· Scuderia Praha, Haegeli by T2 Racing, and Leipert Motorsport in the hunt for victory.
· GTX leader Reiter Engineering hits trouble in closing moments.
· 991 podium contenders separated by less than one minute.
· ST Racing leads GT4 after early issues for PROsport Racing.
HOCKENHEIMRING (22 May, 2021) – After six and a half hours, MiddleCap racing with Scuderia Praha heads a close fight for overall victory at the Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING, with three GT teams set to restart the event tomorrow on the lead lap.
The MiddleCap racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 (#11, Matúš Výboh / Josef Král / Dennis Waszek) made an electric start to the event, pulling close to 20 seconds clear of the rest of the field in the opening 19 laps. A loss of 42 seconds during the first pit stop though meant the Ferrari has since been battling to retain its lead against both the Haegeli by T2 Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R (#66, Pieder Decurtins / Manuel Lauck / Marc Basseng) and the Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo (#10, Brendon Leitch / Tyler Cooke / Fidel Leib / Seb Morris), despite the latter’s anti-stall kicking in at the rolling start.
At half-distance, all three are separated by just 1m 18.630s, meaning the Ferrari, the Porsche and the Lamborghini will take tomorrow’s restart on the lead lap.
“We are supper happy,” Matúš Výboh explained to radiolemans.com’s Ben Constanduros. “I think we had a good performance today. My thanks to Josef, who ran very quick laps all day, and also to Dennis. I was struggling a little on my first few laps – I had a spin while fighting with the [Herberth Motorsport] Ferrari – but afterwards I found more pace as I began to recognize the track more and more. This is my first time here at Hockenheim so I’m very happy with the race so far.”
The CP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster / Shane Lewis), one of six different overall leaders thus far at Hockenheim, lies 4th, one lap down on the lead trio.
Despite battling with Haegeli by T2 Racing for 2nd place for much of the opening hour of the race, an additional pit stop means the Rutronik Racing by TECE Audi R8 LMS GT3 (#18, Michael Doppelmayr / Pierre Kaffer / Elia Erhart / Swen Herberger) has now slipped to 5th at half-distance, ahead of both Car Collection Motorsport entries. In the inter-team battle, the #34 Audi (Gustav Edelhof / Elmar Grimm / Max Edelhoff) currently leads the sister #88 R8 LMS (Pierre-Yves Paque / Martin Lechmann / Vincent Piemonte / Christian Kranenberg)
This means that five different manufacturers currently hold the top five spots in the GT division at the Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING.
Herberth Motorsport (#92, Jürgen Häring / Bobby Gonzales / Tim Müller / Alfred Renauer), a two-time event winner already this year, has fallen to the tail of the field after more than an hour was spent repairing a driveshaft and the rear left hub assembly on the team’s Ferrari 488 GT3. The Mercedes-AMG of fellow GT3 runner MP Racing (#58, Thomas Gostner / David Gostner / Corinna Gostner) has also endured a troubled afternoon at Hockenheim, including contact on the opening lap and a trip into the gravel trap at turn 11, an incident that produced the third of three Code 60s this afternoon. The Italian team has lies 23rd overall.
Drama unfolded in the closing stages of the GTX class. The Reiter Engineering KTM X-BOW GTX (#724, Horst Felbermayr Jr. / Eike Angermayr / Nicolai Elghanayan / Mads Siljehaug) looked set to continue its strong run of form heading into the overnight intervention only for the KTM to pit with suspected engine issues just two minutes before the end of part one. The sister KTM (#725, Nico Pronk / Peter Kox / Dennis Retera) currently bookends the GTX class after a suspected turbo issue sent the lightweight sports car to the garage for more than two and a half hours early on.
Behind Reiter Engineering, a strong run for the debuting 9und11 Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR (#719, Tim Scheerbrarth / Georg Goder / Ralf Oehme / Martin Schlüter) was stymied when the German team was served a 60-second penalty for exceeding the maximum driving time during a stint. Despite multiple unscheduled pit stops, Overall GT Teams’ title contender Vortex V8 (#701, Philippe Bonnel / Nicolas Nobs / Bastien Gouret / Arnaud Gomez) currently rounds out the GTX podium with its Vortex 1.0.
After the opening four hours, the Red Camel-Jordans.nl Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (992) (#999, Ivo Breukers / Luc Breukers / Ivo Breukers) was leading GTX but has since lost a little over two hours in the pits when the Dutch team was unable to remove the Porsche’s left rear wheel. Having dismantled the 992’s entire wheel assembly, Red Camel-Jordans.nl finally rejoined the race two laps before the end of part one.
The Porsche 911 GT3 Cups of Bas Koeten Racing (#925, Marcel van Berlo / Glenn van Berlo / Bart van Helden) and NKPP Racing by Bas Koeten Racing (#991, Harry Hilders / Gijs Bessem / Bas Barenbrug) currently lead a close fight for the 991 rostrum spots. Behind Bas Koeten’s solo entry, the NKPP Porsche crossed the line 15 seconds ahead of Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors (#955, Fabrizio Broggi / Sergiu Nicolae / Sabino de Castro) and an additional 39 seconds ahead of DUWO Racing (#909, Andrey Mukovoz / Stanislav Sidoruk / Sergey Peregudov), the latter of which is recovering after a brief, unscheduled pit stop just nine laps in. 2014 Hankook 24H DUBAI winner Stadler Motorsport (#920, Paul Kasper / Ramon Werner / Philippe Menotti / Enzo Calderari) rounds out the category’s top five.
MRS GT-Racing meanwhile (#989, Saif Alameri / Nikolai Gadetskii / Thierry Vermeulen) endured two impactful incidents at Hockenheim. The German team led the 991 class after the first hour, but the Porsche spent just under 90 minutes in the pits when Thierry Vermeulen hit the tyre barriers at turn one. Later, inside the final 15 minutes, the MRS GT-Racing Porsche was in the pits again with broken left suspension and a punctured radiator after contact with the MP Racing Mercedes.
The ST Racing BMW M4 GT4 (#438, Samantha Tan / Chandler Hull / Jon Miller / Nick Wittmer) retains its lead in GT4 after six and a half hours. The PROsport Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 (#401, Nico Verdonck / Rodrigue Gillion / Kurt Hensen) continues to circulate, but was forced to pit on the very first lap with an overheating left front brake disc.
After an overnight intervention, the final five and a half hours of the Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING will get underway tomorrow at 14.30 hrs local time. The event is set to run uninterrupted until the chequered flag drops at 20.00 hrs. Live streaming of the race in HD quality will be available on the official website and the 24H SERIES YouTube channel. Regular updates will be published on Twitter (@24HSeries), Facebook (24H Series) and Instagram (24H Series). Further information can be found HERE