Though its three-Porsche entry for this year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO suffered technical and on-track issues, as well as a heavy shunt for its ‘Willi Motorsport’ entry, Ebimotors recovered to secure a 1-2 finish in the 991-class in Mugello.
Words – James Gent
Images - Ebimotors
Ebimotors’ recent Hankook 12H MUGELLO weekend “ended in a very positive way” with a 1-2 finish, despite the heavy accident that eliminated its Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors entry.
The Como-based team, competing at the 24H SERIES’ eighth 12-hour event at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, entered three Porsche 911-II Cups for the European season-opener, two as ‘Ebimotors’ standalone effort and one in an on-going collaborative effort with Romania’s Willi Motorsport. The latter took class victory at last year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO, the first of four in 2021 en-route to both the 991 Teams’ championship and the 991 Drivers’ crown for Sabino de Castro, Fabrizio Broggi, and Sergiu Nicolae.
With category rival E2P Racing non-starting after a costly accident during Thursday’s private test session, Ebimotors then looked set to sweep the podium with its three entries, the Willi Motorsport entry claiming 991 class pole position ahead of the #973 and #974 entries and leading the class for the opening three hours.
A heavy accident at the Biondetti chicane during Fabrizio Broggi’s first stint on Saturday afternoon though eventually forced the Willi Motorsport entry into retirement, the damage to the #955 Porsche proving too great to repair. The Italian driver was escorted to the circuit’s medical centre and a local hospital for further examination, with team engineers confirmed the he was conscious and communicative. He is expected to make a full recovery.
“For Fabrizio the blow was strong and a precautionary check at the medical center was necessary,” the team confirmed in an official statement. “The prognosis [recommended] a few days of rest.”
CREVENTIC sends its best wishes to Fabrizio and his family.
With the #955 eliminated, that left the #973 and the #974 Porsches and their all-Italian driver line-ups to compete for the 991-category win: having finished ‘part one’ of the event split by just 0.786s, the 911-II Cups took Sunday morning’s restart on the same lap.
Early delays for the #973 saw the sister #974 take advantage only for a gearbox issues to curtail the Porsche’s charge. There would be further delays when Massimiliano Donzelli hit the tyre barriers at the Bucine hairpin, and eventually, Paolo Venerosi, Gianluca Giorgi, Gianluigi Piccioli, and ‘Spezz’ came through to take 991-class victory, 34 laps clear of the sister entry which recovered to finish 2nd.
Broggi’s injury and issues for the #974 aside, Ebimotors celebrated a strong run at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO.
“The weekend just past for Ebimotors at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO was quite busy! It was a double for Ebimotors with Venerosi-Giorgi-Piccioli-‘Spezz’ as winner of the 991 class and [Luigi] Peroni-[Pietro] Negra-Donzelli-[Massimiliano] Montagnese on the second step of the podium. There was great joy and satisfaction for the riders who managed to cross the finish line. For many of them, it was a debut in endurance competitions, which ended in a very positive way.
Though the driver line-up has yet to be confirmed, the Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors entry has been registered for the upcoming Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS on 22-23-24 April as the Romanian-Italian team continues its full European championship campaign.