Belgium’s Red Ant Racing secured its first international title at the 2022 Hankook 24H BARCELONA following its third 992-category win of the 2022 season.
Words – James Gent
Images – Ollivision / Petr Frýba
Red Ant Racing was celebrating its first international crown at the past weekend’s Hankoo 24H BARCELONA, class victory at the event having sealed the 992 Teams’ European championship in the 24H SERIES.
The Belgium team, competing in its maiden 24H SERIES season in 2022, went into CREVENTIC’s European finale just one point behind championship rival Red Camel-Jordans.nl. In a fitting start to the 992 Teams’ title showdown, Red Ant Racing lined up just behind its Dutch contemporary on the grid, the accumulative times of Bert and Aryton Redant, and Sam Dejonghe – the latter of whom went fastest in his qualifying session – just 0.084s shy of category pole position.
An impressive start by both Rik Breukers and Dejonghe meant that, after just eight laps of the 4.675km Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the two Porsches were battling for the class lead, a fight that, sadly, ended when brake failure sent the Red Camel Porsche hard into the tyre barriers at turn one. More than five hours spent in the garage meant the Dutch team’s championship chances were as good as over after just 90 minutes.
Red Ant Racing’s nearest rival for category honours thus became HRT Performance, with the German team’s #929 entry even taking the lead after the fourth hour. Rapid pitwork from Red Ant Racing during the opening Code 60 caution periods, plus brutal misfortune for the HRT Performance Porsche which pitted during momentary power loss in the refueling station, meant that Red Ant Racing’s advantage had grown to three laps after six hours. Consistent running throughout the night meant the gap had grown to six laps come the chequered flag.
The result marked the third class win for Red Ant Racing in the 24H SERIES thus far in 2022, following similar triumphs at Spa-Francorchamps and Portimão. Alongside the 992 Teams’ European crown, also secured Yannick Redant the GT Junior Cup.
“I am incredibly proud of my team, which largely consists of people who also work with our company every day,” explains team owner Bert Redant, who drove alongside sons Yannick and Ayrton as well as Sam Dejonghe in the #903 Porsche. “[We had] to finish a flawless race because the opposition was very strong all season long. The car had to be perfect, the drivers flawless and fast and the team had to function like a well-oiled machine, with a very strong strategy the icing on the cake. Luckily we didn't miss a beat all weekend long, which resulted in a victory and a title. We laid the foundation for this success during the season and we were able to finish it here, incidentally at a time when a great Belgian sportsman [Remco Evenepoel] won the Tour of Spain!
“The fact that we were able to win three of the five races is also due to the fact that our two cars again experienced no technical problem in Barcelona, thanks to the perfect and meticulous preparation of our technical crew in the workshop.”
Red Ant’s sister #904 entry meanwhile endured a tough race at the Hankook 24H BARCELONA, Kobe de Breucker having been involved in a collision on the start-finish straight right at the start of the event with the Lamborghini Huracáns of Leipert Motorsport and RD Signs – Siauliai racing team. Heavy front end damage and a punctured radiator required more than two hours in the garage, though the #904 did eventually come through to finish 8th in-class, almost 100 laps behind its sister model.
Though bested to the European championship, Red Ant Racing’s #904 Porsche nevertheless remains in contention for the 24H SERIES’ Championship of the Continents in 2022, courtesy of class podium finishes at both the season-opening Hankook 24H DUBAI and the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO. The Championship of the Continents will be decided at the season-closing Hankook 12H KUWAIT on 30 November to 2 December, with Red Ant Racing – just seven points behind HRT Performance in the standings – again set to compete with at least one Porsche 992 GT3 Cup.
“They” – namely Kobe de Breucker, who competed alongside his brother Jimmy, Arnold Neveling and Wim Spinoy in the #904 Porsche – “also deserved a place on the podium. Their incident at the start was [unavoidable] and made it impossible for them to do better in the race, though they continuously turned times to be up front. Arnold Neveling and Wim Spinoy integrated perfectly and were very competitive during the race.”
The Belgian team has also stated an interest in another 24H SERIES campaign in 2023.