· Teamwork in the closing laps ensures both Herberth Motorsport Porsches stay in the top four ahead of tomorrow’s restart.
· DINAMIC Motorsport snatches 2nd on the line from Scuderia Praha.
· Reiter Engineering leads GTX after dramatic exit of early leader Leipert Motorsport.
· Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors holds comfortable lead in 991.
· Problems for ST Racing puts Centri Porsche Ticino at the head of GT4.
MUGELLO (26 March, 2021) – Herberth Motorsport will take tomorrow’s restart from pole position after a thrilling end to the first four hours of the 2021 Hankook 12H MUGELLO.
The Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (#91, Ralf Bohn / Daniel Allemann / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer), one of two multi-time winners of the Hankook 12H MUGELLO competing in Tuscany this weekend, played a flurry of late-race Code 60s to perfection to leapfrog its way to the front of the GT pack from 6th on the grid. As the opening four hours drew to a close though, Herberth’s Robert Renauer had to reduce his pace by more than two seconds per lap to avoid putting the sister #92 Porsche one lap down. All whilst simultaneously keeping the Haegeli by T2 Racing Porsche – the sister car’s nearest rival – behind him on-track.
Renauer eventually collected the chequered flag after completing 109 laps of the 5.245km Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, and only just managed to prevent the Haegeli by T2 Racing Porsche from sneaking past on the run to the line.
Renauer’s efforts mean the second Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (#92, Jürgen Häring / ''Bobby Gonzales'' / Stefan Aust / Marco Seefried) will take tomorrow’s restart in 4th, one place and one lap ahead of the 5th-placed Haegeli by T2 Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R (#66, Pieder Decurtins / Manuel Lauck / Marc Basseng).
“That was not easy!” Renauer explained to radiolemans.com’s Ben Constanduros. “Sometimes it’s harder to go slow on track than fast. But that was all part of our plan and that really helped our teammates. Now we’re in the lead position, it keeps the #92 in the game, we have a lot of fuel in the car, and really good tyres. It’s been a perfect day for us.”
In an equally enthralling finish, the DINAMIC MOTORSPORT Porsche 991 GT3 R (#7, Roberto Pampanini / Mauro Calamia / Ivan Jacoma) managed to snatch 2nd place from the MiddleCap racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 (#11, Josef Kral / Miroslav Výboh / Matúš Výboh) on the very last lap.
Scuderia Praha, another two-time winner of the Hankook 12H MUGELLO, has completed more laps in the lead than any other GT competitor thus far this weekend.
The Equipe Verschuur Renault RS01 (#9, Harrie Kolen / Erik van Loon / Mike Verschuur), the Hella Pagid - racing one Ferrari 488 GT3 (#30, Axel Sartingen / Daniel Schwerfeld / Francesco Lopez / Daniele Di Amato), and the Rutronik Racing by TECE Audi R8 LMS GT3 (#18, Michael Doppelmayr / Pierre Kaffer / Elia Erhart / Swen Herberger) crossed the line in 6th, 7th and 8th places respectively. Equipe Verschuur, which snatched pole position in the dying moments of qualifying earlier today, led for much of the early going but fell back into the midpack during the pit stop shuffles.
All three will line up ahead of the CP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster / Shane Lewis).
The Reiter Engineering KTM X-BOW GTX (#724, Eike Angermayr / Nicolai Elghanayan / Horst Felbermayr Jr. / Mads Siljehaug) rounds out the overall top 10 and is also the current leader in a frenetic GTX category. Issues for the category’s early frontrunners mean the Siauliai - RD Signs racing team Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (#720, Audrius Butkevicius / Egidijus Gutaravicius / Ramunas Capkauskas / Paulius Paskevicius) is now 2nd in-class ahead of the Vortex V8 Vortex 1.0 (#701, Philippe Bonnel / Pierre Fontaine / Nicolas Nobs).
The Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (#710, Ray Calvin / Gabriele Rindone / Matthias Hoffsümmer) had been well in contention for class victory early on but suffered a high-speed impact with the tyre wall on the main straight shortly after half-distance. Gabriele Rindone fortunately emerged from the damaged Lamborghini under his own power.
Despite losing a minute on the grass after a spin at turn nine, the Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors Porsche 911-II Cup (#955, Fabrizio Broggi / Sergiu Nicolae / Sabino de Castro) continues to lead comfortably in the 991 class ahead of JUTA Racing (#910, Julius Adomavičius / Andrius Gelžinis / Jonas Gelžinis) and GDL Racing (#967, Mario Cordoni / Axel Blom / Andres Bruno Josephsohn / Andres Michel Josephsohn). The latter’s sister 911-II Cup (#969, Roberto Rayneri / Gianluca De Lorenzi / Maurizio Fratti / Giacomo Giubergia), which had started from pole position, has dropped to 7th in-class after visiting the gravel trap twice already today.
Problems for the ST Racing BMW M4 GT4 (#438, Samantha Tan / Chandler Hull / Jon Miller) means the Centri Porsche Ticino Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS MR (#412, Christian de Kant / Thomas Herbst / Antonio Spavone / Valerio Presezz / Alessandro Fogliani) currently leads the way in GT4. The Canadian team suffered suspected suspension issues early and brought out the fifth Code 60 of the day when it pulled to a stop at turn two.
Luck was absent once again for the Team Zakspeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#13, Sergey Stolyarov / Evgeny Kireev / Victor Shaytar) in Italy. A glancing blow from the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo (#34, Johannes Dr. Kirchhof / Gustav Edelhof / Elmar Grimm) caused an enormous amount of right front suspension damage to the Mercedes, costing Zakspeed more than two and a half hours in the pits as a result.
The final eight hours of the Hankook 12H MUGELLO will get underway tomorrow at 10.00 hrs local time, and the event is set to run uninterrupted until the chequered flag drops at 18.00 hrs. Live streaming of the race in HD quality will be available on our 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.