Following an early exit at Spa-Francorchamps, 2021 Overall TCE Teams’ runner-up AC Motorsport is set to return at the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO in July, team staple Stéphane Perrin set to do likewise at the Hankook 24H BARCELONA in September.
Words – James Gent
Images – Petr Frýba
AC Motorsport is set to make its return to the 24H SERIES at next month’s Hankook 24H PORTIMAO, with team patriarch Stéphane Perrin targeting his own competitive return at the Hankook 24H BARCELONA in September
2021 Overall TCE Teams’ runner-up AC Motorsport last competed at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS in April, and was competing for a podium finish during the opening four hours. The Belgian team’s race came to a premature end shortly after that when the #188 Audi RS 3 LMS made heavy contact with the debuting Buggyra Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 exiting Les Combes. Though extricated from his seat quickly, the impact left AC Motorsport’s Stéphane Perrin with a fractured collarbone.
Just over one month on, and in a short update on his social channel, Stéphane explained that his “recovery is going well” and that his scheduled return to the 24H SERIES will likely take place at the Hankook 24H BARCELONA on 9-10-11 September at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Prior to that, the former Ligier and Larrousse man is targeting a competitive return at the 25th VW Fun Cup at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
All at CREVENTIC would like to wish Stéphane all the best in his continuing recovery.
Alongside this update, AC Motorsport has registered the #188 Audi RS 3 LMS for the team’s return outing at the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO. No further word has been given regarding the team’s driver line-up, though it’s possible that Mathieu Detry and 2019 Overall TCE Drivers’ ‘Continents’ champion Yannick Mettler, both of whom competed with AC Motorsport in Dubai and Spa-Francorchamps earlier this year, may return.
A strong race at the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO could reignite AC Motorsport’s title aspirations in the Championship of the Continents. Though the team has yet to score points at a European round of this year’s championship (alongside its Spa-Francorchamps DNF, the team was unable to compete at either Mugello or the Hockenheimring), AC Motorsport did finish 2nd in-class at the season-opening Hankook 24H DUBAI. A podium finish at the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO could thus conceivably vault the Belgian team into the title chase, just a few points behind current standings leader, BBR.
Significantly, on its two previous outings at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in 2020 and 2019, AC Motorsport finished 3rd and 2nd in-class.
Stéphane Perrin, who finished as the runner-up in last year’s Overall TCE Drivers’ standings with Mathieu Detry, will also be keen for a strong run in Barcelona to boost his own championship chances. The 2020 Hankook 24H DUBAI TCE winner is currently 8th overall.