This weekend, the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook becomes the latest in an illustrious line of motorsport series to run at the vaunted Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in Italy. The ‘temple of speed’, in turn, becomes the 16th different circuit to host an official CREVENTIC endurance event. This is sure to be one of many stories to follow this weekend.
Of the others, can Herberth Motorsport repeat its ‘GT3’ win at the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO? Can Autorama Motorsport do the same in ‘TCR’, and will the Swiss team’s stand-alone entry make a name for instance in ‘TCX’? And after five years away, could ARC Bratislava produce a surprise in ‘GTX’?
24H SERIES Europe – GT Standings (after 1 round)
1. Herberth Motorsport (#91, GT3, Porsche) – 28 points
PROsport Racing (#401, GT4, Aston Martin) – 28 Points
Mühlner Motorsport (#921, 911, Porsche) – 28 points
24H SERIES Europe – TCE Standings (after 1 round)
1. Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Racing Power (#112, TCR, Volkswagen) – 29 points
2. AC Motorsport (#188, TCR, Audi) – 24 points
3. Code Racing Development (#124, TCR, Volkswagen) – 21 points
Fresh from its 1-2 finish at the Autódromo do Algarve in June, Herberth Motorsport continues its 24H SERIES Europe title challenge with a three-car line-up at Monza. Series stalwarts Daniel Allemann and Ralf Bohn will again partner with team principals Robert and Alfred Renauer in the Bavarian outfit’s lead #91 Porsche 991 GT3 R, while Portimão race winners Jürgen Häring and Taki Konstantinou will partner together in the sister #92.
The third entry meanwhile – the #93 – last year collected the A6-Am Teams’ championship in the 24H SERIES Europe. Stefan Aust and Klaus Bachler, who took two of the team’s four class wins last season at Portimão and Barcelona, will team will series debutant, Steffen Görig.
Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub and Joe Foster, who secured the Overall GT Drivers’ championship in both the 24H SERIES Europe and Continents in 2018, return to action in Monza with CP Racing’s brand new Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#85). The trio will once again team with compatriot, and former Daytona 24 Hours class winner, Shane Lewis.
Car Collection Motorsport meanwhile (#34), the reigning A6-Am Teams’ champion in the 24H SERIES Continents, enters the field’s only Audi R8 LMS for Johannes Dr. Kirchhof, Elmar Grimm, Gustav Edelhof, and two-time GT Junior Cup winner, Max Edelhof.
Interestingly, both CP Racing and Car Collection Motorsport both scored their last A6-Am (now GT3-Am) wins to-date at the Hankook 24H COTA USA, albeit one year apart in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Wochenspiegel Team Monschau (#22) is thus far the only prancing horse set to compete in at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, the former VLN outfit having entered a Ferrari 488 GT3 for father-son duo Georg and Leonard Weiss, and teammates Jochen Krumbach and Hendrik Still. Though WTM, a former 24H SERIES class podium finisher, has yet to claim its first series class win – where better than Monza? - Hendrik Still last took class victory at the 2018 Hankook 12H IMOLA.
Few teams will get a bigger reaction in Italy than MP Racing (#58): the Italian team will field a Mercedes-AMG GT3 for Gostner family members Thomas, David, Manuela and Corinna, as well as World Endurance Championship LMP2 contender, Giorgio Sernagiotto, in the family’s first 24H SERIES event. Interestingly, this marks a rare occasion in which the Gostners have raced something other than a Ferrari following development years with the Corse Clienti.
Equipe Verschuur (#9, Harrie Kolen / Erik van Loon / Mike Verschuur) completes the GT3 field with its tenured Renaultsport RS01 GT3, last seen in action at last year’s Hankook 24H BARCELONA.
A trio of teams make a welcome return to the 24H SERIES in ‘GTX’.
KTM partner Reiter Engineering (#746) returns to the 24H SERIES for the first time since last year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO, having entered its new KTM GTX Concept for Stefan Rosina, Eike Angermayr, and former Hankook 24H BARCELONA class winner, Laura Kraihamer.
JR Motorsport (#703, Ted van Vliet / Ruud Olij / JR Motorsport) also makes its series return at Monza, the Dutch team entering its BMW M3 F80 for the first time since taking a class win at last year’s Hankook 12H SPA.
