Over 40 entries have registered for the eighth annual Hankook 12H MUGELLO, with former and reigning championship-winning drivers now confirmed for the endurance event at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello.
Words - James Gent
Images - Petr Frýba
After making its GT3 debut in Dubai, reigning Overall GT Teams’ champion ST Racing (#1) is back to a one-car effort for the Hankook 12H MUGELLO. 2021 Overall GT Drivers’ champion, and team namesake, Samantha Tan will race the BMW M4 GT3 alongside Bryson Morris and Nick Wittmer.
Inaugural 24H SERIES Overall GT Teams’ ‘Continents’ champion Herberth Motorsport (#91) will hope for a better outing in Mugello, an event it has won outright three times, following their event-ending accident in free practice in Dubai. Reigning GT3 Drivers’ champion Alfred Renauer will once again race with twin brother (and fellow team principal) Robert, and team staples Daniel Allemann and Ralf Bohn.
2018 Overall GT Drivers’ champions Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub and Joe Foster will line-up once again in the CP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#85). Italy’s similarly-named MP Racing (#58), which will also race a Mercedes in Mugello, returns for its first series start since last year’s Hankook 12H HUNGARY, with Gostner father-son-daughter trio Thomas, David and Corinna teaming together with Italian countryman Giorgio Sernagiotto.
Fresh from its 991-class win at the Hankook 24H DUBAI, Bas Koeten Racing will make its GT3 category debut in Mugello in a collaborative effort with ‘BoDa’ (#6, Bob Herber / Marcel van Berlo). The entry also marks the maiden 24H SERIES outing for a Bentley Continental GT3.
Hankook 6H ABU DHABI runner-up JR Motorsport (#2, Ted van Vliet / Ruud Olij) continues its campaign with its BMW M6 GT3 in Mugello, while Earl Bamber Motorsport (#61, Adrian D'Silva / Matthew Payne / Reid Harker) makes its first series start with the Porsche 991 GT3 R since the 2020 Hankook 24H DUBAI.
Fittingly, Kessel Racing, an official Ferrari customer since 1993, returns for its first race since last year’s Hankook 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD at the Prancing Horse-owned Mugello with the loan 488 GT3 on the grid (#8, ‘L.M.D.V.’ / Marco Frezza / David Fumanelli / Alessandro Cutrera / Marco Talarico).
Car Collection Motorsport (#34), a former A6-AM Teams’ champion, is one of five teams to have registered an Audi R8 LMS GT3 for Mugello. Interestingly, the 2019 Hankook 24H DUBAI winner has confirmed series newcomer Wiggo Dalmo alongside Johannes Dr. Kirchhof and Elmar Grimm in the team’s newly revamped lineup.
Official Audi customer Phoenix Racing (#18) returns to the 24H SERIES as a standalone entry in Mugello for the first time since taking GT4-class victory at the 2018 Hankook 24H DUBAI. Michael Doppelmayr, Pierre Kaffer, Elia Erhart and Swen Herberger reunite after a season competing together with Rutronik Racing in 2021.
SAINTéLOC Racing (Olivier Esteves / Christian Kelders / Simon Gachet / Pierre-Yves Paque) will begin its full season European campaign in Mugello. Finally, having finished 2nd in the 991 class at last year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO, Lithuania’s JUTA Racing (#71, Julius Adomavičius / Andrius Gelžinis / Jonas Gelžinis) steps up to the GT3 category at this year’s event with an R8.
Landgraf Motorsport (#25) makes its 24H SERIES debut in Mugello and completes the GT3 line-up thus far. The German team will partner five-time DTM champion, and endurance racing legend, Bernd Schneider together with series fan favourite Martin Konrad and the returning Alexander Hrachowina. The latter two last competed together in Dubai in 2020 en-route to 2nd in GT3-AM.
After an unprecedented season of success in the 24H SERIES in 2021, Vortex V8 continues its GTX-class title defence in Mugello with a strong three-car line-up. Reigning GTX-class champion Philippe Bonnel will be joined by Sebastien Lajoux and Lionel Amrouche (#701), while team staple Nicolas Nobs will team up with Patrick Brochier and Gilles Courtois (#702). Pierre Fontaine, Christophe Decultot, and Philippe Gruau (#703) round out the French squad’s driver line-up thus far.
Having taken GTX class victory at last year’s Hankook 12H HUNGARY, RD Signs – Siauliai racing team returns to action with its Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (#720) and their Hungaroring-winning driver line-up: Audrius Butkevicius, Nicola Michelon and Paulius Paskevicius.
Reigning TCX-class champion Jean-Francois Brunot, fresh from a top five finish in Abu Dhabi, continues his ‘GTX’ campaign with protégé Kerong Li, now aboard an HRT Performance Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (#728).
GT4 meanwhile looks set to be a two-horse race between the Orchid Racing Team (#417) and Team ACP-Tangerine Associates by VEIDEC JJ Motosport (#421). The former makes its first series start since its class win at the 2019 Hankook 24H BARCELONA, and has entered a Porsche Cayman GT4 CS MR for Antonio Garzon, Stefan Chaligne, Alexandre Mottet, and Antoine Leclerc (no relation!). The latter meanwhile is a collaborative entry between last year’s TCX-class Dubai winner, Team ACP, and the returning JJ Motorsport, and has thus far confirmed Wim Spinoy and Catesby Jones in the BMW M4 GT4.
