Maiden wins for Bruce McLaren Cup contenders Iribe and Moss

Maiden wins for Bruce McLaren Cup contenders Iribe and Moss

Reigning rookie champion Sultan Ojjeh completes the trio of winners in Germany
Top 13 drivers covered by just one second in Sunday qualifying

 

The 2019 FIA-approved Pure McLaren GT Series season restarted after its summer break at Hockenheim in Germany on August 31-September 1 with a field of McLaren 570S GT4 cars competing on the 4.574km (2.842mi) circuit, which recently hosted the German Grand Prix.

 

In Saturday qualifying, impressive newcomer Brendan Iribe built upon his recent turn of speed to take pole position ahead of fellow Bruce McLaren Cup rookie Nick Moss and motoring journalist Paul Englert, who was competing in the invitation class.

 

In the opening race, Moss took the lead on the first lap, only to lose out to Iribe shortly after. With his position re-established, Iribe began to dominate the race, as Moss defended from Mohammed Al-Khalifa, who had catapulted from fifth to third place at the start. Al-Khalifa mounted a successful assault on second place late on in the race, but looked unlikely to overhaul Iribe, who by then was almost 12 seconds up the road.

 

In a dramatic turn, Iribe crashed out with three laps remaining, triggering the red flag. With over three-quarters distance run, a result was declared, counted back to the previous lap. This meant that Iribe would take the win, his first in the series, with Al-Khalifa second and Moss third.

 

On Sunday, Moss topped the qualifying session from Al-Khalifa, with Stewart Proctor and reigning champion Mia Flewitt claiming the second row of the starting grid. In a close session, Just one second covered the top 13 drivers.

 

The race began with a two-lap safety car period following contact in the midfield at the hairpin. Moss judged the restart perfectly, and maintained the lead, but was forced to drive a defensive race as Al Khalifa kept his rival honest for the duration. This resulted in a close and tense encounter, however the top four finished in the same positions that they had qualified in. In fifth, Iribe had made amends for ninth place on the grid with an attacking performance.

With the opening two races won by drivers who have been competing for fewer than six months, Hockenheim provided a fine testament to the driver progression opportunities offered within the Pure McLaren GT Series. Fittingly, the final race victory of the weekend was claimed by reigning Bruce McLaren Cup champion, Sultan Ojjeh, who had worked his way to the front of the field from fourth place on the grid, which was set from the second-fastest times in Sunday qualifying. Ojjeh also benefited from the retirement of pole-man Moss, whilst Hungary winner Patrice Gautier finished second, three seconds behind the leader, with Proctor completing the podium.

The next Pure McLaren GT Series rounds will take place at Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix, on October 11-14.
 


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