Neither though have had a longer hiatus from the 24H SERIES than ARC Bratislava (#707, Miro Konopka / Mato Konopka / Mato Homola): the Slovakian team is set to enter the race’s only Huracán Super Trofeo Evo for the first time since taking ‘SP2’ class victory at the Hankook 24H BARCELONA. In 2015!
Following a rough start to the season in Dubai, at which the former 24H SERIES Europe SPX Teams’ champion failed to even complete the warm-up lap, Speed Lover made amends with a classified 2nd place in 991 last time out in Portimão. Fittingly, the Belgian team is also set to enter its first two-car line-up – Dominique Bastien and Gavin Pickering in the #978 911-II Cup, Olivier Dons, Eric Mouez, and Rolf Lietart in the #979 Porsche – since the 2018 Hankook 12H IMOLA, also hosted in Italy. Looks like the team’s chances of taking a first win since Barcelona last year just went up.
Originally penned for the season opener in Dubai, MDM Motorsport (#450) will now make its 24H SERIES bow at Monza in GT4 with a BMW M4 GT4. World Touring Car Championship icon Tom Coronel will line up alongside twin brother Tim, fresh from the pair’s assault on this year’s Dakar Rally, and Dutch compatriot Jan Jaap van Roon.
With a TCE win already under its belt at Portimão, reigning 24H SERIES Overall TCE Teams’ champion Autorama Motorsport by WolfPower Racing headlines the TCR class at Monza once again with two Volkswagen Golf GTi TCRs for Alberto Vescovi, Sandro Pelatti and Portimão winner Roberto Ferri in the lead #1 entry, and Constantin Kletzer, Miklas Born (also a TCR winner in Portugal), and reigning 24H SERIES Continents Overall TCE Drivers’ champion, Yannick Mettler in the sister #112 VW.
Interestingly, in a first for the 24H SERIES, Autorama Motorsport is also set to enter a stand-alone SEAT Leon Cup Racer (#211) in the new ‘TCX’ category for Luigi, Armando and Dario Stanco. The former, by the way, is a former A2 class champion in the 24H SERIES with presenza.eu.
Competition will be close in ‘TCX’ in Monza, however. Nordschleife Racing (#226, Daniel Waszczinski / Régis Rego de Sebes / Johan Boris Scheier), a former TCR class champion in the 24H SERIES as Team Altran Peugeot, took its first category win with its new Ligier JS2 R at the season opener in Dubai. WEC Motorsport meanwhile (#339, David and Jason Cox / George Haynes) is a popular competitor in the 24H SERIES, though this will be the British team’s first start with its BMW E46 M3 since finishing runner-up in-class at last year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO.
Inaugural TCR SPA 500 winner Red Camel-Jordans.nl (#101) will team father and son Ivo and Luc Breukers together in the team’s distinctive CUPRA TCR at Monza. Fellow 24H SERIES stalwart NKPP Racing by Bas Koeten Racing (#175, Harry Hilders / Gijs Bessem) has also entered the Spanish tin top, following a brief run last year in the ‘991’ class. The final CUPRA TCR for the weekend – thus far – has been entered by TOPCAR Sport (#131). The Swiss team took TCE victory at last year’s Hankook 24H BARCELONA in a collaborative effort with NKPP Racing, and this weekend will field Ronny Jost, series debutant Karen Gaillard, and reigning 24H SERIES Overall TCE Drivers’ champion, Fabian Danz.
Having started its season with its first TCR win in Dubai and a 3rd in-class at Portimão, AC Motorsport (#188, Stephane Perrin / Vincent Radermecker / Mathieu Detry) must be feeling confident heading into the Hankook 12H MONZA. Less so KCMG: in its three previous starts in the 24H SERIES, the Hong Kong outfit has been a contender for victory only for mechanical woes and/or accident damage to scupper its charge. Now teamed with ‘Brutal Fish’, KCMG (#122) has entered its ‘FK7’ Honda Civic Type-R at Monza for Martin Ryba, Daniel Lloyd, and Josep ‘Pepe’ Oriola Vila. The latter, as well as being one of the inaugural winners of the TCR SPA 500 last year, is still the youngest ever winner of a World Touring Car Championship race, and remains a World Touring Car Cup frontrunner today.