· Former overall champion Herberth Motorsport favourite to take second Hankook 12H MONZA win?
· New Ferrari 296 GT3 on the grid for CREVENTIC’s return to Monza.
· Formula 1 Grand Prix winner Rubens Barrichello to make 24H SERIES debut.
· Reigning class champion Red Ant Racing takes on standings leader Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors in 992.
· Just a handful of points splits GTX and GT4 title protagonists; TCR contenders equal on points.
GENNEP (05 June, 2023) – With a little under a week to go ahead of the third European round of this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook, former and aspiring champions are ready to do battle on-track once again as CREVENTIC makes its return to Monza.
Former and reigning series champions, division and class winners, and 24H SERIES newcomers – representing 25 different nationalities across four continents – will all be on the grid for the second annual Hankook 12H MONZA on 10-11 June, the first to be held at the vaunted Autodromo Nazionale Monza since 2020.
Herberth Motorsport (#91) is sure to be among the event’s frontrunners in Italy: a perennial race winner in the 24H SERIES, the 2017 Overall GT Teams’ ‘Continents’ also finished an impressive 1-2-3 at the inaugural Hankook 12H MONZA in 2020. Team staples Robert and Alfred Renauer, Daniel Allemann and Ralf Bohn will be looking to add to the three runners-up spots the Bavarian team has already secured in 2023.
Despite a tough weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, reigning GT European Trophy winner Phoenix Racing – now competing as ‘Scherer Sport PHX’ (#1) – is also expected to be among the main contenders for victory. 2022 GT Drivers’ Europe’ champions Michael Doppelmayr, Pierre Kaffer and Elia Erhart will partner with Swen Herberger aboard the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II to get the German team’s first overall podium finish on the board in 2023.
24H SERIES newcomer Haas RT (#21), which took its first-ever race win at the season-opening Hankook 12H MUGELLO, continues its full season campaign in Monza. The Antiguan team’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II is currently second overall in the GT European Trophy standings, and will be driven by Mugello race winner Mathieu Detry, the debuting Max Hofer, and Miika Panu, the latter of whom took a 992-Am podium in Spa.
Land Motorsport (#34) and CP Racing (#85) are set to continue their fight to GT3-AM honours at the Hankook 12H MONZA. Despite losing a class podium in the dying moments at Mugello, a recovery drive to 2nd in-class last month in Spa means Land Motorsport sits 18 points clear of its American rival in the GT3-AM standings. The 2009 24H DUBAI winner has registered Dr. Johannes Kirchhoff, Elmar Grimm and Max Edelhoff for Monza.
CP Racing meanwhile, the reigning GT Continents Trophy winner, brings a rejuvenated driver line-up to Monza after an unusually misfortunate run at Spa-Francorchamps, as Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub and Joe Foster, the Overall GT Drivers’ champions of 2018, will driver alongside with GT3-AM Middle East Trophy winner, Shane Lewis.
Six points ahead of CP Racing, reigning 991 Teams’ ‘Europe’ champion E2P Racing (#90) will look to boost its GT3 transition with a strong performance in Monza. Team boss Javier Morcillo leads an all-Spanish line-up in the Porsche 991.2 GT3 R alongside Antonio Sainero and reigning 991 Drivers’ ‘European’ champion Pablo Burguera.
Ferrari will be among the biggest draws at Monza, with the prancing horse’s new GT3 flagship – the 296 – set to be run by Kessel Racing. The long-time Ferrari customer is expected to be in the hunt for its first 24H SERIES podium, and has confirmed an all-Italian line-up with Marco Talarico, Alessandro Cutrera, ‘L.M.D.V,’ Marco Frezza and David Fumanelli.
24H SERIES debutant BMW Italia Ceccato Racing (#15) completes the GT3 line-up so far. The official BMW customer, founded by Gianfranco Ceccato and overseen by touring car legend Robert Ravaglia, has entered the race’s only M4 GT3, which will be raced by Leonardo Sanchez Secundino and Atila Roberto De Abreu – back for their first 24H SERIES event together since last year’s Hankook 24H DUBAI in 2022 – and William Thomas Freire.
With just four points splitting them, standings leader Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors (#955) and reigning 992 Teams’ ‘Europe’ champion Red Ant Racing (#903) are set to continue their title fight at the third round of this year’s European season. 2022 992 Drivers’ ‘Europe’ champion Yannick Redant heads the driver line-up in the #903 Porsche 992 GT3 Cup alongside series returnee Arnold Neveling, while Hankook 12H MUGELLO class winner Willi Motorsport will once again run 2021 991 Drivers’ champions Fabrizio Broggi, Sergiu Nicolae and Sabino de Castro.
Mercedes-AMG factory driver Adam Christodoulou continues his Porsche sojourn with ‘TORO Racing by HRT Performance’ (#930) at Monza. Alongside him will be Eric Zang and Xinzhe Xie as the trio look to repeat their Spa-Francorchamps class win. Roberto and Amedeo Pampanini, Nicolas Stürzinger and Stefano Monaco are also set to reunite in HRT Performance’s 992-AM-entered Porsche (#967). The quartet will face stiff competition from Krohn Racing founder Tracy Krohn, Niclas Jönsson, and 2019 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Philip Hamprecht in the event’s other 992-AM entry, RPM Racing (#907).
