After taking a class podium at the 2023 Hankook 24H DUBAI, the Heart of Racing by SPS Mercedes-AMG GT3 returns for the 24H SERIES European season opener at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO.
Words – James Gent
Images – Petr Frýba / Racingpixels.com
SPS automotive performance will continue its affiliation with America’s Heart of Racing at next weekend’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO, having also confirmed that Ian James, Roman de Angelis and Gray Newell will reunite in the #27 Mercedes-AMG GT3 following their run in Dubai.
Barring only a few Code 60-related delays, de Angelis, Newell, and Heart of Racing team principal James, together with Ross Gunn, finished an impressive 8th overall and 3rd in GT3-PRO/AM on the American team’s first collaboration with SPS automotive performance in the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook. This marked the second consecutive podium finish for both Heart of Racing and SPS automotive at the Hankook 24H DUBAI, the former having finished 2nd in GT4 as a standalone entry in 2022, the latter having taken an overall podium as ‘SunEnergy1’. The result was also the third podium finish for SPS in Dubai since its A6-AM class win in 2018.
With eyes on further European rounds in this year’s 24H SERIES, the collaboration continues at next weekend’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO, marking the first European round with CREVENTIC for Heart of Racing, and the first for SPS automotive since finishing 6th at the 2021 Hankook 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD.
Unsurprisingly, both are “aiming for a good result” for the #27 Mercedes-AMG GT3 at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello.
“After the good start of our cooperation with The Heart of Racing, we are looking forward to going out on the track together again at the [Hankook] 12H MUGELLO,” SPS team principal Stephan Sohn explains. “We'll be tweaking a few little things and hope to be able to achieve a good result again at this race."
The Heart of Racing by SPS is one of 13 GT3 entries confirmed for the event in a field that also includes reigning GT Continents Trophy winner CP Racing, 2017 Overall GT Teams’ champion Hofor-Racing, and three-time event winner, Herberth Motorsport.
Following two hours of Free Practice on Friday 24 March, as well as two, 55-minute Qualifying sessions later that afternoon, the first six hours of the ninth Hankook 12H MUGELLO is scheduled to run from 11.15 hrs to 17.15 hrs local time on Saturday 25 March. Following the traditional overnight intervention, ‘part two’ of the 12-hour event will commence at 09.00 hrs on Sunday 26 March and will run uninterrupted until the chequered flag flies at 15.00 hrs.