finish line first, its fourth overall victory with prior success in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

German driver Christoper Hasse drove the No. 25 Audi Sport Team Saintéloc Audi R8 LMS across the line, securing the victory for him and teammates Markus Winkelhock and Jules Gounon. Second place went to Maxime Soulet driving the No. 8 Bentley Team M-Sport, making up for last year’s misfortune. The No. 90 Akka ASP Mercedes rounded out the top three, rewarding the French team with its second consecutive podium finish at Spa.

Qualifying already made it clear a battle was in the works for top honors and the race delivered. After the formation lap, ex-F1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella took advantage of pole position and rocketed the No. 55 Kaspersky Motorsport Ferrari into the lead. While the Kaspersky 488 and No. 63 Lamborghini were the stars of the early stages, neither would see the finish line.

The Ferrari hit the barriers heading into Eau Rouge after a heated exchange with the No. 90 AKKA ASP Mercedes-Benz it was battling for the lead. A few hours later tragedy befell the Lamborghini, retiring from the lead with an ABS failure.

The retirements left a number of Audis, a Bentley and the No. 8 and No. 117 Porsche all in the lead for a great comeback. The No. 117 GT3-R may very well have taken the victory had it not been for a three minute penalty for hitting a mechanic from another team. The penalty was soon followed by another, this time a drive-through costing the team over four minutes. The combination ultimately resulted in the No. 117 finishing less than two minutes behind the overall winner.

Pirelli World Challenge: Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio

Finishing up, we head over to Lexington, Ohio for the latest round of the Pirelli World Challenge. Contested at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, it was Alvaro Parente that emerged victorious in his No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S.

The 32-year-old Portuguese factory McLaren driver recorded his fourth GT Sprint victory in the 36-lap Mid-Ohio GP. Parente overtook polesitter Patrick Long heading into turn one on lap two. The commanding lead resulted in the McLaren driver leading Long by over six seconds when it was all said and done.

Unofficially, Parente trails Long by a mere five points in the GT Sprint Standings, 157-152. Long, a three-time GT winner this season, settled for second in the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. Alec Udell finished in third behind the wheel of the No. 17 Euroworld Motorsports/GMG Porsche 911 GT3 R. The position gave Udell his first career podium after securing the GT Cup Championship last year.

Fourth was awarded to Kyle Marcelli in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 488 GT3, who battled with Udell for the final podium position. Fifth went to Italy’s Daniel Mancinelli in the No. 31 TR3 Racing/The Collection Ferrari 488 GT3. As a consolation, the Italian set the fastest lap of the race at 1:20.460.

Featured image courtesy of Kevin Mc Glone of Red Square Images.

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