INTERVIEW. Daniel Allemann on… 50 races in the 24H SERIES

News | April 7, 2023

At the 2023 Hankook 12H MUGELLO, long-time Herberth Motorsport teammates Alfred Renauer and Daniel Allemann started their 50th race with CREVENTIC. We caught up with the pair in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, respectively, to discuss a tenure spanning more than a decade, multiple championship spoils, and career-defining wins at the Hankook 24H DUBAI.


Images - Petr Frýba | Eric Teeken | Nico Mombaerts

Daniel, we’d assumed that you made your 24H SERIES debut with Herberth Motorsport in 2015. But you were actually on the grid much earlier than that…

DA: “Yes, I actually started my CREVENTIC career with FACH Auto Tech, and we did Dubai in 2012 just for fun! That was my first big race.”

What are your memories of your first 24H DUBAI?

DA: “Before that I had a private car [for track days], and one day got the chance to drive an old Porsche Cup car. There was a big difference between my streetcar and the Cup car. I already knew Alex Fach, and I asked him, ‘is it possible to drive with you for one race?’ and he said okay. So, he got me, three other ‘beginners,’ and one SEMI-PRO driver [Martin Ragginger] in for Dubai. 

“In 2012, our goal was not to go any faster than 2m 07s*, and because, for me, driving a 997 GT3 R was so different to the Carrera Cup, my first five or six laps were around 2m 09s or 2m 10s while everyone around me was doing 2m 02s. I do remember [Swen Dolenc] had a big accident with a BMW, and we lost the left rear. That cost us two hours. It was crazy, but it was fun too.” 


*In an effort to keep competition tight in 2012 and 2013, A6-Am runners had to stick to a pre-determined laptime, with only five ‘joker’ laps permitted across the full 24 hours. Despite this and its early delay, the #17 FACH Auto Porsche still finished 13th.


Notable results (2012)

-       First 24H SERIES start  (in A6, with FACH AUTO TECH)

         -    24H DUBAI – 13th 

-       First 24H SERIES class podium (in 997, with Car Collection Motorsport)

         -   12H ZANDVOORT – 3rd

Fast forward to Mugello in 2015, and you’re back in the 24H SERIES, now with Herberth Motorsport…

DA: “Yes. Before that in 2013, I was doing the Porsche Carrera Cup in Germany, and my business partner Ralf [Bohn], said, ‘I’ll come do Carrera Cup with you.’ He’d never driven a race car before! But we did Carrera Cup together in 2014 with Robert Renauer. It was good, we quickly learned how to drive these Porsches, and we decided to try a longer race together. Robert and Herberth had a 997 GT3 R, so we lined up at Mugello for our first race together.”

And you won!

DA: “And we won! It was unbelievable!”

Did any of you expect your first race to go so well?

DA: “No…. well, I mean, the team probably did, but Ralf and I? No. I remember we had to do a lot of training for that race, and we also needed a lot of luck! But it was a great race: no mistakes, nothing broken on the car. I think we earned that win.”

You’ve done most of your 24H SERIES races with Ralf and the Renauer twins. What are they like as teammates?

DA: “The Renauers are crazy!" [Laughs] "I mean, we’ve driven together so many times – all of them, if you don’t count those 2012 races – and Ralf and I have learned a lot from them. And I’m 65, so that helps! We just have a lot of fun together.”



Notable results (2015 and 2016)



-   First 24H SERIES win (Mugello)



-   3 wins (Zandvoort / Paul Ricard / Barcelona)

Fast-forward to 2017, and you start that season with your first win at the Hankook 24H DUBAI alongside three-time Le Mans winner, Brendon Hartley. Would you say that is the team’s best result to-date?

DA: “That was the special race for us, yes. We got a lot of support from Porsche that weekend, and, I remember, Brendon was coming straight from Brazil, I think, to Dubai, but he’d never driven the 911 R before. Never! So when he got in the car for the first time, he wasn’t that quick. I probably shouldn’t say that!" [Laughs] "But after two days? Wow! He was so good!


“That year, there was a field of more than 90 cars, and more than 30 in [A6]. But again, we didn’t make any mistakes and nothing broke on the car. For sure, that’s our best win. After that we won at the Red Bull Ring, we won at Le Castellet… again, no problems. Nothing.”

You also won at COTA that year, which sealed the Overall GT Teams and Drivers’ championships for Herberth and yourself. And this was against the likes of Scuderia Praha and Black Falcon…

DA: “Yeah, but the funny thing is, we didn’t really have any tactics to win overall. We just went to these races wanting to win each of them, because that’s not easy. So to win the title as well that year was a nice bonus!”

It’s interesting you mention how good the 911 GT3 R was, because you’ve raced a Porsche during your 24H SERIES career…

DA: “Actually, there was one race” – in Dubai 2016 – “where we had a Lamborghini. That was a crazy race! During first practice, the fuel [filler cap] was not correctly fixed, fuel leaked out, over the motor, and the whole car burned up at turn one while Robert was driving. He was okay, but this was a brand-new car and it was gone. So we now we had no Porsche, and we had to change to a [Huracán GT3] for the race.”

And what was that like to drive compared with the Porsche?

DA: “Well, firstly the Lamborghini is mid-engined, which means it’s very ‘neutral’ to drive. In the Porsche, the motor is behind you, so it’s a very different ‘kind’ of driving. Plus, there’s a lot of traction. In the 911.2, the front is better. The old Porsche was faster on the straights, but now we have very, very strong brakes, and in the old car, we had a lot of understeer. So this generation is much easier to drive. 


