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Pista – Race week! 150-plus drivers set for 2024 Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS

More than 150 drivers are set to start the sixth Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS on 19-20-21 April, one of the strongest fields for the event to-date.

The 2024 Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, round two of this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook, will see 48 teams take the green flag in a field boasting almost a dozen marques, 30 different nationalities, and a record 19 Porsche Cup entries. Of the 152 drivers registered so far, more than a dozen are former overall and/or class winners at the event, while 40 are previous title winners with CREVENTIC.

For the third year in a row, the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS will be opened by the Malmedy City Parade on Thursday 18 April. Fans of the series will have the opportunity to watch race cars on display in the city centre, and enjoy an autograph session with the drivers.

2023 polesitter (Haas RT) and overall winner (Saintéloc Junior Team) back on the grid.
Two Lamborghinis in GT3 for first time in five years; Kessel Racing fields two Ferrari 296s.
2022 GT3 Drivers’ champions Doppelmayr, Kaffer and Erhart looking for second win.

FIVE different brands will be represented across the 17 GT3 entries. Among the most prevalent are the R8 LMS GT3 EVO II from Audi (the event’s joint-record holder, together with Ferrari, with two outright wins to its name), and Porsche’s new 992 GT3 R.

Last year’s GT3 Teams’ champion Haas RT (#1) returns to the 24H SERIES in Belgium. The Antiguan team, which started last year’s Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS from pole, has registered Tim Müller (overall runner-up in 2018), debutant Xavier Knauf and Grégory Servais (winner of radiolemans.com’s ‘Spirit of the Race’ award last year in Estoril). The trio will drive an Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II.

The Saintéloc Junior Team (#18), last year’s outright winner in Spa, has also entered an EVO II-generation Audi R8. The French team started 2024 with outright pole at the Hankook 24H DUBAI, and continues its new affiliation with 2022 GT3 Drivers’ ‘Europe’ champions Michael Doppelmayr, Pierre Kaffer and Elia Erhart in Belgium. The trio won the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS outright in 2022, and are set to drive alongside series newcomer Ernst Inderbitzin.

2009 24H DUBAI winner Land-Motorsport (#34) and Juta Racing (#71) are the two final Audi representatives in GT3. The German team has confirmed Dr. Johannes Kirchhoff, Tim Vogler and Max Edelhoff – all three of whom finished 3rd overall at Spa in 2018 – alongside Wiggo Dalmo. Lithuania’s Juta Racing (#71) meanwhile enters just one Audi for Spa for Lukas Sundahl and Arunas Geciauskas, both of whom took a GT3-Pro/Am podium at Mugello, and Britain’s Lars Viljoen, the latter back for his first 24H SERIES event since Barcelona 2022.

2017 Overall GT Teams’ ‘Continents’ champion Herberth Motorsport (#91) is one of four teams running a Porsche 992 GT3 R at Spa. The Bavarian squad officially debuted its latest generation GT3 R this time last year, and will hope to secure its first overall win at the event with Mugello runners-up Scott Noble, Jason Hart, and 2017 Overall GT Drivers’ champion Ralf Bohn.
Car Collection Motorsport, already an overall winner this season in Abu Dhabi, has entered two Porsche 992 GT3 Rs for Spa. The first (#12) features an unchanged driver line-up from Mugello – Alex Fontana, Ivan Jacoma, ‘Hash’ and 2019 Overall TCE Drivers’ ‘Continents’ champion Yannick Mettler – while the second (#80) will be driven by Antares Au (winner of the Hankook 6H ABU DHABI in 2021), and the returning Kevin Tse and Frank Yu. The latter two make their first series start since Dubai in 2020.

EBM (#84), the eponymous outfit of 2017 FIA World Endurance Champion Earl Bamber, has also entered a Porsche 992 GT3 R. Back for its first standalone entry in the 24H SERIES since the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS in 2022 (though the team did support fellow Antipodeans Grove Racing in Abu Dhabi and Dubai), EBM has confirmed the returning Adrian D’Silva and Estonia’s Martin Rump will co-drive with Australia’s Shae Davies, a race winner in the single seater, S5000 Australia Drivers’ championship.

