MUGELLO (30 March 2019) – The Bohemia Energy racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 (#11, Jiří Písařík / Josef Kral / Matteo Malucelli) opened its 2019 European Championship account in commanding fashion with a victory at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO. Matteo Malucelli took the Ferrari over the line to complete 330 laps of the 5.245km Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello and cement Scuderia Praha’s second victory at the fifth running of the event.
Having led every one of the opening 85 laps of the 12-hour endurance event, the Scuderia Praha Ferrari also maintained the top spot during this morning’s rolling re-start, only relinquishing the lead, briefly, to a charging Barwell Motorsport after 100 laps had been completed. Strong pit work though, plus issues for many of its nearest rivals, allowed the Ferrari to build the three-lap advantage it would hold to the finish.
“This is really amazing because this is our second win in Mugello,” Jiří Písařík explained to radiolemans.com’s Joe Bradley. “In the beginning, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but this was really incredible. Matteo did a great job, he drove 4.5hrs combined, and his pace was absolutely perfect.”
“It’s definitely perfect,” teammate Josef Kral agreed. “It’s like a home track for us, especially for Matteo because he lives just 45 minutes away. And to do this with a Ferrari, we’re going to have to celebrate this properly!”
Despite suffering intermittent fuel pick-up issues, the Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (#77, Adrian Amstutz / Patrick Kujala / Phil Keen) finished a commendable 2nd place on its season debut, leading 28 of the 330 completed laps. A similarly impressive run meant the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R (#91, Daniel Allemann / Ralf Bohn / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer) rounded out the top three after working its way through the order from 7th on this morning’s re-start grid.
Victory in A6-Am, dramatically, went down to the wire between the Hofor-Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#10, Michael Kroll / Roland Eggimann / Kenneth Heyer / Christiaan Frankenhout) and the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS (#34, Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff / Max Edelhoff / Elmar Grimm / Ingo Vogler). The Audi R8 LMS held the lead heading into the final hour, but ultimately Ingo Vogler could not resist a sensational passing manoeuvre from Christiaan Frankenhout with just 15 minutes of the race left to run.
Finishing 4th and 5th on the road respectively, the result ensured that five different manufacturers – Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Audi and Mercedes-AMG – finished inside the top five.
The CP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster) finished 6th on the road, and thus completes the A6-Am podium.
991, SP2 & GT4
A tight, race-long battle for 991-class victory was eventually won by the Porsche Lorient Racing Porsche 991-I Cup (#912, Philippe Polette / Frederic Lelievre / Pascal Gibon / Jean-Philippe Belloc), the reigning 991 European Champions just pipping Raceunion (#987, Alex Autumn / Felipe Fernández Laser / Andreas Gülden) for the win. The second Porsche Lorient Racing entry (#911, Jean-François Demorge / Gilles Blasco / Lionel Amrouche / Frédéric Ancel) secured the French team a 1-3 finish.
The RTR Projects KTM X-BOW (#224, Sergej Pavlovec / Tomas Miniberger / Karel Bednar / Erik Janis) took SP2-class honours in Mugello, just ahead of a double podium finish for JR Motorsport: the team’s BMW M3 F80 (#202, Ted van Vliet / Ruud Olij) claimed 2nd, while the sister BMW M4 Silhouette (#203, Ward Sluys / Michael Verhagen / Max Weering) finished 3rd.
Reigning 24H TCE SERIES Champions Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 (#50, Martin Kroll / Michael Schrey / Michael Fischer / Gustav Engljaehringer / Thomas Jäger) got its title defence off to a fantastic start with victory in GT4 with the BMW M4. A heavy accident for the MRS GT-Racing BMW M4 GT4 (#426, Franjo Kovac / Thomas Tekaat / Tomas Pekar), which also featured the Reiter Engineering KTM X-BOW, meant 2nd in-class consequently went to PROSport Performance (#1, Rodrigue Gillion / Nico Verdonck / Akhil Rabindra) on the reigning 24H GT SERIES Champion’s first competitive outing with the brand new Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4. Although it failed to make the finish, the #426 BMW was still classified 3rd.