GENNEP (3 April, 2023) – The second European round of the 2023 24H SERIES powered by Hankook – the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS – is on course to be its most star-studded yet, with entries already accepted from former and reigning overall series champions, as well as perennial series race winners, both overall and in-class.
This year’s Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, which will be held at the esteemed Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on 6-7 May for the fifth time since 2017, already has 65 entries confirmed with more continuing to filter in on a daily basis, such is the draw of CREVENTIC’s annual event at the home of the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix.
· SIX different manufacturers confirmed for GT3.
· 2022 GT European Trophy winner Phoenix Racing begins title defence.
· Newest 24H SERIES winner Haas RT back for another run at glory at ‘home’ race.
Reigning GT European Trophy winner Phoenix Racing (#1) begins its 2023 title defence at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS with its Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II. Particularly fitting, as last year’s Belgian event was the first of two outright wins for the German team in 2022.
Aptly, all three outright podium finishers at the 2023 Hankook 12H MUGELLO have already confirmed entries for the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS on 6-7 May. Haas RT, which recently took its first-ever victory in Tuscany, continues its maiden European campaign at Spa-Francorchamps, a home race for the Antigua-Belgian outfit, with the #21 Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II. The Saintéloc Junior Team chased Haas RT hard to secure its maiden outright podium in the 24H SERIES and has also registered its #26 Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II for Spa, while America’s Heart of Racing continues its collaboration with SPS automotive performance – a former outright polesitter at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS in 2018 – with its Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.
After a strong run to 5th overall in Mugello, Hofor-Racing will hope for a similarly impressive showing from the #11 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in Belgium as the 2017 Overall GT Teams’ ‘European’ champion continues its first GT campaign with CREVENTIC since 2019.
Land Motorsport, winner of the Hankook 24H DUBAI outright in 2009, has again registered two Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO IIs (#34 and #55) for Spa-Francorchamps, and will hope to put a tough weekend in Mugello behind it. The German team lost a GT3-AM class podium to driveshaft failure in the closing moments, while its second entry, having led overall for much of the early going, was hindered by an overnight water leak and a recurrent camshaft issue.
Two 24H SERIES staples also hoping for better luck at Spa-Francorchamps will be CP Racing and Herberth Motorsport. Reigning GT Continents Trophy CP Racing (#85) lost a potential win with a heavy crash during ‘part one’ in Tuscany, but did at least bank points on the Sunday after an excellent comeback drive and an overnight rebuild. Gearbox failure meanwhile eliminated three-time Hankook 12H MUGELLO winner Herberth Motorsport (#91) – also the 2017 Overall GT Teams’ ‘Continents’ champion – after just 23 laps. The American team will once again race a Mercedes-AMG GT3, while the Bavarian outfit has registered its Porsche 991.2 GT3 R.
Juta Racing is the last of the Audi GT3 contingent signed up for Spa. The Lithuanian team has registered two R8 GT3 LMS’ – one an EVO I (#72), the other an EVO II (#71) – in a bid to secure its first outright GT podium since Hockenheim last year.
Hong Kong’s Modena Motorsports (#16) makes the jump to GT3 with its new Porsche 992 GT3 R, marking the first series start for the former class winner since the 2018 Hankook 12H IMOLA and the first official start in the 24H SERIES for Porsche’s latest generation 911 GT3 R. Reigning 991 Teams’ champion E2P Racing (#90), having made a similar switch to GT3, will hope for better luck with its own 991.2 GT3 R after a puncture-related clutch problem forced the Spanish team’s retirement in Mugello.
Slovakia’s ARC Bratislava (#44) makes its first European start of the season following the Lamborghini Huracán GT3’s run to 4th in the GT3 Middle East Trophy standings, while the returning MP Racing (#58), an overall podium finisher at the 2020 Hankook 12H MUGELLO, has registered its Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo for the Gostner family.
Impressively, six different manufacturers will be represented in the GT3 class alone at this year’s Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS. 2022 Hankook 6H ABU DHABI winner Baron Motorsport (#86) has confirmed a Ferrari 488 GT3, particularly apt, since the Prancing Horse has taken more outright wins at the event – two – than any other manufacturer since the inaugural edition in 2017. Germany’s JP Motorsport meanwhile (#69) will enter a McLaren 720S GT3 for its series debut, marking the second time in 2023 that Woking’s flagship GT3 racer has contested an endurance event with CREVENTIC.
· Two-car line-up for reigning 992 Teams’ champion Red Ant Racing at home race.
· Willi Motorsport among pre-race favourites after sterling Mugello performance.
· 2014 Hankook 24H DUBAI winner Stadler Motorsport back in the 24H SERIES.
Fresh from its 992-class podium finish at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO, reigning 992 Teams’ champion Red Ant Racing continues its title defence at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on 6-7 May, having confirmed two Porsche 992 GT3 Cups (#903 and #904) for its home event.
Among Red Ant’s biggest challengers will almost certainly be Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors (#955). The former 991 Teams’ champion, and winner of the inaugural 992 Middle East Trophy, drove a flawless race in Mugello to take 992-class victory and finish an impressive 4th overall.
