Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in the Barcelona 24-hour race
Barcelona (ESP). AMG Customer Sports Team HP Racing claimed the overall win in the 24-hour race in Barcelona. The team, led by principal Harald Proczyk (AUT), took the checkered flag as the winners after 662 laps. For the team, this is the first victory in an international endurance race. With second and third place, AMG Customer Sport Teams Hofor Racing and RAM Racing completed the 1-2-3.
The fifth running of the endurance race near Barcelona required everything from the competitors. Reinhold Renger (GER), Reinhard Kofler (AUT), Sean Johnston (USA), Harald Proczyk and Bernd Schneider (GER) put in the best performance. From eighth place on the grid, the quintet gradually worked its way up with the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 and drove victory home after 24 hours. AMG Customer Sports Pool Driver Bernd Schneider drove the gullwing across the finish line.
A faultless performance allowed Christiaan Frankenhout (NED), Kenneth Heyer (GER), Roland Eggimann, Michael and Chantal Kroll (all SUI) to finish second. Towards the end of the race, the AMG Customer Sports Team was able to significantly reduced the gap to the front-runners and eventually only just missed out on victory. With another Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, RAM Racing finished third. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), Paul White, Tom Onslow-Cole (both GBR) and Thomas Jäger (GER) secured the fifth consecutive 24H Series podium finish for the team.
Team Car Collection Motorsport also sparked a huge surprise at Barcelona. Peter Schmidt, Alexander Mattschull, Johannes Sieger (all GER), Rik Breukers and Renger van der Zande (NED) secured the first-ever pole position for the team, but failed to finish the race. Their team-mates Gustav Edelhoff, Ingo Vogler, Elmar Grimm, Heinz Schmersal and Dr. Johannes Kirchhoff (all GER) finished in 23rd place in spite of longer repair breaks. The SPS Automotive Performance teams with drivers Valentin Pierburg, Lance-David Arnold, Tim und Alex Müller (all GER) had to retire after some 20 hours.
At the Nürburgring, Black Falcon, another AMG Customer Sports Team had reason to celebrate. With their Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, Hubert Haupt (GER), Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA), Yelmer Buurman (NED) and Adam Christodoulou (GBR) scored the overall win in the ‘6h ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen’ of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring. Thus, an SLS AMG GT3 won the season highlight of Europe’s most popular club race series for the fourth consecutive time.
Bernd Schneider, AMG Customer Sports Pool Driver: “What a great success for us! The HP Racing team has done its utmost throughout the race. During the season, the team showed continuous progress and really deserved this victory.”
Thomas Jäger, AMG Customer Sports Pool Driver: “This 24-hour race was quite tough and really challenging for all competitors. Third place for RAM Racing is a top result for the team. Thus, the team builds on the strong performances from the past races. Moreover, RAM Racing strengthens its lead in the 24H Series’ championship standings.”
Jochen Bitzer, head of AMG Customer Sport: “Both in the 24-hour race in Barcelona and at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, the AMG Customer Sport teams have demonstrated the performance of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in an impressive way. Congratulations to the entire HP Racing team. The team fought hard in Barcelona and scored a well-deserved win. Hofor Racing and RAM Racing round out this special success with second and third place. Too bad that the AMG Customer Sport teams SPS Automotive-Performance and Car Collection Motorsport couldn’t score a top result as well. We were really happy with the first pole position for Car Collection Motorsport. Also congratulations to Black Falcon for their victory in the six-hour race of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring.”
The race result* at a glance:
|1.||2||Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 / HP Racing||Harald Proczyk, Bernd Schneider, Reinhold Renger, Reinhard Kofler, Sean Johnston||662|
|2.||10||Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 / Hofor Racing||Michael Kroll, Chantal Kroll, Roland Eggimann, Kenneth Heyer, Christiaan Frankenhout||659|
|3.||30||Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 / RAM Racing||Tom Onslow-Cole, Paul White, Thomas Jäger, Jeroen Bleekemolen||649|
|4.||17||Porsche 991 Cup / Ruffier Racing||Patrice Lafargue, Paul Lafargue, Gabriel Abergel, Dimitri Enjalberg||641|
|5.||56||Porsche 991 Cup / Classica Motors by RMS||Richard Feller, Franco Piergiovanni, Fabio Spirgi, Manuel Nicolaidis||634|
|6.||22||Lamborghini Huracán / Leipert Motorsport||Isaac Tutumlu Lopez, Mikko Eskelinen, Vadim Gitlin, Ulrik Roland Pedersen, Marcel Leipert||624|
|7.||54||Porsche 991 Cup / Drivex||Daniel Schneider, Gilberto Farah, Eduardo Azevedo, Carlos Ambrosio, Ricardo Mauricio||621|
|8.||59||Porsche 991 Cup / Classica Motors by RMS 2||Richard Feller, Manuel Nicolaidis, Fabrice Notari, Marc Faggionato, Philipp Schnyder||620|
|9.||66||Porsche 997 Cup S / ARC Bratislava||Miroslav Konopka, Matei Konopka Jr., Zdeno Mikulasko, Miro Hornak||617|
|10.||43||Porsche 997 Cup / APO Sport||James May, Alex Osborne, Paul May||617|
|23.||27||Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 / Car Collection Motorsport 2||Gustav Edelhoff, Ingo Vogler, Elmar Grimm, Heinz Schmersal, Johannes Kirchhoff||595|
|54.||33||Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 / SPS Automotive-Performance||Valentin Pierburg, Lance-David Arnold, Tim Müller, Alex Müller||489|
|66.||5||Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 / Car Collection Motorsport 1||Peter Schmidt, Alexander Mattschull, Johannes Siegler, Rik Breukers, Renger van der Zande||345|
* subject to confirmation by the organisers