SCOT Stevan McAleer had a dream start to his GT4 America Series campaign at Sonomo in California with a double victory.
The rising star of American endurance racing, from Glasgow, teamed up with Eric Filgueiras in the RS1 Porsche 718 Cayman and won the opening race in dramatic style.
He said: “Once we got a little lead in race one, I tried to manage the gap. We’re excited – the RS1 has been fantastic, and it’s a first win for this new Porsche in SRO motorsport events.”
McAleer also put the car on pole for race two and they dominated it. I have added: “Flag-to-flag win and fastest lap – what a weekend.”
Airdrie’s Ryan Dalziel joined Justin Wetherill in a Triarsi Ferrari in the GT World Challenge America series. They had an early problem that ended their first contest but finished ninth in class in the second encounter.
The British GT Championship opener at Oulton Park in Cheshire saw a strong Scottish assault – with mixed results over the two races.
Motherwell’s Ian Loggie and Jules Gounon in the RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 finished second after an exciting battle in the first contest.
Loggie said: “This is going to be a big year. I have been doing a lot of racing in the winter to get prepared for this. We have the speed.”
Former champ Sandy Mitchell, from Forfar, and Adam Balon were ninth in their Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan but Lewis Williamson, from Inverness, alongside James Cottingham in their 2Seas Motorsport Mercedes, finished fifth.
Father-and-son duo Stewart and Lewis Proctor, from Aberdeen, in the Greystone GT McLaren 720S, came home third in the Silver/Am class and 11th overall.
Aberdonian Graham Davidson was a late substitute in the Team Rocket RJN McLaren but ended up in the barriers as he tried to take the lead in race one.
Former GT4 champion Ross Wylie, from Thornhill, was back – with Benji Hetherington in the Valluga Porsche Cayman. They battled for the lead in the opening race but had to settle for third.
The second race provided drama with a lengthy car safety period restricting the time professional drivers spent in the car – then wet weather and a red flag spiced things up even further.
The conditions caught out Lewis Proctor just before the pitstop – with the McLaren ending up in the wall. Lewis Williamson was also an early retirement after the Mercedes suffered an oil leak.
Mitchell also had problems – causing contact that earned a 10-second stop-go penalty, which dropped them down to 12th overall and eighth in Pro/Am class.
Davidson made the most of his team’s patching-up skills to come home fourth overall and third in the Silver/Am class. Loggie was fifth and, in GT4, Wylie and Hetherington finished fourth.
Uddingston teenager Cian Shields made his debut in the GB3 championship at Oulton. He came home 11th in race one then suffered a retirement before finishing seventh in his final outing.
The GB4 series saw Knockhill-based Graham Brunton Racing’s all-female team of Logan Hannah and Chloe Grant on track for three races.
East Kilbride’s Hannah had an early finish to race one but then scored eighth and ninth. Perth’s Grant came in ninth, 11th and 12th.
Inverness driver Callum Newsham made his TCR debut at Oulton with a sensational podium in race two at Oulton. I have finished third after bagging seventh place in the opening race.
The Le Mans Cup kicked off at Paul Ricard in France, with Penicuik’s Colin Noble producing a strong fifth-place finish in the Nielsen Racing Ligier that included a last-lap pass on Leo Weiss.
Double Le Mans 24-hour winner Jonny Adam, from Kirkcaldy, was in the European Le Mans Series with TF Sport. Adam’s team qualified 12th in the Aston Martin Vantage then ended up sixth in the race.
At home, the first weekend of the Scottish Hillclimb Championship was keenly contested at Doune – with competitors helped by the good weather.
The fastest time on Saturday went to Stuart Sugden in his GWR Raptor 01, with a flying time of 38.57 seconds. On Sunday, George Coghill Jnr topped the list at 39.62 seconds in his Force TA.
At the other end of the age scale in machinery, Douglas Anderson brought his immaculate Morgan 4/4 to Doune for the first time.
He may have set the slowest time in the racing-green roadster but Douglas looked very stylish for all of the 81.32 seconds it took him to ascend the hill on his best run.
Speeding things up for this weekend, there is plenty of Scottish and British rally action, as well as the opening round of the British Touring Car Championship and Super Lap Scotland (SLS) at Knockhill.
The SLS challenge is a race against the clock as drivers search for that perfect lap – with ModSports and Scottish Legends sharing the bill.
So you will see all kinds of competition cars – from diminutive MINIs and Fords to highly modified Subarus, Mitsubishis and BMWs, some with around 700hp on tap.
The Scottish Legends Championship involves up to 20 motorcycle-engined pocket-rocket contestants racing bumper to bumper – and sometimes closer.
More than 100 crews are lined up for round two of the Scottish Rally Championship – the Elgin-based Speyside Stages.
The entry list is headed up by five-time Scottish champion and nine-time Speyside winner David Bogie. With Irishman Barney Mitchell in the hotseat, the Dumfries driver will be out once again in the MINI JCW WRC.
But Mitsubishi Evo 9 duo Michael Binnie and Claire Mole, from the Borders, who won the Inverness-based Snowman Rally SRC opener will look for more of the same success to build on their tally points.
Other crews to watch out for will include Freddie Milne and Patrick Walsh in a Ford Fiesta Rally2 and Jock Armstrong and Cammy Fair, who took second place at the Snowman in their Subaru Impreza.
Further afield, the British Rally Championship will blast back into action as the seaside resort of Clacton, in Essex, plays host to the opening round of the season for the first time in the series’ 64-year history.
Among the major contenders will be reigning SRC champ Garry Pearson, from Duns, who will compete in a Fiesta R2, after claiming four national rally titles last year.
And 19-year-old Fraser Anderson, from Helensburgh, will be launching his bid to win the British Junior Rally Championship. The prize is a chance to compete in a round of the 2023 World Rally Championship in a works-prepared Hyundai i20 N Rally2.
A major highlight of the UK motorsport scene also starts this weekend – the British Touring Car Championship – at Donington Park in the Midlands, with numerous Scots involved.
Multiple champ and Knockhill-based Gordon Shedden has already shown huge promise in his Honda Civic Type R during testing. You will also need to look out for Toyota Gazoo’s Rory Butcher, as well as Laser Tools Racing Infiniti drivers Aiden Moffat and Dexter Patterson.
Support races will include the MINI Challenge, with Scotland’s Hannah Chapman, Joe Tanner, Ronan Pearson, Jack Davidson, Robbie Dalgleish and Ru Clark among the runners.