Like Red Ant Racing, three other teams have confirmed multi-Porsche line-ups for the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS. Former Hankook 24H DUBAI class winner HRT Performance has registered two standalone Porsche 992 GT3 Cups (#929 and #967) alongside its fan favourite ‘NKPP’ entry (#928). Fellow 24H SERIES staple Speed Lover has also registered two Porsche Cup entries for its home event (#978 and #979), while Porsche Baltic doubles its 992 program for Spa (#992 and #993) after an encouraging series debut in Mugello.
2014 Hankook 24H DUBAI winner Stadler Motorsport (#901) will make its first start in the 24H SERIES since the 2021 Hankook 12H MUGELLO, and will do so with a Porsche 992 GT3 Cup for the first time. Emirati team RABDAN Motorsport (#977) will also start its first European race of the season at Spa.
A 992-class frontrunner at this year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO, Neuhofer Rennsport (#985) will hope to put in a similarly impressive performance at Spa-Francorchamps. As indeed will PKK Sport (#924), which switches to the 992 class after taking GTX-class victory – as ‘PK Carsport’ – with an Audi GT2 at last year’s Hankook 24H DUBAI. Estonia’s EST 1 Racing (#981), and Belgium’s Q1 Trackracing (#941 and #951) round out the 992 entrants thus far, both of whom are set to make their series debuts at the 2023 Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS.
· Mugello winner Vortex confirms two-car line-up; Razoon - More Than Racing KTM among its toughest challengers.
· Land Motorsport registers Audi TT RS alongside its GT3 entries.
· VDS Racing Adventures is back! Belgian team registers MARC II V8.
Vortex V8 follows up its maiden GTX class win at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO with a dual-Vortex 1.0 line-up for Spa (#701 and #702). The French independent will face particularly stiff competition in the Ardennes from GTX Middle East Trophy winner Razoon - More Than Racing (#714), which will run the same KTM X-BOW with which the Austrian team has taken class wins on its two most recent series outings.
After a brutally unlucky end to its Mugello weekend, RD Signs - Siauliai racing team (#720) will hope for renewed fortunes for its Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo as the Lithuanian team vies for its first class win since the Hankook 12H HUNGARY in 2021. Similarly, after a frustrating event in Tuscany, Italy’s PB Racing (#726) will hope for better fortunes for its Lotus Exige Cup V6 R at Spa, as indeed will 9und11 Racing (#719), the latter of which suffered wheel housing, diffuser and brake issues on its Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR.
Alongside its GT3 entries, Land Motorsport has also registered an Audi TTRS (#755) in GTX, marking the first time Audi’s mid-sized sports car has competed at a 24H SERIES event since 2017.
P21 Motorsport meanwhile is gearing up for its first European race with CREVENTIC. The Portuguese outfit took a hard-earned class podium earlier this year in Abu Dhabi, and will look to do likewise at Spa with one of its two Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cups (#715 and #721).
VDS Racing Adventures (#758) rounds out the GTX field thus far. The 2018 SP2 Teams’ champion last competed with CREVENTIC at the Hankook 24H DUBAI in 2020, and marks its return with the bespoke, fire-spitting MARC II V8 that, aptly, made its (class-winning) debut at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS back in 2018.
· Atlas BX Motorsport vs. Buggyra ZM Racing – round two, in Spa!
· Reigning class champion Team ACP-Tangerine Associates confirms two (of six, in total) BMWs in GT4.
· Toyota Supra GT4 expected to make 24H SERIES debut in Spa.
South Korea’s Altas BX Motorsport (#403) and the Emirates’ Buggyra ZM Racing (#416), which recently finished 1st and 2nd in-class in Mugello, look set to continue their duel at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS. Both will do so with a Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Fittingly, Simpson Motorsport (#438), who completed the GT4 podium in Mugello, will hope it’s third time lucky in the Ardennes after replacing the rear subframe on its second-generation BMW M4 GT4 in Tuscany. The British squad has also confirmed that a sister BMW will be run at Spa under the ‘AV R by Simpson Motorsport’ banner (#439).
Compatriot WEC Motorsport (#464) will make its 24H SERIES returns at Spa-Francorchamps. The British team, which has entered a BMW M4 GT4 for the event, won radiolemans.com’s coveted ‘Spirit of the Race’ award at last year’s Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS after a character-building run with its tenured BMW E46 M3.
Reigning GT4 Teams’ champion Team ACP-Tangerine Associates – another former winner of the ‘SotR’ award, incidentally – will make its first start of the season at Spa. Last year’s class winner has confirmed two BMW M4 GT4s (#421 and #422), while the Czech Republic’s Senkyr Motorsport (#444), which took the fight to Atlas BX last year in Barcelona, has also entered an M4 GT4 for Spa. This means almost half of the 11 GT4 entrants confirmed thus far will represent the Bavarian brand in Belgium.
Xwift Racing Events makes the switch from the Ligier JS2 R – with which it took TCX victory at last year’s event – to a new Toyota Supra GT4. The 2023 Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS will, consequently, be the Japanese manufacturer’s first 24H SERIES outing in six years, as well as the series debut for the Supra GT4 itself.
