Alex Kapadia's race hopes ended by crash in Austria

Ross Gunn 15th in USA

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 8:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th May 2021, 8:38 pm
Alex Kapadia (Picture by James Beckett)

Alex Kapadia's hopes of scoring a second podium finish of the 2021 European Le Mans Series (ELMS) season were dashed halfway through a rain-soaked 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring race in Austria, when the RLR MSport car he was sharing with Mike Benham and Malthe Jakobsen was involved in a crash write Colin and James Beckett.

The Pistone-based racer started his ELMS season with a podium finish in the opening round in Barcelona last month, and had been looking to add further points to his championship tally in Austria. Starting in sunshine, heavy rain swept across the track that hosts the Austrian F1 Grand Prix shortly after racing commenced, and for the remainder of the contest teams battled with difficult tyre choices and pit-stop strategies.

At the mid-point, Mike Benham was at the wheel of Kapadia's number 15 team car, when he was hit from behind by the Graff Racing-Ligier, driven by Finnish racer, Rory Penttinen. Both cars spun, and then collected each other again in a crash which resulted in significant damage and retirement from the race.

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Alex Kapadia was on-track in Austria last weekend (Photo David Lord)

Afterwards, Kapadia said: "This was a shame for us as we had been looking for a good result here at the Red Bull Ring. We all feel sorry for the team, who did another great job."

The race was won overall by the Orlen Team WRT squad of Robert Kubica, Louis Deletraz and Yifei Ye, and the ELMS season will continue with the 4 Hours of Le Castellet in France on June 6th.

* Ross Gunn joined Roman de Angelis at the Mid-Ohia Sportscar Course in the United States on Sunday to contest the latest round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship in a GTD (GT3) Aston Martin Vantage. Recently announced a full season driver for the Heart of Racing team, Gunn again demonstrated his speed by clocking the second fastest GTD race lap at the wheel of the team's number 23 Aston.

The Vale-based youngster, and his experienced team-mate, raced through to a fifteenth place finish overall - fourth in class, a category that was won by the BMW M6 GT3 of Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley. Afterwards Gunn said, "This was a good result for us. The competition was tough, and this is a demanding track. The team did a great job, and we are looking forward to the next race."

Overall, the Acura DPi car of Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque won the race by a margin of just 0.368 seconds from a Cadillac DPi driven by Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani.

* Lewis Fox raced to two second place finishes in Zig Zag Lighting Heritage Formula Ford Championship races at Silverstone on Sunday. Driving a Van Diemen RF92 for the Team Fox Racing squad, Fox chased home class winner, Matt Rivett, in two hotly contested races around the 1.6-mile Silverstone National Circuit. A large grid of thirty cars lined-up for the Formula Ford racers, seen as a warm-up for the end-of-season Walter Hayes Trophy, with overall race victories secured by Oliver White (Souley Motorsport) and Max Esterson (Low Dempsey Racing).

* Ultimate Speed’s Aston Martin will contest this year’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship it has been confirmed. Vale-based racer, Matt Manderson, will join Mike Brown in four British GT Championship events this season in an Aston Martin Vantage - starting at Brands Hatch this weekend. Manderson and Brown will also contest races at Donington Park and Snetterton, before returning for October's end of season event, also at Donington Park.