VIDEO. 2022 Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS Revisited

News | April 27, 2023

·      Phoenix Racing becomes the third different winner of 2022 after race-long fight with CP Racing and WTM Racing.

·      9und11 Racing takes GTX; title rivals Leipert and RD Signs in the wars.

·      Holmgaard takes maiden TCR win after NOKER Racing error; disaster for TCR standings leader BBR and title rival Wolf-Power Racing.


Words – James Gent

Images – Petr Frýba

At an updated Spa-Francorchamps – complete with new gravel traps and a state-of-the-art grandstand in the making – Phoenix Racing (#18) took its first win of the season after a race-long fight with runner-up CP Racing (#85) and the returning WTM Racing (#22). In what quickly became customary in 2022, the Audi R8 briefly fell out of the overall top 20 after pitting early on, but was back in the top three, and on the overall lead lap, by half-distance.

Also like Mugello, a spirited charge by Kaffer proved the difference-maker at Spa, Phoenix eventually working its way past long-time leader CP Racing as the Mercedes struggled to keep pace with the Audi around Spa’s notoriously fast 7km layout. A hard-earned 2nd overall though nevertheless secured the American team its first GT3-AM win of the season and its best result in the 24H SERIES, to that point, since Hungary in 2021.


Series returnee WTM Racing got its return weekend off to an eyebrow-raising start with its maiden pole position, the Ferrari’s aggregate time a staggering two seconds quicker than its nearest rivals. Remarkable pace that looked set to be rewarded with 2nd overall, despite some poorly timed Code 60 caution periods and a couple of punctures aside. Miscalculating team owner Georg Weiss’ combined stint time however forced the 488 GT3 to pit just five laps from home, the 57-second gap to beneficiary CP Racing proving a particular bad pill to swallow. 


Herberth Motorsport (#91) put a rancid weekend at Mugello behind it with 4th overall (and 2nd in GT3-AM) at Spa, Lithuania’s JUTA Racing (#71) rounding out the top five for the second successive race weekend. Despite a high-speed, puncture-related spin out of Raidillon, Car Collection Motorsport (#34) secured its second GT3-AM class podium of the season with 6th-place on the road just ahead of SAINTéLOC Racing (#26). Ironically, the pair had collided at La Source during the early going, the first of two high-profile incidents for the French team’s Audi.

The second, also at La Source, occurred on the Sunday with BoDa by Bas Koeten Racing (#6). The Bentley Continental GT3, amazingly, qualified on the front row, but was eventually forced to retire thanks to an assorted mix of accident damage and steering issues. Bas Koeten Racing’s collaboration with Van Berlo Motorsport (#906) at least bore fruit, the Porsche 911-II Cup taking a commanding win in 991 ahead of Spain’s E2P Racing (#910).


Neither GTX Teams’ title contender – RD Signs (#720) nor Leipert Motorsport (#710) – enjoyed their weekends in the Ardennes: the former was eliminated after just 16 laps following a heavy shunt, backwards, at Eau Rouge – Paulius Paskevicius fortunately walked away unscathed – while the latter lost an hour in the pits after just six laps with alternator failure (amazingly, Leipert somehow recovered to 3rd in-class). This left the way clear for series returnee 9und11 Racing (#719) to take victory ahead of Vortex V8 (#701).


Admittedly, it was far from an easy weekend for the French independent: after a heavy, a wheel-banging collision with Westend Racing, which sent the Finnish Porsche Cup into the gravel trap barely 200m into the race, a high-speed off at turn 17 – ‘assisted’ by Red in a move that broke the Porsche’s front splitter – ultimately sealed the 702’s fate.


Red Camel’s issues meant Red Ant Racing (#903) was victorious in 992-AM at its home circuit after a phenomenal dice with HRT Performance (#929) – a third podium of the season for the German team – while Speed Lover (#979) was the lucky beneficiary in 3rd late on after two-time 991 Teams’ champion Porsche Lorient Racing (#912) – back in the 24H SERIES after a three-year hiatus – lost it on the Kemmel Straight one hour from home.

