24H Series makes successful return to the Hockenheimring after it’s debut in 2020.
For the second time now the 24H Series by Creventic visits Germany for round for of the 2021 Championship. With lots of known entries like the Car Collection Team and the Autorama Team and some new teams and cars like the new GT3 Cup Porsche or Haegli by T2 Racing with their GT3 Porsche with their second entry the race promised excitement in all classes. A Grid of 30 cars took the green flag on Saturday for Part 1 of the Race being 6H 30Mins long.
Scuderia Praha Ferrari dominates the early parts of the race
After taking Pole the Ferrari proved its speed and took an early lead over the newcomers of Haegli by T2 Racing. #34 the better of the two Car Collection Audis slotted in in third. In GT4 the Prospeed Aston Martin had to go into the pits right at the start of the race and in TCE the CWS Ginetta had missed his breaking point for the hairpin and gave the class lead after taking Pole to the AC Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR car. The Prospeed team meanwhile worked at the left front suspension and tried to get the car back into the race. The top two cars worked their way to get a little gap to the rest of the GT3 pack while the battle for P3 was on with #34 Car Collection Audi and #18 Rutronik Racing Audi. Rutronik took the position in the into turn 2 on Lap 3 and the Herberth car followed at the Hairpin. Next up where the CP Mercedes and the Leipert Lamborghini which lost positions on the start.
That Lamborghini was on a mission to get back to the front of the race where the Ferrari already pulled a gap of 6,6 seconds over the Porsche. Going from P7 on Lap 4 to P4 on Lap 7 the Lamborghini left nothing on the table. After the Prospeed Aston Martin left the pits and rejoined the next car into the pits was #909 DUWO Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup but left it within the length of one Lap. The Rutronik Audi reeled in the P2 running Porsche on Lap 14 and they battled for some laps but the Audi did not find a riskfree way by the Porsche. On Lap 20 one of the two KTM X-Bow GTX cars had to drive into the pits and the team started to work around the engine. In TCE the polesitting Ginetta climbed back up the order taking P2 from the AC Motorsport car with #112 Autorama VW Golf TCR now in the lead of the race. But not for long because the Ginetta took the lead just two laps later. Sadly after being released to the track again the #725 KTM had to come in again and had to be pushed into the box for further repairs. The repairs took about 10 minutes and the KTM was back on track.
After the first hour the gap at the front was slightly over twenty seconds and still the Audi in P3 chasing the Porsche in P2. In TCE the CWS Ginetta lead the way with the #112 in P2 and the AC Motorsport car in P3 close behind. GTX lead was in the hands of 9und11 Racing with their Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR (991 Gen2) P2 was held by the other KTM X-Bow GTX and P3 now in the hands of the Red Camel Jordans.nl Porsche 91 GT3 Cup (Gen2). MRS #989 lead in the 991 class and ST Racing leads the way in GT4.
The first rounds of pitstops emerged and the strategic games started to be played. Whether to change tires or not or when to put in the Amateur driver will be decisive for the outcome of the race. The Rutronik Audi was able to stretch his fuel the longest staying out 2 laps longer than the leader was able to do.
More problems for the #725 KTM as the car began to smoke in the last sector and limping pack to the pits and was again pushed back into the box. Out of the first round of stops the Ferrari lost the lead to the Audi of Rutronik. The Haegli by T2 Racing Porsche also overtook the Ferrari but on track a couple of laps after the stop. With 4H 50Mins left the #989 MRS GT-Racing Porsche had an accident out of the fast turn 1 bringing out the first Code 60 of the race. Most cars of the lead group used the Code 60 for topping of fuel and also scrap some Amateur Driver time off. After 15 Minutes under Code 60 the track was clear and the racing resumed with the #18 Rutronik Racing Audi still in the lead. The Race settled into a good rhythm with every car circulating properly except the MRS GT Porsche in the pits for a big repair after their crash. But with about 4H left in the Race the #92 Herberth Ferrari was pushed back into the pits and the team started to work around the rear of the car.
With the Rutronik Audi pitting they also changed the Driver. Michael Doppelmayr the Amateur handed the car to Pierre Kaffer. Taking the lead now was the Leipert Lamborghini, second the T2 Porsche and the former leading Middlecap Ferrari in P3. Last named car overtook the Porsche soon after to get on the chase of the leading Lamborghini who was in front by 29 seconds now. Two narrow escapes where made by the CP Racing Mercedes GT3 and the Topcar Sport Cupra TCR car both of them running wide into the gravel at the entry to the motordrome.
