Title honours across multiple classes look set to be hotly contested at the upcoming Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, with more than 50 entries already confirmed for the event.
This year’s Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS marks the third championship round of this year’s 2022 24H SERIES powered by Hankook as well as the first running of the event since 2019. And with class championship leads held by just a few points across both the GT and TCE divisions, there really will be a lot to play for at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on 22-23-24 April alongside race-winning bragging rights.
Ole Dörlemann, CREVENTIC sporting coordinator: “It’s still early days, but already we’ve seen some astonishingly close fights for victory, across every category, in the 24H SERIES in 2022. We don’t expect this to slow down in any way at a circuit so legendarily synonymous with close motorsport as Spa-Francorchamps, and this will surely only make our championship fights all the more exciting. The Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS has the potential to spring a lot of surprises.”
Unsurprisingly, a 12-hour endurance event at one of the most famous Grand Prix venues on the planet has elicited significant interest from local teams, many of whom have already confirmed their full season entries with CREVENTIC.
Despite a tough start to the year in Dubai, Red Ant Racing currently sits 3rd in the 992 Teams’ Championship of the Continents, and, following its 992-AM win in Mugello, at the top of its class in the European standings. Redant father and sons Bert, Ayrton and Yannick, who currently lead the 991 Drivers’ European title chase, will team together once again in the #903 Porsche, while Philippe Wils, Kurt Hensen, and Sam Dejonghe complete an all-Belgian line-up in the sister #904 992 GT3 Cup.
Former SPX and 991 Teams’ champion Speedlover has also entered a 992-gen Porsche at Spa for Dominique Bastien and Olivier Dons (#979) alongside its tenured 991-II Cup (#978).
JJ Motorsport will prove a formidable force to contend with in GT4, the Belgian team having entered a two-car line-up for Spa. Fresh from their class win in Mugello, Catesby Jones and Wim Spinoy partner up aboard the JJ Motorsport-run TEAM ACP – Tangerine Associates M4 GT4 (#421), now alongside Steven Thomas. The sister BMW continues the new collaboration between JJ Motorsport and Veidec Racing (#422).
TCE Championship of the Continents title contender AC Motorsport (#188) returns to 24H SERIES competition at Spa-Francorchamps with two Audi RS 3 LMS’, the first of which will be raced by long-time teammates Stéphane Perrin and Mathieu Detry at the Belgian driver’s home circuit.
Finally, Xwift Racing (#221, Pieter Denys / Tim de Borle / Steven Dewulf) makes its 24H SERIES debut at Spa-Francorchamps, and will be looking to keep the Ligier JS2 R’s 2022 winning streak alive in TCX.
A successful weekend in the Ardennes could leapfrog Phoenix Racing (#18) to the top of the European standings at the Hankook 12H SPA. Phoenix, runner-up last time out in Mugello, is just one point adrift in the European title chase, as indeed are Michael Doppelmayr, Pierre Kaffer and Elia Erhart. The trio are just a single point behind in the GT3 Drivers’ standings, and will team with Patric Kupinski in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II at Spa-Francorchamps.
With a GT3-AM class win already under its belt this year, championship rival CP Racing (#85) lines up 2018 Overall GT Drivers’ champions Charles Putman and Charles Espenlaub with Daytona 24 Hours class winner Shane Lewis in the Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Among the most popularly registered GT3 entries for the 22-23-24 April weekend is Audi’s R8 LMS. Lithuania’s JUTA Racing (#71, Julius Adomavičius / Andrius and Jonas Gelžinis) will look to emulate its recent class win at Mugello with an EVO I, while SAINTELOC Racing (#26, Olivier Esteves / Christian Kelders / Pierre-Yves Paque / Simon Gachet) continues its European season with the second ‘evolution’ of Audi’s flagship GT3 racer.
Alongside its tenured R8 (#34), in which team stalwarts Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff and Max Edelhoff will compete with Tim Müller in GT3-AM, Car Collection Motorsport has also entered a GT4-spec Audi R8 LMS for Andreas Bakkerud, José Garcia, and Patrick Kolb (#499). This marks the German team’s first GT4 outing in the 24H SERIES since last year’s season finale at Sebring.
