The Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo (#77, Adrian Amstutz / Leonid Machitski / Patrick Kujala / Dennis Lind) has taken victory at the 2019 Hankook 24H BARCELONA after an extraordinary, race-long battle with the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R (#91, Daniel Allemann / Ralf Bohn / Robert Renauer / Sven Müller).
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.
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.
“Amazing job by the team!” Leonid Machitski explained to radiolemans.com’s Shea Adam. “For the whole 24 hours, we were swapping [the lead] with Herberth Motorsport and racing at every single stop. It was a nail-biter to the end because we were very tight on fuel, so we had to hold Dennis [Lind] back a bit. We’re just over the moon!”
“You don’t want to run out of fuel, but you also don’t want to get caught,” Dennis Lind added at the end of only his third 24-hour race. “So the team did a flawless job guiding me, and they made it look easy. Third time’s the lucky one, I guess!”
The GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R (#24, Jean-Pierre Valentini / Benjamin Goethe / Stuart Hall / Nicky Pastorelli / Jordan Grogor / Jean-Pierre Valentini) 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.
The second Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R (#93, Edward Lewis Brauner / Stefan Aust / Klaus Bachler / Vincent Kolb / Zeljko Drmic) 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, Jürgen Häring / Taki Konstantinou / Tim Müller / Simon Reicher / Pierre Kaffer) ultimately lost 2nd in A6-Am and 5th on the road to the sister #34 entry (Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff / Max Edelhoff / Gustav Edelhoff / Elmar Grimm / Ingo Vogler), but still completes the A6-Am podium.
After a string of issues during the night, the Bohemia Energy racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 (#11, Jiří Písařík / Josef Kral / Matteo Malucelli) eventually finished 10th overall, bringing the team’s run of four consecutive 24H SERIES victories to a close. Jiří Písařík, Josef Kral and Matteo Malucelli could still celebrate though, as the points haul was enough to secure the 24H SERIES Europe Overall Drivers’ championship, and the Overall Teams’ championship for Bohemia Energy racing with Scuderia Praha.
The True Racing KTM GTX (#216, Johannes Stuck / Ferdinand Stuck / Laura Kraihamer / Sehdi Sarmini) 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, Robin Chrzanowski / Kersten Jodexnis / Stefan Berger / Maximilian Koch) and the Vortex V8 Vortex 1.0 (#701, Stephane Cottrell / Philippe Gruau / Nicolas Nobs / Francesc Gutierrez Agüi) complete the SPX podium, the latter having completed an astonishing 31 pit stops.
A frenetic fight for victory in the 991-class eventually went the way of the Speed Lover Porsche 991-II Cup (#978, Dominique Bastien / Richard Verburg / Nigel Farmer / Keong Liam Lim), while the recovering Team Webheads Porsche 991-I Cup (#902, Andreas Riedl / Joachim Bölting / JM Littman / Tom Dillmann) secured 2nd in-class. Porsche Lorient Racing meanwhile claimed the final spot on the 991 podium, despite the #911 Porsche 991-II Cup (Jean-François Demorge / Mathieu Pontais / Pascal Gibon / Frédéric Ancel) 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, Alexandre Mottet / Laurent Misbach / Emmanuel Bello / Massimo Salamanca) 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, Olaf Meyer / Björn Simon / Simon Tibbett / Stephan Epp / Torsten Kratz) 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, Martin Kroll / Michael Fischer / Michael Schrey / Thomas Jäger / Michael Bonk) recovered from a near four-hour pit stop at the very start of the race to claim the final GT4-class podium spot.
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.
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.