The Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#4, Ben Keating / Jeroen Bleekemolen / Felipe Fraga / Cooper MacNeil) completed a commanding run at the Hankook 24H COTA USA to collect the final outright win of the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook season.
The German team qualified on pole position and headed the field into the overnight intervention, leading every lap thereafter on Sunday and completing 610 laps of the 5.513km Grand Prix facility in the process. That result sets a new distance record for the Hankook 24H COTA USA, improving on the 608-lap total set in 2017.
The result also marks the second win in succession for the German team at the Hankook 24H COTA USA, and cements proud Texan Ben Keating his first win at his home endurance race.
“The team clearly has a lot of faith in these old eyes to see these corners at night!” Keating joked with radiolemans.com’s Joe Bradley. “The whole team did such a great job. I was a small cog in a big wheel! It’s a team sport and there are a lot of people here that got us up front. We created our own luck, there were no mistakes, and everybody drove flawlessly.”
As it did last year, the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R (#91, Daniel Allemann / Ralf Bohn / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer) crossed the line to secure 2nd overall at the Hankook 24H COTA USA. The result means the Bavarian team has finished every CREVENTIC event at the Circuit of the Americas on the overall podium.
After a strong run, and despite an earlier scare with its fuel pump, the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS (#34, Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff / Max Edelhoff / Gustav Edelhoff / Elmar Grimm / Ingo Vogler) secured both its first A6-Am class win of the season and the final step of the overall GT podium. After a sensational race-long battle across 24-hours, the Audi finished just 32s ahead of the CP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster / Shane Lewis), CREVENTIC’s ‘American team’ claiming its third consecutive class podium at its home race.
Having lost nearly 20 minutes in the pits repairing damaged rear suspension, the Toksport WRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#90, Luca Stolz / Hendrik Still / Martin Konrad / Axcil Jefferies) recovered to finish 5th overall and 3rd in A6-Pro. A solid race for the VOLT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R (#73, Trent Hindman / Jan Heylen / Alan Brynjolfsson / Richard Heistand) on its 24H SERIES debut cemented 4th in A6-Pro and 6th on the road.
The Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo 2018 (#710, Harald Schlotter / Aleksander Schjerpen / Alexey Karachev / Denis Soglaev / Gregg Gorski) completed a fault-free run to collect its third win of the 2019 24H SERIES Continents season in the SPX class, a result that secures the German team the Overall GT Teams’ title in the 24H SERIES Continents. Behind them, the Black Falcon Team Textar Mercedes-AMG GTX (#464, Alex Böhm / Axel König / Norbert Schneider / Axel Sartingen / Daniel Schwerfeld) collected 2nd in-class.
The Cor Euser Racing MARC II V8 meanwhile (#717, Cor Euser / Einar Thorsen / Jim Briody / Sam Allpass / Ward Sluys) survived rear suspension to take 3rd in-class. This marks the Dutch team’s first finish with its brand new MARC II V8 in the 24H SERIES, and secures endurance legend Jim Briody a podium in his final endurance race start after a 54-year motorsport career.
“I’m overwhelmed!” an emotional Pat Briody, Jim’s wife, told radiolemans.com. “I’ve been his mentor, his coach, everything, and I did everything that computers do now, but I did it here, in my head. This has been such an amazing weekend and one we will always remember.”
The Porsche Lorient Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#911, Jean-François Demorge / Eric Mouez / Dominique Bastien / Frédéric Ancel) collected the second win in the 991 class of the 2019 24H SERIES season for the French team. Heading into the final two hours however, the win had looked set to go the way of the Kelly-Moss Motorsports Porsche 991-II Cup (#906, Alan Metni / Wayne Ducote / David Ducote / Chapman Ducote / Andrew Davis) before mechanical woes interjected. The American team was forced to replace the Porsche’s differential, dropping the #906 Porsche 991-II Cup to the final step of the class podium.
Sandwiched between them is the MRS GT-Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#980, Nicola Michelon / Alexander Marmureanu / JM Littman / Constantin Schöll / David Roberts), which suffered a mechanical failure on-track inside the final 10 minutes. The German Porsche was far enough ahead though to still be classified 2nd in-class.
The RHC Jorgensen/Strom BMW M4 GT4 (#450, Daren Jorgensen / Brett Strom / Danny van Dongen / Jon Miller) survived early overheating problems to secure its first GT4 class victory at the Hankook 24H COTA USA, just ahead of the Sorg Rennsport BMW M4 GT4 (#451, Olaf Meyer / Björn Simon / Simon Tibbett / Jason Hart / Matt Travis).
Overheating issues also struck the ST Racing BMW M4 GT4 (#388, John Boyd / Harry Gottsacker / Anthony Lazzaro / Samantha Tan / Jason Wolfe), which had led the class going into the overnight intervention. The Canadian team nevertheless survived to secure the final podium spot, a result that locks out the GT4 top three for BMW.