Long-time Ferrari GT customer Kessel Racing will make its 24H SERIES debut at this year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO on 26-27 March, and is set to compete at all subsequent rounds of the season thereafter.
Kessel Racing has confirmed it will compete in the remaining rounds of this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook from the 2021 Hankook 12H MUGELLO onwards. The Swiss team, founded by namesake Loris Kessel in 2000, will make its 24H SERIES debut at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello on 26-27 March with a Ferrari 488 GT3.
A regular in the European Le Mans Series from 2019 onwards, between 2012 and 2018, Kessel Racing was synonymous with the Blancpain Endurance Series, securing the AM Cup in both 2016 and 2017 and the PRO-AM Cup in 2016. Prior to that, the Swiss team also enjoyed tenures in the International GT Open, national GT championships in Italy, France and Great Britain, and the Ferrari Challenge. Founder Loris even competed in the FIA GT Championship in 2000 aboard a Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge, beginning his eponymous team’s on-going relationship with the Scuderia. Of course, at the time, that was just the latest chapter in Kessel’s three-decade racing career at that point.
Born April 1950 in Ticino, Switzerland, Loris Kessel built upon his passion for motorsport by making his racing debut in 1970. Impressively, just four years into his career, Kessel graduated from Formula 3 to Formula 2 with Team Vonlanthen and came close to taking a maiden win on only his second start in 1975 at Estoril (a broken gearbox linkage put paid to his efforts 16 laps in). 4th places at Hockenheim (twice) that year ended up being his best results en-route to an underwhelming 16th in the standings.
Kessel nevertheless fought his way onto the Formula 1 grid with RAM Racing in 1976, though financial difficulties meant his tenure aboard the Brabham BT44B lasted just five rounds, two of which ended in DSQ. Bar one final start with future World Rally Championship independent Jolly Club of Switzerland in 1977, his F1 journey was done, and Kessel was back for a truncated F2 campaign in 1981.
Life after F1 would prove a more prosperous one though. In 1993, and on only his second start at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (eight years after his first), Kessel finished 3rd in-class aboard a Obermaier Racing GmbH-entered Porsche 962C. By this point, the Kessel car dealership network had really picked up speed, and continues to thrive to this day. Having established Kessel Racing in 2000, the team namesake continued racing in the FIA F3 European Championship, the International GT Open, and the ADAC GT Masters. Sadly, Loris Kessel would pass away in May 2010 after a long battle with leukaemia. Today, the team that bears his name continues its familial legacy and is overseen by his son, Ronnie.
- Images – Kessel Racing