Hankook 12H MISANO. Saintéloc Junior Team wins, Hofor Racing denied

The Saintéloc Junior Team has taken its first 24H SERIES win of the season at the Hankook 12H MISANO, an event that saw three class wins change hands in the dramatic closing stages.

Having fought its way into the lead by half-distance, the Saintéloc Junior Team Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II (#18, Michael Doppelmayr / Pierre Kaffer / Elia Erhart / Swen Herberger) eventually led 297 of the 401 completed laps at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli en-route to a well-deserved win. Behind Saintéloc though, high temperatures and myriad reliability issues saw several GT3 frontrunners fall out of contention, leaving the fight for the final overall podium spots and several class wins to go right down to the wire.

Hofor Racing in particular (#11, Michael Kroll / Chantal Prinz / Alexander Prinz / Maximilian Partl / Kenneth Heyer) was on course to finish a sensational 2nd overall and secure the GT3-AM class win heading into the final hour. At one point, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 pulled to within 22 seconds of the Saintéloc Audi and even threatened to take the overall lead.

Brutally, shortly after its final pit stop, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 was pulled back into its garage with a loose pedal box. Oil spilt from the gearbox as the Mercedes attempted to rejoin brought the Swiss team’s race to a premature end with just 45 minutes left to run.

“This was a crazy race!” Elia Erhart explained to radiolemans.com’s Diana Binks. “In the beginning, we were P3, then P2, and then P1, and after that, we made no mistakes. That made the difference. It’s a shame for [Hofor Racing] that they had their problems so close to the end, but they gave us a good fight. This is a good victory for us!”

Hofor Racing’s demise meant that the Juta Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II (#71, Arunas Geciauskas / Leonardas Dirzys / Justas Jonušis / Simas Juodvirsis) secured its best overall result to-date in the 24H SERIES in 2nd place, and its first overall series podium in more than two years.

Incredibly, issues for the GT3 frontrunners meant that 992 class winner Fulgenzi Racing (#922, Andrea Buratti / Corrado Costa / Eric Wagner / Enrico Fernando Fulgenzi) took its first outright podium in the 24H SERIES. The performance simultaneously secured the Italian team radiolemans.com’s coveted ‘Spirit of the Race’ award.

“It was an unbelievable race!” team owner Enrico Fernando Fulgenzi explained to radiolemans.com’s John Hindhaugh. “I have to thank my drivers and my crew because we saw how many cars had technical issues during this race. It was very difficult right to the end, but our car was unbeatable, and that’s why we deserve this result!”
Another beneficiary of Hofor Racing’s retirement was Land Motorsport (#34, Dr. Johannes Kirchhoff / Elmar Grimm / Stefan Wieninger). The Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II lost a significant amount of time early on, first to a collision with Haas RT and later to an overheating engine, but eventually came through to finish 6th overall and, in true grandstand fashion, snatch the GT3-AM class win with just seven laps left to complete. A fitting way for Dr. Johannes Kirchhoff to celebrate his 50th race with CREVENTIC.
RD Signs – Siauliai racing team (#69, Audrius Butkevicius / Nicola Michelon / Paulius Paskevicius / Tim Müller) lost 45 minutes in the garage to an alternator issues shortly after half-distance. A clean run thereafter though meant the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 eventually finished 8th overall and 2nd in GT3-AM.
So high was the attrition at Misano, and despite its retirement, Hofor Racing was still classified 9th overall and propped up the GT3-AM podium.
The Prime Speed Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 EVO (#42, Heremana Malmezac / Liam Talbot / Earl Bamber) rounds out the GT3-PRO/AM podium, though several punctures, two inadvertent on-track clashes and late-race damper failure saw the New Zealand team finish a battering Hankook 12H MISANO 14th overall.
Multiple fuel pump failures meant the Mercedes-AMG GT3 EVO of event polesitter PTT by Schnitzelalm Racing (#74, Martin Kaczmarski / Mateusz Lisowski / Jay Mo Härtling) was unable to make the finish. The Polish team was classified one place behind Haas RT (#1, Marcel Zalloua / Sergio Pires / Theo Koundouris), which looked to have put an early collision behind it with a fighting drive back into the top 10 by three-quarter distance. The Antiguan team’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II sadly retired 90 minutes from home with terminal engine issues.
The Herberth Motorsport Porsche 992 GT3 R (#91, Scott Noble / Ralf Bohn / Jason Hart) retains its lead in the overall GT3 Teams’ standings, despite a bruising drive – one that included an on-track collision and more than an hour lost to a broken steering arm – to 13th overall and 4th in GT3-AM. An early contender for victory, E2P Racing (#90, Pablo Burguera / Antonio Sainero / Álvaro Parente) similarly lost significant time in the pits – 3.5 hours – to damage caused by a refueling station collision, though the Porsche 991.2 GT3 R was eventually classified 21st overall and 4th in GT3-PRO/AM.
The result keeps the Spanish team on top in the GT3-PRO/AM Teams’ standings, while the Saintéloc Junior Team has closed the points gap significantly.

