Series champions and 24H DUBAI winners already confirmed for 2023 Hankook 12H MUGELLO

The clock continues ticking down to the 2023 24H SERIES powered by Hankook European season opener, with only two weeks left to go before race week for this year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO finally gets underway.

With 40 entries already confirmed for CREVENTIC’s ninth 12-hour endurance event at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello on 25-26 March, teams have now begun finalizing their driver line-ups, with former, and reigning, series champions – both overall and category – and former Hankook 24H DUBAI winners already on the books.

Reigning GT Continents Trophy winner CP Racing will hope to hit the ground running in Mugello, and will once again have reigning GT3 Drivers’ ‘Continents’ champions Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub and Shane Lewis aboard the #85 Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Following its series return last year in Barcelona, 2017 Overall GT Teams’ champion Hofor-Racing is also set to contest the 2023 Hankook 12H MUGELLO, an event at which it has previously claimed three class wins, with a Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#11). 2017 Overall GT Drivers’ champions Michael Kroll and Chantal Prinz – also father and daughter – will compete alongside Chantal’s husband Alexander, and overall 2009 24H DUBAI winner Carsten (son of Formula 1 circuit designer Hermann) Tilke, the latter of whom oversaw the design of F1’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix venue in Jeddah.

Herberth Motorsport, a record three-time overall winner of the Hankook 12H MUGELLO in 2015, 2020 and 2021, has confirmed its #91 Porsche 911 GT3 R for the 2023 edition. The 2017 Overall GT Teams’ ‘Continents’ champion will field team principals Alfred and Robert Renauer, who also took GT3 Drivers’ honours in the 2022/2023 Middle East Trophy, with their long-time teammates, Daniel Allemann and Ralf Bohn.

Stéphane Perrin and Mathieu Detry, TCE winners at this year’s Hankook 24H DUBAI, continue their GT3 transition in Tuscany with Haas RT, fresh from the Antiguan team’s maiden podium (in only its second-ever race start) at the Hankook 6H ABU DHABI. The pair will partner Audi works driver, two-time Nürburgring 24 Hours winner, and 2019 Hankook 24H DUBAI victor Frédéric Vervisch in the #21 Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II.

Following a similarly impressive GT3 debut in Dubai, America’s Heart of Racing continues its collaboration with SPS automotive performance, doing so with team staples Gray Newell (son of team founder Gabe), Roman De Angelis and team principal, Ian James. The trio will no doubt be eyeing the podium after its top 10 overall finish in Dubai with the #27 Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Kessel Racing fields the sole 488 GT3 (#8) at the Ferrari-owned Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, and has confirmed Alessandro Cutrera, Marco Talarico, ‘L.M.D.V.,’ Marco Frezza and David Fumanelli as its drivers for the 2023 Hankook 12H MUGELLO, mirroring the line-up that secured 8th overall at the event last year.

Lithuania’s JUTA Racing expands to a two-car line-up for 2023, having registered two Audi R8s for its second campaign in the 24H SERIES. The returning Aurimas Jablonskis and Audrius Navickas – who helped JUTA secure its first overall 24H SERIES podium in Hockenheim in 2022 – lead an all-Lithuanian entry in the team’s GT3 EVO I (#72) alongside newcomers Egidijus Gelūnas and Oskaras Brazaitis. Fellow returnee Jonas Gelžinis leads the line-up in the sister, EVO II (#71) alongside compatriots Vytenis Gulbinas and Arunas Geciauskas, and Ukraine’s Yevgen Sokolovskiy.

Series returnee – and 2009 24H DUBAI winner – Land Motorsport has also registered two Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO IIs for Mugello, with Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff taking his familiar spot aboard the #34 Audi alongside long-time teammate Ingo Vogler and the latter’s son, Tim. The sister #55 R8 meanwhile will be driven by the returning Tim Müller, Stefan Wieninger and two-time ADAC GT Masters champion Christopher Mies, winner of the Hankook 24H DUBAI in 2022. Interestingly, Mies also set the overall fastest lap of the 2016 Hankook 24H DUBAI on Land Motorsport’s most recent 24H SERIES entry.