Reigning 991 Teams’ champion Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors continues its title defence in Mugello at the latter’s home circuit. Defending 991 Drivers’ champions Fabrizio Broggi, Sabino de Castro, and Sergiu Nicolae will race together once again in the 991-II Cup (#955).
Alongside its collaborative effort, Ebimotors will also field two standalone entries. Gianluca Giorgi and Massimiliano Donzelli, who also raced an independent Ebimotors Porsche at last year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO, headline an all-Italian line-up: Giorgi will partner with Paolo Venerosi, Gianluigi Piccioli, and ‘Spezz’ (#973), while Donzelli will line-up alongside Luigi Peroni, Pietro Negra and Massimiliano Montagnese.
24H SERIES debutant E2P Racing (#910, Pablo Burguera / Manuel Cintrano / Javier Morcillo) is the last 991-class entry thus far.
Two-time 991 Teams’ champion Porsche Lorient Racing, which makes its return to the 24H SERIES in Tuscany, will team 2018 991 Drivers’ champions Pascal Gibon and Frédéric Ancel – the latter of whom also won the crown in 2019 – with Ludovic Loeul and Hervé Tremblaye (#911). 2019 991 Drivers’ champion Jean-François Demorge leads the sister line-up alongside Philippe Polette, Frederic Lelievre and Gilles Blasco (#912).
Like Porsche Lorient Racing, 24H SERIES newcomer Red Ant Racing, which came close to winning the 991-class in Dubai, will also run two Porsches in Mugello. Redant brothers Ayrton and Yannick will team together as they did in Dubai, and will be joined by father Bert in Mugello (#903). Philippe Wils and Kurt Hensen are confirmed for the sister Porsche 992 (#904).
Alongside its GTX entry, series staple HRT Performance, which took 992-AM victory in Dubai,has also registered two 992-generation Porsche Cup cars for Mugello. Four-time FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson teams with Gustav Bergström and Ole Veiby (#929), while series fan favourites Gijs Bessem and Harry Hilders will pilot the sister 992 (#928).
Alongside its BMW M4 GT4, Switzerland’s Orchid Racing Team has also entered a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the 992-AM class (#917, Loic Villiger / Frank Villiger / Laurent Misbach / Fabio Spirgi). Red Camel-Jordans.nl (#909, Ivo, Rik and Luc Breukers), which took TCE victory in Mugello in 2019, completes the ‘992’ entry.
Wolf-Power Racing, which has won the last three Overall TCE Teams’ championships in the 24H SERIES in a collaborative effort with Autorama Motorsport, has entered a standalone Audi RS 3 LMS for the Hankook 12H MUGELLO. This marks the first time Wolf-Power Racing has competed has a standalone entry in the 24H SERIES.
BBR (#159, Chariya Nuya / Kantadhee and Kantasak Kusiri / Tanart Sathienthirakul), which took its maiden TCE win at this year’s Hankook 24H DUBAI, returns with an unchanged driver line-up aboard its CUPRA TCR, while 2019 TCE Junior Cup champions Magnus and Jonas Holmgaard continue their 2022 campaign with their eponymous family team (#103) together with Roy Edland and Martin Vedel.
Lithuania’s NOKER racing team (#104, Kestutis Stasionis / Sten-Dorian Piirimägi / Jonas Karklys / Antti Rammo) makes its series debut in Mugello with a Volkswagen Golf GTi, and thus far completes the TCR line-up.
2018 Overall TCE Teams’ champion Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport makes its first start in the division since taking the A3 crown in 2019, and its first 24H SERIES start since the 2020 Hankook 24H DUBAI. The German-Swiss team has entered two BMW M2 CS Racings for Rainer Partl and Hermann Bock (#331) and Michael Mayer, Rainer Partl, and Hermann Bock (#332), and a BMW M240i Racing Cup for Axel Burghardt and Jürgen Meyer (#369). Volker Piepmeyer, and team owners Martin Kroll and Michael Bonk will float across all three entries.
Interestingly, both TCX class entrants confirmed thus far made their 24H SERIES debuts at the non-championship Hankook 6H ABU DHABI in January. Britain’s Valluga Racing (#205) will once again field a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS for Leo and Rhea Loucas, Charles Hollings, and Bradley Ellis. French team SK Racing meanwhile (#215, Franck Eburderie / Franco Lemma / Jérôme Dacosta / Franck Lavergne) has entered a Ligier JS2 R, the French sports car that, so far, has taken outright TCE victory in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Free Practice for the 2022 Hankook 12H MUGELLO gets underway at 13.25 hrs on Friday 25 March, with Qualifying for both the GT and TCE divisions scheduled to get underway later that afternoon at 17.15 hrs. The first five hours of the Hankook 12H MUGELLO will run from 13.00 hrs onwards on Saturday 26 March, and, following the overnight intervention, the final seven hours will continue from 09.00 hrs on Sunday 27 March.