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Ferrari Challenge Europe, new challenge in Estoril

After an extraordinary experience at Le Mans, as a support race for the Centenary edition of the iconic 24 Hours, the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Europe is back on the track this weekend for the fifth round. The Estoril Circuit will host the 488 Challenge Evo and the drivers are ready to start the most competitive and decisive phase of the season.

Pirelli Trophy
Given the announced absence of Hungarian Bence Valint (Rossocorsa – Ferrari Budapest), third overall, it will be up to Thomas Fleming (HR Owen – FF Corse) and Max Mugelli (CDP – Eureka Competition) to try to halt the rapid progress of Eliseo Donno (Radicci Automobili ) on his way to the 2023 title. The man from Salento leads the table with 100 points after four wins and two second places, plus the fast laps and pole positions that have made him the undisputed leader of the main category. Behind him, Fleming is 33 points behind in second, while Mugelli is fourth, 40 points ahead.

Pirelli Am Trophy
In the Trofeo Pirelli Am, despite leaving the La Sarthe circuit empty-handed,
Franz Engstler (Charles Pozzi GT Racing) remains firmly at the front, with 26 points more than Hanno Laskowski (Emil Frey Sportivo). The other candidates in the category are further behind, but are still determined to succeed and score important points, starting with David Gostner (CDP – MP Racing), second in Le Mans, and Nicolò Rosi (Kessel Racing), who missed France in the last month.

Coppa Shell
After the prestigious victory in the last round, Manuela Gostner (CDP – MP Racing) will try to keep the fight for the title alive. Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo – Herter Racing) is the clear favorite with a total of 97 points, 33 more than the Italian after three wins, two second places and a third. Meanwhile, there is a fierce fight for the remaining positions in the classification, with veteran Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) in third. He will have to defend himself from the attacks of Alexander Nussbaumer (Gohm – Scuderia GT), in fifth and 10 points away, who is ready to take advantage of the absence of Willem van der Vorm (Scuderia Monte-Carlo). The Estoril round of the Ferrari Challenge will see the return of Thomas Löfflad (Gohm – Baron Motorsport), who has five seasons in the Cavalinho Rampante single-brand competition and the 2016 class title.

Martinus Richter (MERTEL Motorsport), currently second in the standings behind leader Kirk Baerwaldt (Kessel Racing), will not take part in the Coppa Shell Am in Estoril. After victories at Misano, Spielberg and Le Mans, Baerwaldt will look to increase his lead and take advantage of his closest rival’s absence. However, the Singaporean driver will face strong opposition, in particular from Motohiko Isozaki (Cornes Motors Shiba), who is coming off two unlucky races, Henrik Kamstrup (Formula Racing), who took an excellent second place in France, Tommy Lindroth (Baron Motorsport) , who has been improving his performance, and Stefano Marazzi (Rossocorsa), fourth in Le Mans.

As part of the Ferrari Racing Days, after the free practice sessions, the Ferrari Challenge Europe sees the first Qualifying sessions take place on Saturday, with the Coppa Shell Am on the track at 09:00 and the Coppa Shell at 09:30. The green light for Race 1 comes on at 2:20 pm. The Trofeo Pirelli has Qualifying at 11:40 am, with the first race at 5:25 pm. On Sunday, Qualifying for the 16th Coppa Shell is scheduled for 9:00 am and the Coppa Sell Am for 9:30 am, with Race 2 again at 2:20 pm. After Qualifying at 11:40 am, the Trofeo Pirelli starts at 3:30 pm. All in local time.
Qualifying and Races are broadcast live, free of charge, with commentary in English on and on the Ferrari YouTube channel.

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WTM by Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 wins Hankook 12H ESTORIL

  • Ferrari 296 GT3 achieves another double podium at Estoril with WTM by Rinaldi Racing and Kessel Racing.
  • The winner of the 2022 European GT Trophy, Scherer Sport PHX, reaches the final podium after an intense fight.
  • Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors beats Red with victory in the 992; RPM Racing recovers from a difficult 6H qualifying race to win in 992-AM.
  • Problems for RD Signs and Vortex V8 in the fight for victory in the GTX.
  • Atlas BX Motorsport wins in GT4; Buggyra ZM Racing abandon with the goal in sight.

