Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is the place to be for touring car racing fans this weekend as the Italian venue will be hosting the Hankook 24H MISANO, round three of this year’s 24H TOURING CAR ENDURANCE (TCE) SERIES powered by Hankook. With the event at the twisty circuit on the Italian Adriatic coast, the series reaches the halfway point of the current season. Good competition is expected with the teams from the burgeoning TCR class taking centre stage, facing competition from the SP3-GT4 and CUP1 classes. With Italian Emanuele Pirro, ex-Formula 1 driver, multiple touring car champion and a five-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours, and Dutchman Jan Lammers, winner of the 1988 Le Mans 24 Hours, two motor racing legends will be on the grid.
This weekend’s Hankook 24H MISANO marks the first visit of the CREVENTIC SERIES powered by Hankook to the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Formerly known as the Autodromo Santa Monica, the circuit was opened in 1972. The facility was updated several times, the most notable modification being the reconstruction that included a change in the racing direction from anti-clockwise to clockwise in 2007. For the last three decades, Misano has regularly hosted World Superbike and Moto GP events, but the track is also perfectly suited for car racing, even up to the European Truck Racing Championship!
This weekend, the focus will be on the TCR category as the leading class in the 24H TCE SERIES powered by Hankook. Teams from five different countries will be competing for touring car honours with Honda Civic, Audi RS 3 LMS and SEAT Leon TCR cars expected on the grid. Further production-based touring cars similar to TCR machinery have been entered in the SP3-GT4 class, such as the Peugeot 308 Racing Cup car and the brand-new Hyundai i30 N. The Ginetta G55 GT4 is running in the SP3-GT4 class as well, while the CUP1 class traditionally is reserved for the BMW M235i Racing Cup machines. Doubling up after its participation in last weekend’s Hankook 12H IMOLA, Team Africa Le Mans from South Africa will be competing at Misano as well. The driver line-up of its Ginetta includes famous racing drivers Emanuele Pirro and Jan Lammers, two former winners of the Le Mans 24 Hours.
With good scores in the two previous rounds at Silverstone and Magny-Cours, Belgian CUP1 class team QSR will be heading to Misano as the leaders in the overall 24H TCE SERIES teams’ standings, closely followed by SP3-GT4 team CWS and top TCR teams Monlau Competicion and Pit Lane Competizioni. All four will be racing at Misano as well, eager to add to their points’ total. Belgians Mario Timmers, Jimmy de Breucker and Rodrigue Gillon, three of the four drivers registered on the QSR BMW M235i Racing Cup for this weekend’s race at Misano, are leading the overall 24H TCE SERIES drivers’ standings.
On Friday, 7 July, there is an optional private test from 14.00 till 17.00 hrs, followed by free practice from 17.15 till 18.45 hrs. Starting grid positions for the race will be determined in a one-hour qualifying session for all classes from 19.00 till 20.00 hrs. On Saturday, 8 July, cars will take their grid positions from 8.00 hrs onwards, with the race start scheduled at 9.00 hrs and the finish 24 hours later, followed by the publication of the official results and the prize-giving ceremony.