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MUGELLO (29 March 2019) – The Bohemia Energy racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 (#11, Jiří Písařík / Josef Kral / Matteo Malucelli) currently leads the 2019 Hankook 12H MUGELLO after the first three hours of racing. After a scintillating start from the second row of the grid, the Ferrari has led all 85 completed laps so far around the 5.245km Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, but will start tomorrow’s re-started ‘part two’ on the same lap as the Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (#77, Adrian Amstutz / Patrick Kujala / Phil Keen) after a stunning late-race charge from Patrick Kujala.
Despite losing time on pit road during the race’s opening pit sequence, the Finn set the fastest lap of the event so far – a 1m 49.099s – to claw back Scuderia Praha’s one-lap advantage during the final hour. Indeed, as the 2019 European Championship season opener drew to a close, Kujala in the Lamborghini managed to pass Josef Kral in the leading Ferrari to unlap himself, and could have gained more time had a very late Code 60 not been thrown. Tomorrow’s rolling re-start means the two Italian machines will start line astern at the front.
The Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS (#88, Dimitri Parhofer / Rik Breukers / Markus Pommer / Toni Forné) lies 3rd after three hours, and will start one lap adrift of the leaders tomorrow alongside the Hofor-Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#10, Michael Kroll / Chantal Prinz / Roland Eggimann / Kenneth Heyer / Christiaan Frankenhout). The latter, a former 24H SERIES Champion, had started this afternoon’s race on the front row but still holds the A6-Am class lead.
The Mercedes-AMG GT3 of reigning 24H GT SERIES European Champions CP Racing (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster), the second highest A6-Am entry so far, will re-start 5th on the road. Alongside the Swiss team will be the Wochenspiegel Team Monschau Ferrari 488 GT3 (#22, Georg Weiss / Jochen Krumbach / Daniel Keilwitz), one of six Ferraris competing at Mugello this weekend, and one of three currently in the overall top 10.
Fittingly, after an enthralling race-long battle, the IDEC SPORT RACING Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#17, Patrice Lafargue / Paul Lafargue / Dimitri Enjalbert) and the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R (#91, Daniel Allemann / Ralf Bohn / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer) will share the fourth row of tomorrow’s re-start grid. Just behind them will be the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS (#34, Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff / Max Edelhoff / Elmar Grimm / Ingo Vogler) in 9th, which simultaneously rounds out the A6-Am top three. The Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 (#48, Pierre Ehret / Rory Penttinen / Martin Berry / Florian Scholze) completes the overall GT top 10.
One notable absentee is the SPS automotive performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#16, Valentin Pierburg / Tim Müller / Tom Onslow-Cole), which had qualified on pole position following a stunning run from Tom Onslow-Cole, but which has already spent more than an hour in the pits with heavy damage to the left front suspension hub.
Despite suffering a puncture early on, the Raceunion Porsche 991-II Cup (#987, Alex Autumn / Felipe Fernández Laser / Andreas Gülden) holds the lead in the 991-class ahead of Porsche Lorient Racing (#912, Philippe Polette / Frederic Lelievre / Pascal Gibon / Jean-Philippe Belloc) and series debutants, Teichmann Racing (#903, Scott Marshall / Tommy Gråberg / Hans Holmlund). MRS GT-Racing (#980, Helmut Rödig / Nicola Michelon / Peter Terting) and the second Porsche 991-II Cup entry of reigning 991-class European Champions Porsche Lorient Racing (#911, Jean-François Demorge / Gilles Blasco / Lionel Amrouche / Frédéric Ancel) had both looked set to be in the thick of the fight for victory only for both, quite incredibly, to grind to a halt on-track with only minutes to go before the chequered flag.
The RTR Projects KTM X-BOW (#224, Sergej Pavlovec / Tomas Miniberger / Karel Bednar / Erik Janis) continues to uphold KTM honours in SP2 ahead of the JR Motorsport BMW M4 Silhouette (#203, Ward Sluys / Michael Verhagen / Max Weering) and the True Racing KTM X-BOW (#217, Hubert Trunkenpolz / Klaus Angerhofer / TAKIS / Gerald Kiska). Fellow X-BOW runners Reiter Engineering (#246, Jan Krabec / Adam Galas / Sehdi Sarmini) had looked set to challenge the podium contenders only for a fire on pit road to knock them way down the order.
The Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 (#50, Martin Kroll / Michael Schrey / Michael Fischer / Gustav Engljaehringer / Thomas Jäger) holds the lead in GT4. In a strong run during the opening three hours, the reigning 24H TCE SERIES Champions, in their first season in the GT division, had amassed a 90-second advantage over the MRS GT-Racing BMW M4 GT4 (#426, Franjo Kovac / Thomas Tekaat / Tomas Pekar) and Scuderia Villorba Corse Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#406, Mauro Calamia / Amedeo Pampanini / Roberto Pampanini / Stefano Monaco).
Returning 24H GT SERIES champions PROsport Performance (#1, Rodrigue Gillion / Nico Verdonck / Akhil Rabindra) had run comfortably in the top two in GT4 during the opening stages. With just 30 minutes of today’s race to run though, the Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 pulled to a halt on-track and has since dropped to 4th in-class on its series debut.