Behind Fulgenzi Racing, RPM Racing (#907, Tracy Krohn / Niclas Jönsson / Philip Hamprecht) took a bittersweet 2nd in-class and finished 4th overall on the road. The German team looked to have a controlled 992 win sewn up as the race entered its closing stages only for a brake pedal issue to strike with just 20 minutes left. Ironically, a slow puncture and the resultant pit stop for Fulgenzi Racing briefly put the RPM Racing Porsche 992 GT3 Cup back into the 992 lead with just eight minutes remaining, but a brake-less Tracy Krohn was unable to hold on.
While disappointed, RPM Racing keeps its lead in the 992-AM Teams’ standings.
Behind the pair, the Orchid Racing Team Porsche 992 GT3 Cup (#917, Alexandre Mottet / Laurent Misbach / Antonio Garzon / Jeremy Brodard) took its second category podium of the season, and its first with the #917 Porsche 992 GT3 Cup. Amazingly, with the Swiss team finishing 5th on the road, all three 992 podium finishers inside the overall top five.
Brake issues and handling problems, the latter caused by front end damage, plagued HRT Performance (#967, Nicolas Stürzinger / Amedeo Pampanini / Linus Diener) for most of the 12 hours, but the German team was able to finish 4th in 992 – just ahead of SebLajoux Racing by DUWO Racing (#908, Philippe Polette / Gilles Blasco / Jean-François Demorge / Benjamin Roy) – and round out the overall top 10.
In a rarity, none of the 992 ‘PRO’ entrants completed the Hankook 12H MISANO.
An undiagnosed electrical issue in the powertrain meant Red Camel-Jordans.nl (#909, Ivo Breukers / Luc Breukers / Rik Breukers / Fabian Danz) didn’t start the race at all. 992 standings leader Red Ant Racing (#903, Ayrton Redant / Yannick Redant / Kobe de Breucker) was felled by a similarly unknown electrical issue, and after an extensive test run, the Porsche 992 GT3 Cup was eventually retired shortly after half-distance.
Red Ant Racing’s sister #904 Porsche 992 GT3 Cup (Brent Verheyen / Peter Guelinckx / Michiel Haverans) looked on course to salvage the Belgian team’s weekend with 2nd in-class only for spiking water and oil temperatures to bring the #904’s race to a
premature end.
Ironically, despite the non-finish, Red Ant Racing is still first and second in the 992 Teams’ standings heading into the Hankook 24H BARCELONA.
Vortex V8 (701, Lionel Amrouche / Philippe Bonnel / Gilles Courtois) overcame repeated electrical problems to take the GTX class win in Misano.

GT4 and TCE
Buggyra ZM Racing (#416, Aliyyah Koloc / David Vršecký / Adam Lacko) retains both its lead in the GT4 Teams’ standings and its 2024 undefeated streak in Misano with a fourth consecutive class win of the season. Amazingly, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 finished 7th overall on the road.

Buggyra’s closest standings rival – the Lionspeed GP Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport (#424, José Garcia / Patrick Kolb / Dennis Bohn) – lost time to several punctures and significant handling issues, but went the distance to finish 2nd in-class. Class polesitter and early leader StreetArt Racing meanwhile (#407, Jahid Fazal-Karim / Pascal Bachmann / Julien Darras) tried fighting back from punctures and prolonged brake problems, but the Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 was eventually retired on safety grounds. The Belgian team was nevertheless classified 3rd in-class.

SR Motorsport (#111, Michael Sander / Wilhelm Kühne / Tim Neuser) finished a faultless run on its 24H SERIES debut victorious in TCE with its ‘type 982’ Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS. Despite a multitude of heat-related engine and damper issues, the CWS Engineering Ginetta G55 (#178, Colin White / Daniel Morris) completed the full 12 hours to finish 2nd in-class.