The lead Herberth Porsche 911 GT3 R (#91), which started from pole position, was involved in a frenetic battle with both the WTM powered by Phoenix Ferrari 488 (#22) and the CP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the early stages (#85), but began to stretch its advantage as the race hit half-distance.
Problems for the team’s principal rivals thereafter allowed the #91 Porsche to pull several laps clear during the night and simultaneously brought the second Herberth Motorsport Porsche (#92) into contention. CP Racing eventually slipped to 9th overall when hub failure caused the Mercedes-AMG GT3 to lose a wheel on-track, while fellow podium contenders WTM and DINAMIC MOTORSPORT (#7) fared less well, however: the Ferrari 488 GT3, which led 78 laps outright, retired from 2nd overall during the night with gearbox failure, while a broken radiator meant the Porsche 911 GT3 R was also unable to make the finish.
After 24 hours of racing, Herberth Motorsport had secured its third overall win at the event (a theme for the 2021 season…) at Barcelona, and with 695 laps under its belt, had also set a new distance record for the event’s GT era in the process.
Three minutes behind the Herberth duo, Rutronik Racing by TECE (#18) equalled its best run in the 24H SERIES to-date with 3rd overall behind the Herberth 1-2 and just ahead of the returning IDEC SPORT (#17).
In 5th place overall, Collection Motorsport (#500) collected the P4-class win. The German team entered the second evolution Audi R8 LMS EVO II for its competitive debut in Barcelona. Having overcome gear selector issues in the early stages, the sister Audi R8 LMS GT3 (#34) finished one place further back in 6th.
Reiter Engineering (#724) recovered from a very early puncture to finish 7th on the road and claim GTX-class honours, the German team’s third such win of the season, and despite victory looking set to the first of two True Racing KTMs (#716), driven by MotoGP star Miguel Oliveira. A momentary power loss ended up dropping the X-BOW GTX to 2nd.
A dominant run saw Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors (#955) claim its second 991-class win of the season, while the ST Racing BMW M4 GT4 (#438) completed an equally faultless run on its first race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to secure its second GT4-class win of the season. After suffering two punctures in the opening stages, the returning RHC Jorgensen-Strom by Century (#450) eventually finished 2nd in-class.
Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing took its second 1-2 finish in TCE at Barcelona, a decisive run for the #112 Volkswagen coupled with an impressive comeback from the sister #1 Golf, which finished just 41 seconds adrift despite a brush from the CP Racing Mercedes that sent the tin top into the gravel early on. RAIL EQUIP BY TOTCAR SPORT (#123) rounded out the overall TCE podium at its home event ahead of fellow Spanish team, Baporo Motorsport (#151).
Just one lap further back, CWS Engineering (#278) rounded out the TCE top five, securing TCX class victory in the process. The TCE polesitter though suffered a bizarre incident six hours into the event when wheel hub failure caused the Ginetta G55, now running on only three wheels, to collect a piece of the run-off kerbing at turn one.
Words – James Gent
Images – Petr Frýba
1. Herberth Motorsport (#91, Porsche 911 GT3 R) – 695 laps
2. Herberth Motorsport (#92, Porsche 911 GT3 R) – 689 laps
3. Rutronik Racing by TECE (#18, Audi R8 LMS) – 688 laps
4. IDEC Sport (#17, Mercedes-AMG GT3) – 684 laps
5. Car Collection Motorsport (#500, Audi R8 LMS EVO II) – 681 laps
1. Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing (#112, Volkswagen Golf GTI) – 638 laps
2. Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing (#1, Volkswagen Golf GTI) – +41.195s
3. RAIL EQUIP BY TOTCAR SPORT (#123, CUPRA TCR) – 624 laps
4. Baporo Motorsport (#151, CUPRA TCR) – 619 laps
5. CWS Engineering (#278, Ginetta G55) – 618 laps
GT3 – Herberth Motorsport (#91, Porsche 911 GT3 R)
GTX – Reiter Engineering (#724, KTM X-BOW GTX)
P4 – Car Collection Motorsport (#500, Audi R8 LMS evo II)
991 – Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors (#955, Porsche 911-II Cup)
GT4 – ST Racing (#438, BMW M4 GT4)
TCR – Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing (#112, Volkswagen Golf GTI)
TCX – CWS Engineering (#278, Ginetta G55)