by Tim Collier

The Magny Cours Circuit in France played host to the Champion Motorsports GT3 Sprint Series this week, drawing in a large crowd of motorsports fans from all over the country. The circuit, which is located in the Burgundy region of France, is known for its long straightaways and tight corners, making for an exciting and challenging race for the competitors.

With 35 cars registered, the Pro class had a total of 17 cars competing, and the pole position was secured by CMS newcomer Christian Youngwall, who set a time of 1:36.611 during the qualifying session and taking the pole by 0.700 seconds over Pro Class points leader Miguel Colon. In the AM class the pole position was taken by Tyler Pinheiro with a time of 1:38.124 edging out John Thompson who would start alongside.

Christian Youngwell (#52) leads the field to the green and into Turn 1

As the green flag fell, the field worked their way through the final chicane and into Turn 1, and it seemed that everyone made a clean start. Youngwall would hold the front spot thru the first lap with Colon behind him and DJ Alessandrini would pass Michael Parker to move into third.  In the AM class, Pinheiro would fall back at the start, losing 5 positions on the first lap, and Thompson would move into the class lead with a 6-car gap back to the second place AM driver Ernesto Diaz who contending with Steven Yanni on his six filling the mirrors and Luis Ortiz not far behind.  The AM race was far from over.

The battle up front didn’t change until Lap 10 when Alessandrini made a move into second place, getting by Colon. CMS veteran Paul Darling, who started the race from the rear worked methodically into the Top 10 by halfway and was looking like a podium was within reach. By the end of the 60-minute race, the overall and Pro class podium finishers were:

  1. Christian Youngwall – #52 Lamborghini Huracan
  2. DJ Allessandrini – #01 BMW M4 GT3
  3. Miguel Colon – #87 Lamborghini Huracan

Christian Youngwall hops the kerbing and heads to the overall and Pro Class win

The AM class battle had several moves, with not only Pinheiro, Thompson and DOleo, but Ernesto Diaz and Steven Yanni not far behind in a tight battle for third place in class.  Thompson would find trouble dropping him back and allowing Diaz to take the class lead for several laps behind pitting.  After all the stops had cycled, Pinheiro had worked his way back into the fight for the win with Thompson not far behind.  When the checkers fell on the AM class, the podium finishers were:

  1. Tyler Pinheiro – #234 Audi R8 LMS GT3
  2. John Thompson – #268 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo
  3. Ernesto Diaz – #251 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo

The AM Class win belonged to Tyler Pinheiro, working his way back to the front

The Class Points Standings after 4 races, with one result dropped, have tightened up in both classes after Magny Cours:

This series heads to North America, where it will stay for the final 5 races of the season. Next up, Road Atlanta on February 1, 2023.  This will be a 75-minute Endurance length race so prepare your strategies and make sure your drink bottle is ready to go!