Completing Audi’s GT3 contingent, and after a part-campaign in 2022, the SAINTéLOC Junior Team (#26), which will run an Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II in Tuscany for Paul Evrard, Grégoire Demoustier – a former World Rallycross and World Touring Car Championship contender with Sébastien Loeb Racing – and Erwan Bastard, who competed together in Dubai.

Reigning 991 Teams’ European champion E2P Racing makes the step up to GT3 competition in 2023, doing so with team founder Javier Morcillo, Manuel Cintrano, and reigning 991 Drivers’ European champion Pablo Burguera aboard the #90 Porsche 991.2 GT3 R. Series debutant AKKODIS ASP TEAM (#88) rounds out the GT3 contenders thus far with its Mercedes-AMG GT3, and will run an all-French line-up with Mauro Ricci, Jean-Luc Beaubelique, Jérôme Policand and Benjamin Ricci.

Reigning category champion Red Ant Racing makes series return at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO.
Can defending GTX class winner HRT Performance repeat its triumph in the 992 class?

Reigning 992 Teams’ European champion Red Ant Racing starts its European defence in Mugello with two Porsche 992 GT3 Cups. The first – #903 – will be piloted by Redant brothers Ayrton and Yannick (also the reigning 992 Drivers’ European champions), both of whom will joined by Kobe de Breucker, while Van Rompuy father and son Dirk and Tom have so far been confirmed for the team’s second entry (#904).

24H SERIES staple HRT Performance, which took GTX victory at last year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO, has also registered a multi-car line-up for Mugello. Perennial fan favourites Gijs Bessem and Harry Hilders will team together in the #928 Porsche, while Bob Herber and Marcel van Berlo will pilot the sister #930 992. Roberto and Amedeo Pampanini meanwhile will run alongside long-time teammates Stefano Monaco and Nicolas Stürzinger – reuniting the quartet for the first time since last year’s Hankook 24H BARCELONA – in HRT’s #967 entry.

Italian outfit, and former 991 Teams’ European champion, Ebimotors will once again compete on home turf in collaboration with Willi Motorsport, the latter of whom fields 2021 991 Drivers’ champions Fabrizio Broggi, Sergiu Nicolae, and Sabino de Castro as normal. Ebimotors also registered a standalone Porsche 992 GT3 Cup (#973) for last year’s 991-class winners, Paolo Venerosi, Gianluigi Piccioli, and Gianluca Giorgi. The Italian trio will be joined by compatriot Paolo Gnemmi in 2023.

Felix and Markus Neuhofer, both runners-up at the recent Hankook 6H ABU DHABI, headline the entry list for series newcomer Neuhofer Rennsport (#985) alongside Manuel Zlof, Michael Birkner, and 2013 Hankook 24H DUBAI class winner Martin Ragginger. The debuting Porsche Baltic (#992) meanwhile boasts an all-Lithuanian driver line-up courtesy of Robertas Kupcikas, Andrius Šlimas, Tautvydas Rudokas and Paulius Žadeika, while the similarly affiliated Centri Porsche Ticino (#912), which took GT4-class victory at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO in 2021, will field Valerio Presezzi, Francesco Fenici, Max Busnelli, and Ivan Jacoma.

Series returnee RPM Racing (#907), back for its first 24H SERIES race weekend since the 2021 Hankook 24H SEBRING, will team Krohn Racing founder Tracy with Niclas Jönsson and 2019 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Philip Hamprecht. Alongside Speed Lover (#978), which has yet to confirm its driver line-up, Enrico Fulgenzi Racing (#923) rounds out the 992 entrants thus far with Fulgenzi himself driving with the field’s sole Japanese competitor, Shintaro Akatsu.

GTX and GT4
Can 24H SERIES returnee 9und11 Racing continue its winning streak?
Abu Dhabi class winner Buggyra Racing starts its first 24H SERIES campaign in Tuscany.