E2P Racing (#90) is the final Porsche representative in GT3. The Spanish team will run a 991.2 GT3 R across the full European season, and will look to bounce back from a race-ending collision in Mugello with Pablo Burguera and Antonio Sainero – GT3-AM podium finishers at last year’s event – and former Bathurst 12 Hours winner Álvaro Parente.

BOEM by Kessel Racing (#8), polesitter last time out in Mugello, enters an unchanged driver line-up – Alessandro Cutrera, Marco Talarico, Marco Frezza (a class winner with Ebimotors in 2018), ‘L.M.D.V.’ and David Fumanelli – aboard the Ferrari 296 GT3 for Spa. The sister ‘Kessel Racing’ Ferrari 296 GT3 (#5) will be driven by Andrew Gilbert and Fran Rueda – making their first start since Dubai in 2023 – and series newcomers Nicolò Rosi and Fons Scheltema.

For the first time since Mugello in 2019, two Lamborghinis are set to compete in the GT3 class at a European 24H SERIES race. Reigning GTX Teams’ champion RD Signs – Siauliai racing team (#69), looking to put a difficult Mugello weekend behind it, continues its full European season campaign with Lithuanian teammates Audrius Butkevicius and Paulius Paskevicius, and Italy’s Nicola Michelon.

The second Huracán GT3 Evo has been entered by Slovakia’s ARC Bratislava (#44). Back for its first European race with CREVENTIC since Monza in 2020, the 24H SERIES Middle East Trophy regular will compete with Zdeno Mikulasko, Anton Kiaba, Mateo Llareda, and team patriarch Miro Konopka.

Looking to kickstart its European title campaign in Spa, 2017 Overall GT Teams’ ‘Europe’ champion Hofor-Racing has registered Chantal Prinz, Michael Kroll and Kenneth Heyer – the Overall GT Drivers’ ‘Europe’ champions of 2017 – alongside Maximilian Partl and Chantal’s husband Alexander. MP Racing (#58), also running a Mercedes-AMG, similarly keeps its line-up in the family with Thomas, David, Manuela and Corinna Gostner.

Like Hofor and MP Racing, reigning GT3-AM Teams’ champion CP Racing (#85) enters an unchanged driver line-up for its Mercedes-AMG GT3, with Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub and Joe Foster – who secured their Overall GT Drivers’ championships in 2018 at Spa – driving alongside defending GT3-AM Drivers’ champion Shane Lewis.

Series debutant Blackthorn (#35) rounds out the GT3 contingent with its Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo. Founded in 2022, the British team starts its first full British GT Championship campaign in 2024, and will race in Spa with team owner Claude Bovet and team PRO David McDonald.

Ginetta CEO Lawrence Tomlinson on driver detail aboard Team CMR Ginetta G56 Cup.
Vortex aiming for first category win for ‘2.0’ at Spa.
2023 class winner 9und11 Racing hoping to extend championship lead.

After a one-off run for its 1.0 in Mugello, former GTX Teams’ champion Vortex V8 has entered two examples of its brand-new ‘2.0’ sports car (aptly, renders of the new lightweight model were teased at last year’s event). Team founders Arnaud and Olivier Gomez will lead the #702 entry alongside Lucas Sugliano, and will no doubt hope to secure the 2.0 its first category win in the 24H SERIES. Team stalwarts Lionel Amrouche, Philippe Bonnel and Gilles Courtois will pilot the sister #701 entry.

Germany’s 9und11 Racing (#719) currently leads the GTX Teams’ standings following its victory in Mugello, and will look to increase its advantage with its Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR in Belgium. Georg Goder, Ralf Oehme and Martin Schlüter, all of whom took GTX victory at Spa-Francorchamps in 2022, will once again drive with Tim Scheerbarth.

