SEAT Supercup Ireland Champion Erik Holstein will be on the grid for the latest round of the Hancook 24H series, the 12H Imola, this weekend. The multiple Irish saloon car champion returns to the Cadspeed squad, having won with the team on his endurance debut at the 24 Hours of Dubai earlier this year. He will once be backed by Audi Wexford and returns to the same Audi RS4 LMS with which he won in last time out.
Erik will team up with former BTCC star James Kaye and American JT Coupal at the wheel of the Audi and despite upgrades on some of the other cars in the TCR class, is confident of a strong result.
“It is a bit last minute”, said the former champion showjumper, “but then so was Dubai and that didn’t turn out so bad! At least this time I will have driven the car before the race. We have a good team and my team mates are quick so we should be in the hunt for TCR honours. Thanks, as ever, to Audi Wexford for their support!”
A total of 40 cars and drivers and teams from 24 different nationalities are expected for the race at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, a new venue on the calendar of the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook, but a circuit with a long history in motorsport.
Of course, Imola is the spiritual home of the Italian supercars, because the ‘Terra di Motori’, with the Ferrari headquarters in Maranello and the Lamborghini factory in Sant’Agata Bolognese not far away. Both brands are represented on the grid for the Hankook 12H IMOLA, with Czech team Scuderia Praha, winners of this year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO, present with its Ferrari 488 GT3 and Lamborghini being represented by German team Leipert Motorsport and Austrian outfit GRT Grasser Racing Team. In the A6 class, they will be facing strong competition, first and foremost from German Porsche team Herberth Motorsport. Having won three races already in this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook, the Renauer brothers’ team still has unfinished business in Italy as a technical problem prevented success at Mugello. Other teams in the A6 class, split up into a Pro- and an Am-sub- division, have entries with Mercedes-AMG GT3, Porsche 991 GT3 R, Renault RS01 FGT3 and Audi R8 LMS.
The Porsche 991 class includes five entries. Another six Porsche Cup cars have been entered in class SP2, along with one MARC Focus V8, one BMW M3, one GC Automobile and one Audi TTRS. The SP3-GT4 class has three cars on the grid, one Porsche and a pair of Ginettas. The TCR touring car category consists of two SEAT Leons, two Audi RS 3 LMS, including Holstein’s Cadspeed entry, and three Peugeot 308 Racing Cup cars. Two cars in the A2 class, one Renault Clio and one Toyota GT86, round out the field. Some teams are making their 24H SERIES debut in Imola: MDC Sports from Germany in A6, RScar Motorsport from Russia and Brookspeed International Motorsport from the UK in SP3-GT4. In the same class, Team Africa Le Mans from South Africa will be on the grid as well with a line-up that includes Le Mans 24-hour race winner Jan Lammers and South-African motor racing legend Sarel van der Merwe.
In the overall GT teams’ standings of the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook, Swiss team Hofor Racing and German outfit PROsport Performance are jointly in the lead, tied at 92 points. Accordingly, the teams’ respective drivers, Kenneth Heyer, Roland Eggimann, Michael and Chantal Kroll and Christiaan Frankenhout for Hofor Racing and Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub and Joe Foster for PROsport Performance, are leading the overall drivers’ standings. Chantal Kroll is on the best way to defend her 24H SERIES ladies’ cup title while Max Edelhoff is the best-placed rookie driver.
On Thursday, 29 June, drivers have the possibility to familiarise themselves during rent-a- car rides and optional private tests. On Friday, 30 June, free practice is scheduled from 9.45 till 11.15 hrs, followed by qualifying from 11.30 till 12.30 hrs.The first part of the race will run on Friday from 15.00 till 19.00 hrs, after which intervention rules apply. The restart is on Saturday at 11.00 hrs, the finish is at 19.00 hrs.
Hankook is the exclusive tyre supplier and title sponsor of the event while Italian company Panta racing fuels is the official fuel supplier. BRM is the official timekeeping partner and provides the trophies for the prize-giving ceremony. SPAA05 provides LED displays indicating the position of each car in the race. The following companies are present with sales and service booths in the paddock: Stand21 for racing apparel, DRD international for stickers, Global Crave for freshly squeezed orange juice and Speedcom for radio communication equipment and support.
Live timing and live streaming of the race in HD quality with commentary by Radiolemans.com will be available on the series’ website. The streaming will also be uploaded on the series’ Youtube channel. Regular updates will be published on Twitter (@24HSeries), Facebook (24H Series) and Instagram (24H Series). Further information can be found at www.24hseries.com.