· Herberth Motorsport aiming for record fourth win at Hankook 24H BARCELONA.
· Early leader WTM by Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 drops to 4th after spin and on-track collision.
· Red Camel-Jordans.nl leads 992; 992 standings leader Red Ant Racing in striking distance.
· Standings leader RD Signs on top in GTX; debuting Mercedes-AMG GT2 loses time with turn one collision
· Atlas BX Motorsport on course for title in GT4; tough start for championship contender Buggyra ZM Racing.
BARCELONA (16 September, 2023) – Herberth Motorsport leads the 2023 Hankook 24H BARCELONA after the opening four hours, while multiple issues have dropped early leader WTM by Rinaldi Racing back to 4th.
The Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (#91, Ralf Bohn / Daniel Allemann / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer / Patrick Kolb), running a bespoke Lionspeed GP livery this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, made a strong start from 6th on the grid to quickly move into the overall top three. By the end of the second hour though, the WTM by Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 (#22, Georg Weiss / Leonard Weiss / Jochen Krumbach / Torsten Kratz / Isaac Tutumlu Lopez), after a scintillating start from the second row, had already pulled 90 seconds clear of the field.
The Ferrari’s steamrolling run was quashed shortly afterwards however, first by a possibly assisted spin at turn three and, just a few laps later, contact with the GTX-entered NM Racing Team at turn one, the latter having missed its braking point. The German team, which won the Hankook 24H BARCELONA outright last year, was also handed a 60-second time penalty for overtaking a car under Code 60, and after four hours, had dropped back to 4th.
Consequently, Herberth Motorsport, already a three-time winner of the Hankook 24H BARCELONA, found itself in the overall lead just 41 seconds ahead of the HAAS RT Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II (#21, Miika Panu / Mathieu Detry / Max Hofer / Gavin Pickering / Kris Cools) and only 3.5 more seconds ahead of the pole-sitting IMSA LS GROUP PERFORMANCE Porsche 911 GT3 R (#76, Julien Andlauer / Grégory Guilvert / Simon Tirman / Laurent Hurgon) after the opening four hours.
Adding to Herberth Motorsport’s challenge this weekend, Robert Renauer and Ralf Bohn are pulling double duty competing at a GT World Challenge event in Valencia as well.
The returning Car Collection Motorsport (#23, Hash Patel / Ivan Jacoma / Alex Fontana / Yannick Mettler), making its first 24H SERIES start with its new Porsche 992 GT3 R this weekend, rounds out the overall top five, just ahead of the CP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster / Shane Lewis / Philip Quaife) and the first of two Juta Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO IIa (#71, Jonas Gelžinis / Jonas Karklys / Arunas Geciauskas / Yevgen Sokolovskiy / Bas Schouten).
Despite starting 13th after a wet, truncated qualifying, the Scherer Sport PHX Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II (#1, Michael Doppelmayr / Pierre Kaffer / Elia Erhart / Christer Jöns / Swen Herberger) had worked its way up into the overall top five only for a tyre to let go during the third hour. The rudderless Audi then spun and ended up in the gravel at turn three, bringing out the event’s fifth Code 60 so far.
Adding insult to injury, Scherer Sport PHX was also handed a 10-second penalty for an earlier collision with the Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II (#34, Dr. Johannes Kirchhoff / Ingo Vogler / Tim Vogler / Max Edelhoff / Wiggo Dalmo). The latter was running 9th overall after four hours, ahead of the E2P Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R (#90, Javier Morcillo / Pablo Burguera / Antonio Sainero), the highest placed Spanish team.
The Red Ant Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (#903, Ayrton Redant / Yannick Redant / Kobe de Breucker / Huub van Eijndhoven), running 8th overall after four hours, leads a hectic fight for 992 honours ahead of Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors (#955, Sergiu Nicolae / Sabino de Castro / Papi Cosimo), despite the former struggling with handling issues. The latter had been at the head of the 992 pack, but lost time in the pits after a collision with the Hofor-Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#11, Michael Kroll / Chantal Prinz / Alexander Prinz / Carsten Tilke / Manuel Rubow) at turn 14. An impact that broke the Porsche’s front left steering arm and left the Mercedes beached in the gravel.
992 Teams’ standings leader Red Ant Racing meanwhile (#903, Ayrton Redant / Yannick Redant / Kobe de Breucker / Huub van Eijndhoven), which started from a shock front row, is keeping the category frontrunners well in its crosshairs in 3rd.
