GENNEP (21 August, 2023) – Anticipation for this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook European season finale – the Hankook 24H BARCELONA – continues to grow week-on-week, as more than 150 drivers, including reigning and former series champions, have already registered to compete at the Spanish event.
Set to be held for the 24th time since 1998, the Hankook 24H BARCELONA on 15-16-17 September so far features close to 50 cars on its provisional entry list, the driver line-ups for which are now in the process of being finalized. In total, including teams and drivers, more than 25 different nationalities, across three continents, are set to be represented at CREVENTIC’s biggest European endurance event of the year.
CREVENTIC’s European titles for 2023 will also be decided in grandstand fashion at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Indeed, at the top of the overall GT Teams’ standings, Lithuania’s RD Signs - Siauliai racing team and South Korea’s Atlas BX Motorsport go into the European season finale level-pegging on points, with the Czech-based, Emirati-entered Buggyra ZM Racing just two points further back. Moreover, CREVENTIC’s ‘scratch score’ system for 2023, in which teams are eligible to discount their lowest-scoring race of the season, means up to 10 teams go into the Hankook 24H BARCELONA in realistic championship contention.
· Just four points cover top three in GT3 Teams’ standings; Spain’s E2P Racing gunning for GT3-AM Teams’ glory.
· Reigning overall ‘Europe’ and ‘Continents’ champions in title contention; 2019 TCE and 2021 GT champions back on the grid in GT3.
· FOUR Hankook 24H DUBAI winners signed up; 2010 winner IMSA Performance back for first start in 13 years.
Despite a tough end to its Hankook 12H ESTORIL weekend, Haas RT (#21) goes into the European season-closing Hankook 24H BARCELONA at the head of the overall GT3 Teams’ standings. The Antiguan team will no doubt be looking for a second overall win of the season – following its maiden triumph in Mugello – with Miika Panu, Max Hofer, Gavin Pickering, and Mugello winner Mathieu Detry.
Just two points further back, reigning GT Continents Trophy winner CP Racing (#85) has confirmed that its fan favourite driver line-up – 2018 Overall GT Drivers’ champions Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub and Joe Foster, and fellow GT3 Drivers’ ‘Continents’ champion Shane Lewis – will pilot the American team’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 with multi-time Hankook 24H DUBAI class winner Phil Quaife in Barcelona.
Significantly, CP Racing goes into the European season finale just eight points clear of Spain’s E2P Racing (#90) in the GT3-Am Teams’ title chase. The reigning 991 Teams’ ‘Europe’ champion will be keen to secure championship gold for a second year in succession on home turf in its maiden GT3 campaign with Javier Morcillo, Pablo Burguera and Antonio Sainero aboard the Porsche 991.2 GT3 R.
Having already secured this year’s GT3-Pro/Am Teams’ championship with a third class win of the season in Estoril, reigning GT European Trophy winner Scherer Sport PHX (#1) goes into the Hankook 24H BARCELONA just four points behind Haas RT in the overall GT3 Teams’ standings. Keen to successfully defend their titles, reigning GT3 Drivers’ ‘Europe’ champions Michael Doppelmayr, Pierre Kaffer, Elia Erhart and Swen Herbeger will compete in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II alongside Christer Jöns.
Fresh from two outright wins at the Hankook 12H ESTORIL – the first in the 24H SERIES for Ferrari’s new 296 GT3, incidentally – WTM by Rinaldi Racing (#22) will look to secure a hattrick with the prancing horse in Barcelona, fittingly, one year on from the German team’s maiden series win at the same event. The German team’s full line-up has yet to be confirmed.
Like WTM, Switzerland’s Kessel Racing (#8) will also be in action in Spain with its own Ferrari 296 GT3. After the model’s series debut in Monza, Alessandro Cutrera, Marco Talarico, Marco Frezza, ‘L.M.D.V.’ and David Fumanelli secured Kessel Racing its first two podiums in the 24H SERIES in Portugal, and will no doubt hope to claim a third in its bid to claim GT3 Teams’ championship honours for the first time.
2017 Overall GT Teams’ ‘Continents’ champion Herberth Motorsport (#91) will hope to extend its event record with a fourth win at the Hankook 24H BARCELONA on 15-16-17 September. The Bavarian team was the first to take three outright wins at the event in 2016, 2018 and 2012, and as is custom, will field Alfred and Robert Renauer, Daniel Allemann and Ralf Bohn in its Porsche 992 GT3 R.
