Heading into the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO, the fourth European round of this year’s 24H SERIES, just four points split BBR and Holmgaard Motorsport – both class winners in 2022 – at the top of the TCR Teams’ European standings.
Words – James Gent
Images – Petr Frýba
Fresh from its overall TCE win at the Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING, BBR continues to lead the TCR Teams’ standings in both the European Championship and the Championship of the Continents, albeit only just from Holmgaard Motorsport.
BBR picked up its third win of 2022 in the 24H SERIES after a commanding run to the flag in Germany with its new CUPRA León Competición, the all-Thai team finishing four laps ahead of nearest rival Holmgaard Motorsport and a further four ahead of the Lestrup Racing Team Audi RS 3. Coupled with wins in Dubai and Mugello, the former with the team’s outgoing first-generation CUPRA TCR, means BBR now tops the TCR title chase with 49 points in the European standings and 47 points in the CotC.
As the only drivers to compete at every race thus far with BBR, Kusiri brothers Kantadhee and Kantasak, currently lead the way in both the TCR Drivers’ European and Continents standings, and are joined by compatriot Chariya Nuya in the European title chase.
At the mid-point of the season though, nearest rival Holmgaard Motorsport remains well in contention and is currently 2nd in both title hunts. The Danish team, a 24H SERIES regular since 2017, secured its first TCR podium and win in the series at Spa-Francorchamps, an event at which BBR, following brake-failure at the Bus Stop Chicane, was able to finish only 5th in-class. Having switched from its tenured Volkswagen Golf GTI to a new CUPRA León Competición for Hockenheimring, Holmgaard followed up its maiden win with a second consecutive podium in Germany, despite the car receiving no testing prior to the event.
“We are really satisfied with the result at Hockenheim,” Holmgaard explains in a post-race statement. “We had no collisions, but tyre debris and pebbles on the track can do more damage than you might expect. Of course, we had never tested or driven our brand-new car before [the Hockenheim weekend], so it was a huge effort from everyone, not just to finish 2nd in-class but also receive [radiolemans.com’s] ‘Spirit of the Race’ award.”
The result leapfrogs Kim Holmgaard’s eponymous outfit to 2nd in the TCR Teams’ European standings, just six points adrift. Similarly, Jonas and Magnus Holmgaard, Roy Edland, and Martin Vedel Mortensen are just a few points adrift in the TCR Drivers’ European ranks.
A difficult event in Dubai, at which the Holmgaard brothers, Sam Neary, Thomas Sørensen and Andie Stokoe, means Holmgaard Motorsport has slightly more work to do in the Championship of the Continents, trailing as it does by 11 points.
A disastrous weekend in Germany for Wolf-Power Racing meanwhile, at which the Audi RS 3 LMS completed just eight laps after a heavy collision with the MANIACK-Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4, means the three-time Overall TCE Teams’ champion has now slipped to 4th in the European standings behind Spa-Francorchamps runner-up, GSR Motorsport. 3rd in-class at Mugello remains Wolf-Power’s sole podium of the 2022 season thus far, though a hard-fought 6th in Dubai – at which the team looked set to take victory with 2012 World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff before gearbox failure intervened – means Wolf-Power Racing is only four points behind Holmgaard Motorsport in the Championship of the Continents.
After the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO on 8-9-10 July, teams will travel to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the final European round of the season – the Hankook 24H BARCELONA – on 9-10-11 September.