Ram Racing leads incredibly close Hankook 12H IMOLA after four hours

After four hours of frenetic action, the Ram Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#5, Remon Leonard Vos / Tom Onslow-Cole) leads the 2018 Hankook 12H IMOLA, having completed 120 laps of the 4.909km Autodromo Enzo e Dino. The British-entered Mercedes comfortably led the opening 32 laps after qualifying on pole position by the narrowest of margins, and having survived increasingly scorching temperatures, now holds a slim lead over the Forch Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R (#29, Zeljko Drmic / Patrick Eisemann / Robert Lukas) and the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R (#911, Daniel Allemann / Ralf Bohn / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer).

“Fantastic start to the race,” explained Tom Onslow-Cole, who’s teammate Remon Leonard Vos narrowly avoided on-coming traffic when he spun at Rivazza in the closing stages. “I think in terms of fuel and tyres, we’re on a pretty good strategy. I’d love to tell you it’s all gone smoothly, but it’s been a real fight and I think we’ve been given a bit of a ‘get out of jail’ free card.”

Having led outright after the second round of pit stops, the Swiss Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#15, Roberto Pampanini / Christoph Lenz / Mauro Calamia) heads the A6-Am class. Running 4th on the road, the distinctive green Mercedes finished the ‘first part’ of the race just ahead of the IDEC SPORT RACING Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#17, Patrice Lafargue / Paul Lafargue / Dimitri Enjalbert) and fellow A6-Am entrant, PROsport Performance (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster). Last year’s event winner Car Collection Motorsport (#33, Ali Çapan / Siegfried Kuzdas / Horst Felbermayr Jr. / Isaac Tutumlu Lopez) rounds out the A6-Am top three.

The Hofor-Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#1, Michael Kroll / Chantal Prinz / Roland Eggimann / Kenneth Heyer / Christiaan Frankenhout) had looked set to contend for victory after starting alongside Ram Racing on the front row, only for an overheated gearbox to lose the Mercedes-AMG GT3 almost two hours in the garage. Fellow Mercedes runners SPS automotive performance meanwhile (#16, Valentin Pierburg / Tim Müller / Lance-David Arnold) also led in the opening stages, but has now retired from the event with terminal chassis damage.

Having qualified fastest of the 991 runners, the Raceunion Porsche 991-II Cup (#187, Alex Autumn / Felipe Fernández Laser / Andreas Gülden) now leads the 991-category. The German team had run as high as 5th overall at one stage, but still faces stiff competition from EBIMOTORS (#73, Lino Curti / Carlo Curti / Marco Frezza) and Porsche Lorient Racing (#64, Philippe Polette / Frederic Lelievre / Pascal Gibon / Mathieu Pontais).

Running just behind Raceunion on the road, local team GDL Racing (#77, Gianluca De Lorenzi / Andres Josephsohn / Dimitris Deverikos) currently leads the SPX class. The Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo – the only Raging Bull in the race – has pulled a significant gap to the pursuing Speed Lover Porsche 991-II Cup (#78, Andrey Mukovoz / Stanislav Sidoruk / Sergey Peregudov / Kim André Hauschild) and the VDS Racing Adventures MARC Focus V8 (#58, Raphaël van der Straten / José Close / Gregory Paisse), the latter of which spent considerable time in the garage repairing heavy front end damage.

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