Pista – Team GP Elite takes first outright 24H SERIES win at 10th Hankook 12H MUGELLO

Team GP Elite has secured its first overall win in the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook at the 2024 Hankook 12H MUGELLO after a race-long battle with event record holder Herberth Motorsport.
The Team GP Elite Porsche 992 GT3 R (#32, Lucas Groeneveld / Jesse van Kuijk / Daan van Kuijk / Max van Splunteren) took this morning’s restart line astern with the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 992 GT3 R (#91, Ralf Bohn / Scott Noble / Jason Hart) on the front row, and the overall lead would swap repeatedly between the pair across the opening laps. In the cooler temperatures though, the Dutch team began to stretch its legs, and, after the first two hours had elapsed, had pulled two laps clear of its Bavarian rival.
A late-race heavy rain shower threatened to upend proceedings as teams juggled wet and dry tyres. Ultimately though, Team GP Elite managed to hold its advantage to the end. Lucas Groeneveld collected the chequered flag, and Team GP Elite completed 327 laps of the 5.246km Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello en-route to victory.
“We’re super happy!” Max van Splunteren explained to’s John Hindhaugh. “We were unlucky to start yesterday with a puncture, which was pretty tough. But the guys did a great job and the team, of course, they did a perfect job throughout the entire race with some good pit stops. It’s a shame we had so much rain in the end, and that we couldn’t do some more running, but all in all, it was a very nice race.”
When asked for his comments, teammate Daan van Kuijk, who completed all of his running on Saturday, joked: “I’m happy I got to do my stints yesterday!”
Team GP Elite becomes the first Dutch team to win a 24H SERIES event outright, fittingly, since V8 Racing won the Hankook 12H MUGELLO in 2016.
Three-time Hankook 12H MUGELLO winner Herberth Motorsport meanwhile took its first overall podium of the 2024 season in 2nd, securing GT3-Am victory in the process.
Two laps further back, the CP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 EVO (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster / Shane Lewis) bested the BOEM by Kessel Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 (#8, L. M.D.V / Alessandro Cutrera / Marco Talarico / Marco Frezza / David Fumanelli) to finish 3rd, despite a late charge from the Ferrari. The American team and Kessel Racing – the event’s overall pole-sitter, which also secured the GT3-Pro/Am class win – were split by just less than a lap at the flag.
After a quiet run, the Poulsen Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 (#14, Roland Poulsen / Kristian Poulsen / Christoffer Nygaard) rounds out the overall top five and seals the final GT3-Am rostrum spot. Impressively, the BMW was among the fastest cars on-track in the rain.
The Juta Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II (#71, Lukas Sundahl / Casper Stevenson / John Corbett / Arunas Geciauskas) bounced back from on-track contact on Saturday to finish 7th overall, just ahead of the Heart of Racing by SPS Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo (#27, Gray Newell / Ian James / Roman de Angelis). The American team made a fighting start to ‘part two’ of the event on Sunday morning, leading the overall field into turn one and regaining a lap to the leaders after a lightning start by Roman de Angelis. Time lost during the Code 60s unfortunately meant Heart of Racing Team by SPS could not repeat its 2023 podium in Tuscany, and had to settle for 8th overall.
E2P Racing (#90, Pablo Burguera / Antonio Sainero / Álvaro Parente) was on course to finish 9th overall. With just 30 minutes left to run though, the Porsche 991.2 GT3 R aquaplaned on the start-finish straight and hit the wall hard on the approach to turn one. Fortunately, Antonio Sainero was quickly out of the Porsche under his own power.
As the Car Collection Motorsport Porsche 992 GT3 R (#12, ‘Hash’ / Alex Fontana / Ivan Jacoma / Yannick Mettler), which lost time to a wheel mount issue earlier in the day, was too far back to benefit, the Spanish team still rounded out the GT3-Pro/Am podium.

992 and 992-Am
Red Ant Racing (#903, Ayrton Redant / Yannick Redant / Kobe de Breucker) sealed its first 992 class win of the season after a flawless run at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO. The second Red Ant Racing Porsche (#904, Peter Guelinckx / Brent Verheyen / Michiel Haverans) started the day 2nd in-class, but had to be content with 8th in ‘992’ after a collision with the Lionspeed GP Porsche resulted in a broken steering arm.
2nd in-class was eventually fought out between Orchid Racing Team (#963, Sébastien Loeb / Romain Dumas / Laurent Misbach / Loic Villiger / Alexandre Mottet) and Centri Porsche Ticino (#912, Valerio Presezzi / Max Busnelli / Ivan Jacoma / Francesco Fenici). The former came out on top, albeit by just over 90 seconds, after a scorching stint, mid-afternoon, by 2016 FIA World Endurance Champion Romain Dumas, and despite a transponder-related delay on the Saturday.
This means that both Dumas and teammate, nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb finished on the class podium on their respective 24H SERIES debuts.
Incredibly, 992-Am class winner Centri Porsche Ticino remains undefeated at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO after securing its fourth consecutive win at the event.
Rimo Adero by Ebimotors (#974, Mantas Janavicius / Aurelijus Rusteika / Marius Bartkus / Valters Zviedris) and NKPP by Bas Koeten Racing (#992, Gijs Bessem / Harry Hilders) finished 4th and 5th in 992, and round out the 992-Am podium, despite a trip into the gravel for the latter.
Impressively, so strong was the pace of the 992-generation Porsche GT3 Cup car at Mugello, the top three in 992 all finished inside the overall top 10.

GTX and GT4
Early transmission issues on Saturday meant Vortex V8 (#701, Lionel Amrouche / Philippe Bonnel / Gilles Courtois / Lucas Sugliano) started the day more than 40 laps down on GTX rival 9und11 Racing (#719, Georg Goder / Ralf Oehme / Tim Scheerbarth / Martin Schlüter). Amazingly, the French team, which ran its older ‘1.0’ model this weekend, finished just four laps down after a broken hose, and resultant coolant issues, cost the 9und11 Racing Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup MR more than two hours in the pits. The German team lost further time during the penultimate hour with an off into the tyre barriers.
What at one stage looked to be a nailed-on GT4 win for the Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 (#431, Martin Kroll / Michael Bonk / Rainer Partl) was scuppered at two-thirds distance by rear axle failure. The 50-plus minute pit stop ended up dropping the former GT4 Teams’ champion to 3rd in-class
The battered Lionspeed GP Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport (#424, José Garcia / Daniel Miller / Patrick Kolb / Dennis Bohn), having already lost time to front end damage after contact with the MP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 EVO (#58, Thomas Gostner / David Gostner / Manuela Gostner / Corinna Gostner), briefly assumed the lead. The German team would, however, lose this moments later to a left rear puncture.
Ultimately, despite dropping back with a power loss issue on Saturday, the Buggyra ZM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#416, Aliyyah Koloc / David Vršecký / Adam Lacko) came through to take its first GT4 class win of the season.