“What impressed me, in Dubai [2016], was that the team got spare parts from Germany, and managed to fix the Porsche over a night and a day, which was unbelievable!”


Notable results (2017 and 2018)


2017Overall GT Drivers’ champions – Continents

-   4 wins (Dubai / Red Bull Ring / Paul Ricard / COTA)



-   2 overall wins (Imola / Barcelona) and 1 overall podium (COTA)

Even though Scuderia Praha won more races in 2019, that year was one of the most consistent for Herberth in terms of podiums. Do you look on that season a success as far as performance goes?

DA: “That Ferrari was better than the Porsche that year, mainly because of the [balance of performance]. So in many ways, 2019 was a ‘normal’ season for us, but that Ferrari was really strong. Also, you need a lot of luck across a season: sometimes you have that, sometimes you don’t.”

Like at Spa…?

DA: “Oh, you mean with the refueling?!" [Claps hands] "Unbelievable! That was absolutely unbelievable!* That last pit stop was actually a security stop for us: we probably had enough fuel to get to the end. And what happened was the guy at the station saw our car, activated the refueling ‘tag’ maybe too quickly – we never really found out what happened – and nothing happened when he tried to put the fuel in. So he had to start again… waiting, waiting, waiting… before he could start refueling. And that 10 seconds felt like a very long time! 


“Then, oh, there’s the Ferrari, coming out of La Source. Our car’s coming out the pits, and…” – Daniel mimes the amazing moment the Ferrari, his left hand, moves ahead of the Porsche, his right hand, on the exit of Raidillon. – “We are a team. We win together as a team and lose together as a team. But that was such a crazy finish!”


*In an incredible finish to the 2019 Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Scuderia Praha took the lead from Herberth Motorsport on the penultimate lap, just as the Porsche was emerging from its final pit stop. 


Notable results (2019)

-       2 A6-Am class wins (Spa-Francorchamps / Brno) 

-       5 overall podiums (Mugello / Spa / Brno / Barcelona / COTA)

2020 was an odd season for everyone, understandably. But Herberth Motorsport was among the first teams to come back for the first two races in Portimão and Monza…

DA: “Yes, things were very different. But we thought, ‘we are here, it’s a race. Let’s get on with it.’ And Monza was very exciting for me. A lot easier for us as ‘AM’ drivers: chicane, straight, chicane, left, right, straight. Five, six corners! But it’s really fast, which was good for our car…”

Actually Herberth Motorsport finished 1-2-3…

DA: “Ah, so it was really good for us! And you really feel the history when you’re there. That was really a special track.”

Herberth took three wins in 2020, and won four more in 2021, taking the title both years. How do those championships compare with your title-winning year in 2017?

DA: “2017, for me, is more special. And yes, it’s mostly because of Dubai! But that whole season was very special for us, with the new 991 GT3 R. Actually, I bought that car at the end of the season, and it’s now in my garage in Switzerland!”

You also took your third win at the 24H BARCELONA in 2021, something no other GT team has done. What is it about that event that’s helped Herberth be so successful there?

DA: “We’ve had a lot of luck, I think. But also, we like this track a lot. It’s very good for the Porsche because you need traction. And, as a driver, Barcelona is one of my favourite tracks. Imola is the best – also Dubai is a lot of fun – but I really like Barcelona. Plus, in Barcelona, there’s always a lot of competition.”


Notable results (2020 and 2021)


2020GT3-Pro Drivers’ champion – Europe

-   1 overall win (Mugello) and 2 overall podiums (Portimão / Monza)



-   4 overall wins (Mugello / Paul Ricard / Barcelona / Hungary) 

-   1 overall podium (Sebring)

Ironically, one of your best seasons together – 2021 – was followed by one of your worst in 2022…

DA: “It didn’t start very well, because I had a very big accident in Dubai. Very big during Free Practice. Unbelievable, at turn eight, the left-hander. I overtook one car, but he changed direction, touched me on the right rear, and we went off together into the wall at 160kph. And that was it. The car was completely done, so we couldn’t even start.”

Was there a specific reason behind the team’s poor fortunes in 2022?

DA: “We just had a lot of mechanical problems. A lot of issues with the gearbox, but also the ABS, and we’re not sure why. Some of these problems, we’d never had before. Never! And you can’t change every part, every time. Plus, this is not normal for Herberth because they always prepare their cars really, really well.”

No doubt you’ll want to put 2022 behind you this season…

DA: “We hope so, yes! Over the years, we’ve had a lot of great races, and a lot of luck. Then in 2022, we had all our bad luck all together!” [Laughs] “So, in a way, in 2023, we’re starting over.”

We would ask you, of your first 50 CREVENTIC events, which one is your favourite, but we think we know…!

DA: “Yep, it’s Dubai, 2017! And the thing is, when you have a good feeling, and the car is running well for 24 hours, that keeps you going! And it’s still very easy for me to drive: we know the car so well, and I have no stress, no nothing. A lot of people, on their first time in Dubai, they have stress – how they drive, what they’re doing, etc – but when you have experience, you can really enjoy these weekends. We still have a lot of fun together.”

You can also check out this article in our paddock magazine for the 2023 Hankook 12H MUGELLO, available for digital download below.

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