WTM by Rinaldi Racing secured its second consecutive victory of the weekend with CREVENTIC, after dominating and winning in the debut of the Hankook 12H ESTORIL

The WTM by Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 (#22, Georg Weiss / Leonard Weiss / Jochen Krumbach / Torsten Kratz), started from pole position for the Estoril 12pm this morning after winning the CREVENTIC 6H qualifying race on Friday – fair. It was a clean and virtually error-free race. Leading 393 of the 401 laps completed on the Estoril circuit, he secured an impressive victory in the Hankook 12H ESTORIL. Jochen Krumbach set the fastest overall lap – 1m 37.302s – for the German team.

In addition to achieving Ferrari’s fifth victory in seven official CREVENTIC events in Portugal since 2017, WTM by Rinaldi Racing also becomes the first GT team in 2023 to obtain more than one victory in the 24H SERIES.

“It was, definitely, a perfect weekend, It’s a dream come true, driving a GT3 car and achieving two victories, with the Qualifying Race [6H] yesterday and 12 hours today, it was a fantastic weekend”, commented Torsten Kratz to Peter Snowden, from “We came here to see what this car could do and from day one it went really well. We worked well as a team and all my teammates did a great job. We had everything under control and the car was perfectly prepared, with a good setup that [didn’t harm] the tires. I have no words!”

Appropriately enough, a driver change in the final 12 minutes allowed team owner Georg Weiss to take the Ferrari to the finish line to take the checkered flag.

“Yesterday the 1st. Today 1st.”, continued Weiss. “The whole team did very well and it was great to be here. It’s our seventh year with Ferrari and they always do a great job.”

The current winner of the GT European Trophy, Scherer Sport PHX (#1, Michael Doppelmayr / Pierre Kaffer / Elia Erhart / Christer Jöns), kept the WTM “honest” during the 12 hours finishing 2nd overall, with the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II just over 90 seconds behind the race winner, after making up for the lap delay he had in the penultimate round at the Estoril circuit. Despite intermittently struggling with grip issues, Kessel Racing’s other Ferrari 296 GT3 (#8, Alessandro Cutrera / Marco Talarico / Marco Frezza / David Fumanelli / L.M.D.V.), runner-up in yesterday’s 6H Qualifying Race, secured its second consecutive podium in the 24H SERIES, finishing the race in 3rd.

Hankook 12H ESTORIL – GT Overall Podium

  • WTM Racing by Rinaldi Racing (#22, Ferrari 296 GT3) – 401 laps
  • Scherer Sport PHX (#1, Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II) – + 1m 35.806s
  • Kessel Racing (#8, Ferrari 296 GT3) – 399 laps

Mirroring yesterday’s 6H Qualifying Race at Estoril, the GT3-AM Teams title protagonists, CP Racing (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster / Shane Lewis) and E2P Racing (#90, Javier Morcillo / Pablo Burguera / Antonio Sainero) finished 4th and 5th overall respectively, which means that the American team’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 now leads with a difference of 8 points over the Spanish team’s Porsche 991.2 GT3 R, an ideal situation, even more because the 24h SERIES heads, this time, towards the end of the 2023 European season with the Hankook 24H BARCELONA on September 15-16-17.

The HAAS RT Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II (#21, Frédéric Vervisch / Mathieu Detry / Gregory Servais) faced a tough race at Estoril. Running 2nd during the opening phase, the Antigua team managed to overtake Rinaldi Racing’s Ferrari during the first pit stops. The repercussions of an incident with PCR Sport during Friday’s 6H qualifying race were, however, finally felt when a bearing failed, leading to a complete change of the left rear hub that sent the Audi to the end of the race. platoon. Despite being several laps behind, the Haas RT recovered to 11th place overall, but a new problem, this time with the gearbox, finally eliminated the Audi from the event at the 10th hour of the race. Hard and ungrateful.

Despite the disappointment, the Haas RT had already completed a sufficient race distance to secure a 6th place in its class, securing points that take the Antigua team to the top of the GT3 teams’ standings, although they are only two points ahead of the CP Racing. Grégory Servais would be awarded’s ‘Spirit of the Race’ award for his decision to exchange the time he was going to dedicate to buying a new sofa (yes, that’s right, a sofa) this weekend, and for trip to Estoril and join the Haas RT team. Hence the ‘Désolé pour le divan!!!’, the message that could be read on the back of Audi #21.

