Red Ant Racing’s Mugello win hopes dashed by multiple punctures 

News | April 1, 2023

Reigning 992 Teams’ champion Red Ant Racing completed a combative drive to 3rd in 992 at the 2023 Hankook 12H MUGELLO after a succession of punctures. 


Words – James Gent

Images – Nico Mombaerts

The Belgian team made its first start of a full season with CREVENTIC at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, and hopes of replicating its 3rd place in 992 at the 2022 event were high when Redant brothers – and reigning 992 Drivers’ ‘European’ champions Ayrton and Yannick – and teammate Kobe de Breuckers secured category pole position aboard the lead #903 Porsche 992 GT3 Cup.


No less than six punctures struck the Belgian team however during this year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO, the 992 polesitter dropping to 4th during a hectic opening hour in the 13-strong 992 class and a dispiriting 13th during the second hour. Though the newly re-liveried #903 had recovered to the category’s top three by the end of ‘part one,’ eventual winner Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors had already pulled a lap clear by the third hour, and was rarely led thereafter en-route to a commanding class win and 4th overall at the event

Having run comfortably among the 992 frontrunners for most of the final six hours on Sunday, an overall rostrum spot appeared to have been lost in the closing stages with another right rear puncture. Ironically, shortly afterwards, 992-Am leader Ebimotors, the second-highest-placed 992 runner, then suffered its own puncture in the closing stages, dropping the Italian team to 6th in 992 (2nd in 992-Am) and promoting Red Ant Racing back onto the overall podium. Admittedly, both had been leapfrogged by Red, Red Ant’s closest rival in the 992 standings in 2022, which went on to finish 2nd highest of the 992 runners.


“We had no less than six puncture during the race, something we never experienced in the course of last season,” Yannick Redant explains to Belgium’s Autosport Wereld. “The result was that we had to fight back continuously, something that I could experience right up to the finish.” Yannick drove the #903 Porsche across the line just 19.4 seconds behind Red Camel. 


“We were 2nd a few laps from the finish when I suffered my sixth and final puncture. I dropped back to 5th place, but was still able to race to the podium… In the end, we finished 3rd, a few second behind [Red].”

The 992 podium means reigning 992 Teams’ champion is still only eight and four points behind 992-class leader Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors and Red respectively heading into the next European round of the season – on Red Ant’s home turf no less – at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS on 6-7 May. 


“It was not an easy race, and of course, we assume that at the next race, at Spa-Francorchamps, we will be able to race without any problems,” Yannick continues. “Furthermore, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup ran like a Swiss watch, and it turned out once again that the level of competition is very high.” 

The sister, blue-white #904 Porsche 992 GT3 Cup meanwhile endured a more difficult race in Mugello, however. Having qualified a solid 6th in 992-Am, the #904, driven by team owner Bert Redant – also a reigning 992 Drivers’ ‘European’ champion – Tom and Dirk Van Rompuy, and Steve van Bellingen had worked its way into the lead in 992-Am after judicious use of the event’s opening Code 60 caution periods. 


The quartet’s hardwork was quickly undone though when the Porsche suffered a radiator leak, a possible result of several high-speed trips through the gravel at Arrabiata, during the third hour. Repairs initially cost the team 11 laps and dropped the #904 to the tail of 992-Am, though a high-speed retirement for NKPP by HRT Performance at San Donato two hours from home meant Redant, the Van Rompuy brothers, and van Bellingen were elevated to 6th in 992-Am – albeit 20 laps down on class winner Centri Porsche Ticino – at the flag. 

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