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24H Barcelona 2012

7-8-9 September 2012
MONTMELÓ (September 9th, 2012) – The Lapidus Racing-McLaren MP4-12C GT3 has won the 15th running of the 24H BARCELONA. After 24 hours and a total of 640 laps, equalling a distance of 2,979.2 kilometres, British driver Adam Christodoulou drove the car of the German/Dutch team across the finish line to claim victory in the international endurance race for GTs, touring cars and 24H Specials. Christodoulou shared driving duties in the orange and white sports car with fellow Brits Tim Mullen and Phil Quaife and Dutchman Klaas Hummel, also the owner of the team. The Russian Bears Motorsport-Ferrari 458 Italia (#4, Miguel Toril/Dmitry Samorukov/Boris Rotenberg/Maurizio Mediani/Sergey Zlobin) came second, the Auto Racing Club Bratislava-Porsche 997 (#7, Miro Konopka/Ivo Breukers/Mato Konopka/Wolf Nathan/Jaap van Lagen) finished third and claimed victory in the Porsche 997 category.

The Lapidus Racing McLaren enjoyed a comfortable lead of twelve laps at the halfway mark, but soon after midnight, the car was pushed into the pit box where the left-hand wastegate of the turbocharger had to be replaced. Repair cost the team 19 laps and it re-joined the race in third place. During the night, the McLaren quickly caught up again and made up for ground lost with consistently quick lap times. After a couple of hours, the British sportscar was back in the lead, but later on, it lost some time again following a collision with the 4PET by Las Moras Racing-BMW 123D (#54, Hans Kuipers/Tom v.d. Mosselaar/Dries Zwienenberg/Liesette Braams). As the sun rose over the Circuit de Catalunya, the McLaren was in the lead again and motored on to drive victory home. It was the first victory for a McLaren sports car in a 24-hour race since the win for Yannick Dalmas, JJ Lehto and Masanori Sekiya in the Le Mans 24 Hours back in 1995.

The Auto Racing Club Bratislava-Porsche 997 Cup (#7, Miro Konopka/Ivo Breukers/Mato Konopka/Wolf Nathan/Jaap van Lagen) took over the lead when the McLaren was being repaired in the pits, but the team was given a five-lap penalty for a yellow-flag infringement later during the night. The Slovakian/Dutch Porsche team still finished third overall and took the spoils in the Porsche 997 class.

The Bonk Motorsport/Guttroff-Chevrolet Corvette C6 (#17, Tobias Guttroff/Joachim Kiesch/Jens Richter/Peter Bonk) finished fourth overall to win the SP2 class from the Las Moras Racing-Renault Mégane Trophy (#12, Luc Braams/Duncan Huisman/Michael Munemann/Ronald Morien), that led its class for a long time during the first half of the race, but dropped back following a steering problem during the evening.

The A3T class saw the Russian Bears Motorsport-SEAT Leon Supercopa (#32, Vyacheslav Maleev/Mikhail Maleev/Kirill Ladygin/Pol Rosell/Joan Vinyes) claim victory in sixth place overall. The SEAT of local team Sunred Racing with WTCC drivers Pepe Oriola and Fernando Monje plus Jordi Oriola and Ferran Monje (#1) led in the first hour, but dropped back and retired altogether following a crash during the night.

In the A2 class, the Besaplast Racing MINI Cooper S (#42, Franjo Kovac/Fredrik Lestrup/Thomas Tekaat/Ralf Eisenreich) emerged as the winner. It moved up into the class lead after the long-time leader, the Schirra Motoring MINI John Cooper Works (#46, Friedrich von Bohlen/Harald Grohs/Markus Oestreich/Jürgen Nett) lost time when the turbocharger had to be replaced during the night, when the compact car was running in an excellent sixth place overall.

The battle in class SP3 was decided in favour of the Partl Motorsport-BMW M3 GT4 (#20, Hermann Bock/Max Partl/Jöeg Weidinger), when the identical car of long-time class leaders Bonk Motorsport (#18, Henry Walkenhorst/Axel Burgardt/Emin Akata/Wolf Silvester) got stuck in the gravel trap at 9.30 am and lost nine laps. A5 class honours were taken by the Motionsport-Lotus Elise Sport (#48, Pete Storey/Ben Gower/Ben Pitch/Simon Philips), ahead of the Sorg Rennsport-BMW Z4 M Coupé (#26, Paul Follett/Monny Krant/Emile Bezemer/Henk Thijssen).

The A4 class saw the Kueperracing BMW (#27, Bernd Küpper/Michael Kroll/Martin Kroll/Chantal Kroll/Roland Eggimann) taking the spoils as the only car still running in the class when the chequered flag was out. Last but not least, the D1 diesel class brought victory for the Blackmotorsport/Formula GT-SEAT Leon 1.9 TDI (#53, David Lloret/Fortià Parés/Azor Dueñeas/Ivan Alba/Jon Eguzkitza) following the collision and the subsequent delay for the 4PET by Las Moras-BMW (#54). The Dutch team still came second in class.

For the second year running, the 24H BARCELONA was part of the 24H SERIES of Dutch agency CREVENTIC, which acted as organiser and promoter of the race, together with the Royal Automobile Club of Catalunya (RACC). “Once again, we have succeeded in attracting teams from many different countries, increasing the international profile and status of this race. Co-operation between CREVENTIC and RACC has been very smooth and pleasant and we have enjoyed a great weekend of racing with an excellent atmosphere in beautiful weather,” said CREVENTIC’s Gerrie Willems.