Red Camel-Jordans.nl (#303, Ivo Breukers / Rik Breukers / Konstantins Calko) has won a frenetic opening round of the 2018 European Championship at Silverstone in the UK, an event heavily affected by changeable weather and track temperatures. Having already competed in the GT and PROTO-exclusive 12-hour race earlier in the weekend, Rik Breukers took the #303 SEAT Leon TCR across the line to complete 411 laps of the 5.891km Silverstone Arena Circuit.
So treacherous were the conditions at the freshly resurfaced Silverstone Circuit, the race-winning Red Camel-Jordans.nl SEAT was one car of many that had to be recovered from the sodden infield gravel traps, but strong pace throughout Saturday afternoon and evening allowed the #303 entry to pull 5m 44s clear of Team Bleekemolen (#100, Sebastiaan Bleekemolen / Melvin de Groot / Rob Smith / Rene Steenmetz) come the chequered flag. The result marks the first TCR class win for Red Camel-Jordans.nl in the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook since 2016, as result. Ironically, the team’s last success would also be achieved at Silverstone.
Having won outright at last year’s Hankook 24H SILVERSTONE, the Team Bleekemolen SEAT Leon TCR would hold off last year’s Hankook 12H Spa-FRANCORCHAMPS winner LMS Racing by Bas Koeten Racing (#129, Antti Buri / Kari-Pekka Laaksonen / Olli Kangas) to finish 2nd overall, while the all-Finnish team’s 3rd place cemented an all-SEAT podium in the TCR class.
Holmgaard Motorsport (#102, Magnus Holmgaard / Roy Edland / Jens Mølgaard / Jonas Holmgaard / René Rasmussen) meanwhile was the first non-SEAT competitor home in 4th, the Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR DSG finishing just ahead of NKPP Racing by Bas Koeten Racing (#175, Gijs Bessem / Harry Hilders / Ronny Jost / Fabian Danz). The latter was one of two Bas Koeten Racing affiliated teams racing the brand new Cupra TCR at Silverstone this weekend, the second – Kawasaki Racing by Bas Koeten Racing (#155, Kristian Jepsen / Jan Sorensen / Anthony Lambert / JM Littman) – completing the race in 8th position overall.
An impressive run for series debutants J W BIRD Motorsport meanwhile (#221, Paul Dehadray / Kieran Griffin / William Paul / Rory Butcher) started with a 38-lap run at the head of the field during the first two hours, and would end with a solid 9th-placed finish.
The top two finishers in A3 would finish line-astern in 6th and 7th places overall, the Hofor Racing powered bei Bonk Motorsport BMW M235i Racing Cup (#131, Martin Kroll / Michael Schrey / Michael Fischer / Bernd Küpper / Gustav Engljaehringer) just pipping the BMW of reigning CUP1 class champions DUWO Racing (#235, Philip Harris / Oliver Bryant / Grahame Bryant / Adam Dawson / William Plant). Further back, the PDM Motorsport BMW (#999, Dimitri Kluyskens / Maxence Vandekerckhove / Pierre De Landsheere / Peter Puype) would seal an all-BMW podium in A3, rounding out the overall Top 10 in the process.
Reigning 24H TCE SERIES champion Synchro Motorsport meanwhile (#76, Alyn James / Daniel Wheeler / Matt Neal) would finish a character-building event for the FK2 Honda Civic Type-R 4th in-class following a complete engine and gearbox change during the night. Few teams defined ‘character building’ more than Excelr8 Motorsport, however. The team’s MINI F56 JCW (#134, Max Bladon / Rob Smith / Ricky Coomber / Szeto Wing Shun Ivan / Clement Tong) would break a track rod after an accident in the opening few laps of the race, and would spend nearly five hours in the pits during a lengthy engine change. The sister Audi RS3 LMS SEQ meanwhile (#106, David Marcussen / Akhil Rabindra / Sandy Mitchell / James Kaye) would suffer intermittent electrical gremlins, the root cause of which was eventually found to be a wastegate failure in the turbocharger. Incredibly, both cars would still make the finish.
Teams competing at ‘the home of British motorsport’ in Northamptonshire had to battle not only each other but also mixed conditions during the oft-quoted “typical English spring.” As well as rain and brutally cold temperatures, the Hankook 24H SILVERSTONE competitors also had to face a thick blanket of fog shortly before 02.00 GMT. The race would be stopped for several hours on safety grounds, racing getting back underway at 6.45 GMT the following morning.
CREVENTIC’s 2018 endurance racing program will continue in just a few weeks time in Spain, as the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook gears up for the Hankook 12H NAVARRA on 20-21-22 April. The second round of the 2018 European Championship for GT and PROTO teams, the TCE division will continue its championship charge at the Hankook 12H IMOLA on 24-25-26 May. Further information can be found at http://www.24hseries.com.
Source. Creventic/Photo. John Patterson