2017 Overall GT Teams’ ‘Europe’ champion Hofor-Racing meanwhile (#11), the outright winner of the Hankook 24H BARCELONA in 2013, continues its part-campaign in Barcelona. 2017 Overall GT Drivers’ ‘Europe’ champions (and father-daughter duo) Michael Kroll and Chantal Prinz will be joined by Chantal’s husband Alexander, noted Formula 1 circuit designer – and 2009 24H DUBAI winner – Carsten Tilke, and series debutant Manuel Rubow.
CREVENTIC staple Car Collection (#23) makes its long-awaited return to the 24H SERIES in Barcelona, doing so with a new Porsche 992 GT3 R, entered for Ash Patel, Ivan Jacoma, Alex Fontana and 2019 Overall TCE Drivers’ ‘Continents’ champion Yannick Mettler. Barcelona will mark the first time since 2015 that the German team – winner of the illustrious Hankook 24H DUBAI in 2019 – has individually entered GT3 in anything other than an Audi R8.
Fellow Hankook 24H DUBAI winner Land-Motorsport (#34) similarly makes its return to the 24H SERIES following giant-killing performances earlier this year in Mugello and Spa-Francorchamps. Long-time teammates Dr. Johannes Kirchhoff, Ingo and Tim Vogler, and former Junior Cup winner Max Edelhoff will compete with the returning Wiggo Dalmo.
Alongside Car Collection Motorsport, Land-Motorsport and Herberth Motorsport, IMSA Performance (#76) is the fourth winner of the Hankook 24H DUBAI to have confirmed an entry for Barcelona. Back for its first 24H SERIES event – incredibly – since winning the 24H DUBAI in 2010, IMSA Performance has registered a Porsche 992 GT3 R for this year’s Hankook 24H BARCELONA.
Juta Racing rounds out the GT3 contingent so far with two Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO IIs. The Lithuanian team, back for its first series start since Spa, has confirmed that Yevgen Sokolovskiy, Vytenis Gulbinas, Arunas Geciauskas and Jonas Gelžinis will pilot Juta’s #71 entry, while Aurimas Jablonskis, Audrius Navickas, Egidijus Gelūnas and Oskaras Brazaitis will race the sister #72 R8.
· Can defending 992 ‘Europe’ champion Red Ant Racing retain its title?
· 2011 Barcelona and Dubai winner headlines HRT Performance’s three-car entry.
· Extended driver line-up for new 992-AM Teams’ champion RPM Racing.
992 Teams’ championship leader Red Ant Racing (#903) heads into the European season finale with a six-point advantage over Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors (#955). Class winner at last year’s Hankook 24H BARCELONA, the Belgian team will once again field Redant brothers – and defending 992 Drivers’ ‘Europe’ champions – Ayrton and Yannick alongside Kobe de Breucker. Podium finishers at all but one round in 2023, the trio will hope to replicate their win earlier this year at the Hankook 12H MONZA.
The second Red Ant Racing Porsche (#904) has also been registered for Barcelona, though the team has yet to finalize that driver line-up.
Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors meanwhile – CREVENTIC’s reigning 992 Middle East Trophy winner, and class victor this year at both Mugello and Estoril – has confirmed that long-time teammates Sergiu Nicolae and Sabino de Castro will again race alongside Italian countryman Papi Cosimo. Freshly convalesced after his heavy accident in Monza, Fabrizio Broggi has also been registered to compete.
Still in with a shout at 992 Teams’ championship glory, both Red Camel-Jordans.nl (#909) and fellow series staple HRT Performance have both confirmed Porsche 992 GT3 Cups for Barcelona, the former with Breukers father-sons trio Ivo, Luc and Rik competing alongside 2019 Overall TCE Drivers’ ‘Europe’ champion, Fabian Danz.
HRT Performance meanwhile, just two points behind 3rd-placed Red Camel in the standings, brings a three-car line-up to Barcelona. Hampus Ericsson, Gustav Bergström and Lukas Sundahl will team with Edward Sandström in the #930 entry. The Swedish driver, winner of both the 24H BARCELONA and the 24H DUBAI in 2011, is back on the 24H SERIES grid for the first time since 2016.
Keen to put two tough weekends in Monza and Estoril behind them, Amedeo and Roberto Pampanini reunite with Stefano Monaco and Nicolas Stürzinger in HRT’s sister #967 Porsche. The German team’s third Porsche (#928) has been entered in the 992-Am class, and will feature 24H SERIES staples Gijs Bessem, Harry Hilders, Bob Herber and Mark Van der Aa on driver detail for the car’s first outing since Mugello.
