VIDEO. Paul Ricard Highlights 2017 – Rain (nearly) stops play

News | May 19, 2021

The 2017 edition of the Hankook 24H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD proved to be one of the event’s more obscure editions as heavy rain threatened the race start altogether and reigning event winner Herberth Motorsport looked to preserve (if not increase) its championship lead, despite the pace of a hard-charging ROFGO Racing. 

Herberth Motorsport made it two in a row at Circuit Paul Ricard and three out of four in a remarkable 2017 that would eventually lead to the Overall GT Teams’ title in the 24H SERIES Continents. And while the Bavarian had once again driven a faultless race – bar an unfortunate tap from the Scuderia Praha Ferrari during the night – the fight for outright victory proved much closer than it had done the year before. 

2017 Hankook 24H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD highlights
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Indeed, Car Collection Motorsport’s three-lap deficit at the flag would have been far slimmer were it not for time lost in the pits, while the Scuderia Praha Ferrari 458 Italia was less than minute further back in 3rd. A day earlier, the Czech team had led the field away under Code 60 conditions – a rarity in the 24H SERIES – as thick rain and fog reduced visibility at Circuit Paul Ricard to near zero. The green flag would eventually drop on lap three.  

 

Impressively, despite pitting with gearbox issues on the very first lap, the GP Extreme Renault R.S. 01 GT3 was rewarded for its clean running during the night with 4th place overall. The sister #27 also ran smoothly after an early setback – a collision with the SP2 leader on that occasion – to finish 9th overall and round out the A6-Am class podium. 

Car Collection Motorsport’s sister #34 Audi finished 6th overall and 2nd in the A6-Am class, despite contact with a Porsche Cup car breaking the Audi’s steering. Its third entry  – the #32 – was eventually retired with irreparable handling issues brought about by two clumsy collisions with the Scuderia Praha Ferrari and the Hofor-Racing Mercedes. The latter, which ironically bested the #34 Car Collection Audi to finish 5th, secured its second consecutive class win at the event in the process as well as its third of an eventual four class wins in 2017. 

 

PROsport Performance, the sole entry in ‘991’, collected its class win in 7th place overall just ahead of ROFGO Racing, the Mercedes having led outright in the early going but ultimately unable to overcome recurrent suspension failure. SP2 victor Porsche Lorient Racing – its second consecutive win at the event – rounded out the overall top 10, albeit just 28s ahead of nearest rival IDEC Sport Racing in an extraordinarily close fight. 

The TCR top three finished 13th, 14th and 15th on the road, Modena Motorsports eventually besting Car Collection Motorsport and the Cadspeed Racing with Atech Audi RS3 LMS to pick up the win despite an oil leak and a dislodged driveshaft. That year’s Hankook 24H DUBAI class winner latter had been on course for TCR victory until it’s the alternator burnt out. 

 

CUP1 victory went to the category’s sole entrant, DUWO Racing, while further back, SP3-GT4 competitors had a race to forget. The classified winner track-club failed to make the finish owing to a catastrophic oil leak, though 2nd in-class FACH AUTO TECH – which lost the entire night to a software reboot – was already too far back to take advantage. Optimum Motorsport’s retirement meanwhile was extremely dramatic as loose rear bodywork was ignited on the hot exhaust pipe. The resulting inferno burnt the Ginetta G55 down to its shell.

The full ‘Memories of Paul Ricard’ article is available in the 2021 Hankook 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD, now available for digital download below.

Overall Top 10

1.     Herberth Motorsport

(#911, Porsche 991 GT3 R)

2.     Car Collection Motorsport

(#32, Audi R8 LMS)

3.     Scuderia Praha

(#11, Ferrari 488 GT3)

4.     GP Extreme

(#28, Renault R.S.01 GT3)

5.     Hofor-Racing

(#1, Mercedes-AMG GT3)

6.     Car Collection Motorsport

(#34, Audi R8 LMS)

7.     PROsport Performance

(#85, Porsche 991 Cup)

8.     ROFGO Racing

(#31, Mercedes-AMG GT3)

9.     GP Extreme

(#27, Renault R.S. 01 GT3)

10.  Porsche Lorient Racing

(#65, Porsche 991 Cup)

A6-Pro – 595 laps

 

– A6-Pro – 592 laps

 

– A6-Pro – 591 laps

 

– A6-Pro – 580 laps

 

A6-Am – 575 laps

 

– A6-Am – 574 laps

 

991 – 568 laps

 

– A6-Pro – 553 laps

 

– A6-Am – 549 laps

 

SP2 – 542 laps

Class winners

A6-Pro – Herberth Motorsport

(#911, Porsche 991 GT3 R)

A6-Am – Hofor-Racing

(#1, Mercedes-AMG GT3)

991 – PROsport Performance

(#85, Porsche 991 Cup)

SP2 – Porsche Lorient Racing

(#65, Porsche 991 Cup)

TCR – Modena Motorsports

(#216, SEAT Leon TCR)

CUP1 – DUWO Racing

(#216, SEAT Leon TCR)

SP3-GT4 – track-club

(#111, Lotus Evora GT4)

– 595 laps

 

– 575 laps

 

– 568 laps

 

– 542 laps

 

– 534 laps

 

– 477 laps

 

– 183 laps

 

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