· Herberth Motorsport becomes event’s first outright three-time winner.
· The fight for the runners-up spot goes down to the proverbial wire.
· Reiter Engineering secures comfortable GTX class win.
· 991 victory almost slips through Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors’ fingers.
· Centri Porsche Ticino holds off ST Racing for GT4 win.
MUGELLO (27 March, 2021) – Herberth Motorsport has become the first three-time winner of the Hankook 12H MUGELLO after a flawless run.
The Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (#91, Ralf Bohn / Daniel Allemann / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer) started ‘part two’ of the 12-hour event from pole position, and though the Porsche dropped to 4th during the opening pit stop scramble on Saturday morning, the Bavarian team played its pit strategy to perfection to eke out a three-lap lead at the chequered flag. Robert Renauer drove the Porsche across the line, completing 335 laps of the 5.245km Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello.
Following outright wins in 2015 and 2020, Herberth Motorsport’s victory this weekend marks the first time a GT team has taken more than two wins at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO.
“We had built enough of a gap to the cars behind that it was easy to bring [the Porsche] home, and it was fun to do the burnout in the pitlane!” Renauer explained to radiolemans.com’s Ben Constanduros. “It was a brilliant race for us: brilliant pit stops; no mistakes; really good teamwork; and we were confident we had enough fuel for another 10 minutes. I want to thank all of my guys. This is a great result!”
In a thrilling end to the race, the returning MiddleCap racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 (#11, Josef Kral / Miroslav Výboh / Matúš Výboh) secured 2nd place in the closing 30 minutes when Matúš Výboh made an audacious move around the outside of Ivan Jacoma in the DINAMIC MOTORSPORT Porsche 991 GT3 R (#7, Roberto Pampanini / Mauro Calamia / Ivan Jacoma) at turn one. In the end, Scuderia Praha, a two-time winner of the Hankook 12H MUGELLO, secured its first 24H SERIES podium finish since 2019 by just 10 seconds.
In an equally sensational battle, Pierre Kaffer in the Rutronik Racing by TECE Audi R8 LMS GT3 (#18, Michael Doppelmayr / Pierre Kaffer / Elia Erhart / Swen Herberger) and Manuel Lauck in the Haegeli by T2 Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R (#66, Pieder Decurtins / Manuel Lauck / Marc Basseng) went nose-to-nose in the closing stages. The Porsche managed to hold on to 5th place, and the pair were split by less than five seconds at the flag. Up ahead, the second Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (#92, Jürgen Häring / ''Bobby Gonzales'' / Stefan Aust / Marco Seefried) finished 4th.
Despite making contact with the GTX-entered Vortex 1.0 early on, the CP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster / Shane Lewis) completed a solid run to finish 7th overall at Mugello, just ahead of the Hella Pagid - racing one Ferrari 488 GT3 (#30, Axel Sartingen / Daniel Schwerfeld / Francesco Lopez / Daniele Di Amato). The Equipe Verschuur Renault RS01 meanwhile (#9, Harrie Kolen / Erik van Loon / Mike Verschuur) secured a commanding pole position on Friday, but could only salvage 9th at the flag after losing time to an ABS sensor failure and a trip into the gravel trap at half-distance.
The Reiter Engineering KTM X-BOW GTX (#724, Eike Angermayr / Nicolai Elghanayan / Horst Felbermayr Jr. / Mads Siljehaug) finished 10th overall on the road and took a commanding win in what proved to be a troubled GTX category. The Siauliai - RD Signs racing team Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (#720, Audrius Butkevicius / Egidijus Gutaravicius / Ramunas Capkauskas / Paulius Paskevicius) spent close to an hour in the pits after losing drive on the start-finish straight, ironically just a few metres up from where the Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (#710, Ray Calvin / Gabriele Rindone / Matthias Hoffsümmer) ended its race against the tyre wall. Work also began on a full engine change for the Lotus PB Racing Lotus Exige V6 Cup R (#726, Stefano D'Aste / Vito Utzieri / Daniel Grimaldi / Massimo Abbati) before the team formally retired the entry.
Consequently, and despite handling issues hindering both 1.0 sports cars, Vortex V8 rounded out the GTX podium with its #712 (Philippe Bonnel / Pierre Fontaine / Nicolas Nobs) and #701 entries (Lionel Amrouche / Karen Gaillard / Boris Gimond).
The Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors Porsche 911-II Cup (#955, Fabrizio Broggi / Sergiu Nicolae / Sabino de Castro) eventually came out on top of an afternoon-long battle with JUTA Racing (#910, Julius Adomavičius / Andrius Gelžinis / Jonas Gelžinis) for the 991-class win. Willi Motorsport had been in control of the class before a trip into the gravel brought its rival back into play at half-distance. Slick pitwork and consistently fast laptimes meant the Romanian team later re-extended its advantage to three laps.
Broken steering eliminated former Hankook 24H DUBAI winner Stadler Motorsport (#920, Paul Kasper / Ramon Werner / Marc Arn / Jan Klingelnberg), allowing PROFILDOORS by Huber Racing (#924, Merabi Mekvabishvili / Nikolai Gadetskii / Andreas Corradina) to take the final class podium spot after a clean run.
The Centri Porsche Ticino Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS MR (#412, Christian de Kant / Thomas Herbst / Antonio Spavone / Valerio Presezzi / Alessandro Fogliani) took a comfortable win in the GT4 class after problems struck the ST Racing BMW M4 GT4 (#438, Samantha Tan / Chandler Hull / Jon Miller). The Canadian team lost time early on Friday to a puncture, and was forced to work overnight to repair damage caused by a failed wheel hub.
Despite its difficult race, 2nd in-class was still enough to vault ST Racing to the top of the GT Division standings, five points clear of Vortex V8.
The Team Zakspeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#13, Sergey Stolyarov / Evgeny Kireev / Victor Shaytar) and the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo (#34, Johannes Dr. Kirchhof / Gustav Edelhof / Elmar Grimm) were the most high-profile retirements in the GT3 field. The pair made heavy contact during the opening laps yesterday, and the resultant suspension and chassis damage led to the Audis’ retirement shortly afterwards. The Zakspeed Mercedes managed just 49 laps on Saturday before it too was retired.
Endurance racing action continues on 23-24 April, as the SERIES powered by Hankook travels to Circuit Paul Ricard in France for the returning Hankook 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD. One month later on 22-23 May, CREVENTIC will host the Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING in Germany. Further details regarding the 2021 24H SERIES calendar and championship standings can be found HERE.