3 and a half hours from the end the leading Lamborghini went in for a full service and handing the lead back to the Ferrari. 2 Laps later the Ferrari also went into the pitlane Vyboh staying in the car but else it also was a full service for the #11. As well as the Overall leader the TCE leading AC Motorsport Audi also takes the way into the pitlane with other TCR cars following. One of the last stoppers out of the leading group was the T2 by Haegli Racing Porsche scrapping of that Amateur time early in the race. The Porsche hat to take a short stop and go penalty but the was able to drive to his pit spot. As we have seen from the others the Porsche also did a full service and driver change.
Now leading was the CP Mercedes which was not in the pits then the Rutronik Audi back in second and virtual P1 with an 11 second lead over the Leipert car and the Middlecap Ferrari with the Porsche rejoining in P4 and the CP Mercedes after their pitstop going back to fifth. The first 5 cars where covered in 1 minute and 20 seconds.
Excellent work by the MRS crew getting the Porsche out again in just under 1 and a half hours so that the car can rejoin the race. Under 3H to go and the pole sitting CWS Ginetta got back the TCE lead from the #188 Audi with a neat move into the hairpin. Meanwhile the leading Rutronik went back into pitlane for the next full service, Kaffer handed the car back to Elia Erhart. 20 minutes later it was time for the others to pit again. Nothing changed on the running order while they where racing so the green flag pit stops will be crucial. First into the pits was again the Leipert Lamborghini with full service and driver change. Now in the car was Fidel Leib a strong amateur. Another 15 Minutes later the Ferrari went into the pits for his full service and driver change. And also a welcome sight in pitlane was the #725 KTM rejoining from the long repairs on the engine. The #11 Ferrari managed to get ahead of the T2 Porsche after their pitstop being very fast. Last into the pitlane was the CP Racing Mercedes. A long stint for Colin White in the CWS Ginetta saw him come in in P1 and with only 2H and 6 minutes to go the signs where good for just one stop to get to the end. The other TCR runners followed shortly after. And 2 hours from the end the Herberth car was able to rejoin the race as well after fixing the issue at the rear of the car. With the amateur in the Lamborghini the car tumbled down from second to fourth after the pit stops where made.
With under two hours to go the former leading Ginetta lost control of the car and spun into the gravel trap at the entry to the motordrome. The driver was not able to get the car moving again and was stuck bringing out the second Code 60.
As Teams tried to use the Code 60 for making a pit stop and save time the Red Camel Jordans.nl Porsche had along stop because the wheel nut was stuck on the car. They tried for a long time to get the left rear wheel of and they even hat to bring it back in the pit box for more man power.
With just over 90 Minutes to go the Leipert Lamborghini made its next stop from the lead of the race. A full turnaround and a driver swap for the last stages of part 1. Fidel Leib handed the car over to Seb Morris. Taking the lead again was the MiddleCap Ferrari with the T2 Porsche in second and the Rutronik Audi in third.
The Rutronik Audi was in as well for its last pit stop with exactly 1H to go. Full service but no driver change. The TCE leading Audi came in for its last turnaround with a bit more than half an hour to go together with the overall leader the MiddleCap Ferrari. For one Lap the #66 Porsche lead but served their last stop right after as well as the third placed Mercedes AMG from CP Racing. Right at 30 Minutes to go the MP Motorsport Mercedes AMG spun itself out into the gravel at the entrance to the Motodrome bringing out the third Code 60. A lot of Teams including the Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini and Rutronik Audi used the Code 60 to top of their fuel for the restart tomorrow.
Under 5 Minutes to go and the Red Kamel Jordans.nl Team brought out their Porsche after a big effort from the team to finish Part 1. A Lap later the better of the two KTM’s had to be pushed back into the pits as well to check the engine.
Winner of Part 1 was the MiddleCap Racing Ferrari with a commanding drive in second the Haegli by T2 Racing Porsche crossed the line with the Leipert Lamborghini in third. In TCE Autorama took 1st and 3rd and in 2nd the AC Motorsport Audi. Gaps within 1 Lap will be erased for Part two bringing P1/P2/P3 in both divisions to virtually 0 gaps.
Before the start of Part 2 I spoke to Jürgen Häring from the Herberth Team and Tyler Cooke from Leipert Motorsport.
Jürgen Häring told us that the drive shaft broke on their Ferrari 488 GT3 but they where relentless trying to show a strong outing in Part 2 and see where they may would have been without the broken drive shaft. Towards the question why the not raced their ever front running Porsche 911 GT3 he told me it is because in the past they had 3 engine failures due to the car grounding out in the entry to the motodrome and in the last corner when hitting the curbs.
Tyler Cooke was eager to get Part 2 under way as the car felt very good but the BOP and the extra kilos and smaller tank made it difficult to go flat out all the time concerning the fuel window. He also told us that Seb Morris tried to fuel save a bit in the closing stages of Part 1 to give them some more laps in the first stint of Part 2.