Lithuania’s GSR Motorsport (#405) and Spain’s PCR Sport (#418) round out the GT4 field so far. Both, interestingly, are TCE converts: the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS will be GSR’s first class outing after a part-campaign in TCR in 2022, while PCR Sport swaps the CUPRA Leon Competición TCR with which it contested last year’s event for a Mercedes-AMG GT4.
· Wolf-Power Racing and AC Motorsport rivalry reignites.
· Can 2022 TCE winner Holmgaard Motorsport fight for victory again?
· Bas Koeten Racing, the event’s TCR winner in 2017, confirms two-car line-up.
Three-time Overall TCE Teams’ champion Wolf-Power Racing and two-time Hankook 24H DUBAI TCE winner AC Motorsport are set to continue their long-standing TCR rivalry on their much-anticipated returns at Spa-Francorchamps. The former has entered two Audi RS 3 LMS’ (#117 and #121), and will be keen to take its first class win with the German brand after finishing on the podium multiple times in 2022. Results that, incidentally, secured Wolf-Power Racing the inaugural TCR Middle East Trophy.
AC Motorsport (#188) will be similarly eyeing the top step at its home event. The Belgium team, which has switched from the Audi RS 3 LMS DSG to a newer ‘TCR’ example, began 2023 in style with its second overall TCE win at the Hankook 24H DUBAI.
One year ago, Holmgaard Motorsport (#102) took its maiden win in the 24H SERIES after a storming drive at Spa, and followed that up with an equally impressive, podium finishing debut for its new CUPRA Leon Competición TCR at Hockenheim. The Danish team will be one to watch in the Ardennes, as indeed will 24H SERIES staple Bas Koeten Racing, as the TCR class winner of the 2017 event makes its return to TCE after several seasons in 991 / 992.
Spain’s RAIL EQUIP BY TOTCAR SPORT (#123) and Denmark’s Sally Racing (#118) round out the TCR field so far, with both set to run CUPRA TCRs at Spa. TOTCAR SPORT took its first category podium at last year’s Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, and will hope to replicate – if not improve – that result on its series return. Sally Racing meanwhile has, rather cruelly, finished just off the podium on its three most recent 24H SERIES outings, and will hope to remedy that on its first start since the Hankook 6H ABU DHABI more than a year ago.
· Team Sorg Rennsport one of three outright series champions confirmed for TCE.
· Inter-team TC battle at Hofor-Racing by Bonk Motorsport continues at Spa.
· BMW Team Van Der Horst makes event return after four-year hiatus.
For the first time in 2023, and with three-time Overall TCE Teams’ champion Wolf-Power Racing registered in TCR, three outright 24H SERIES champions are set to compete together in TCE at Spa-Francorchamps. 2020 Overall GT Teams’ ‘Continents’ champion Team Sorg Rennsport, who took TCX-class victory earlier this year in Dubai, continues its TCE division campaign with a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS. The German team will be joined in TCX by Germany’s PPM (#203), which makes its first start since a combative TCR debut in Dubai in 2022.
2018 Overall TCE Teams’ title winner Hofor-Racing by Bonk Motorsport meanwhile continues its inter-team duel at Spa. Interestingly, the TC-class win last time out in Mugello was the first to be taken by the German teams’ #331 BMW M2 CS Racing, the sister #332 having been victorious at Mugello ‘22, Barcelona and Kuwait following the team’s series return early last year.
Roma Racing (#245) rounds out the TCX class competitors thus far, and is set to make its 24H SERIES debut with a 450hp BMW M2 CS Racing. The Dutch team will be supported by BMW Team Van Der Horst, which, aptly, last competed with CREVENTIC at Spa in 2019.
· Scuderia Praha currently has the most outright wins – two – at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, having won the 2018 and 2019 editions. 2022 winner Phoenix Racing, which also finished 3rd at the event in 2019, could match this record in 2023.
· The first Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS held in 2017 was actually a TCE-exclusive event, but since 2018, the event has featured both GT and TCE competitors.
· Mercedes’ AMG GT4 made its competitive debut at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS in 2017, and even took SP3-GT4 class victory as ‘Mercedes-AMG Testteam Uwe Alzen Automotive.’
· Bas Koeten Racing has been involved in two of the closest TCE finishes in 24H SERIES history, both of which occurred at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS. In 2017, LMS Racing Powered by Bas Koeten took victory just 37.332s ahead of Red Camel-Jordans.nl. One year later, NKPP Racing by Bas Koeten Racing was just +20.181s behind outright TCE winner CWS Engineering at the flag.
· To-date, Mercedes, Audi and Ferrari have the most outright podium finishes – three – at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS. Oddly, Porsche only has one.
Entries are still being accepted for the 2023 Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS on 6-7 May. Interested parties can speak directly with CREVENTIC via [email protected] and/or +31 485 471 166. Further details regarding the 2023 24H SERIES calendar and championship standings can be found HERE.