Jiří Písařík took the chequered flag to complete 721 laps of the 4.652km Autódromo Internacional do Algarve – just one shy of equalling the event record – to extend the team’s lead in the 24H SERIES Europe GT standings, and keep the Czech outfit in contention for the 24H SERIES Continents GT title as well.
As was also the case with Brno last month, Scuderia Praha came into this weekend with a 100 per cent success rate at the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO, and leaves with that record intact, eyes already looking ahead to the Hankook 24H BARCELONA in two months time.
“We keep ourselves out of trouble!” a jubilant Josef Kral told radiolemans.com’s Joe Bradley. “It was really tough, but the car was perfect. This track was probably the most physically demanding we’ve visited this year, so hopefully Barcelona will be a bit easier!”
The GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R (#24, Nicky Pastorelli / Jordan Grogor / Alexandre Cougnaud / Jean-Pierre Valentini) completed a sensational run to finish 2nd overall, the best result in the 24H SERIES to-date for the team from the United Arab Emirates. They were chased hard in the closing stages by the Wochenspiegel Team Monschau Ferrari 488 GT3 (#22, Georg Weiss / Leonard Weiss / Jochen Krumbach / David Perel), which takes its first overall podium of the season and ensures two Ferraris finish on the outright podium.
A strong run from the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R (#93, Edward Lewis Brauner / Stefan Aust / Klaus Rader / Klaus Bachler / Hans Wehrmann) was enough to take 4th overall and the A6-Am class win, just ahead of the CP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster/ Shane Lewis). The category podium is propped up by Herberth Motorsport’s second A6-Am (#94, Tim Müller / Taki Konstantinou / Jürgen Häring / Alfred Renauer / Joachim Thyssen), which ended a character-building race 7th on the road.
The third and final Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R (#91, Daniel Allemann / Ralf Bohn / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer) had been in contention for the win but was forced to retire at half distance after catching fire on-track while running 2nd overall.
Mercedes-AMG Team Driving Academy meanwhile (#500, Hubert Haupt / Maximilian Buhk / Kenneth Heyer / Charles Putman / Rik Breukers) split the A6-Am runners by coming home 6th overall in the first development race for the brand new Mercedes-AMG GT3 ‘Evo’.
A race-long battle for 991-class honours would eventually be won by the DUWO Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#909, Andrey Mukovoz / Sergey Peregudov / Stanislav Sidoruk), which came home barely two laps clear of the pursuing Porsche Lorient Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#911, Jean-François Demorge / Gilles Blasco / Lionel Amrouche / Gavin Pickering / Frédéric Ancel). Despite losing more than an hour to repair broken steering and on-track accident damage, the MRS GT-Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#980, Alex Autumn / Nicola Michelon / Dorian Mansilla / Hendrik Von Dannwitz) survived to claim the final spot on the 991-class podium.
The Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#710, Harald Schlotter / Marcus Påverud / Ilmari Korpivaara / Yury Wagner / Dominik Baumann) weathered a high attrition SPX class to take the category win. Further back, the Cor Euser Racing MARC II V8 (#717, Cor Euser / Jim Briody / Einar Thorsen / Ricky Coomber) suffered a broken engine, while the QSR Racingschool Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#454, Jimmy de Breucker / Johnny de Breucker/ Lance Bergstein / Dominique Bastien / Thomas Jäger) retired with terminal brake problems shortly before nightfall.
Despite suffering late-race fuel injector issues, the Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 (#50, Martin Kroll / Thomas Jäger / Michael Fischer / Michael Schrey / Alexander Prinz) has claimed the GT4 class win ahead of the Parkalgar Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#412, Paulo Pinheiro / Jose Monroy / Malcolm Sandford / Joaquim Penteado), the latter of which takes 2nd in-class at its home circuit. The Team Virage Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 (#417, CO. Jones / Peter Peters / Thomas Padovani / Pedro Lamy) ends a character-building race with 3rd in-class on its maiden 24H SERIES powered by Hankook outing.