Recently crowned 992-AM Teams’ champion RPM Racing (#907) has confirmed it will close out its European season with new 992-AM Drivers’ champions Tracy Krohn, Niclas Jönsson and Philip Hamprecht. The trio will be joined by Patrick Huisman aboard the Porsche 992 GT3 Cup, marking the Dutchman’s first CREVENTIC event – also with RPM – since Sebring in 2021.
Like HRT Performance, the returning SebLajoux Racing by DUWO Racing has also registered a multi-car line-up for 15-16-17 September. Lucas Walter, Lionel Rigaud and Jeremy Faligand will team together in the Franco-Luxembourg squad’s #908 entry, while David Sarny, Laurent Cochard, Vincent Isavard and Mathys Jaubert will pilot the #910 Porsche. Team namesake Sebastien Lajoux will float between both entries.
Porsche Baltic (#992) started its season with two solid top five finishes in Mugello and Spa-Francorchamps, results the team will hope to replicate – if not improve upon – with its all-Lithuanian line-up: Robertas Kupcikas, Andrius Šlimas, Tautvydas Rudokas and Paulius Žadeika. The similarly returning MRS GT-Racing (#988), a former Hankook 24H DUBAI class winner, has so far confirmed Antti Rammo and Rolando Saca.
The Orchid Racing Team (#917) completes the 992 line-up thus far, and is back for its first race since the Hankook 12H MUGELLO with Laurent Misbach, Fabio Spirgi, Alexandre Mottet and Antonio Garzon aboard the Swiss team’s Porsche 992 GT3 Cup.
· Lithuania’s RD Signs gunning for GTX Team’s title in Barcelona.
· Vortex 1.0 still in the hunt; new ‘2.0’ gearing up for 24H SERIES debut.
· 2017 Hankook 24H BARCELONA winner NM Racing Team registers new Mercedes-AMG GT2 for home event.
Fresh from its class wins in Monza and Estoril, current GTX Teams’ standings leader RD Signs – Siauliai racing team (#720) heads into the European championship finale with an 18-point cushion over Vortex V8. Hoping to put memories of a difficult Hankook 24H BARCELONA in 2022 behind it, the Lithuanian team hopes to put the GTX title out of reach at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with GTX Drivers’ standings leaders Audrius Butkevicius, Nicola Michelon and Paulius Paskevicius.
As well as gearing up for the launch of its brand-new ‘2.0’ lightweight sports car, Vortex V8 has confirmed two 1.0 prototypes for Barcelona in an effort to repeat its Mugello class win. Team staples Philippe Bonnel and Lionel Amrouche will compete alongside Miguel Moiola and Lucas Sugliano in the #701 entry, while Philippe Gruau will team with Stéphane Cottrell, Julien Boillot and Solenn Amrouche in the sister #702 Vortex.
Reigning GTX Middle East Trophy winner Razoon – More Than Racing (#714) is set to make its first European start of the season in Spain, with team boss Dominik Olbert competing in the KTM X-BOW GTX alongside Christian Loimayr, Arthur Chwist and long-time teammate Daniel Drexel, the latter of whom helped secured the Austrian team’s wins in Dubai and Abu Dhabi earlier this year.
Series returnee, and 2018 SP2 Teams’ champion, VDS Racing Adventures (#758) completes the GTX field thus far with its bespoke MARC II V8. Team founder Raphaël van der Straten Ponthoz will compete alongside Nathan Vanspringel and Hilaire Damiron.
Though the Spanish team has yet to confirm its driver line-up, NM Racing Team (#715), winner of the TCE-only edition of the Hankook 24H BARCELONA in 2017 and the GT4 class victor in 2018, has registered a Mercedes-AMG GT2 for its home event. Officially unveiled last December, and designed specifically for “ambitious amateur drivers in particular,” the GT2 is the most powerful homologated race car in AMG’s 12-year customer sport program thus far, and slots into the gap between Mercedes’ GT4 and GT3 racers. The AMG GT2 is set to make its 24H SERIES debut in Barcelona.
· GT4 title fight between Atlas BX Motorsport and Buggyra ZM Racing goes down to the wire.
· Spain’s PCR Sport looking for podium return at home event.
· 2018 Overall TCE Teams’ champion Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport set to make GT4 return in Barcelona.