Razoon – More Than Racing, fresh from its recent GTX triumph in CREVENTIC’s Middle East Trophy, will reunite Daniel Drexel and Kuwait’s Haytham Qarajouli in the #714 KTM X-BOW GTX for the Austrian team’s first European round of the 24H SERIES. In doing so, Razoon resumes its on-going rivalry with series staple Vortex V8, which has confirmed two of its eponymous 1.0 lightweight sports cars for Mugello. Philippe Bonnel, Philippe Gruau and Lionel Amrouche, the latter of whom recently celebrated his 50th start with CREVENTIC, will pilot the French team’s #701 entry, while Cyril Calmon, Lucas Sugliano and Pierre Fontaine will partner together in the sister #702 Vortex 1.0.

Runner-up in the GTX Teams’ European standings last season, Lithuania’s RD Signs – Siauliai racing team (#720) will once again field Audrius Butkevicius, Paulius Paskevicius and Nicola Michelon in the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo. 9und11 Racing (#719) meanwhile, which took class wins on both of its most recent 24H SERIES outings, has confirmed an all-German line-up – Georg Goder, Ralf Oehme, Martin Schlüter and Leonard Oehme – for its Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR.

The returning PB Racing (#726) rounds out the GTX line-up thus far on its first race since the Hankook 12H MUGELLO in 2021. Team principal, and former World Touring Car Championship racer winner Stefano d’Aste, headlines a five-strong line-up in the Lotus Exige V6 Cup R alongside Italian compatriots Pietro Vergnano and Costantino Peroni, and Monegasque drivers Vito Utzieri and Luca Littardi.

Across in GT4, Buggyra Racing begins its first full 24H SERIES campaign with Hankook 6H ABU DHABI class winners Aliyyah Koloc, David Vršecky and Adam Lacko. As in Abu Dhabi, the #416 Mercedes-AMG GT4 will go up against Simpson Motorsport (#438), which has confirmed Vasily Vladykin, Carl Cavers and David Holloway will once again pilot the British team’s second-generation BMW M4 GT4.

Defending TCX winner SK Racing goes head-to-head with Primus Racing.
Who will come out on top at Hofor-Racing by Bonk Motorsport in TC?

Fittingly, Sweden’s Primus Racing (#251) has confirmed that compatriots Peter Larsen, Johan Rosen and Hampus Hedin will make their series debuts in the BMW M2 CS Racing. Primus is set to go one-on-one for TCX honours with French countrymen Franck Eburderie, Franco Lemma and Jérôme Dacosta aboard the SK Racing Ligier JS2 R, the TCX winner at last year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO.

Alongside its GT3 entry, inter-garage competition will be at play for TC honours at Hofor-Racing by Bonk Motorsport. The Swiss-German collaboration has lined up two BMW M2 CS Racings (limited to 365hp as opposed to Primus Racing’s 450hp example) for team principal Michael Bonk and Michael Mayer (#331), and Jürgen Meyer, Volker Piepmeyer and Alex Schmidt (#332). Martin Kroll and Felix Partl will float between both entries.

Hankook 12H MUGELLO. Did you know…?
Robert Renauer, Daniel Allemann and Ralf Bohn, collectively, have the most overall wins at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO – three – after winning together with Herberth Motorsport in 2015, 2020 and 2021. The trio will hope to take a record-extending fourth win in 2023, again with Herberth.

Ironically, Robert’s brother Alfred Renauer did not compete at the event in 2020, and is currently on two wins, on par with 2017 and 2019 winners Josef Kral, Jiří Písařík and Matteo Malucelli.

Although Ferrari (2014, 2017 and 2019) and Porsche (2015, 2020 and 2021) have the most overall wins at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO with three apiece, Mercedes-AMG has actually taken more overall podiums – eight – at the event since 2014.

Fittingly, Ferrari entrants hold both the overall distance record and the record for most laps led at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO: AF Corse led 349 laps of the 5.245km Autodromo en-route to victory in 2014, while Bohemia Energy by Scuderia Praha led all but 28 of the completed 330 laps to take the win in 2019.

To-date, only three Italian teams – AF Corse (2014), MP Racing (2020) and DINAMIC Motorsport (2021) – have finished on the overall podium at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO, while teams from 10 different nations have secured an overall top three finish at the event since 2014.