The Ram Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#5, Remon Leonard Vos / Tom Onslow-Cole) has qualified on pole position for this year’s Hankook 12H IMOLA. Tom Onslow-Cole lapped the 4.909km Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in 1m 42.480s, barely 0.4s faster than the Hofor-Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#1, Michael Kroll / Chantal Prinz / Roland Eggimann / Kenneth Heyer / Christiaan Frankenhout) in an astounding qualifying session in scorching temperatures for the third round of this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook European Championship.
“I was really pushing!” polesitter Tom-Onslow Cole explained to radiolemans.com. “The guys gave me a call to say the [Forch Racing] Porsche was very close on that second set of tyres, so we really had to push for it and we went for a little more on the last lap. I may have got a little over-enthusiastic in the last chicane! But it’s a great result and we’re really looking forward to the race.”
The Forch Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R (#29, Zeljko Drmic / Patrick Eisemann / Robert Lukas) ultimately rounded out the top three both overall and in A6-Pro. The Polish entry will share the second row with the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R (#911, Daniel Allemann / Ralf Bohn / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer), while the fastest A6-Am qualifier – the Swiss Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#15, Roberto Pampanini / Christoph Lenz / Mauro Calamia) – completes the top five in the GT division.
Further back in 8th, the PROsport Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster) was the second fastest A6-Am entrant just ahead of class rival Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS (#33, Ali Çapan / Siegfried Kuzdas / Horst Felbermayr Jr. / Isaac Tutumlu Lopez). In a stunning upset, Car Collection Motorsport won last year’s Hankook 12H IMOLA outright with its #33 entry.
Both the Mercedes-AMG and the Audi will start just behind the Bohemia Energy racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 (#11, Jiří Písařík / Josef Kral / Matteo Malucelli) and the IDEC SPORT RACING Mercedes-AMG GT3
(#17, Patrice Lafargue / Paul Lafargue / Dimitri Enjalbert). Incredibly, the top six GT runners qualified within one second of each other during a scintillating 45-minute session.
Meanwhile, the GDL Racing Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (#77, Gianluca De Lorenzi / Andres Josephsohn / Dimitris Deverikos) was the 10th fastest GT car overall, setting SPX pole position well ahead of the Slidesports Pallex Porsche 991-II Cup (#83, Dave Fairbrother / Nigel Armstrong / Steven Liquorish / Adam Morgan) and the VDS Racing Adventures MARC Focus V8 (#58, Raphaël van der Straten / José Close / Gregory Paisse).
Just behind the GDL Racing SPX polesitter, the Raceunion Porsche 991-II Cup (#187, Alex Autumn / Felipe Fernández Laser / Andreas Gülden) was the fastest 991-class runner, just ahead of Allied Racing (#93, Jan Kasperlik / Hendrik Still / Csaba Mor) and EBIMOTORS (#73, Lino Curti / Carlo Curti / Marco Frezza).
Following the withdrawal of Endurance Team Romania, GT4 will be a straight-fight between the Allied Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 MR Evo 2018 (#263, Dominique Schaak / Detlef Schmidt / Nicolas Schöll / Jörg Viebahn) and the QSR Racingschool Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#254, Mario Timmers / Bert Redant / Michiel Verhaeren / Jimmy de Breucker).
TCE – Modena Motorsports narrowly pips Red Camel-Jordans.nl
Earlier in the afternoon, the Modena Motorsports CUPRA TCR (#216, Wayne Shen / John Shen / Francis Tjia / Mathias Beche) set the fastest lap in the TCE division, LMP1 star Mattias Beche setting a fastest lap of 1m 53.783s. The Hong Kong-entered CUPRA was also the fastest TCR car, qualifying just 0.096s ahead of the Red Camel-Jordans.nl SEAT LCR TCR (#303, Ivo Breukers / Rik Breukers).
JR Motorsport (#118, Bas Schouten / Ward Sluys) was the third fastest of the TCE runners and the overall quickest of the SP3 category, the BMW E46 Coupé lapping the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari just over a tenth faster than the first of three Bas Koeten Racing entries at Hankook 12H IMOLA this weekend, the LMS Racing by Bas Koeten Racing CUPRA TCR (#129, Antti Buri / Olli Kangas). The Munckhof Racing BMW M4 (#259, Frank Bedorf / Marco Poland) and the GermanWheels BMW M3 (#132, Jan C. Kortüm / Michael Luther / Klaus Engelbrecht-Schnür) complete the SP3 class top three, albeit a little further back in the pack.
Trouble meanwhile struck the sister Kawasaki Racing by Bas Koeten Racing CUPRA TCR (#155, Kristian Jepsen / Jan Sorensen / Anthony Lambert) after a massive accident in free practice this morning. The SEAT was unable to set
a laptime in qualifying, despite a superb effort by the Dutch outfit, and will consequently start from the tail of the field.
The second Modena Motorsport entry – a SEAT Leon TCR this time (#217, Christian Chia / Marcel Tjia / Michael Soeryadjaya / Mathias Beche) – ended TCE qualifying as the 4th fastest TCR entrant just ahead of the debuting TFT/top loc racing Audi RS3 LMS (#555, Philippe Thirion / Denis Caillon / Bruno Bazaud / Antoine Lacoste / Sebastien Morales), the fastest of the Audi runners.
Towards the tail of the field, the Hofor Racing powered bei Bonk Motorsport BMW M235i Racing Cup (#131, Martin Kroll / Michael Schrey / Michael Fischer / Bernd Küpper / Gustav Engljaehringer) was the fastest runner in CUP1, narrowly edging the Sorg Rennsport BMW M235i Racing Cup (#151, Dan Rogers / Gama Aguilar / Rob Cohen / Seth Thomas) for category pole position. The Swiss team’s second BMW entry (#127, Martin Kroll / Jurgen Meyer / Axel Burghardt) rounds out the top three in-class.
Today’s programme continues with the race start at 15.30 hrs local time, and will see two separate rolling starts for the GT and TCE divisions for the first time in 24H SERIES history. The race will continue until 19.30 hrs, re-starting tomorrow morning at 11.30 hrs after a brief overnight break. 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. Petr Frýba