EN:  Strong performance remained without reward at the 24h of Spa

EN: Strong performance remained without reward at the 24h of Spa

For the first time in the team’s history, Car Collection Motorsport competed in the world’s biggest GT3 race – the 24h of Spa. With two very well manned cars the team wanted to fully attack in the overall ranking as well as in the Silver Cup. However, after strong performances in practice and the first third of the race, Car Collection had to accept a double retirement due to punctures and their consequences.

The #12 Audi R8 LMS evo II GT3 entered under Audi Sport Team Tresor was piloted by Audi Sport drivers Mattia Drudi and Christopher Haase as well as Luca Ghiotto. The team, which operates with the support of Audi Sport, already showed in qualifying and in Super Pole that it is a force to be reckoned with. Mattia Drudi set the seventh-fastest time in his first individual time trial with a flawless lap and was thus the best Audi driver. Due to a penalty of a car placed in front of him, the #12 moved up to sixth on the grid. The #11, driven by Italian regular Lorenzo Patrese as well as his compatriots Daniele Di Amato and Alberto Di Folco and Frenchman Pierre Alexandre Jean, competed in the Silver Cup. Here, the quartet finished seventh on the grid in its class and 30th overall in qualifying.

After the start, Christopher Haase in the #12 was quickly able to make up a position and put pressure on the fourth-placed driver. After less than an hour, however, the dream of a top result for Car Collection was already over when Haase suffered a puncture and had to tow the Audi to the pits at walking pace for almost an entire lap. In addition, the severe puncture also damaged the rear of the car. Although the Car Collection crew repaired the damage in a hurry, the #12 was already three laps down after that. After another minor collision and resulting repairs, Car Collection took the car out of the race with six laps down.

At this point, the #11 had already fought its way forward significantly and was partly in the top 10 of the overall standings. In addition, the driver quartet was fighting for the lead in the Silver Cup. Without any mistakes and with strong lap times they drove into the night, where they took the class lead several times. But unfortunately this luck did not last long either, because the #11 also suffered a massive puncture, as a result of which Lorenzo Patrese crashed into the tire barrier. The young Italian was fortunately unhurt, but the race was over for Car Collection.

Even if the hoped-for results did not materialize, Peter Schmidt’s team is taking home the certainty that it can also fight for the top in the world’s biggest GT3 race. The performance of the drivers and the entire team was absolutely convincing, only the race luck that is always necessary in a 24-hour race was unfortunately missing this time.

Foto Credits: Christopher Otto