It’s rare to see old school wars of attrition in long-distance GT3 races nowadays, but at the 24 Hours of Paul Ricard, Precote Herberth Motorsport won the race by a staggering 14 laps in the scorching heat in the south of France.
The quartet which won last time out in the series at Zandvoort, Alfred Renauer, Robert Renauer, Daniel Alleman and Ralf Bohn, completed 591 laps of the circuit in the winning Porsche 911 GT3 R, took take the lead on late Saturday afternoon and control proceedings from there.
Behind the Herberth entry, it was extremely tight for the remaining overall podium spots. Finishing second, after a dice all the way through the final stint of the race was the Ram Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 of Stuart Hall, Dan Brown, Roald Goethe and Jamie Campbell-Walter.
Making up the podium was the winner in A6-Am, the #10 Hofor-Racing Mercedes SLS of Michael Kroll, Chaltall Kroll, Roland Eggimann, Christiaan Frankenhout and Kenneth Heyer.
The two Mercedes were locked in an thrilling on-track battle in the final hour. Campbell-Walter closed in and overtook the Hofor Mercedes for third before inheriting second after the Scuderia Praha Ferrari of Siri Pisarik, Josef Král, Matteo Mallucelli & Peter Kox had mechanical issues in the dying minutes of the race which forced them to retire.
Rounding out the top five, 16 and 21 laps off the winner was the SPS Performance Mercedes AMG and the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8.
Many of the A6 runners fought for the win in the early stages, or at least looked capable on pace but fell by the wayside.
Grasser Racing’s #963 Lamborghini Huracan, which after setting multiple fastest laps during the race clearly looked capable of winning, but the team went home bitterly disappointed. The car suffered had a puncture shortly after the start of the race which damaged the air jack, forcing repairs which would demote the car to 48th overall.
The team pushed on though, and after rapid stints from its drivers spent the rest of the race climbing up the order to second overall before a tyre exploded and hit the fuel line, causing a fire which would befell the car.
The pole-sitting Drivex Audi R8 LMS Ultra also suffered bad luck after an ABS failure in the opening stint as well as a few other issues caused the car to limp home 35th.
The HTP Mercedes And Optimum Audi also had the speed to win but were hampered by issues. HTP crossed the line eighth and Optimum retired after 219 laps.
The 24H Series now goes on a break for the summer, before the teams and drivers compete in the Hankook 24H Barcelona on the 2nd to the 4th of September.
Full results available HERE >>