After an astonishingly close fight for TCE victory at the Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING, AC Motorsport has its sights set on securing the 24H SERIES Overall TCE Teams’ title in 2021.
AC Motorsport is more motivated than ever to secure this year’s Overall TCE Teams’ championship in the 24H SERIES, following a close fight for the division’s victory this past weekend at Hockenheim.
The Belgian team, which now has three podiums to its name this season in the 24H SERIES, finished just 4.344s down on the TCE-winning Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing Volkswagen in a grandstand finish that saw both contenders pit for fuel with just eight minutes of the 12-hour event left to run.
Despite this near-miss, 2nd in Hockenheim, plus the wheel hub failure that dropped the team to 3rd at Circuit Paul Ricard last month, has motivated the team even further to take the fight to its championship rivals at the upcoming Hankook 24H PORTIMAO, according to team stalwart Stéphane Perrin.
“Our performance at Hockenheim, where we once again competed for victory, has boosted our motivation and our enthusiasm,” Perrin explained in an official team communique. “We have a month and a half left to prepare for Portimão in mid-July, and are objective is clear: victory and title!"
Erasing memories of a tough race at Hockenheim last year, AC Motorsport was on the pace early this past weekend, qualifying 3rd overall in the TCE division, despite Mathieu Detry’s late-session spin in qualifying. The Audi then jockeyed for the overall lead with both Autorama Motorsport Volkswagens across the opening six hours, but brake issues impeded Perrin’s final stint on Saturday, allowing the #1 Autorama Volkswagen through into the TCE lead just two laps before the overnight intervention.
Further misfortune would follow on Sunday when the #188 Audi RS 3 LMS made contact with the CWS Engineering Ginetta G55 GT4 – another early contender for TCE victory – just two hours remaining. Ironically, the incident indirectly set up the final dramatic run-to-the-line between AC Motorsport’s Mathieu Detry and Autorama’s Emil Heyerdahl.
“Our teammate Stefan Wieninger, who progressed consistently at the wheel [throughout the weekend], was spun by the Ginetta two hours from the finish, which resulted in refueling and a change of driver,” Perrin continued. “The timing was not ideal as we knew we would have to do a splash-and-dash just before the finish. Which we did a few laps from the chequered flag after another superb stint by Mathieu Detry. While trying to [recover], the Autorama VW consumed more than expected, to the point that they were also forced to stop due to a lack of fuel!
“When it came time to get back on track, they had a 10-second advantage over Mathieu, who gave it his all as he always does. After 12 hours of racing, we took 2nd place, four seconds behind our opponents. That says a lot about the level of performance of the top crews in TCE this season.”
Despite losing further ground to Autorama Motorsport in the championship standings at Hockenheim, AC Motorsport is still just four points adrift of the #1 Volkswagen in the Overall TCE Teams’ title hunt, and, ironically, three behind CWS Engineering, which recovered from the earlier incident to pick-up the final TCE podium spot and TCX-class victory at Hockenheim.