The Race started under bright sunshine with 3 cars on the lead lap in both divisions. Marc Basseng took the lead in the Haegli by T2 Porsche from the MiddleCap Ferrari coming down into turn 2. P3 in the standings and on the road was held by the Leipert Lamborghini. A nice battle between the leading two emerged in the first laps with P3 heading into the pits early. In Lap 4 the Ferrari had the better of the Porsche and directly was building a gap. In TCE the order stayed like the finished Part 1 with Autorama in 1st and 3rd and the AC Motorsport Audi in 2nd. The #88 Car Collection Audi spun in the Sachs Kurve but was able to continue. P3 in TCE headed into the pits giving the Audi have a little breathing room. Bespoke Audi was able to go furthest into the first stint while the Haegli Porsche made its first visit to the pits just 5 minutes shy from the 5 hour mark. The MiddleCap Ferrari had to serve a 60s stop and go Penalty for an infringement in Part 1. The Rutronik Audi was able to go the furthest in the first stint and found its lead of the race but owing a pit stop. Virtually in the lead was the Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini making the undercut work and jumping the Porsche.
On track the Porsche chased the Lamborghini but was not able to come close for a number of laps. The TCE runners had to change the front brakes the Audi was first to do it and the leading #112 was in 1 hour later to do the same. Also into the pits was the Lamborghini from the lead with a full service and driver change. Out the box the #112 had to stop on track with a little gearbox issue but was able to go again but not for long as he had to box to check the car. Just shy of the 4H mark the leading Porsche made its second visit to the pits while the #112 was released again and stopped again on track. As well as in Part 1 the Porsche got lucky with a Code 60 as they pitted under green so they where able to get a full allocation of fuel but as they joined the fueling area the Code 60 emerged and gave them a big advantage over the rest of the competition. A lot of cars used the Code 60 to refuel and take some amateur time as well. Leading at the moment was the CP Racing Mercedes AMG in front of the already stopped Porsche.
After 12 minutes the racing resumed with the Porsche back in the lead of the race the CP Mercedes now second and the Lamborghini in third. Back in the lead of TCE was the Audi after the problems for the #112 Autorama car. The CP Mercedes opened the next round of pit stops dropping of the podium just before 3H to go. On track the Lamborghini tried to get back onto the lead lap attacking the Porsche for some laps. Tyler Cooke finally was able to use traffic and get a better exit of T1 and on the run down to T2 he was able to get alongside and overtake into the braking zone. Cooke was not able to make much of an actual gap as the Lamborghini lacked straight line speed because of the bop rules so that the Porsche was able to creep into the gap the Lamborghini made up over the lap.
Haegli made their next pitstop with about 2 hours and 45 minutes to go. 2 laps later the Lamborghini came in as well giving the lead to the MiddleCap Ferrari. Another Code 60 meant the luck swung to Lamborghini the same way as to the Porsche 1 hour before but a fuel pump issue ruined that for the Leipert team. They fell down behind the CP Racing Mercedes to P4. Exactly 2 hours before the end the leading Ferrari made its penultimate pitstop. In the last stages of the race the order shuffled a lot in GT Division but in TCE the top 3 where very clear being the #1 in the lead and the #188 Audi behind and in third the pole sitting Ginetta. The Ginetta however then was spotted with a lost wheel now driving on 3 wheels back to the pits. A final Code 60 emerged just under 1 hour ago. Taking the chance was the CP Mercedes but the short Code 60 meant only a half tank of fuel. The leader pitted 1 lap later and was now able to go flat out to the end with new tires. Josef Kral overtook the Lamborghini for P2 and chased now after the leading Porsche who used the Code 60 a little better than the CP Mercedes. The Leipert Lamborghini had to take half a tank of fuel to get to the finish of the race bringing them down from P3 to P4. P2 in the TCE Division hat to pit with just 8 minutes to go as well as the CP Racing Mercedes from P3 overall promoting the Lamborghini back onto the podium. TCE was getting interesting in the last 5 minutes as the #1 leading VW Golf has had to pit as well.
In their second ever race in the Creventic 24H Series the Haegli by T2 Racing Porsche took the win with excellent strategy and a bit of luck. P2 was secured by the MiddleCap Ferrari and P3 went the way of Leipert Motorsport with their first outing with the GT3 version of the Huracan.
TCE was eventually won by the #1 Autorama car with just about a gap of five seconds over the Ac Motorsport Audi. The pole sitting CWS Ginetta secured P3 after some problems through out the race.
Next Race will be the 24H of Portimao so make sure you tune in for another exciting endurance race at the Algavre coast.