Leipert Motorsport will start its first European round of the 24H SERIES in 2022 with GTX championship leaders Jean-Francois and Kerong Li, who are set to be joined by a returning Tyler Cooke.
Words – James Gent
Images – Petr Frýba
GTX standings leaders Jean-Francois Brunot and Kerong Li are set to race once again with Leipert Motorsport at the upcoming Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, and will be joined by the returning Tyler Cooke as the latter aims to support their championship assault.
Brunot and protégé Li competed aboard the Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo at both the season-opening Hankook 24H DUBAI and the non-championship Hankook 6H ABU DHABI, and while electrical issues meant the pair dropped from a potential GTX-class podium to 8th in-class in Dubai, they finished a solid 5th overall at the Yas Marina Circuit.
For the first European round of the season at Mugello though, Brunot and Li competed in a one-off outing with HRT Performance, logistical issues having prevented the Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini competing in Mugello. Though neither had raced the German team’s Porsche 992 GT3 Cup before, Brunot and Li went on to take their maiden GTX class victories in Mugello with HRT in what the American driver called “a consistent and competitive showing throughout.” The reigning TCX Drivers’ champion simultaneously secured his first win in the 24H SERIES since last year’s Hankook 24H BARCELONA with CWS Engineering.
The result means that Brunot and Li now top the GTX Drivers’ title chase in the European standings, just three points clear of RD Signs – Siauliai racing team’s Audrius Butkevicius, Nicola Michelon and Paulius Paskevicius. The Lithuanian team had looked on course to take GTX victory in Mugello only for a gearbox issue to strike the Lamborghini, costing RD Signs nearly 20 minutes in the garage as a result. Butkevicius, Michelon and Paskevicius nevertheless recovered to finish 2nd in-class in Tuscany and are set to team up once again aboard the #720 Huracán Super Trofeo at Spa-Francorchamps.
To support Brunot and Li’s championship fight, 2019 Overall GT Teams’ ‘Continents’ champion Leipert Motorsport has also registered former Sports Car Challenge contender Tyler Cooke on its driver line-up for the #710 Lamborghini.
The 2022 Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS will be Cooke’s third start in the 24H SERIES – all with Leipert – and his first since last year’s Hankook 24H SEBRING. Though the German team had to retire from the event after a collision with the pre-production BMW M4 GT3, Cooke enjoyed a far more fruitful maiden outing earlier in 2021 at the Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING, at which he finished 3rd overall alongside Brendon Leitch, Seb Morris, and Fidel Leib in the Huracán GT3 on Leipert Motorsport’s first GT3 entry in more than a decade.