The Simpson Motorsport Ginetta G57 (#4, Steve Tandy / Bob Berridge / Mike Simpson / Charlie Robertson) has claimed victory in the PROTO division at the first-ever Hankook 12H SILVERSTONE after a fighting drive, while the ROFGO Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#31, Roald Goethe / Stuart Hall / Daniel Brown) has secured overall GT honours.
Simpson Motorsport’s weekend got off to a tumultuous start when its main chassis was damaged beyond repair during Thursday’s free practice session. In a brand new car sent overnight from Ginetta Cars’ headquarters in West Yorkshire, the P2 prototype weathered changeable conditions to secure both the P2 class and overall PROTO victory. The G57 completed 278 laps of the 5.891km Silverstone Arena Circuit en-route to victory, Bob Berridge driving the car over the line.
GT and A6-Pro honours meanwhile marked ROFGO Racing’s first class victory in the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook, following a stellar performance in the wet. Despite nursing a broken diffuser after an early collision with PROsport Performance, the ROFGO Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 would leapfrog the Forch Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R (#29, Zeljko Drmic / Patrick Eisemann / Robert Lukas) shortly after three-quarter distance. The British team dedicated their class win to the late Henry Hope-Frost, the revered British motoring journalist who sadly passed away this weekend.
Completing the A6-Pro podium was the GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (#963, Rolf Ineichen / Mark Ineichen / Franck Perera / Phil Keen), which gambled on slick tyres during an early wet weather stint to keep itself in contention. Further back in 4th was the Bohemia Energy racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 (#11, Jiri Pisarik / Josef Kral / Matteo Malucelli). Despite leading 37 laps outright during the opening five hours, the Czech-based team would fall fowl of boost-pressure regulations early on Saturday morning, and would be penalised two laps as a result.
A6-Am honours were secured by the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS (#34, Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff / Elmar Grimm / Ingo Vogler), a welcome result for the German outfit after its sister #33 entry (Ali Çapan / Dimitri Parhofer / Isaac Tutumlu Lopez / Jason Baker) was forced to retire with a terminal steering imbalance and a broken clutch. Close behind in 2nd was the Attempto Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (#66, Steijn Schothorst / Jürgen Krebs / Adrian Amstutz), while reigning 991 class champions PROsport Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster) completed the A6-Am podium.
Further back in the PROTO division, the Krafft Racing Norma M20 FC meanwhile (#97, Régis Tref / Norbert Sauvain / Karl Pedraza) would survive a hefty on-track shunt – and a couple of errant spins – to claim not only CN1 class victory but also 2nd in the PROTO division rankings.
991 class honours meanwhile would go to the IDEC SPORT RACING entry (#75, David Abramczyk / Stephane Adler / Michael Blanchemain / Romain Vozniak), which would just pip both Porsche Lorient entries, the #65 991-I Cup (Jean-François Demorge / Alain Demorge / Gilles Blasco / Frederic Ancel) leading the sister #64 (Philippe Polette / Frederic Lelievre / Mathieu Pontais / Pascal Gibon) over the line.
A titanic tussle for SPX honours would eventually go to the Speed Lover Porsche 991-I (#78, Phillippe Denes / Dominique Bastien) after a sensational run against series debutants Fox Motorsport (#47, Jamie Stanley / Glenn Sherwood / Ben Clucas). Indeed, the two teams were split by just 90 seconds after five hours of racing, the Audi R8 LMS GT’s pace only dropping as the rain and temperatures continued to fall.
Reigning Champions of the Continents Herberth Motorsport (#911, Daniel Allemann / Ralf Bohn / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer) had looked a strong contender for victory as the race ticked past half distance only for a trip into the gravel and a ripped water pump belt costing the team almost 30 minutes of clean-up. The Ram Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#5, Remon Leonard Vos / Tom Onslow-Cole) meanwhile would fail to make the start at all, terminal engine failure halting the British team’s weekend early.
The European Championship continues for both GT and PROTO teams at the next race in Navarra on 20-21-22 April. TCE competition continues meanwhile in the UK as the 2018 Hankook 24H SILVERSTONE races throughout the night, the chequered flag due to be flown at 10.30 GMT on Sunday. Live timing and live streaming of the race in HD quality will be available on the series’ website. The streaming will also be uploaded on the series’ Youtube channel. Regular updates will be published on Twitter (@24HSeries), Facebook (24H Series) and Instagram (24H Series). Further information can be found at http://www.24hseries.com.
Source. Creventic/Photo. John Patterson