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24H Series powered by Hankook - Circuit Barcelona Catalunya

30th August - 1st September 2019

Event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello

The Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya was the venue for the 21st running of the Hankook 24H BARCELONA – Trofeu Fermí Velez.

The race was the fifth and final round of the 24H SERIES Europe and therefore brought the decision in the battle for the various titles.

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Qualifying

Dennis Lind (Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo - #77 Barwell Motorsport) lapped the 4.655km Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 1m 46.577s to secure not only the team’s first pole position in the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook this season but became the sixth different pole sitter of the season.

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A very tense qualifying session finally ended with the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R (#93, Edward Lewis Brauner / Stefan Aust / Klaus Bachler / Vincent Kolb / Zeljko Drmic) qualifying 2nd overall, just 0.162s shy of toppling Barwell Motorsport.

Behind the A6-Am pole sitter was the GPX Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R (#24, Jean-Pierre Valentini / Benjamin Goethe / Stuart Hall / Jordan Grogor / Nicky Pastorelli), which sneaked onto the second row in the dying seconds of the session, and the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS Evo (#34, Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff / Gustav Edelhoff / Elmar Grimm / Ingo Vogler / Max Edelhoff).

So fraught was the action that barely one-tenth of a second covered the trio.

Although among the initial contenders for pole position, the Bohemia Energy racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 (#11, Jiří Písařík / Josef Kral / Matteo Malucelli) will start 5th overall as the third fastest A6-Pro qualifier.

The 24H SERIES Europe standings leader is gunning for both its fifth win of the 2019 season and its first overall 24H SERIES championship.

Despite a hefty crash during private testing on Thursday, the Hofor Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#10, Michael Kroll / Alexander Prinz / Kenneth Heyer / Christiaan Frankenhout / Wim Spinoy) rounds out the A6-Am top three in 6th place.

The Vortex V8 Vortex 1.0 (#701, Stephane Cottrell / Philippe Gruau / Nicolas Nobs / Francesc Gutierrez Agüi) will start from pole position in the SPX class, and features Hankook 24H BARCELONA legend Francesc Gutierrez Agüi on the driver line-up.

Just behind, both in-class and on the road, will be the True Racing KTM GTX (#216, Johannes Stuck / Ferdinand Stuck / Laura Kraihamer / Sehdi Sarmini) and the Cor Euser Racing MARC II V8 (#717, Cor Euser / Einar Thorsen / Jim Briody / Ricky Coomber / Ryan McLeod).

Fellow ‘Special Prototype’ entrant Nordschleife Racing (#526, Guillaume Roman / Mathieu Sentis / Sebastien Dussolliet / Sebastien Poisson) will start its first race in the bespoke SP4 class with the brand new Ligier JS2 R, albeit from 26th on the grid.

Just over three-tenths of a second separated the 991-class pole sitting Team Webheads Porsche 991-I Cup (#902, Andreas Riedl / Joachim Bölting / JM Littman / Tom Dillmann) from Porsche Lorient Racing (#911, Jean-François Demorge / Mathieu Pontais / Pascal Gibon / Frédéric Ancel), the latter of which goes into the European season finale as the 991-class standings leader. The Raceunion by MRS GT-Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#980, Alex Autumn / Andreas Gülden / Raulino Kreis Jr / Hendrik Von Dannwitz / Jukka Honkavuori) completes the 991 top three.

Already a two-time class winner this year, the Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 (#50, Martin Kroll / Michael Fischer / Michael Schrey / Thomas Jäger / Michael Bonk) takes GT4-class pole position ahead of the PROsport Performance Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 (#1, Rodrigue Gillion / Nico Verdonck / Jon Aizpurua / Nicholas Silva), the team’s closest rival in the GT4-class 24H SERIES Europe rankings. The Sorg Rennsport BMW M4 GT4 meanwhile (#451, Olaf Meyer / Björn Simon / Simon Tibbett / Stephan Epp / Torsten Kratz) starts 3rd in-class.

The Munckhof Racing BMW M4 GTR (#310, Eric van den Munckhof / Marco Poland / Ted van Vliet / Marcel van Berlo / Glenn van Berlo) has taken TCE pole position for this year’s Hankook 24H BARCELONA. Glenn van Berlo lapped the 4.655km Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 1m 55.617s to secure the TCE top spot for the race.

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Fellow SP3-runner RTR Projects (#224, Jan Krabec / Daniel Skalický / Petr Lisa / Erik Janis / Tomas Miniberger) completes the TCE front row with its KTM X-BOW, despite a slow start to the session. The Perfection Racing Ginetta G55 (#345, Michael Klostermann / Claus Klostermann / Tommy Laugesen / René Rasmussen) rounds-out the SP3 top three and will start 12th on the road in-division.

After a close-fought qualifying session, the first of two Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI TCRs is the fastest TCR runner, and will start 3rd overall with its #112 entry (Marlon Menden / Ralf Henggeler / Jérôme Ogay / Benjamin Leuchter / Yannick Mettler). The current 24H TCE SERIES Europe standings leader also secured the 3rd fastest TCR time with the sister #114 Volkswagen (Kristian Jepsen / Jan Sorensen / Yannick Mettler) on the latter’s first 24H SERIES race this year. Sandwiched between them is the AC Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS (#188, Stephane Perrin / Vincent Radermecker / Tom Boonen / James Kaye / Mathieu Detry).