The season-long battle for GT4 honours between Atlas BX Motorsport (#403) and Buggyra ZM Racing (#416) will go down to the wire in Barcelona. The South Korean team has momentum on its side after taking its third and fourth class wins of the season in Estoril, but still leads its Emirati-entered rival by only two points. GT4 Drivers’ standings leaders Steven Cho, Roelof Bruins and Jongkyum Kim will once again compete with Taekeun Yang and Donggi Noh aboard the Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Similarly, title rival Buggyra ZM Racing, class winner in Spa-Francorchamps, retains its season-long driver line-up – Aliyyah Koloc, David Vršecký and Adam Lacko – and brings in FIA GT Championship race winner Jaroslav Janis and fellow 24H SERIES returnee Jaromir Jirik for the team’s first 24-hour race. Also running a Mercedes-AMG GT4 for its home event, PCR Sport (#418) reunites its Estoril line-up for the Hankook 24H BARCELONA: Josep Parera, Vicente Dasi, and José Nuñez.
Heading into its GT4 class debut after an intermittent TCR campaign in 2022, Lithuania’s GSR Motorsport (#418) is set to run one of two Ginettas registered for the event, specifically the G56 GT4. Long-time teammates Ernesta Globytė and Rolandas Salys will no doubt hope to emulate their Spa 2022 podium alongside Rokas Kvedaras.
Though a driver line-up has not yet been confirmed, 2018 Overall TCE Teams’ ‘Europe’ champion Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport (#432) is set to make its category return in Spain with a BMW M4 GT4. The Swiss team has not competed with CREVENTIC in GT4 since taking category championship honours in 2019.
· Could three-time TCE champion Wolf-Power Racing overhaul TCR leader Holmgaard Motorsport?
· Spain’s Monlau Motorsport returns after championship-winning 2022.
· Porsche, BMW and Ginetta set to dice for TCX-class victory
Holmgaard Motorsport (#102) heads into the 24H SERIES European season finale with a healthy lead in the TCR Teams’ standings, courtesy of the Danish team’s class wins at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza. Holmgaard brothers Magnus and Jonas are set to race the CUPRA Leon Competición TCR alongside long-time teammate Roy Edland, Michel Sallenbach, and Tom Cloet, the latter of whom makes his first start since taking an overall podium finish at the 2020 Hankook 24H PORTIMAO.
Granted, few should count out three-time Overall TCE Teams’ champion Wolf-Power Racing (#121). The Swiss squad took TCE pole position with its Audi RS 3 LMS TCR at last year’s Hankook 24H BARCELONA, and finished 2nd in-class on its most recent outing at Spa. Last year’s TCR Drivers’ runner-up Jasmin Preisig leads Wolf-Power’s driver line-up once again alongside Ivars Vallers and Calle Bergman.
24H SERIES staple Bas Koeten Racing (#125) is set to make its first TCR start since 2021 in Barcelona. Significantly, the Dutch teams’ driver line-up – including Bert Mets, and Bob and Jos Stevens – is set to be headed by 2017 Overall GT Drivers’ ‘Europe’ champion Christiaan Frankenhout, who will make only his third 24H SERIES start in TCR in Spain, and his first with CREVENTIC since 2021.
Though neither team has confirmed its drivers, Spain’s Monlau Motorsport (#159) – which engineered Thailand’s BBR to last year’s Overall TCE Teams’ ‘Europe’ championship – and last year’s championship runner-up AC Motorsport (#188) have also registered a CUPRA Leon Competición TCR and Audi RS 3 LMS TCR respectively for Barcelona.
Similarly, 2020 Overall GT Teams’ ‘Continents’ champion Team Sorg Rennsport (#227), multi-time class champion CWS Engineering (#278), and Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport (#331) have registered entries for the TCE division in Barcelona, notably a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS, a Ginetta G55, and a BMW M2 CS Racing respectively. Only the returning Roma Racing by BMW Team Van Der Horst (#245) has confirmed its driver line-up thus far, with Mauro Mercuri, Paul Roosen and Johan Lambregs reconvening its Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS line-up in the Italian-Dutch collaboration’s 450hp BMW M2 CS Racing.
Following CREVENTIC Track Days on Wednesday 13 September and unofficial private testing on Thursday 14 September, the Hankook 24H BARCELONA weekend begins in earnest with Free Practice at 12.05 hrs local time on Friday 15 September. A little over two hours of qualifying are scheduled from 16.25 hrs later that same afternoon. The green flag for the Hankook 24H BARCELONA will then be flown at 12.00 hrs local time on Saturday 16 September, with the 24 hours of racing set to run uninterrupted until 12.00 hrs on Sunday 17 September.