Pre-event problems, plus damage sustained during the race itself, ultimately meant Holmgaard Motorsport was unable to secure its maiden TCR podium at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO, though the Danish team has nevertheless celebrated a good run in Tuscany.
Words – James Gent
Images – Petr Frýba
Damage sustained during the race itself was just one issue amidst “a lot of challenges” this past weekend for Holmgaard Motorsport at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO.
The Danish team, which finished 5th in-class on its 24H SERIES return to Dubai in January following an on-track collision, looked set to secure its first TCR class podium with CREVENTIC in Mugello before a loose front splitter stymied the team’s chances. This sadly was just the latest issue to befall Holmgaard Motorsport, which also had to tend to several of its mechanics both during and prior to the event.
Despite the issues, Holmgaard Motorsport managed to complete 282 laps of the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello and collect the chequered flag in 4th place in the TCR category.
“Before the race even started, we had a mechanic who almost didn't come… due to stomach flu, another mechanic got his finger cut up on a metal rail during a game with a football, and the team manager was admitted to hospital on Saturday night in Mugello with a bladder infection… so there were enough challenges for the team,” Holmgaard Motorsport confirmed in an official statement. “Fortunately we have the best team in the world, and ith a little restructuring and a really good effort from everyone, we completed a good run.”
2019 Junior Cup champions, and brothers, Magnus and Jonas Holmgaard led their family squad’s driver line-up alongside team staple Roy Edland, who ran his tenth endurance race with Holmgaard at Mugello, and series newcomer Martin Vedel Mortensen. Solid running from Jonas, Martin and Magnus during their respective qualifying sessions saw the #102 Volkswagen qualify 5th overall in TCE and 4th in-class in TCR.
A solid start meant the Volkswagen was already up to 3rd overall in TCE when Jonas Holmgaard completed his first stint. Mortensen, Edland and brother Magnus thereafter managed to climb the order to 2nd in-class heading into the overnight intervention, thanks admittedly in-part to NOKER racing team stretching its first fuel stint.
Sadly, contact just a few laps into Magnus’ first stint on Sunday meant the Volkswagen spent 20 minutes in the pits having its front splitter repaired, the mounting having been shorn out of place. Though the damage did not significantly affect the repaired Golf’s pace, the Danish team, which also had to contend with a wheel bearing issue, was unable to recover the lost time, and eventually fell to 4th in TCR, 22 laps adrift of division winner BBR and 15 laps behind 3rd-placed Wolf-Power Racing.
“We started part one of the race really well. Good stable speed, where the tyres were well looked after, so we could drive long stints and really good pit stops. When part two started on Sunday, we were 2nd in class. But as good as it went on Saturday, just as bad as it went on Sunday. A loose front splitter and problems with a wheel bearing caused several stays in the garage and we loss a potential podium place.
“So, [Mugello was] an exciting weekend with a lot of challenges, but unfortunately with an awful end result.”
In a bid to build on its impressive pace in Mugello, Holmgaard Motorsport has already registered its Volkswagen Golf GTI for the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS on 22-23-24 April. The Danish team is one of 10 TCR entrants already registered for a near-70-strong grid.
In Mugello, the Holmgaard Motorsport Volkswagen also bore a loving tribute to compatriot Viggo Sorenson, the 17-year-old UAE golf prodigy and winner of the Emirates Golf Federation Order of Merit, as part of its livery. CREVENTIC extends its sincere condolences to Viggo’s family and friends.