Despite consistently lapping in the category’s top three at this past weekend’s Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING, Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors could only salvage 4th in 991 after late-race brake issues struck.
Time lost to an unexpected brake issue ended up costing Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors the final spot on the 991 podium during the final hour of the Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING, the team has confirmed.
The #955 Porsche 991 GT3 Cup ran consistently in the top three in 991 throughout Saturday, despite being served a 10-second time penalty for exceeding the speed limit during Code 60 caution period, and even led the category outright at the third and fourth-hour marks. Heading into the overnight intervention, drivers Fabrizio Broggi, Nicolae Sergiu and Sabino de Castro finished just 15 seconds behind 2nd placed NKPP Racing by Bas Koeten Racing (#991), and one lap down on the class leading Bas Koeten Racing (#925).
The Romanian-Italian collaboration continued its strong form at Sunday’s restart, Sergiu leaping ahead of NKPP Racing’s Bas Barenbrug to hold 2nd place until the first round of pit stops and setting the second fastest lap of the 991 runners, as he had also done so the day before. Heading into the final hour of the race however, brake issues brought Fabrizio Broggi’s final stint to an early end, the additional pit stop costing Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors more than seven minutes in the box and allowing 4th-placed DUWO Racing through to take the category’s final podium spot with just 50 minutes of the 12-hour event left to run.
“The second-generation multicolour Porsche 911 GT3 Cup performed well in official tests with 3rd place in qualifying,” the team’s official post-race statement read. “A better position vanished due to a red flag, which thwarted our final attempt, but the first part of the race went off smoothly, with a slight inconvenience due to the loss of the front [splitter]. The problem was skilfully and quickly solved by the Ebimotors mechanics during a stop to make a driver change.
“Unfortunately, during the last hour of the race, a problem with the brakes forced the team to call the car back to the pits once more than expected. Our opponents, [behind] but not by much, were able to exploit this opportunity and a podium escaped in the closing stages, which left everyone with a bit of a bitter taste in their mouths.
“Now the Porsche will be subjected to a thorough check by Enrico Borghi’s team, with the desire to analyse all the details and get the car back on track at the [Hankook 24H BARCELONA] in early September for a new challenge.”
Despite the late-race disappointment, 4th in Hockenheim, plus the team’s class win at Mugello, means Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors now lies 5th in the 991-class standings. Ironically, podium beneficiary DUWO Racing now leads both the 991-class and Overall GT Teams’ standings.