The Mercedes-AMG GT3 from MP Racing (#58, Thomas Gostner / Manuela Gostner / Corinna Gostner / David Gostner / Fabrizio Crestani) and the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup from HRT Performance (#967, Roberto Pampanini / Amedeo Pampanini / Stefano Monaco / Nicolas Stürzinger), were the only other confirmed abandonments of the Hankook 12H ESTORIL. The former saw its drive belt break before finally “coasting”, while the latter struggled to overcome electrical problems.

A fierce battle for honors in the 992 ended up smiling at Willi Motorsport by Ebimotors with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (#955, Sergiu Nicolae / Sabino de Castro / Papi Cosimo), after a flawless race. The Romanian-Italian team finished just 90 seconds ahead of Red also in Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (#909, Ivo Breukers / Rik Breukers / Luc Breukers / Fabian Danz). The latter was delayed in qualifying during a scheduled brake change, but the pair finished in an impressive 6th and 7th place overall.

The current European champion among the 992 Teams, Red Ant Racing (#903, Ayrton Redant / Yannick Redant / Kobe de Breucker), completes the podium of the 992, being 8th overall, just ahead of #904 (Jimmy de Breucker / Michiel Haverans / Brent Verheyen), after a fight worthy of a place in the stands for the final flag with Red Camel. The pair were separated by 1.5s at the finish, “bare” seconds after 12 uninterrupted hours of racing.

With this result, Red Ant Racing maintains its lead in the championship standings in the 992 TEAMS and is just four points away from absolute leadership in the fight for the GT European Trophy title, this, once again at the door of the last European round of the season in Barcelona.

RPM Racing (#907, Tracy Krohn / Niclas Jönsson / Philip Hamprecht), secured their second victory of the season in the 992-Am and simultaneously strengthened their lead in the class championship. The German team’s solid race was frustrated only by a “scare” with the gearbox towards the end of the race. This setback resulted in two laps of delay compared to HRT Performance (#930, Kari-Pekka Laaksonen / Antti Buri / Axel Sartingen / Daniele Di Amato), which was also the victim of the need to carry out a complete change, also of the gearbox in the start of the race.

Hankook 12H ESTORIL – 99s Podium

  • Willi Motorsport By Ebimotors (#955, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup) – 390 laps
  • Red Camel-Jordans .nl (#909, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup) – + 1m 29.623s
  • Red Ant Racing (#903, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup) – +1.577s

The Siauliai racing team (#720, Audrius Butkevicius / Nicola Michelon / Paulius Paskevicius), RD Signs, survived an engine mount failure and went on to take victory in the GTX class at the Hankook 12H ESTORIL. The Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo controlled the opening two-thirds of the race, reaching a nine-lap advantage over the Vortex V8 (#701, Lionel Amrouche / Philippe Bonnel / Gilles Courtois) before losing 35 minutes in the pits. Ironically, the benefited Vortex would later face its own problems, in the final hour of the race, when the light French sports car had to be “recovered” from turn four. I would still finish 2nd in the class.

Atlas BX Motorsports (#403, Steven Cho / Roelof Bruins / Jongkyum Kim / Taekeun Yang / Donggi Noh), took their fourth victory of the season and moves to the lead in the GT4 championship standings. Furthermore, the South Korean team is now tied with RD Signs at the top of the race for the GT European Trophy title.

Brutally, the hitherto championship leader Buggyra Racing (#416, Aliyyah Koloc / David Vršecký / Adam Lacko), having already lost 20 minutes when the hub of the front left wheel of the Mercedes-AMG GT4 failed, ended its participation in the Hankook 12H ESTORIL with less than 10 minutes left in the 12-hour race due to a fuel fire.

Finally, the Spaniards from PCR Sport (#418, Josep Parera / Vicente Dasi / José Nuñez), would make several “trips” to the Estoril gravel and would later be faced with repairing the differential, but would claim a place on the GT4 podium. , achieved with a lot of effort.

The last European round of this year’s 24H SERIES Powered By Hankook will be the Hankook 24H BARCELONA – first held in 1998 – at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on September 15th and 17th.