The first nine weeks of the GT Challenge Series provided races from the west coast of the United States at Laguna Seca, to Japan’s Okayama, to Brands Hatch in England, and down under in Phillip Island.  As far as drivers, there were a total of 3,239 different drivers and a total of 882 different winners spanning across the three classes, and for the third season in a row, the three classes consisted of the Corvette C6R, the McLaren MP4-12C, and the Ford GT.

The first three weeks of the season consisted of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Indianapolis Road, and Okayama’s International Circuit.  In the Corvette class, qualifying was absolutely dominated by driver Sergio Roda Junior, capturing pole for the week in the first three weeks of the season.  However, Sergio was unable to display the same performances in the races.  Instead, drivers Richard Avery, Fabio J M Cursino, and Ricardo Goncalves Silva proved early that they would be the Championship contenders for the GT1 class, with Fabio scoring most points at Laguna and Okayama, while Richard scored most at Indy.  In the McLaren class, there was no dominant qualifier for the first three races, however the most consistent drivers must be Patrick Valente Ferro and Csaba Volyka Jr.  Those same two drivers looked to be the favorites after the first three weeks of racing, with Patrick taking Indy and Csaba taking Okayama. For Ford GT, the notable qualifier the first three weeks seemed to be Anthony Kernich.  Many different drivers highlighted the top positions in Ford GT the first three weeks, but Kevin Duwel and Chris Hughson were able to make their way into the top five positions for two of the weeks.

Weeks four through six consisted of the historic Sebring circuit, Brands Hatch, and the popular Watkins Glen.  Sebring had contenders Richard Avery and Ricardo Goncalves Silva battling for every point they can get in the Corvette class, however top honors of the week goes to Christopher M Payne scoring 40 more points than both Richard and Ricardo.  Christopher was able to achieve that result after winning against both drivers in the same race.  McLaren had driver Laurent Beteille dominating the week, with top Championship contender Patrick Valente Ferro finishing fourth for the week.  Ford GT had driver Richard Sobolewski taking top honors with Championship contender Kevin Duwel 4th for the week.  Brands Hatch was a tough week, with traffic and overall racing being close.  Ricardo Goncalves Silva put himself in commanding position in Corvette by taking the week’s win.  McLaren’s Championship contender Csaba Volyka Jr and Patrick Valente Ferro finished first and fourth respectively.  While Matthias Reuner took top honors in the Ford GT, the consistency continued for Kevin Duwel with another top 5 for the week.  The ever so popular Watkins Glen invited many new faces.  Enzo Bonito took victory in Corvette, with Laurent Beteille in McLaren, and Juergen Voss in Ford GT.

The next three tracks consisted of the short course Mid Ohio, followed by Road America and Phillip Island.  At Mid Ohio, even though William Levesque took an impressive victory in Corvette, Ricardo Goncalves Silva was able to sustain second and take in a considerable amount of points for the Championship.  In McLaren, Patrick Valente Ferro  was able to celebrate by taking home most points for the week in his hunt for the Championship.  Ford GT had many new faces, with Dean Allen taking the weekly victory.  At Road America, Corvette’s exceptional driver of Sergio Roda Junior was able to take a commanding victory of nearly 70 points of the week over Championship contender Fabio J M Cursino.  McLaren had a new face at the top, with Juan Jose Sanchez Cuadrado and Patrick Valente Ferro bringing home a consistent fourth for the week.  Ford GT had new face of the season with Todd Honczarenko taking the weekly victory with Kevin Duwel closing out the podium and stretching his Championship lead.

Down under in Phillip Island for week nine of the GT Challenge Series.  The Corvette class had Richard Avery and Ricardo Goncalves Silva competing against each other while not necessarily always racing against each other.  Richard Avery took top honors scoring 200 points.  Ricardo was also in the race but lost control midway through the race and finished down the running order.  However, Ricardo was able to race again during the week, winning his race and scoring 196 points toward the Championship.  The McLaren once again was led by Championship contender Patrick Valente Ferro with 200 points while his closest opponent in the Championship Csaba Volyka Jr was able to win his race and come home third for the week with 172 points.  Ford GT witnessed a brawl between Tim Claessens and Richard Sobolewski.  With Richard having a few mistakes, Tim was able to take the victory and the overall victory for the week with 188 points.

Week ten features the three classes traveling to Japan to race on the Suzuka Grand Prix Circuit.  The current contenders for the class Championships are Richard Avery, Ricardo Goncalves Silva, and Fabio J M Cursino for Corvette; Patrick Valente Ferro, Juan Jose Sanchez Cuadrado, and Csaba Volyka Jr for McLaren; finally Kevin Duwel, Matthias Reuner, and Juergen Voss in Ford GT.  Good luck to all competitors in Japan.

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