SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS (24 April, 2022) – Holmgaard Motorsport has secured both its first win and its first podium in the 24H SERIES at an enthralling Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, one that saw the battle for TCE honours go down to the wire.
The division’s overall win had looked set to go to NOKER racing team (#104, Kestutis Stasionis / Sten-Dorian Piirimägi / Arunas Geciauskas). Just 90 minutes for home however, the Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR SEQ was wheeled back into its garage with heavy frontend damage following an on-track collision.
NOKER’s demise thus meant that the Holmgaard Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR DSG (#102, Magnus Holmgaard / Jonas Holmgaard / Roy Edland / Martin Vedel Mortensen), with which the Lithuanian team had competed throughout the afternoon, was able to secure not just its first win in the 24H SERIES but its maiden podium as well. Jonas Holmgaard drove the #102 Volkswagen across the line to complete 234 laps of the 7.004km Circuit de SpaFrancorchamps en-route to victory.
“It feels amazing to finally get to the top of the podium!” Magnus Holmgaard explained to CREVENTIC. “[NOKER] did an amazing job. Unfortunately they had a crash in the last part of the race, but we managed to keep the car on the track without any mistakes, and that did the trick. The Holmgaard team today was perfect!”
Asked what the secrets to success were at Spa-Francorchamps, Magnus’ brother Jonas Holmgaard explained: “good speed; don’t crash!”
Like Holmgaard, GSR Motorsport (#105, Ernesta Globytė / Rolandas Salys / Mindaugas Liatukas) similarly secured its best-ever result in the 24H SERIES by finishing 2nd overall in TCE with its Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR SEQ. This bests the 3rd in-class the Lithuanian team secured at the Hockenheimring last season.
Following a post-race penalty, RAIL EQUIP BY TOTCAR SPORT (#123, Jorge Belloc Diaz / Jorge Belloc Ruiz / Álvaro Rodríguez Sastre), which had finished 2nd on the road in TCE, was eventually classified 3rd, less than 20 seconds behind the GSR Volkswagen. This is the second consecutive podium for the Spanish team, which also finished 3rd in-class last year in Barcelona.
Though troubled by “a few niggles” in its electrical system, the Valluga Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS (#205, Bradley Ellis / Leonidas Loucas / Rhea Loucas / Charles Hollings) finished 4th overall in TCE, collecting a commanding TCX-class win in the process. Further back, the Ligier JS2 R of Belgium’s Xwift Racing (#221, Pieter Denys / Tim de Borle / Steven Dewulf) and the PR-V
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS (#225, Hervé Houdré / Christian Gloz) finished 8th and 9th overall in TCE to round out the TCX-class podium.
In contention for a TCE podium early on after running 3rd in-class yesterday, the Wolf-Power Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR (#116, Jasmin Preisig / Fabian Danz / Marcus Menden) eventually dropped to 5th in TCE. The Audi was bumped into the gravel by the GSR Volkswagen on Sunday’s opening lap, losing three laps in the process, but recovered to finish just over 60 seconds behind the Valluga Porsche.
After losing significant time to brake failure at the Bus Stop Chicane yesterday, the BBR CUPRA Leon Competición TCR (#159, Chariya Nuya / Kantadhee Kusiri / Kantasak Kusiri / Munkong Sathienthirakul) completed a flawless Sundaya afternoon run to finish 6th in TCE, ahead of the Baporo Motorsport CUPRA TCR DSG (#151, Joan Vinyes / Jaume Font). Following its wins in Dubai and Mugello, Thailand’s BBR still leads TCE in both the Championship of the Continents and the European standings.
Following its demise, NOKER racing team was eventually classified 10th in TCX, one place ahead of the troubled PCR Sport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR (#117, Vicente Dasi / Josep Parera / Ivars Vallers) which suffered repeated overheating problems.
The 24H SERIES powered by Hankook will be back in action on 13-14-15 May with the Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING in Germany, the third championship round of CREVENTIC’s European season. Further details regarding the 2022 24H SERIES calendar and championship standings can be found at www.24hseries.com
Words - James Gent
Photos - Petr Fryba