EN: Car Collection clinches overall podium at turbulent 12H race in Spa

EN: Car Collection clinches overall podium at turbulent 12H race in Spa

At the Hankook 12H Spa as part of the 24H Series, Team Car Collection secured a podium finish in a turbulent race with third place overall for car number 80, after the team had already caused a sensation in qualifying with pole position and second place.

The Car Collection Motorsport team entered the second race of the 24H Series season at Spa-Francorchamps with two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs. As in previous years, the 12-hour race was divided into two sections. While a distance of five hours was covered on Saturday, the second part of the race, which lasted seven hours, took place on Sunday. As usual, difficult weather conditions prevailed on the “Ardennes rollercoaster”. From sunshine to heavy rain and snowfall, the Belgian spring had everything to offer during the event, causing the team strategists’ pulses to race to unimagined heights.

In qualifying, Car Collection achieved the feat of taking both pole position and second place. In the #12 Porsche 911 GT3 R, “Hash”, Alex Fontana, Ivan Jacoma and Jannick Mettler set the fastest time of all participants. Directly behind them was the sister car with starting number 80 and drivers Antares Au, Jonathan Hui and Kevin Tse, who also achieved pole position in the PRO-AM class.

The race started on Saturday in wet conditions. The changing weather conditions made it very difficult for the strategists to find the right time to change to dry tyres. Unfortunately, this change came too early for the #12 car, causing the driver crew to drop back. With strong driving performances, they were nevertheless able to finish the first part of the race in fourth place. Shortly before the start of part two on Sunday, the technicians noticed a problem with the drive shaft of the #12 Porsche and hopes that the shaft would last the distance were dashed during the first stint. Despite a lightning-fast repair in a record time of 15 minutes, the #12 lost five laps and ultimately had no chance in the battle for overall victory. Fourth place in the class and 10th overall do not reflect the true capabilities of this driver line-up, as the second-fastest race lap of all participants shows.

Things went better for the sister car with the #80, although they also had to contend with difficulties here. In the first half of the race, the three drivers had a lot of bad luck with Code60 phases and dropped back to 10th place. Strong performances from the drivers, a perfectly timed change to dry tyres and some luck with a Code60 phase in the second half of the race brought the car back into the fight for the podium, which the #80 finished in third place.

Peter Schmidt, Team Principal: “All in all, I’m very happy with this podium result. The conditions demanded everything from us, as usual here at Spa. The drivers of the #80 mastered all this absolutely faultlessly, which is a great achievement. I’m very sorry for our #12, because without the technical problems we could have been in contention for victory. I am very proud of our entire team, who did a great job.”