Fellow series staple Herberth Motorsport (#91) will be hoping for a more successful race with the 911 GT3 R than its character-building weekend in Mugello, as indeed will fellow Porsche runner Earl Bamber Motorsport (#61, Adrian D'Silva / Tanart Sathienthirakul). Interestingly, Herberth, the 2017 Overall GT Teams’ ‘Continents’ champion is set to race with Daniel Allemann, Ralf Bohn and Jürgen Häring, marking the first time ever that neither Alfred nor Robert Renauer has raced the Bavarian’s team lead entry at a 24H SERIES event.
The sole Ferrari 488 GT3 registered for Spa thus far will run under the WTM Racing banner (#21), and will be raced by team regulars Jochen Krumbach and Daniel Keilwitz, and Weiss father-son duo Georg and Leonard in the team’s first race since Barcelona 2021.
Finally, fresh its series debut last month in Mugello, BoDa by Bas Koeten Racing (#6) and Bob Herber continue their new campaign with the Bentley Continental GT3 at Spa-Francorchamps.
Alongside fellow title contenders Red Ant Racing, HRT Performance and Red Camel-Jordans.nl will be hoping for a good result at Spa-Francorchamps.
HRT Performance (#929) currently leads the 991 Teams’ title chase in the Championship of the Continents, and will once again field four-time FIA World Rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson alongside Gustav Bergström and Ole Veiby. As in Mugello, HRT will also run an NKPP Racing-entered Porsche 992 GT3 Cup for series fan favourites Gijs Bessem and Harry Hilders (#928).
Red Camel-Jordans.nl (#909) meanwhile currently lies 2nd in-class in both the ‘Continents’ and ‘European’ standings, and features father-son combo Ivo, Rik and Luc Breukers on driver detail.
Like HRT and Red Ant, three-time 991 Teams’ champion Porsche Lorient Racing will field a two-car line-up in the Ardennes. Former 991 Drivers’ champions Frédéric Ancel and Jean-François Demorge head the team’s #911 and #912 entries respectively: Ancel is joined by fellow former champion Pascal Gibon, Mathieu Pontais and Pierre Pontais in one Porsche 992 GT3 Cup; Demorge is paired with Philippe Polette, Frederic Lelievre, and Franck Dezoteux in the other.
Van Berlo Motorsport (#906) will field team owner, and series regular, Marcel with Bart and Glenn Van Berlo at Spa in a collaborative effort with TM-Racing. This marks the first time an all-‘Van Berlo’ driver line-up has competed together since, fittingly, the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS in 2018.
P21Motorsport (#921) continues its maiden season with CREVENTIC with two Porsches: the Portuguese team’s 911-II Cup has already competed this year in Abu Dhabi, and will do so again in ‘991’ at Spa; the other, a 718 Cayman GT4 CS MR (#421), will make its debut in the GT4 class.
Among P21’s main rivals in 991 will be E2P Racing (#910, Pablo Burguera / Manuel Cintrano / Ben Clucas). After a premature end to its weekend in Mugello, the Spanish team is set to make its anticipated series debut at Spa, and currently rounds out the Porsche Cup runners.
GTX Teams’ championship contenders Leipert Motorpsort (#710, Championship of the Continents) and RD Signs – Siauliai racing team (#720, Europe) have both entered a Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo for the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS. Jean-Francois Brunot and Kerong Li, who currently lead the GTX Drivers’ standings, will compete alongside Tyler Cooke for the 2019 Overall GT Teams’ ‘Continents’ champion, while Audrius Butkevicius, Paulius Paskevicius and Nicola Michelon, who took category victory last year at the Hungaroring, with team together for Lithuania’s RD Signs.
Germany’s 9und11 Racing (#719, Georg Goder / Ralf Oehme / Martin Schlüter) makes a much-anticipated return to the 24H SERIES after its GTX class win last year at Hockenheim. Vortex V8 meanwhile, fresh from GTX podiums at both Dubai and Mugello, has entered two of its lightweight independent sports cars for Lionel Amrouche, Sebastien Lajoux, and reigning GTX Drivers’ champion Philippe Bonnel (#701), and Gilles Courtois, Pierre Fontaine, and Boris Gimond (#702).
ALFAB Racing (#400, Erik Behrens / Daniel Roos) is set to make its first start in the 24H SERIES since the Hankook 24H DUBAI in 2020. Interestingly, the Swedish’s 570S GT4 will be the first McLaren to compete in the 24H SERIES in more than a year.