Further back in the A3 class, the Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M240i Racing Cup (#869, Martin Kroll / Axel Burghardt / Volker Piepmeyer / Michael Bonk / Michael Fischer) repeats its accomplishment from last year’s Hankook 24H BARCELONA by claiming the category pole position. Just behind them is the Synchro Motorsport Honda FK8-Civic Type-R (#676, Alyn James / Daniel Wheeler / Matt Neal), which currently lies 3rd overall in the 24H TCE SERIES Europe rankings, and the fun-M Motorsport BMW M240i Racing Cup (#802, Harald Rettich / Paul Sieljes / Danny Brink / Klaus Dieter Frommer).

The race

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The Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo #77 has taken victory at the 2019 Hankook 24H BARCELONA after an extraordinary, race-long battle with the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R #91.

The two A6-Pro entries were inseparable for more than half of the European season finale, with the overall lead swapping places a remarkable 38 times.

At the chequered flag, just 10.481s covered Dennis Lind from the pursuing Ralf Bohn.

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So strong was the pace that Dennis Lind crossed the line to complete 690 laps of the 4.655km Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, a new event record on the full Grand Prix layout.

Fuel was still a concern though for the British team heading into the final hour.

The GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R #24 followed up its first podium finish of the season in Portimão with its second in Barcelona, despite suffering a left rear puncture in the closing 25 minutes.

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The second Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R #93 capped a good day’s work for the Bavarian team with victory in A6-Am and 4th overall at Barcelona.

Having received a 60-second time penalty in the closing 30 minutes of the race, the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS #88 ultimately lost 2nd in A6-Am and 5th on the road to the sister #34 entry, but still completes the A6-Am podium.

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After a string of issues during the night, the Bohemia Energy racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 #11 eventually finished 10th overall, bringing the team’s run of four consecutive 24H SERIES victories to a close

The True Racing KTM GTX #216 collected SPX victory on the pre-production model’s competitive debut. Impressively, the Austrian team finished inside the overall top 10, one place ahead of Scuderia Praha. Further back, the Team Clickvers.de Porsche 991 Cup MR #769 and the Vortex V8 Vortex 1.0 #701 complete the SPX podium, the latter having completed an astonishing 31 pit stops.

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A frenetic fight for victory in the 991-class eventually went the way of the Speed Lover Porsche 991-II Cup #978 while the recovering Team Webheads Porsche 991-I Cup #902 secured 2nd in-class. Porsche Lorient Racing meanwhile claimed the final spot on the 991 podium, despite the #911 Porsche 991-II Cup suffering gearbox failure on the formation lap. Ironically, the #911’s podium came at the expense of the sister #912, which had been leading the class heading into the final quarter of the race.

The Orchid Racing Team Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS MR #415 secured a comfortable win in the GT4 class, having survived two separate punctures during the night.

Battery issues dropped the Sorg Rennsport BMW M4 GT4 #451 off the tail of the class leader, but the German team was still able to finish 2nd. The Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 #50 recovered from a near four-hour pit stop at the very start of the race to claim the final GT4-class podium spot.

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Nordschleife Racing meanwhile completed a successful competitive debut with the brand new Ligier JS2 R in the bespoke ‘SP4’ category, amassing an impressive 510 laps of running during the 24-hour event.

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The TOPCAR sport by Bas Koeten Racing CUPRA TCR DSG #131 has secured its first win of this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook at the 2019 Hankook 24H BARCELONA.

The Swiss team led almost unopposed from the third hour onwards, Antti Buri crossing the line to complete 637 laps the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after a scintillating run.

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With the Baporo Motorsport CUPRA TCR #135 finishing 2nd, CUPRA Racing secures a 1-2 finish on home turf in Spain.

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The Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR #112 completed both the TCE and TCR class podiums. The result was enough to secure the Swiss outfit the 24H TCE SERIES Europe Overall Teams’ Championship.

Having taken overall victory, Fabian Danz becomes the new 24H TCE SERIES Europe Overall Drivers’ champion.

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The TTC Racing SEAT Leon TCR V2 #103collected an unexpected, though no less deserved, 4th in TCE after the Holmgaard Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR #102 suffered suspected brake failure heading into the final hour of the race.

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The RTR Projects KTM X-BOW #224 collected its second class win of the 24H SERIES season in SP3. Further back, and despite suffering accident damage during the night, the Perfection Racing Europe Ginetta G55 #345 secured 2nd in-class just ahead of the Munckhof Racing BMW M4 GTR #310.

The latter had started on the SP3 pole, but lost time to an early gearbox change.

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The Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M240i Racing Cup #869 took the A3-class garlands ahead of the Synchro Motorsport Honda FK8-Civic Type-R #676, the latter of which controlled the category from the front until gearbox failure struck late on.

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The 2019 Hankook 24H BARCELONA marks the end of the European leg of this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook.

As a mark of respect to the late Anthoine Hubert, the French Formula 2 driver who tragically died on-track yesterday at Spa-Francorchamps, our podium finishers refrained from spraying the congratulatory champagne.

My favorites of the WE.

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Following the summer break, 24H SERIES powered by Hankook celebrates this 24H SERIES Europe Overall Drivers 'championship, and the Overall Teams' championship.

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Bohemia Energy racing with Scuderia Praha, Ferrari 488 GT3 #11, wins everything in GT, the 24H SERIES Europe Overall Teams’ championship with 84 points, one point ahead Herberth Motorsport, Porsche 991 GT3 R #93, and Jiří Písařík, Josef Kral and Matteo Malucelli (84 points) the 24H SERIES Europe Overall Drivers’ championship ahead Edward Lewis Brauner (83 points).

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Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing, Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR DSG #112, clinched the European Overall TCE Cars Teams’ championship title with 93 points.

Fabian Danz, TOPCAR sport by Bas Koeten Racing CUPRA TCR DSG #131, wins the European Overall TCE Cars Drivers’ championship.

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The door now closed on a successful European season, see you next year.

(Based on 24 heures Series Press release)

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