The Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#3, Yelmer Buurman / Mike Skeen / Scott Heckert / Bret Curtis) has taken victory at the 2018 Hankook 24H COTA USA, and PROsport Performance (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster / Adam Christodoulou) has secured the GT Championship of the Continents in the team’s debut A6 campaign with the Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Scott Heckert led the field across the finishing line to complete 603 laps of the 5.5km Circuit of The Americas, and finished ahead of the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (#911, Daniel Allemann / Ralf Bohn / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer), which led almost half of the re-started race distance. The PROsport Performance Mercedes was the highest finishing A6-Am entry, completed a strong run by finishing in the overall top three, and leaves Texas with the Overall Teams and the A6-class Championship of the Continents. Ralf Bohn and Robert Renauer meanwhile walk away with the Overall Drivers’ GT crown.
“This Black Falcon team did an awesome job and the Mercedes-AMG was fantastic all day long,” Mike Skeen explained to radiolemans.com’s Joe Bradley. “We knew we were in a good position last night when we finished part one and we just had to execute today. We knew we had good pace compared with the Porsche, we knew they had penalties coming, so we just had to stick to the plan and go at it!”
The SPS automotive performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#24, Alexandre Coigny / Richard Feller / Antonin Borga) finished 4th on the road and 2nd in A6-Am after a strong run, while the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 003C (#49, Thomas Mutsch / Franck Mailleux / Felipe Fernández Laser / Piero Longhi) completed a successful return to the 24H SERIES by finishing 5th overall and 3rd in A6-Pro. The ‘sister’ LightSpeed racing SCG 003C (#704, Jeff Westphal / Andreas Simonsen / Jon Miller / Craig Stanton) failed to make the finish after suffering a gearbox failure shortly before quarter distance.
The final podium spot in A6-Am goes to the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 (#34, Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff / Gustav Edelhoff / Ingo Vogler / Max Edelhoff), which finished 6th on the road.
On its 24H SERIES debut, the JDX Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#74, Alan Metni / Mark Kvamme / Trenton Estep / David Baker) finished an impressive 7th overall to collect the 991-class win. Fellow Americans Wright Motorsports (#91, Anthony Imperato / Fred Poordad / Mckay Snow / Jan Heylen) have been classified 2nd in-class, but failed to make the finish owing to an overheating engine.
Fittingly, the Classic BMW BMW M4 GT4 (#272, Mike Vess / Jason Hart / Andrew Davis / Curt Swearingin / Matt Travis), the RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#890, Chapman Ducote / David Ducote / Wayne Ducote / Paul Barnhart Jr. / Kyle Marcelli) and the RHC Jorgensen/Strom BMW M4 GT4 (#113, Daren Jorgensen / Brett Strom / Gerard McLeod / Danny van Dongen) round out the overall top 10, and also complete the GT4 class podium, Classic BMW emulating the class victory it secured at the same event last year.
After a very tough race, the VDS Racing Adventures MARC Focus V8 (#58, Raphaël van der Straten / Hary Putz / José Close / Nico Verdonck) takes its fourth class win of the season in SP2, and took the chequered flag six laps clear of the JR Motorsport BMW M3 F80 Endurance (#114, Bas Schouten / Ted van Vliet / Martin Lanting / Ward Sluys). The Speed Lover Porsche 991-I Cup (#78, Pierre-Yves Paque / Rodrigue Gillion / Lance Bergstein / Jean-Michel Gerome / Jean-Alexandre Gerome) also encountered problems throughout the weekend, but recovered to take the final SP2 class podium spot.
Bas Koeten 1-2 take TCE win; Hofor Racing / Bonk Motorsport secures another title
The LMS Racing by Bas Koeten Racing CUPRA TCR (#129, Antti Buri / Olli Kangas / Kari-Pekka Laaksonen / Ronny Jost) led the sister NKPP Racing by Bas Koeten Racing CUPRA TCR (#175, Gijs Bessem / Harry Hilders / Roeland Voerman) across the finish line at the Hankook 24H COTA USA to secure a 1-2 finish for Bas Koeten Racing on a night the Hofor Racing powered by Bonk Motorsport BMW secured the TCE Championship of the Continents.
Antti Buri led the TCE field over the line to complete 550 laps of the 5.5km Circuit of the Americas and take the car’s second win of the season. The #129 CUPRA’s fight for victory seemed to be over when its suspension collapsed on-track, losing two laps in the process. The Finnish team was able to recover though and joust with the ‘sister’ NKPP Racing CUPRA throughout the closing stages.
“It’s amazing,” an overjoyed Bas Koeten explained to radiolemans.com’s Bruce Jones. “It was so close when they were fighting each other, but… it’s just so incredible. I have no words for how happy I am!”
The Lestrup Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR SEQ (#110, Mats Olsson / Peter Fahlström / Stefan Nilsson / Robin Fredriksson) completed both the TCR and overall TCE podiums.
The Hofor Racing powered by Bonk Motorsport BMW M235i Racing Cup meanwhile (#131, Martin Kroll / Michael Schrey / Michael Fischer / Bernd Küpper / Gustav Engljaehringer) secured its seventh consecutive CUP1 class win in 6th place overall in TCE, and now adds the Overall Teams and CUP1 class Championship of the Continents to the European Championship titles the Swiss team secured last time out in Belgium. Antti Buri and Kari-Pekka Laaksonen secure the Overall TCE Drivers’ Championship of the Continents.
Early class leaders Sorg Rennsport (#151, Simon Tibbett / Benito Tagle / William Hendrix / Ricardo Flores) finished as runners-up in CUP1.
Despite retiring in the closing stages, the Cor Euser Racing BMW M3 (#71, Jim Briody / Niels Bouwhuis / Einar Thorsen / Cor Euser) was classified 1st in an attrition-hit SP3 class, while a character-building run for the LAMERA-CUP Lamera Cup (#238, Fabien Delaplace / Laurent Piguet / Nicolas Béraud / Thierry Soave) secured the French coupe 2nd in-class.
The 24H SERIES powered by Hankook will return in 2019 and kicks off the New Year with the brand new Hankook 6H DUBAI on 5-6 January for GT and PROTO cars. The annual Hankook 24H DUBAI will return on 10-11-12 January and will be the first round of the 2019 Championship of the Continents. The 2019 European Championship will get underway two months later on 29-30 March. As was the case this year, the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook season will conclude at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on 15-16-17 November 2019.
Source. Creventic/Photo. Petr Frýba