Reigning TCX class champion CWS Engineering (#478) returns at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS for another crack at class victory with its brand-new, V8-powered Ginetta G56. A notably strong line-up teams CWS owner – and reigning TCX Drivers’ champion – Colin White with Ginetta factory driver Mike Simpson and Ginetta Cars chairman Lawrence Tomlinson.
Westend Racing (#404) boasts an all-Finnish line-up – Mattias Wrede, Jorma Vanhanen, and Markus Palttala – aboard its Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS MR, while the United Arab Emirates’ Buggyra ZM Racing (#416) has entered a Mercedes-AMG GT4 for Czech teammates Aliyyah Koloc, Yasmeen Koloc, and Adam Lacko. Both teams round out the GT4 entries thus far, and both make respective their 24H SERIES debuts on 22-23-24 April.
TCR Teams’ championship leader BBR – in both the European standings and the Championship of the Continents – is sure to be among the TCE frontrunners at Spa-Francorchamps. The Thai team sealed its first 24H SERIES win at the season opener in Dubai, swiftly following that up with its second in Mugello with its new CUPRA Leon Competición TCR. Kusiri brothers Kantadhee and Kantasak will also be looking to strengthen their lead in the TCR Drivers’ championship alongside Chariya Nuya.
Wolf-Power Racing (#116), a three-time Overall TCE Teams’ champion together with Autorama Motorsport, will surely be looking for its first win of the season with its new Audi RS 3 LMS, in which reigning TCE Ladies Cup winner Jasmin Preisig will team with 2019 Overall TCE Drivers’ ‘Europe’ champion Fabian Danz and Marcus Menden. Similarly, NOKER racing team (#104, Kestutis Stasionis / Sten-Dorian Piirimägi / Arunas Geciauskas), which beat the Swiss outfit to the TCR runners-up spot in Mugello, will hope for another successful weekend with its Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR.
Fellow VW competitor GSR Motorsport (#105, Ernesta Globytė / Egidijus Gelūnas / Rolandas Salys / Mindaugas Liatukas) makes its first series start since finishing on the TCR podium at the 2021 Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING. Denmark’s Holmgaard Motorsport meanwhile (#102), which has also registered a Golf GTI for Spa, will be looking to secure its first TCR podium with Magnus and Jonas Holmgaard, Roy Edland, and Martin Vedel Mortensen after a near-miss in Mugello.
Spanish teams PCR Sport (#117), RAIL EQUIP BY TOTCAR SPORT (#123) and Baporo Motorsport (#151) complete the TCR line-up thus far.
While PCR makes its TCR debut in the 24H SERIES, Baporo (Joan Vinyes / Jaume Font), a multi-time TCR podium finisher at Hankook 24H BARCELONA, makes its first start in the 24H SERIES away from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Interestingly, TOTCAR Sport (Jorge Belloc Diaz / Jorge Belloc Ruiz / Álvaro Rodríguez Sastre) also makes its first series start since finishing 3rd at last year’s Hankook 24H BARCELONA.
Having come so close to TCX victory at Mugello, Britain’s Valluga (#205), together with Bradley Ellis, Leo and Rhea Loucas, and Charles Hollings, will be keener than ever for a successful weekend with their 982-gen Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS.
PR-V (#Hervé Houdré / Christian Gloz), which has also registered a Porsche Cayman, returns to the 24H SERIES after a prolonged break, as indeed does Britain’s APO Sport (#280, Alex Osborne / Paul and James May). The latter, a former category race winner with CREVENTIC, last competed in the 991-class in 2017, but has since switched to a Ginetta G55.
Also in contention for TCX Teams’ championship honours, having finished 2nd in-class in Dubai, COGEMO / TLRT (#255, Sebastien Morales / André Grammatico / Benjamin Lessennes) has registered the sole BMW M2 CS Racing for the event.
WEC Motorsport (#339, David Cox / Adam Sharpe / George Haynes) completes the TCE line-up so far with its BMW ‘E46’ M3 on its first start since finishing 3rd in-class at the 2020 Hankook 12H MONZA.
Further details regarding the 2022 24H SERIES calendar and championship standings can be found at www.24hseries.com