Though a collision in Free Practice meant the RPM Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (#907, Tracy Krohn / Niclas Jönsson / Philip Hamprecht / Patrick Huisman) completed no laps at all in qualifying, the newly-crowned 992-Am Teams’ champion is currently 8th overall in 992, and is the highest-placed 992-Am runner ahead of Orchid Racing Team (#917, Laurent Misbach / Fabio Spirgi / Antonio Garzon / Alexandre Mottet) and Richardson Racing (#906, David Waddington / James Littlejohn / Ali Al-khalifa / Charles Hollings).
A solid early run for NKPP by HRT Performance (#928, Gijs Bessem / Harry Hilders / Bob Herber / Mark van der Aa) was hindered when the Porsche 992 GT3 Cup lost power steering during its opening stint, and, later, power to its transponder. These issues have dropped the 24H SERIES regular to the tail of 992. The sister HRT Performance Porsche 992 GT3 Cups are faring better, and are currently running 4th, 5th and 6th in 992.
Despite losing drive momentarily during the opening hour, and having escaped a brush with the GT4-entered GSR Motorsport, the RD Signs - Siauliai racing team Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (#720, Audrius Butkevicius / Nicola Michelon / Paulius Paskevicius / Jocius Deividas) bounced back to the lead in GTX after four hours. The GTX Teams’ standings leader is being pursued by the Razoon - More Than Racing KTM GTX Bow (#714, Daniel Drexel / Christian Loimayr / Artur Chwist / Dominik Olbert), which had led the category early on only to lose time with a spin at turn one.
The returning VDS Racing Adventures MARC II V8 (#758, Raphaël van der Straten Ponthoz / Nathan Vanspringel / José Close / Nicolas Hermans) rounds out the GTX podium thus far ahead of title contender, Vortex V8 Vortex 1.0 (#701, Lionel Amrouche / Philippe Bonnel / Miguel Moiola / Lucas Sugliano).
Following its incident with the Ferrari, the NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT2 (#715, Jörg Viebahn / Stéphane Perrin / Manel Lao Cornago / Viacheslav Gutak / Lluc Ibáñez) lost 25 minutes in the garage to a broken rear wishbone. The Spanish team, winner of the Hankook 24H BARCELONA in 2017, was running 7th in GTX after four hours.
The Atlas BX Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#403, Steven Cho / Roelof Bruins / Jongkyum Kim / Taekeun Yang / Donggi Noh), which currently leads the both the overall and GT4 Teams’ standings, has made a strong start to CREVENTIC’s European season finale in Barcelona, and holds a three-lap advantage over the Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 (#431, Martin Kroll / Maximilian Partl / Michael Mayer / Michael Bonk / Felix Partl) after four hours.
In stark contrast to its championship rival, the Buggyra Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#416, Aliyyah Koloc / David Vršecký / Adam Lacko / Jaroslav Janis / Jaromir Jirik) endured a torrid start to this year’s Hankook 24H BARCELONA. A faulty fuel pump and suspected fuel problems meant the Mercedes, which qualified on class pole position, was unable to pull away for the formation lap, and the Emirati-entered team had completed just five laps during the opening hour attempting to rectify the problem.
Having survived its run-in with the RD Signs Lamborghini, and despite losing time to an overheating issue, the GSR Motorsport Ginetta G56 GT4 (#405, Ernesta Globytė / Rokas Kvedaras / Rolandas Salys / Mindaugas Liatukas / Aras Kvedaras) currently lies 3rd in GT4, just four laps ahead of Buggyra ZM Racing.
TCR Teams’ champion-elect Holmgaard Motorsport (#102, Magnus Holmgaard / Jonas Holmgaard / Roy Edland / Tom Cloet / Michael Sallenbach) holds a comfortable class lead in its last 24H SERIES race with its CUPRA Leon Competición TCR, having pulled three laps clear of the Bas Koeten Racing CUPRA TCR DSG (#125, Bert Mets / Bob Stevens / Jos Stevens / Christiaan Frankenhout) in the early stages. TCR championship contender Wolf-Power Racing meanwhile (#121, Jasmin Preisig / Ivars Vallers / Roberto Ferri / Miklas Born) is currently four laps down in 3rd after a moment through the gravel for Ivars Vallers led to a driveshaft replacement on the Audi RS3 LMS TCR.
The Hankook 24H BARCELONA is set to run uninterrupted throughout the night until the chequered flag is flown at 12.00 hrs local time on Sunday 17 September. The action will be live with commentary from radiolemans.com on the official 24H SERIES YouTube channel. Regular updates will also be published on Twitter (@24HSeries), Facebook (24H Series) and Instagram (24H Series). Further information can be found HERE