The Bohemia Energy racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 (#11, Jiří Písařík / Josef Kral / Matteo Malucelli) has taken its fourth consecutive win of this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook in commanding fashion at the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO.
Jiří Písařík took the chequered flag to complete 721 laps of the 4.652km Autódromo Internacional do Algarve – just one shy of equalling the event record – to extend the team’s lead in the 24H SERIES Europe GT standings, and keep the Czech outfit in contention for the 24H SERIES Continents GT title as well.
As was also the case with Brno last month, Scuderia Praha came into this weekend with a 100 per cent success rate at the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO, and leaves with that record intact, eyes already looking ahead to the Hankook 24H BARCELONA in two months time.
“We keep ourselves out of trouble!” a jubilant Josef Kral told radiolemans.com’s Joe Bradley. “It was really tough, but the car was perfect. This track was probably the most physically demanding we’ve visited this year, so hopefully Barcelona will be a bit easier!”
The GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R (#24, Nicky Pastorelli / Jordan Grogor / Alexandre Cougnaud / Jean-Pierre Valentini) completed a sensational run to finish 2nd overall, the best result in the 24H SERIES to-date for the team from the United Arab Emirates. They were chased hard in the closing stages by the Wochenspiegel Team Monschau Ferrari 488 GT3 (#22, Georg Weiss / Leonard Weiss / Jochen Krumbach / David Perel), which takes its first overall podium of the season and ensures two Ferraris finish on the outright podium.
A strong run from the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R (#93, Edward Lewis Brauner / Stefan Aust / Klaus Rader / Klaus Bachler / Hans Wehrmann) was enough to take 4th overall and the A6-Am class win, just ahead of the CP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster/ Shane Lewis). The category podium is propped up by Herberth
Motorsport’s second A6-Am (#94, Tim Müller / Taki Konstantinou / Jürgen Häring / Alfred Renauer / Joachim Thyssen), which ended a character-building race 7th on the road.
The third and final Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R (#91, Daniel Allemann / Ralf Bohn / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer) had been in contention for the win but was forced to retire at half distance after catching fire on-track while running 2nd overall.
Mercedes-AMG Team Driving Academy meanwhile (#500, Hubert Haupt / Maximilian Buhk / Kenneth Heyer / Charles Putman / Rik Breukers) split the A6-Am runners by coming home 6th overall in the first development race for the brand new Mercedes-AMG GT3 ‘Evo’.
A race-long battle for 991-class honours would eventually be won by the DUWO Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#909, Andrey Mukovoz / Sergey Peregudov / Stanislav Sidoruk), which came home barely two laps clear of the pursuing Porsche Lorient Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#911, Jean-François Demorge / Gilles Blasco / Lionel Amrouche / Gavin Pickering / Frédéric Ancel). Despite losing more than an hour to repair broken steering and on-track accident damage, the MRS GT-Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#980, Alex Autumn / Nicola Michelon / Dorian Mansilla / Hendrik Von Dannwitz) survived to claim the final spot on the 991-class podium.
The Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#710, Harald Schlotter / Marcus Påverud / Ilmari Korpivaara / Yury Wagner / Dominik Baumann) weathered a high attrition SPX class to take the category win. Further back, the Cor Euser Racing MARC II V8 (#717, Cor Euser / Jim Briody / Einar Thorsen / Ricky Coomber) suffered a broken engine, while the QSR Racingschool Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#454, Jimmy de Breucker / Johnny de Breucker/ Lance Bergstein / Dominique Bastien / Thomas Jäger) retired with terminal brake problems shortly before nightfall.
Despite suffering late-race fuel injector issues, the Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 (#50, Martin Kroll / Thomas Jäger / Michael Fischer / Michael Schrey / Alexander Prinz) has claimed the GT4 class win ahead of the Parkalgar Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#412, Paulo Pinheiro / Jose Monroy / Malcolm Sandford / Joaquim Penteado), the latter of which takes 2nd in-class at its home circuit. The Team Virage Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 (#417, CO. Jones / Peter Peters / Thomas Padovani / Pedro Lamy) ends a character-building race with 3rd in-class on its maiden 24H SERIES powered by Hankook outing.
Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing takes fourth TCE win of 2019 at Hankook 24H PORTIMAO
The Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR (#112, Stefan Tanner / Ralf Henggeler / Marlon Menden / Yannick Mettler / Jérôme Ogay) has secured its third win of the European season, and its fourth outright of this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook.
Ralf Henggeler took the chequered flag to complete 641 laps of the 4.652km Autódromo Internacional do Algarve and keep the Swiss team on top in both the 24H SERIES Europe and 24H SERIES Continents standings in the TCE division.
It was a solid run for the team, albeit one that could have ended very differently heading into the closing stages…
“We had a problem with the gearbox in the last two hours, so we were really lucky to survive!” Ralf Henggeler explained to radiolemans.com’s Joe Bradley’s. “But my teammates did a great job, the whole team worked really hard, and it’s my first win in the 24H SERIES, so I’m really happy with this result!”
Behind the race winners, the AC Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS (#188, Stephane Perrin / Mathieu Detry / James Kaye / Sam Dejonghe) took its third podium finish of the year in 2nd, despite losing a wheel on-track inside the final two hours of the race.
The TCR-class is completed by the Nordschleife Racing Peugeot 308 Racing Cup TCR (#172, Guillaume Roman / Michel Derue / Michel Sallenbach / Thierry Boyer), although the formerly named Team Altran Peugeot suffered two separate fuel pump failure inside the final 40 minutes, ending the outfit’s chances of an outright TCE podium.
Incredibly, this meant the Synchro Motorsport Honda FK8-Civic Type-R (#676, Alyn James / Daniel Wheeler / Martin Byford) came through to secure the A3-class win and claim the final step of the outright TCE podium with just two minutes of the race left to run.
“It’s amazing!” Alyn James explained to radiolemans.com’s Joe Bradley. “We’re not a factory team, we build this car ourselves, and for what we’ve done to be in this position, it feels really special.”
The Red Camel-Jordans.nl CUPRA TCR (#101, Luc Breukers / Klaus Kresnik / Nuno Corvo / Henry Littig) has been classified 5th in TCE. Although a contender for outright victory in the early going, the CUPRA twice suffered suspension failure before ending its race with a high-speed shunt into the barriers at turn one. Early runaway leaders, TOPCAR sport by Bas Koeten Racing (#131, Ronny Jost / Julien Apotheloz / Kari-Pekka Laaksonen / Antti Buri) were forced to retire just after half-distance when the CUPRA TCR DSG suffered engine failure.
After losing more than five hours replacing a turbo in the early stages of the race, the Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M240i Racing Cup (#869,
Martin Kroll / Nicole Holzer / Axel Burghardt / Michael Bonk / Markus Fischer) recovered to be classified 2nd in the A3 class and 6th overall in TCE
24H SERIES powered by Hankook endurance racing action continues in less than two months at the 2019 Hankook 24H BARCELONA on 30-31 August – 1 September. In a format unique to the 24H SERIES, the Spanish event will host the fifth round of the 2019 24H SERIES Europe and will also be an eligible points-paying race for the 2019 24H SERIES Continents. Two months later, the 24H SERIES heads to Austin, Texas, for the third annual Hankook 24H COTA USA at the Circuit of the Americas
Source. Creventic/Photo. Petr Frýba