- American team takes first outright pole position in the 24H SERIES.
- Herberth Motorsport secures front row start ahead of charging MP Racing.
- TCE polesitter JR Motorsport posts 6th fastest time overall in storming run.
MUGELLO (25 March, 2022) – Phoenix Racing will start the 2022 Hankook 12H MUGELLO from pole position in the first European outing for the 24H SERIES’ new qualifying format.
For 2022, the original 30-minute format has been replaced with three 10-minute sessions, during which three different drivers per team set their qualifying times. The grid is then set using the average time of the fastest lap set by each team during all three 10-minute sessions.
Having set the fastest lap across all three GT qualifiers at the 5.245km Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, the Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II (#18, Michael Doppelmayr / Pierre Kaffer / Elia Erhart / Swen Herberger) thus secures pole position for the 2022 Hankook 12H MUGELLO with an average time of 1m 48.362s.
A 1m 47.337s, set by Pierre Kaffer during his final run, was the fastest time posted across all three GT sessions.
“I’m really happy we secured this pole position,” Kaffer told radiolemans.com’s Diana Binks. “I felt really confident, and I want to thank my whole crew at Phoenix Racing, and all my colleagues. They have done a fabulous job, and we knew, going into qualifying, that we had a nice setup. So, let’s keep fingers crossed for tomorrow.”
Reigning Overall GT Teams’ champion ST Racing (#1, Samantha Tan / Bryson Morris / Nick Wittmer) secured its best grid position yet in the 24H SERIES with the new BMW M4 GT3, and joins Phoenix Racing on the front row for tomorrow’s race start. Significantly, the Canadian team’s 1m 47.525s, set by Nick Wittmer, was the only other lap to dip below 1m 48s this afternoon.
The MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#25, Alexander Hrachowina / Martin Konrad / Bernd Schneider) will line up 3rd having leapfrogged the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (#91, Ralf Bohn / Daniel Allemann / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer) during the closing stages.
Aptly, the second and third quickest entrants in the ‘GT3’ class – the returning Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 (#8, Marco Frezza / David Fumanelli / Alessandro Cutrera / Marco Talarico / ‘L.M.D.V.’) and the Earl Bamber Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R (#61, Adrian D'Silva / Matthew Payne / Reid Harker) – will share the third row of the grid. This means five different manufacturers will be represented in the overall top five on tomorrow’s grid.
On the maiden series outing for the Bentley Continental GT3, BoDa by Bas Koeten Racing (#6, Bob Herber / Marcel van Berlo) will start 8th overall, just behind the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Hankook 24H DUBAI class winner, CP Racing (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster).
The overall top 10 is completed by JUTA Racing (#71, Julius Adomavičius / Andrius Gelžinis / Jonas Gelžinis) and Car Collection Motorsport (#34, Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff / Elmar Grimm / Wiggo Dalmo), both of which will run Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos.
Quick times from four-time FIA World RallyCross champion Johan Kristofferson during the final 10-minutes helped the HRT Performance Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (#929, Gustav Bergström / Johan Kristoffersson / Ole Veiby) secure 992 pole position, just ahead of the fastest 992-AM runner, Red Ant Racing (#903, Ayrton Redant / Bert Redant / Yannick Redant), and the 991-class polesitter, Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors (#955, Fabrizio Broggi / Sergiu Nicolae / Sabino de Castro). The latter comes into this weekend’s event as the series reigning 991 Teams’ champion in the 24H SERIES having also taken 991-class victory at last year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO.
Interestingly, the Orchid Racing Team Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (#917, Loic Villiger / Frank Villiger / Laurent Misbach / Fabio Spirgi), which posted the second fastest average time in the 992-AM class, will start alongside the Red Camel-Jordans.nl Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (#909, Ivo Breukers / Luc Breukers / Rik Breukers), which posted the second quickest time in the 992 category.
NKPP (#928, Gijs Bessem / Harry Hilders) rounds out the top three in 992-AM qualifying on its first collaborative outing with HRT Performance.
At the Italian team’s home event, the two standalone Porsche 911-II Cups from Ebimotors line up 2nd and 3rd in the 991 class, the #973 entry (#973, Paolo Venerosi / Gianluca Giorgi / Gianluigi Piccioli / ‘Spezz’) having bested the sister #974 Porsche (#974, Luigi Peroni / Pietro Negra / Massimiliano Donzelli / Massimiliano Montagnese) by just nine-hundredths of a second.
The RD Signs – Siauliai racing team Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (#720, Audrius Butkevicius / Nicola Michelon / Paulius Paskevicius) will start from GTX pole at Mugello ahead of HRT Performance’s sister Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (#728, Kerong Li / Jean-Francois Brunot). The first of three Vortex 1.0s competing this weekend– the most entrants ever from the French independent manufacturer at a 24H SERIES event – rounds out the top three in GTX qualifying (#703, Pierre Fontaine / Christophe Decultot / Philippe Gruau).
The GT grid is completed by the Orchid Racing Team Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS MR (#417, Alexandre Mottet / Stefan Chaligne / Antoine Leclerc / Antonio Garzon) and the Team ACP-Tangerine Associates by VEIDEC JJ Motosport BMW M4 GT4 (#421, Catesby Jones / Wim Spinoy), which will start 1st and 2nd in the GT4 category respectively.
The green flag for the 2022 Hankook 12H MUGELLO is scheduled to fly on Saturday 26 March at 13.00 hrs local time, with the race running until 18.30 hrs that evening. After CREVENTIC’s traditional overnight ‘intervention’, the race will resume at 09.00 hrs on Sunday 27 March and will run uninterrupted thereafter until the chequered flag is flown at 15.30 hrs. The action will be live with commentary from radiolemans.com on the official 24H SERIES YouTube channel. Regular updates will also be published on Twitter (@24HSeries), Facebook (24H Series) and Instagram (24H Series). Further information can be found HERE.