Team CMR (#795), a frontrunner in the FFSA French GT Championship, is the last GTX entrant. The French team will run Ginetta CEO Lawrence Tomlinson, his son Freddie and Ginetta PRO driver Michael Simpson in the same G56 Cup that recently took GTX Teams’ honours in the 2022/2023 24H SERIES Middle East Trophy.

19 Cup cars confirmed for Spa; new event record.
Redant brothers, 2022 992 Drivers’ champions, headline Red Ant Racing two-car line-up.
Redemption for reigning 992-Am Drivers’ champions Krohn, Jönsson and Hamprecht?

Former 992 Teams’ champion Red Ant Racing, a two-time class winner already at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, has entered two Porsche 992 GT3 Cups for Belgium. 2022 992 Drivers’ ‘Europe’ champions Yannick and Ayrton Redant – at the helm for the team’s ’22 class win – continue their season alongside Kobe de Breucker (#903). Brent Verheyen, Peter Guelinckx and Michiel Haverans will drive the sister Porsche once again (#904).

Having finished a motivating 9th in 992-Am on its first 992 entry in Mugello, reigning Overall GT Teams’ champion Atlas BX Motorsport – now competing as ‘Hankook Competition’ (#911) – has entered reigning GT4 Drivers’ champion Steven Cho alongside Mugello teammates Recardo Bruins and Dr. Ma.

Series staples Bas Koeten Racing and HRT Performance are set to run two Porsches apiece at Spa. 2018 event class winners Gijs Bessem and Harry Hilders, who recently celebrated 50 races together in the 24H SERIES, continue their program as ‘NKPP Racing by Bas Koeten Racing’ (#992), while Bob Herber and Marcel Van Berlo, who last competed at Spa aboard a Bentley Continental GT3, will drive Bas Koeten Racing’s standalone 992 GT3 Cup (#925).

Tellingly, ‘LMS Racing by Bas Koeten Racing’ won the inaugural, TCE-only edition of the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS in 2017.

Across with HRT Performance, which took 992 class victory at Spa in 2023, Nicolas Stürzinger and Amedeo Pampanini continue their full European campaign with Linus Diener (#967). The drivers for the sister 992 GT3 Cup (#928) have yet to be confirmed.

Fellow series mainstay MRS GT-Racing (#988) meanwhile has entered one Porsche, which will be driven by Argentina’s Rolando Saca – back for his first series start since Barcelona last year – Pedro Torres – part of ‘Team Captain America’ in Dubai – and series debutant Amadeo Quiros.

After its Mugello race came to a premature end, reigning 992-Am Teams’ champion RPM Racing (#907) will look to get its European title defense back on-track in the Ardennes with 992-Am Drivers’ champions Tracy Krohn, Niclas Jönsson and Philip Hamprecht.

Similarly, Neuhofer Rennsport (#985) and Porsche Baltic (#992) will be looking to bounce back from their own difficulties in Mugello: the German team ended its Tuscan weekend in gravel, while the Lithuanian outfit hit trouble on the opening lap. Felix and Markus Neuhofer will race with Manuel Zlof, while Robertas Kupcikas, Domas Raudonis and Tautvydas Rudokas make a second consecutive start for Porsche Baltic.
2020 Overall GT Teams’ ‘Continents’ champion Team Sorg Rennsport (#927) will field Heiko Eichenberg, Patrik Grütter and Bernhard Wagner at Spa, all three of whom took TCX victory at last year’s event.

Holmgaard Motorsport (#902) could secure its third class win in succession at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS this coming weekend. Tellingly, reigning TCR Drivers’ champions Magnus Holmgaard and Martin Vedel Mortensen, both of whom were on-board for their family team’s previous class wins in Belgium, will be joined for the first time by two-time Hankook 24H DUBAI TCE winner Stéphane Perrin.

The Orchid Racing Team (#917) continues its full European program in Spa. The Swiss team took a class podium in Mugello, a result Alexandre Mottet and Laurent Misbach – onboard for the full European season – will look to emulate with Daniel Gillioz.

Former 991 champion Jean-François Demorge (2019) and long-time Porsche Lorient Racing teammates Philippe Polette and Gilles Blasco continue their affiliation with Seblajoux Racing by DUWO Racing (#908) in the Ardennes. The French compatriots will be joined by series debutant Benjamin Roy.

