Ferrari customer team Scuderia Praha dominated last weekend’s 24H Series Portimao 24 Hours, it’s #11 Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Jiří Písařík, Josef Kral and Matteo Malucelli completing 721 laps of the Portuguese circuit in the process.
The team’s performance was a comfortable one. It won the race by seven laps and came just a single tour of the circuit shy of equalling the event’s record total. The victory extends its winning streak in 24H Series competition to four in a row, keeping it firmly atop the 24H Series Europe GT points standings and in contention for the 24H Series Continents GT title.
“We keep ourselves out of trouble!” a jubilant Josef Kral told radiolemans.com’s Joe Bradley. “It was really tough, but the car was perfect. This track was probably the most physically demanding we’ve visited this year, so hopefully, Barcelona will be a bit easier!”
The #24 GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R of Nicky Pastorelli, Jordan Grogor, Alexandre Cougnaud and Jean-Pierre Valentini ended up finishing the race second. That marked the UAE-flagged team’s best result in a 24H Series race to date.
They were chased hard in the closing stages by the #22 Wochenspiegel Team Monschau Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Georg Weiss, Leonard Weiss, Jochen Krumbach and David Perel, but the Porsche held on to keep the runner up spot. The Monshau Ferrari took third, finishing two laps adrift, making it a double podium for the ‘Prancing Horse’.
A strong run from the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R of Edward Lewis Brauner, Stefan Aust, Klaus Rader, Klaus Bachler and Hans Wehrmann was enough to take 4th overall and the A6-Am class win, just ahead of the #85 CP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. The second of the Herberth Motorsport Porsches, the #911, completed the Am podium.
The third of the team’s Porsche 991 GT3 Rs, the #91 driven by Daniel Allemann, Ralf Bohn, Robert Renauer and Alfred Renauer had been in contention for the win but was forced to retire at half distance after catching fire on-track while running second.
Last weekend’s race was significant for a GT3 car not running in an A6 class. The brand new Mercedes AMG GT3 made its race debut at the meeting (pictured below), fielded by Mercedes-AMG Team Driving Academy and driven by Hubert Haupt, Maxi Buhk, Kenneth Heyer, Charles Putman and Rik Breukers. In the end, the car split the A6-Am runners by coming home sixth overall having completed 704 laps.
Further down the running order, a race-long battle for 991-class honours would eventually be won by the #909 DUWO Racing Porsche 991-II Cup of Andrey Mukovoz, Sergey Peregudov and Stanislav Sidoruk, which came home barely two laps clear of the pursuing #911 Porsche Lorient Racing 991.
Despite losing more than an hour to repair broken steering and on-track accident damage, the #980 MRS GT-Racing Porsche 991-II Cup survived to claim the final spot on the 991-class podium.
The Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Harald Schlotter, Marcus Påverud, Ilmari Korpivaara, Yury Wagner and Dominik Baumann weathered a high attrition SPX class to take the category win. Further back, the #717 Cor Euser Racing MARC II V8 suffered a broken engine, while the #454 QSR Racingschool Mercedes-AMG GT4 retired with terminal brake problems shortly before nightfall.
Despite suffering late-race fuel injector issues, the #50 Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 of Martin Kroll, Thomas Jäger, Michael Fischer, Michael Schrey and Alexander Prinz has claimed the GT4 class win ahead of the #412 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of local outfit Parkalgar Racing Team.
The #417 Team Virage Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 shared by CO. Jones, Peter Peters, Thomas Padovani and Pedro Lamy completed the class podium in the team’s 24H Series debut.
Next on the 24H Series calendar is the Barcelona 24 Hours, which will run from the 30th of August to the 1st of September.
Images courtesy of 24H Series