While low temperatures and snow still can be found in most of Europe, the first international endurance races of the new season will go ahead as planned. Some two month after the Championship of the Continents season opener at Dubai Autodrome, the 2018 European Championship season of the 24H GT SERIES, the 24H TCE SERIES and the 24H PROTO SERIES, all powered by Hankook, gets underway at Silverstone Circuit next weekend. For the first time, the prototypes from the 24H PROTO SERIES powered by Hankook and the bigger GTs from the 24H GT SERIES powered by Hankook will be racing at Silverstone in a twelve-hour race. The Hankook 12H SILVERSTONE will be split into two parts with five hours on Friday, 9 March, and the remaining seven hours on Saturday, 10 March. During the seven hours on Saturday, the prototypes and GTs will share the track with the smaller GTs and touring cars from the 24H TCE SERIES powered by Hankook competing in the Hankook 24H SILVERSTONE. Thus, all three series will be on track for the first time in history! Once the prototypes and big GTs have finished their race on Saturday at 5.30 pm local time, the smaller GTs and touring cars from the 24H TCE SERIES will continue to complete their 24-hour race. The finish is set for Sunday at 10.30 am local time.
Preview 24H PROTO SERIES / 24H GT SERIES
While the event at Silverstone, known as ‘The Home of British Motor Racing’, has become well established for the 24H TCE SERIES, this year’s running will be the first time for the prototypes and the big GT cars to be part of the event as well. For the 24H PROTO SERIES and the 24H GT SERIES, both powered by Hankook, the event at Silverstone marks the start of the European Championship season.
The 24H PROTO SERIES powered by Hankook have four cars entered for Silverstone. British team Simpson Motorsport will be running a pair of Ginetta G57s in the P2 class while the CN1 class includes two Norma M20 FCs, one from British team Tim Gray Motorsport and one entered by Krafft Racing from France. Entries for the 24H GT SERIES powered by Hankook start with six
cars in the A6-Pro class: three Mercedes-AMG GT3s, two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs and one Ferrari 488 GT3. The A6-Am class, for which the advantage BOP (balance of performance) has been reinstated, has five entries with two Audi R8 LMSs, one Ferrari 488 GT3, one Lamborghini Huracán GT3 and one Mercedes-AMG GT3. Two further Lamborghinis still have to be allocated to either the Pro or the Am class, depending on the driver line-up that is yet to be announced. Two cars in the SPX class, one Audi R8 and one Porsche 911, and four Porsche 991 Cup cars in the 991 class round out the field.
Qualifying for all three series will take place on Friday, 9 March, from 9.45 till 11.00 am local time. The first part of the race for the 24H PROTO SERIES and 24H GT SERIES will run on Friday from 1.00 till 6.00 pm local time. After an intervention with parc fermé conditions, the remainder of the race for the two series will be held on Saturday, 10 March, from 10.30 am till 5.30 pm local time, followed by separate podium ceremonies for both series.
Preview 24H TCE SERIES
The 24H TCE SERIES powered by Hankook will be racing at Silverstone for the third consecutive year. A good mix of amateurs and (semi-)professional drivers can be found on the entry list. The GT4 class has an entry of one Ginetta G55 and one Mercedes-AMG GT4. The TCR class is the largest with eleven entries that include Hyundai, SEAT, Volkswagen and Audi. The SP3 class consists of two Ginettas while the CUP1 class for BMW M235i Racing Cup cars has been integrated into the A3 class. This category now has an entry of seven cars with one Honda and one Mini up against five BMWs.
For qualifying, the 24H TCE SERIES will be on track together with the 24H PROTO SERIES and the 24H GT SERIES on Friday, 9 March, from 9.45 till 11.00 am. The night practice session is scheduled on Friday from 7.00 till 8.30 pm. The Hankook 24H SILVERSTONE for the 24H TCE SERIES gets underway on Saturday, 10 March, at 10.30 am and will finish on Sunday, 11 March, at the same time, followed by the prize-giving ceremony. For the first seven hours of the race on Saturday (till 5.30 pm), all three series will be on track together.
Source. Creventic/Photo. John Patterson