Series returnees GDL Racing (#969) and Belgium’s Speedlover (#979) make a long-awaited return to the 24H SERIES. The San Marino-based team has entered a Porsche for a full American driver line-up – Matt Kehoe, and series debutants Mark Smith and Dallas Carroll – while the former SPX Teams’ champion has registered Belgian teammates Wim Meulders, Rik Renmans and Olivier Dons for their home race.

Hans Weijs Motorsport (#972) is the last 992 entrant so far, and will make its 24H SERIES debut in Spa. Ralph Poppelaars and Paul Meijer, who finished 3rd in 992 at this year’s Hankook 24H DUBAI, will be joined by Dutch countrymen and series debutants, Mark van Eldik and Edwin Schilt.

GT4 and TCE
Koloc, Vršecký and Lacko gunning for second Spa win on the trot with Buggyra.
ALFAB Racing to field McLaren Artura GT4; Behrens and Roos on driver detail.
Middle East Trophy frontrunners Vladykin, Ramyead and Robertson back on the grid.

The fight for GT4 Teams’ title honours looks set to heat up at Spa-Francorchamps, as the top three, going into the event, are split by just eight points.

Aliyyah Koloc, David Vršecký and Adam Lacko continue their second full European season in the 24H SERIES aboard the Buggyra ZM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#416). Aptly, the UAE-entered, Czech-based team took victory at the season opener in Mugello, and secured GT4 class victory last year in Spa.

Lionspeed GP (#424) finished 2nd in-class on its first endurance race start as a standalone entity in Mugello, and will hope to go one better in Belgium with its Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport. Team founders José Garcia and Patrick Kolb will once again drive with Daniel Miller and Dennis Bohn.

McLaren’s new GT4 flagship – the Artura – is set to make its 24H SERIES debut on 19-20-21 April with ALFAB Racing. Fittingly, the Swedish team, which has entered team owner Erik Behrens and Daniel Roos for the event, last competed with CREVENTIC at Spa in 2022.

Following a closely-fought fight for GT4 honours in the 24H SERIES Middle East Trophy, Simpson Motorsport (#438) makes its first European start of the year with CREVENTIC in Spa. Fittingly, Vasily Vladykin, the GT4 Drivers’ title winner in the Middle East, reunites with Ravi Ramyead and Charlie Robertson aboard the ‘G82’ BMW M4 GT4.

Belgian newcomer Hamofa Motorsport (#419) rounds out the GT4 field, and has confirmed that Rob, Kris and Mark Verhoeven will drive its BMW M4 GT4.

Alongside its 992 entry, SRS Team Sorg Rennsport (#127) has also confirmed a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS Clubsport for the TCE class at Spa. Two-time Hankook 24H DUBAI class winner Benito Tagle leads the driver line-up alongside series debutants Henning Eschweiler and Hans Jürgen Kroner. HY Racing (#169) meanwhile has entered a GTS-spec Porsche Cayman. Like its drivers – Brice Pineau, Jacques Derenne, Bruno Barbaro and ‘Brody’ – the Belgian team makes its first 24H SERIES start at Spa.

Finally, former SP3 and TCX Teams’ champion CWS Engineering (#178) has so far confirmed that team owner Colin White will drive its Ginetta G55.
Following a CREVENTIC track day on the Wednesday, and the Malmedy City Parade on the Thursday, official track action for the 2024 Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS gets underway on Friday 19 April. After 90 minutes of Free Practice between 12.10 hrs and 13.40 hrs local time, three 15-minute Qualifying sessions will be broadcast – live! – from 15.30 hrs to 16.25 hrs later that afternoon. The first five hours of the race itself will run between 12.50 hrs and 17.50 hrs on Saturday 20 April, with the final seven hours, after the event’s customary overnight intervention, set to run from 10.50 hrs to 17.50 hrs on Sunday 21 April. Further details can be found at www.24hseries.com/races.