As has quickly become the norm at the annual Hankook 24H BARCELONA, competitors and fans alike were met with soaring temperatures when they arrived for the annual 24-hour event in northern Spain in September 2016. “It must be over 60 degrees in the car,” explains the normally serene Cor Euser at 12m 05s in the below highlights package, “but this is the game, and we have to play this.” As indeed would the other 63 cars that lined up on the grid with him.
In amongst the teams’ almost constant battle with escalating temperatures, other stories would emerge in the Barcelona pitlane as the race got underway. Not least the history of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya itself, which celebrated its 25th birthday in 2016.
At the front, having made a fantastic jump to 2nd from 4th on the grid, Precote Herberth Motorsport was hounding the lead Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini for the opening 30 minutes before, finally, finding a way past on the main start-finish straight. How long would it be though before the Raging Bull, already a podium finisher that year at the Spa 24 Hours, was back in front of the Porsche 991 GT3 R?
Further back, trouble quickly hit all three Porsche 911 entries for pre-event favourite MSG Motorsport, leaving many to wonder whether it would be Germany’s MRS GT-Racing or Britain’s APO Sport that would benefit in ‘991’. Team Bleekemolen likewise hoped the luck that escaped it earlier that year in Silverstone would return in Barcelona as the Dutch SEAT battled Memac Ogilvy Duel Racing and Baporo Motorsport for ‘TCR’ honours.
Of course, this being endurance, some teams fared better than others under the blazing Catalan sun. Red Camel-HTM Racing’s distinctive Saker GT TDI was plagued with software problems throughout the weekend, the Dutch team even calling in a technician from the brand’s headquarters in Prague to fly in before the race got under way (6m 30s). Components in Team Altran Peugeot’s #205 208 GTi grew so hot under the burning temperatures, they actually melted! (13m 35s). And despite destroying its Peugeot RCZ one round earlier at Circuit Paul Ricard (29m 50s), could championship contender Team K-Rejser pick up a fairytale win in ‘A2’?
A strong run for Scuderia Praha comes to an expensive end at 28m 45s, as does that of two other cars. Likewise, a heavy collision against both sides of the track spells the end of the race for Bears4Racing at 21m 30s, though this is not the last of the drama to befall the Russian BMW, however…
Like we say, high temperatures weren’t the only stories behind garage doors at an eventful Hankook 24H BARCELONA in 2016.