Rutronik Racing wins in Sebring in an eventful end to this season’s 24H Series powered by Hankook
The 24H Series powered by Hankook drew to a close with a spectacular season finale in the USA. After 559 eventful laps, and some heavy rain at times, the Rutronik Racing team emerged triumphant with its Audi R8 LMS GT3. The success at Sebring International Raceway was also the team’s first victory in a 24-hour race. In the TCE class, AC Motorsport was unbeatable, crossing the finish line first with the Audi RS3 LMS DSG after 514 laps at the US classic. Just as it has done all season, the Hankook Ventus Race tyre again impressed with its strong performance and maximum safety in the diverse conditions. Premium partner Hankook has been exclusive tyre partner and title sponsor of the 24H Series for years.
Neu-Isenburg, Germany, 23 November 2021
The weather played a key role at the final round of this season’s 24H Series powered by Hankook in Sebring. While qualifying took place on a dry track, it started to rain at the start of the race at 17:00 local time. Right from the word go, pole-sitter Rutronik Racing and Herberth Motorsport (Porsche 911 GT3 R) were embroiled in a thrilling battle for the lead. In the early stages of the race, there were many scraps for position and overtaking manoeuvres throughout the field on what was initially a dry and then a wet track the field. With all this going on, the drivers were supported perfectly by the Hankook Ventus Race tyre, in its wet and dry variants.
When it started to rain heavily again roughly three quarters of the way into the race, resulting in standing water on the track, the Hankook 24H Sebring had to be suspended. A decisive moment in the battle for victory came after the restart, when Herberth Motorsport was handed a two-minute penalty for an infringement in the pit lane. This left the way clear for Rutronik Racing to triumph. Herberth Motorsport finished runner-up, 1:44.136 minutes behind the winners. This was enough to ensure they also finished second in the overall GT Division. The title in this class went to the ST Racing team with a BMW M4 GT4 – a success that crowned a consistently strong performance throughout the season. In the TCE class, second place behind AC Motorsport was enough for Autorama Motorsport to successfully defend its title in the TCE Division.
The event at Sebring International Raceway marked the end of another successful year for the 24H Series powered by Hankook. As has become tradition, the international endurance racing season kicked off in January with the 24-hour classic in Dubai. After that, the pursuit of victories and points continued at renowned circuits in five European countries. Among the tracks to host the 24H Series before the grand finale in Sebring were Formula 1 circuits like Mugello in Italy, Barcelona in Spain, and Hockenheim in Germany. Organiser Creventic has again put together a top-class calendar for the 2022 season. With four 24-hour races and three 12-hour races at prestigious international racetracks, exciting endurance action is guaranteed.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “Sebring was a worthy climax to this season’s 24H Series. Spectacular battles throughout the whole field, Code 60 phases, rain, then the suspension because the water was unable to run off the concrete fast enough – it had a bit of everything. The Hankook race tyre really impressed in these difficult conditions and on the differing surfaces in Sebring. The same can be said of our team of engineers on site, who pushed themselves to the limit and did a great job with what was a tight schedule and little time for preparation. Congratulations to the winners and all the competitors, whose strong presence showed just how attractive the 24H Series is. We have a great season behind us – one that has passed off without any issues, despite the adversities posed by coronavirus. From the season-opener in Dubai to the iconic European circuits and finally the season finale, which took place in Sebring for the first time, it has delivered spectacular long-distance motorsport. We would like to say a big thank you to the organiser Creventic, with whom Hankook has enjoyed a friendly and trustworthy partnership for years. In line with the motto ‘We are Endurance’, Creventic has again put together an attractive calendar for the 2022 season. With four 24-hour races, this is a unique selling point within international endurance racing. They have added a new venue, in the form of the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, which will be particularly appealing for any driver. The Hankook race tyre will also be put to the test there, as the weather often plays a major role in the Ardennes.”
24H Series powered by Hankook
13th – 15th January 2022: Hankook 24H Dubai
25th – 26th March 2022: Hankook 12H Mugello
22nd – 24th April 2022: Hankook 12H Spa-Francorchamps
13th – 15th May 2022: Hankook 12H Hockenheim
8th – 10th July 2022: Hankook 24H Portimao
9th – 11th September 2022: Hankook 24H Barcelona
18th – 20th November 2022: Hankook 24H Sebring
Photos: Petr Fryba