Team ACP (#421) made it two GT4 wins on the bounce at Spa-Francorchamps, moving to within one point of the GT European Trophy standings lead in the process. The sister BMW M4 GT4 of Veidec Racing by JJ Motorsport (#422) rounded out a good weekend on home soil for the Belgian outfit with 3rd on the GT4 podium. Between them lay CWS Engineering (#478), this despite the new, V8-powered Ginetta G56 missing qualifying altogether with ABS failure and losing time in the race with two separate punctures. Sadly, despite leading GT4 for most of the first half of the event, ALFAB Racing’s weekend was done when the McLaren 570S – in its first 24H SERIES event since 2018 – blew its turbo. 


Holmgaard Motorsport (#102) put its Mugello near-miss behind it to secure a popular 24H SERIES class win. A hard-earned victory that, admittedly, had looked set to go to NOKER Racing (#104) before an error sent the Volkswagen Golf into the barriers, and ultimately retirement, just 90 minutes from home. Drama for the long-time TCR leader meant Lithuania’s GSR Motorsport (#105) and Spain’s RAIL EQUIP BY TOTCAR SPORT (#123) moved up to 2nd and 3rd in TCR, besting and equalling, respectively, their best results in the 24H SERIES to-date. Like Holmgaard, Valluga (#205) bounced back from Mugello adversity to take a commanding win in TCX (electrical niggles aside) ahead of Belgium’s Xwift Racing (#221) and PR-V (#225). A result that moved the British team to the top of the TCE European Trophy standings.


Valluga aide, the Hankook 12H SPA proved a difficult weekend for TCE’s title contenders. BBR (#159), fresh from its second consecutive pole of 2022, endured a tough race to 5th after the CUPRA suffered brake failure heading into the Bus Stop chicane (Munkong Sathienthirakul fortunately emerged unscathed, and both car and driver were eventually able to continue). The following morning, Wolf-Power Racing (#116) was tipped out of a potential 3rd place, and lost three laps in the gravel at Stavelot, ironically, by eventual 2nd-placed finisher GSR. That the Audi RS 3 recovered to 4th in TCR ahead of BBR was scant consolation. More serious woes befell fellow AC Motorsport (#188), which was running comfortably in the top five before receiving a heavy hit at Les Combes from series debutant, Buggyra ZM Racing. Both the Audi RS 3 and the GT4-spec Mercedes were out on the spot, but, despite suffering an injury to his collarbone, a fully-recovered Stéphane Perrin was back in the car at Barcelona. 

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2022 Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS - Results

Top 3 (GT)


1.     Phoenix Racing (#18, Audi R8 LMS GT3) – GT3-P/A – 256 laps

2.     CP Racing (#85, Mercedes-AMG GT3) – GT3-AM – 255 laps

3.     WTM Racing (#22, Ferrari 488 GT3) – GT3-AM – +57.022s


Top 3 (TCE)


1.     Holmgaard Motorsport (#102, Volkswagen Golf GTI) – TCR – 234 laps

2.     GSR Motorsport (#105, Volkswagen Golf GTI) – TCR – 231 laps

3.     RAIL EQUIP by TOTCAR Sport (#123, CUPRA TCR) – TCR – +18.530s


Class winners


GT3-P/A – Phoenix Racing (#18, Audi R8 LMS GT3) – 256 laps

GT3-AM – CP Racing (#85, Mercedes-AMG GT3) – 255 laps

GT3 – JUTA Racing (#71, Audi R8 LMS GT3) – 252 laps

GTX – 9und11 Racing (#719, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR) – 234 laps

992 – Red (#909, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup) – 247 laps

992-AM – Red Ant Racing (#903, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup) – 249 laps

991 – Van Berlo Motorsport by Bas Koeten (#906, Porsche 911-II Cup) – 244 laps

GT4 – Team ACP, Tangerine Associates (#421, BMW M4 GT4) – 236 laps

TCR – Holmgaard Motorsport (#102, Volkswagen Golf GTI) – 234 laps

TCX – Valluga (#205, Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS) – 230 laps



Pole position: WTM Racing, 2m 20.498s (GT); BBR, 2m 34.005s (TCE)


Fastest lap: Daniel Keilwitz, WTM Racing, 2m 20.744s (GT); Charles Hollings, Valluga, 2m 32.782s (TCE)



European Trophy, GT – After round 2


1.     Phoenix Racing (#18) – 38 points

2.     Team ACP (#421) – 37 points

3.     HRT Performance (#929) – 34 points


European Trophy, TCE – After round 2


1.     Valluga (#205) – 33 points

2.     BBR (#159) – 30 points

3.     Holmgaard Motorsport (#102) – 26 points

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