After a fighting performance in Mugello, during which the German team was vying for a class podium, Neuhofer Rennsport (#985) returns to 24H SERIES action at Monza with father-son Markus and Felix Neuhofer – both of whom finished 2nd overall at this year’s Hankook 6H ABU DHABI with Herberth Motorsport – teaming with Paul Kasper and Martin Ragginger. Last year’s 992 Teams’ championship runner-up, and the TCR winner on CREVENTIC’s last visit to Monza, Red Camel-Jordans.nl (#909) also fields a family-centric line-up as Ivo Breukers will drive alongside sons Rik and Luc.
EST1 Racing (#981) is set to make its 24H SERIES return at the Hankook 12H MONZA, and has registered compatriots Alex Reimann and Jori Ala-Jyrä aboard its Porsche 992 GT3 Cup. The Estonian team most recently competed during the 2017 season, and scored an SP3-GT4 podium that year in Barcelona.
Series debutant Q1 Trackracing (#950) rounds out the 992 runners thus far, and has confirmed an all-Brazilian line-up with Eduardo Menossi, Marcos Vinicius Neves, and Formula 1 luminary Rubens Barrichello.
The Brazilian, an 11-time Grand Prix winner, joins fellow former F1 drivers Robert Kubica, Giancarlo Fisichella, Jean-Eric Vergne, Brendon Hartley, Pedro Lamy, Mika Salo, and most recently Christian Klien – among others – by making his 24H SERIES debut. As well as being a two-time championship runner-up, Barrichello, also Brazil’s reigning Stock Car Pro Series champion, is currently the third most experienced F1 driver of all-time, and still holds the record for the most consecutive Grand Prix starts (326).
Fittingly, the top three in this year’s GTX Teams’ ‘Europe’ standings continue their title fight at the Hankook 12H MONZA. Currently on top, RD Signs – Siauliai racing team (#720) was unfortunate to lose a likely class win at Mugello, but a second consecutive 3rd place in Spa-Francorchamps means the Lithuanian team is still on top with 64 points. Audrius Butkevicius, Nicola Michelon and Paulius Paskevicius will once again team together in the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo.
2021 GTX Teams’ champion, Vortex V8 is just four points adrift after its first win of the season at Mugello. The French independent has entered Lionel Amrouche (a seasoned CREVENTIC competitor with 50-plus starts already under his belt), Gilles Courtois and team staple Philippe Bonnel aboard the bespoke Vortex 1.0. 9und11 Racing meanwhile (#719), another four points behind Vortex, will hope German compatriots Leonard Oehme, Martin Schlüter, Ralf Oehme and Georg Goder can secure the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR’s first class win of the season.
As in GTX, a hotly contested title fight in GT4 rolls into Italy on 10-11 June. Current standings leader Buggyra ZM Racing (#416), fresh from its class win last time out Spa-Francorchamps, has entered Aliyyah Koloc, and former European Truck Racing champions David Vršecky and Adam Lacko aboard the Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Impressively, Buggyra also goes into the Hankook 12H MONZA in contention for the overall GT European Trophy as the Emirati team is just four points behind current overall leader Heart of Racing by SPS.
Despite alternator failure striking in Spa, class victory at the season opener in Mugello means Atlas BX Motorsport (#403) lies just eight points behind Buggyra in the GT4 standings. The South Korean team has confirmed an extended line-up for Monza as Donggi Noh joins compatriots Jongkyum Kim and Taekeun Yang, 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia champion Roelof Bruins and team boss Steven Cho aboard the Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Reigning GT4 Teams’ ‘Europe’ champion Team ACP - Tangerine Associates (#421) will make its first start in the 24H SERIES in almost a year at Monza. The Belgian team has confirmed 2022 GT4 Drivers’ champion Catesby Jones will line-up alongside American compatriots Steve Weber and Ken Goldberg in the BMW M4 GT4.
Italy’s Autorlando Sport (#475) rounds out the GT4 contingent thus far, with the series newcomer registering Hong Kong’s Kwan Kit Lo, and China’s Yidong Zhang, Chien Shang Chang and Qi Mi. The quartet will drive a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, a model that, interestingly, took a GT4 podium last time out at Spa-Francorchamps.
Holmgaard Motorsport (#102) won the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS for the second year in a row last month, a result that put it into TCR Teams’ championship contention. As such, the Danish team, which has entered former Junior Cup winners – and brothers – Jonas and Magnus Holmgaard, Roy Edland, and Martin Vedel Mortensen with its CUPRA Leon Competición TCR will look to carry that momentum into Monza on 10-11 June.
Italy’s AIKOA Racing (#147) will no doubt look to do likewise. The series newcomer, which has yet to finalize its driver line-up, took TCR class victory at this year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO with its Audi RS 3 LMS, and thus goes into round three of the European season equal on points with Holmgaard.
· Only one GT team has secured an overall 1-2-3 in the 24H SERIES. That was Herberth Motorsport, and the Bavarian team did so at the inaugural Hankook 12H MONZA in 2020.
· Both Renault and Honda set their first outright pole positions at the 2020 Hankook 12H MONZA. Equipe Verschuur started from the GT top spot with its Renaultsport R.S.01 GT3, while Brutal Fish by KCMG started from outright TCE pole with its ‘FK7’-spec Honda Civic Type-R.
· The overall lead at the first Hankook 12H MONZA changed hands 29 times, the most of any CREVENTIC event in 2020.
· Four different class winners finished in the overall top 10 at the Hankook 12H MONZA. A record… until that year’s following round at the Hockenheimring when five class winners finished in the top 10.
· An impressive SEVEN different brands finished in the overall top 10 at the event in 2020: Porsche, Mercedes-AMG, Audi, Lamborghini, CUPRA, Volkswagen, and Honda.
Further details regarding the 2023 24H SERIES calendar and championship standings can be found HERE.