Austria is one of four new countries that have been added to the calendars of the CREVENTIC SERIES powered by Hankook for this year. The Red Bull Ring in Spielberg is the venue for the inaugural Hankook 12H RED BULL RING, round three of this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook. With the event, series’ organisers and promoters CREVENTIC, in co-operation with the Dutch National Racing Team (DNRT), revive the great tradition of endurance racing at the circuit in Styria. Legendary cars like the Porsche 917, the Ferrari 312, Matra-Simca MS670, Alfa Romeo T33 and BMW 3.0 CSL scored victories in the 1,000 kilometre race at the Austrian track, a round of the sportscar world championship from 1969 till 1976. Of these brands, Ferrari, Porsche and BMW are expected on the grid for this week’s Hankook 12H RED BULL RING, along with a great variety of other GTs, touring cars and 24H Specials.
A total of 16 cars has been entered in the A6 class, predominantly for GT3 machinery. The winners of the most recent 24H SERIES round at Mugello, Scuderia Praha is running its trusted Ferrari 488 GT3, but the Czech squad will be facing strong competition in the A6-Pro class from various teams with Mercedes-AMG, Porsche (including Dubai race winners, Herberth Motorsport, keen to make up for its retirement at Mugello) and Lamborghini. Austrian Lamborghini outfit GRT Grasser Racing Team, based in Knittelfeld, just down the road from the Red Bull Ring, will be particularly motivated to do well on home soil. In A6-Am, reigning GT teams’ champions Hofor Racing are still unbeaten this year, with class wins at Dubai and Mugello. The Swiss team is leading the 24H SERIES GT Teams’ standings, just two points ahead of German team PROsport performance. Hofor Racing are up in the A6-Am class against various other teams with Mercedes-AMG, Audi, Renault, Lamborghini, the French Vortex silhouette and the Austrian-built KTM X-Bow sports car.
A total of five cars have been entered in the 991 class, with teams from Poland, Germany and Austria. Four Porsche Cup cars are also running in the SP2 class against one KTM X-Bow GT4 with an all-Austrian driver line-up, and a Marc Focus V8 silhouette car. The SP3-GT4 class includes three cars, one of them yet another KTM X-Bow. The TCR touring car class has one Audi RS3 LMS, one Honda Civic and a pair of Peugeot 308 Racing Cup cars. A BMW M3, a Mini F56 JCW and a SEAT Leon Supercopa car from the A3 class round out the field.
While Thursday, 6 April, is reserved for the usual private tests, allowing for a total of six hours of track time, official action starts on Friday, 7 April, with free practice from 8.30 till 10.00 hrs. Qualifying has been split up into two segments: the first part from 10.15 till 11.00 hrs for A6, 991, SPX and SP2 cars and the second part, from 11.10 till 11.55 hrs, for SP3-GT4, TCR CUP1, A3, A2 and D1 cars. From 13.15 hrs onwards, there will be a one-hour starting grid procedure, followed by the first part of the race from 14.15 till 17.45 hrs. Overnight, cars will be kept under parc fermé conditions, enabling teams to relax on Friday evening. On Saturday, 8 April, starting grid activities are scheduled from 8.30 till 9.15 hrs, followed by the remainder of the race from 9.15 till 17.45 hrs.
Hankook is the exclusive tyre supplier and title sponsor of the event while Panta racing fuels is the official fuel supplier. BRM is the official timekeeping partner and provides the trophies for the prize-giving ceremony. SPAA05 provides LED displays indicating the position of each car in the race. The following companies are present with sales and service booths in the paddock: DRD international for stickers, Global Crave for freshly squeezed orange juice and Speedcom for radio communication equipment and support.