Right rear wheel failure ended up costing Holmgaard Motorsport overall ‘GTTC’ victory at the Hankook 12H MONZA, although the Danish team nevertheless moved to the top of the 24H SERIES TCR Teams’ standings.
Words – James Gent
Images – Nico Mombaerts
Holmgaard Motorsport has confirmed that a failure on the right rear wheel was the reason behind its late-race drama at the Hankook 12H MONZA.
The Danish team was in contention for overall ‘GTTC’ honours for much of the Hankook 12H MONZA with GT4-class winner Atlas BX Motorsport, and went into the closing hour just under a lap ahead of the South Korean team’s Mercedes-AMG GT4. With only 45 minutes of the race left to run however, the CUPRA Leon Competición TCR was seen smoking its way back to the pits with, what at the time was thought to be, collapsed right rear suspension.
Though Holmgaard’s mechanics managed to get the CUPRA back out for one final slow lap to collect the chequered flag, the incident ended up dropping Magnus and Jonas Holmgaard, Roy Edland and Martin Vedel Mortensen – all four of whom took TCR-class victory at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS in April – back to 3rd in the one-off ‘GTTC’ division behind Atlas BX Motorsport and reigning GT4 Teams’ ‘Europe’ champion Team ACP - Tangerine Associates, 18 laps down on the former.
Though frustrated by its late-race mechanical failure, Holmgaard Motorsport were nevertheless pleased that the TCR-spec CUPRA, with applicably adjusted balance of performance, could hang with the GT4 runners around the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
“Unfortunately, the race did not end the way we had hoped,” Holmgaard Motorsport explained in a statement through their social media channel. “With only 40 minutes left of the 12-hour race, a part of the right rear wheel broke and ended up [setting] the tyre on fire… However, our talented team of mechanics managed to patch it up, [and] we came out for the last lap. We ended up P3.
“Something positive is that we proved that we could keep such good speed and strategy [against] the GT4 cars.”
Such was the pace of the CUPRA Leon Competición TCR at Monza, Holmgaard Motorsport even set an unexpected ‘GTTC’ pole position 0.049 seconds ahead of Atlas BX Motorsports, although, on full tanks, Jonas Holmgaard was shuffled behind all three GT4 entrants shortly after Saturday’s race start. A brake issue for Buggyra ZM Racing however, plus the CUPRA’s more frugal fuel consumption, kept Holmgaard in the fight for GTTC honours across the full 12-hour event.
In a remarkably clean run for both Holmgaard Motorsport and Atlas BX Motorsport, neither team incurred any time penalties (granted, Holmgaard was handed a 20-second penalty for the slow speed of its final lap), and the #403 Mercedes-AMG led the #102 CUPRA into the overnight intervention by just 1m 50s, meaning both contenders took Sunday’s restart on the same lap.
Holmgaard Motorsport completed sufficient race distance to take the TCR-class win at the Hankook 12H MONZA, and as a result, move to the top of the TCR Teams’ standings ahead of Italy’s AIKOA Racing, aided by its TCR win last time out at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS.