Ginetta’s new G58 prototype starred this weekend in the inaugural 12H Silverstone event. Simpson Motorsport’s #4 example of Steve Tandy, Bob Berridge, Mike Simpson and Charlie Robertson won the Prototype division after a fighting drive, while the ROFGO Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Roald Goethe, Stuart Hall and Daniel Brown secured overall GT honours.
Simpson Motorsport’s weekend got off to a tumultuous start when its main chassis was damaged beyond repair during Thursday’s free practice session. In a brand new car sent overnight from Ginetta Cars’ headquarters in West Yorkshire, the P2 prototype weathered changeable conditions to secure both the P2 class and overall Proto victory. The G58 completed 278 laps of the 5.891km Silverstone Arena Circuit en-route to victory, Bob Berridge driving the car over the line.
GT and A6-Pro honours meanwhile marked ROFGO Racing’s first class victory in the 24H Series, following a stellar performance in the wet. Despite nursing a broken diffuser after an early collision with PROsport Performance, the ROFGO Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 would leapfrog the Forch Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R (#29, Zeljko Drmic, Patrick Eisemann and Robert Lukas) shortly after three-quarter distance. The British team dedicated their class win to the late Henry Hope-Frost, the revered British motoring journalist who sadly passed away this weekend.
Completing the A6-Pro podium was the #963 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán of Rolf Ineichen, Mark Ineichen, Franck Perera and Phil Keen, which gambled on slick tyres during an early wet weather stint to keep itself in contention. Further back in 4th was the Bohemia Energy racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3. Despite leading 37 laps outright during the opening five hours, the Czech-based team would fall fowl of boost-pressure regulations early on Saturday morning, and would be penalised two laps as a result.
A6-Am honours were secured by the #34 Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS driven by Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff, Elmar Grimm and Ingo Vogler, a welcome result for the German outfit after its sister #33 entry was forced to retire with a terminal steering imbalance and a broken clutch. Close behind in 2nd was the Attempto Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3, while reigning 991 class champions PROsport Performance completed the A6-Am podium with its Mercedes AMG GT3.
A couple of the teams with a shot at victory fell by the wayside. Reigning Champion of the Continents Herberth Motorsport had looked a strong contender for victory with its Porsche 911 GT3 R, but as the race ticked past half distance and trip into the gravel and ripped water pump belt costing the team almost 30 minutes of clean-up. The Ram Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 meanwhile, failed to make the start, a terminal engine failure halting the British team’s weekend early.
991 class honours meanwhile would go to the IDEC SPORT RACING entry, which would just pip both Porsche Lorient entries, the #65 991-I Cup leading the sister #64 over the line.
A titanic tussle for SPX honours would eventually go to the Speed Lover Porsche 991-I after a sensational run against series debutants Fox Motorsport who campaigned an Audi R8 LMS GT4, the two cars finishing just 90 seconds apart.
The European Championship continues for both GT and PROTO teams at the next race in Navarra on 20-21-22 April.