The Bohemia Energy racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 (#11, Jiří Písařík / Josef Kral / Matteo Malucelli) has taken victory at the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO for the second year in succession. Jiří Písařík drove the Ferrari across the line to complete 586 laps of the 4.648 km Autódromo Internacional do Algarve and take its second victory of the 2018 24H SERIES powered by Hankook season.
“We did a perfect race!” Matteo Malucelli explained to Nick Daman. “No problems, and the car was really good, especially during the night. It was difficult to fight with the other GT cars for 24 hours, but consistency is most important in this series, so I’m very happy.”
The Manthey Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R (#912, Ralf Bohn / Alfred Renauer Robert Renauer / Mathieu Jaminet) completed a strong run on the car’s debut to secure both the overall runner’s up spot and SPX class victory. It is the first time this season that an SPX entrant has finished on the overall podium.
“Very good performance for the new car in its first outing, and great performamce from the team,” said 2nd-placed Mathieu Jaminet. “I think we still have more potential, but we pushed really hard throughout the race, and this is a great present for Porsche!”
The final overall podium spot was taken by the PROsport Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster / Adam Christodoulou), which also took A6-Am class victory in the process. For the first time this season, three different cars representing three different categories finished on the outright podium.
Having battled for the overall lead early on, the Hofor-Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#1, Michael Kroll / Chantal Prinz / Roland Eggimann / Kenneth Heyer / Christiaan Frankenhout) and the SPS automotive performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#24, Alexandre Coigny / Iradj Alexander / Richard Feller / Antonin Borga) crossed the line 24 hours later in 4th and 5th places. In doing so, the
Mercedes-AMGs also secured the runners-up spots in both A6-Pro and A6-Am respectively.
The final A6-Am podium spot was taken by the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS (#34, Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff / Gustav Edelhoff / Elmar Grimm / Ingo Vogler /Max Edelhoff), while the second Car Collection Motorsport entry (#32, Christopher Haase / Pierre Kaffer / Jeffrey Schmidt / Peter Schmidt) was classified as the 3rd highest A6-Pro finisher. The #32 Audi had run as high as 2nd overall early on but would be felled by terminal engine issues late on Sunday morning.
The Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (#10, Razvan Umbrarescu / Gabriele Piana / John-Louis Jasper / Pavel Lefterov) meanwhile finished 7th on the road, securing 2nd in the SPX class behind Manthey Racing and just ahead of the Speed Lover Porsche 991-I Cup (#78, Dominique Bastien / Pierre-Yves Paque / Wim Meulders). The latter also rounded out the overall top 10.
991-class victory went to the Forch Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R (#189, Patrick Eisemann / Stefan Oschmann / Christopher Bauer / Robert Lukas) after a dominant run to 8th place overall, one place – and seven laps – ahead of the 2nd-placed track-club Porsche 991-I Cup (#111, Adam Balon / Marcus Jewell / Adam Knight / Liam Griffin / John Loggie). The IDEC SPORT RACING Porsche 991-I Cup (#75, David Abramczyk / Stephane Adler / Romain Vozniak / Florent Jimenez / Lionel Amrouche) completed the 991 podium, despite missing qualifying altogether with an exhaust gremlin.
A tight battle for GT4 class honours went to the Fox Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT4 (#47, Glenn Sherwood / Jamie Stanley / Ben Clucas / Andrew Perry) on the team’s second outing in the 24H SERIES this year. The QSR Racingschool Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#254, Mario Timmers / Bert Redant / Michiel Verhaeren / Jimmy de Breucker) and the Perfection Racing Europe Ginetta G55 GT4 (#239, Claus Klostermann / Michael Klostermann / René Rasmussen / Tommy Laugesen) completed the class podium, although the latter would pull off-track 30 minutes before the end of the race.
Bas Koeten Racing secures 1-2 in TCE
For the second race in succession, Bas Koeten Racing walks away from the 2018 Hankook 24H PORTIMAO with a 1-2 finish, despite a late race drama. The long-time leader – the Kawasaki Racing by Bas Koeten Racing CUPRA TCR (#155, Kristian Jepsen / Jan Sorensen / Kari-Pekka Laaksonen / Antti Buri) – was forced to pit and repair a broken shock absorber with just 90 minutes of the race remaining, igniting a tense on-track battle for victory with the ‘sister’ NKPP Racing entry (#175, Gijs Bessem / Harry Hilders / Bob Herber / Willem Meijer) during the final hour. In the end, it was Antti Buri who led the TCE field over the line having completed 529 laps of the Autodromo do Algarve.
En-route to victory, the #155 CUPRA TCR survived a bizarre incident on the start-finish straight moments after the green flag was flown when it made contact with the LAMERA-CUP powered by CTF Performance Lamera Cup (#238, Nicolas Beraud / Fabien Delaplace / Laurent Piguet / Gilles Poret). Both would survive but the impact dropped the Lamera-Cup down the order.
“I think in many points, especially two seconds after the start, I was worried this wouldn’t happen,” Antti Buri explained to Nick Daman. “But great teamwork from everyone, and it’s nice to win again.”
On its first outing in the 24H SERIES since Dubai, the Team Altran Peugeot 308 Racing Cup TCR (#908, Thierry Boyer / François Riaux / Michel Derue / Thierry Chkondali) secured the final spot on both the overall TCE and TCR-class podiums, despite persistent transmission problems.
Finishing an impressive 6th on the road in TCE, the Hofor Racing powered bei Bonk Motorsport BMW M235i Racing Cup (#131, Martin Kroll / Michael Schrey / Michael Fischer / Bernd Küpper / Gustav Engljaehringer) secured its fourth consecutive CUP1 class victory this season. In the Sorg Rennsport inter-team battle further back, the #152 BMW M235i Racing Cup (Keijo Kaasik / Jesko Herrmann / Dirk Bierbaum / José Pires / Paulo Macedo) finished ahead of the sister #151 entry (Chris Wadle / Chris Lewis / David Richardson / Alexander W. Wetzlich / Seth Thomas).
Having survived its earlier contact, the #238 LAMERA-CUP recovered to claim its first SP3-class victory of the 24H SERIES season. The CWS Engineering Ginetta G55 (#178, Colin White / Joachim Bölting / Steven Wells / Adam Hayes) meanwhile finished 2nd in-class, while the returning WEC Motorsport BMW E46 M3 (#139, Dave Cox / Jason Cox / Michael Cox / Guy Povey / George Haynes) claimed the final SP3 podium spot on its season debut.
European Championship action in the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook continues in just over two months time at the Hankook 24H BARCELONA on 7-8-9 September, the season finale taking place on 12-13-14 October at Spa-Francorchamps. The Championship of the Continents meanwhile will draw to a close at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on 16-17-18 November. Further information on this year’s calendar can be found at http://www.24hseries.com.
Source. Creventic/Photo. Petr Frýba