· Reigning TCE Teams’ champion Autorama Motorsport seals 1-2 finish.
· Long-time leader AC Motorsport felled with just two hours left to run.
· Collision eliminates RC2 Junior Team by Cabra Racing CUPRA Leon Competición.
· Nordschleife Racing beats CWS Engineering to hard-fought TCX win.
CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD (24 April, 2021) – Autorama Motorsport has secured a 1-2 finish at the Hankook 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD, a win that looked destined to go to TCR championship rival AC Motorsport.
At the start of the race, the AC Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS (#188, Stéphane Perrin / Mathieu Detry / David Dermont) got the jump on the polesitting Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR (#112, Fabian Danz / Marlon Menden / Rhys Lloyd / Yannick Mettler) and, with only two hours left to run, had pulled two laps clear of the rest of the TCE field. Issues with the Audi’s rear left wheel though forced two unscheduled pit stops on AC Motorsport, a delay that ultimately dropped the Belgian team to 3rd outright in TCE behind the Autorama Volkswagens.
In the end, Emil Heyerdahl in the first Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR (#1, Constantin Kletzer / Emil Heyerdahl / Jérôme Ogay / Yannick Mettler) led the sister #112 entry across the line to secure the team’s first TCE victory of the season, completing 287 laps of the 5.842km Circuit Paul Ricard en-route.
“I can’t actually believe it, it’s so insane!” an overjoyed Emil Heyerdahl explained to radiolemans.com’s Lukas Gajewski. “I have to thank the team because the car was beautiful, and that was real teamwork. I’m really happy!”
Behind a frustrated AC Motorsport, one late-race brake change aside, the Tictap Totcar Sport CUPRA TCR (#123, Jorge Belloc Diaz / Jorge Belloc Ruiz / Álvaro Rodríguez Sastre) finished a solid 4th.
The Nordschleife Racing Ligier JS2 R (#226, Guillaume Roman / Daniel Waszczinski / Thierry Chkondali) finished 5th overall and collected class victory after an eventful race for the TCX runners. CWS Engineering (#278, Colin White / Jean-Francois Brunot / JM Littman) had been in the lead when a broken hub insert brought the Ginetta G55 to a halt after just seven laps, immediately losing the British team more than 40 minutes in the pits. Nordschleife Racing was then sent into a spin by the MP Racing Mercedes two hours later, the resultant damage to the transmission costing the French team over an hour in the pits. Additional handling issues for CWS Engineering though, plus a front tyre delamination that destroyed much of Ginetta’s front left headlight assembly, allowed the Ligier to resume the lead and take the class win.
The RC2 Junior Team by Cabra Racing CUPRA Leon Competición TCR (#108, Rubén Fernández / Victor Fernández / Felipe Fernández) was classified a frustrated 7th. The Spanish team ran 2nd in TCE throughout the opening stints, but was eventually eliminated before half distance after contact with the Porsche Lorient Racing 911-II Cup broke the CUPRA’s steering.
Red Camel-Jordans.nl CUPRA TCR (#101, Ivo Breukers / Rik Breukers / Luc Breukers) had a weekend to forget at Circuit Paul Ricard. Team mechanics worked until 4am to replace the CUPRA TCR’s engine and a broken wishbone, but electrical problems and broken steering ultimately led to the Hankook 12H MUGELLO TCE winner’s retirement.
Endurance racing action continues on 22-23 May, as the SERIES powered by Hankook travels to Baden-Württemberg in Germany for the Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING. Further details regarding the 2021 24H SERIES calendar and championship standings can be found HERE.