Weekend Roundup, August 29

This weekend marks the beginning of the second half of the Formula 1 season at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the Ardennes forest of Belgium. While championship leader Lewis Hamilton was relegated to the back row of the starting grid due to a power unit change, he managed a few strokes of good luck matched with great pace and took the race win for Mercedes.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Continental Tires series races took place at Virginia International Raceway. The Saturday night win for Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in IndyCar set an early tone for fellow racers in BMW Team RLL, as the IMSA WeatherTech Michelin GT race saw the dueling factory BMWs looking to make progress in the IMSA GTLM points championship battle. 

The high heat and flat out race saw Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner finish fifth in the AERO-equipped No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM as the duo continue to target a breakthrough podium result. Teammates John Edwards and Lucas Luhr finished the No. 100 car in eighth place for the GTLM class.

Despite an early-race off, going one lap down, and then suffering from a damaged rear tire later in the event,  the  No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen emerged from the weekend with their 20 points' championship lead intact after toughing out a seventh place finish at VIR. 

Still looking to maintain their IMSA GTD Class championship chase, the No. 23 Heart of Racing /Team Seattle / Alex Job Racing  of Alex Riberas and Mario Farnbacher came home fourth at the finish in their AERO-equipped Porsche 911R.

In the Continental Tires series, the No. 76 AERO-painted C360R Ford Shelby GT350R-C took a sixth place finish for the team with drivers Pierre Kleinubing and Paul Holton. Teammates in the ST class finished 23rd and 28th in the pair of Audi S3 Quattros.

Two rounds—Circuit of the Americas and Petit Le Mans-remain in the 2016 IMSA championship season. 

Feature photo courtesy of Brian Cleary / BCPix.com