To what the long-expected start after the interseason can be compared? It is excellent as... a multicolored plastic truck you saw on the toyshop shelf and were persuading your mom to buy. Do you remember? Hurray, Hankook 12H Italy-Mugello starts this weekend!
The 12-hour race in Mugello will have not really typical format for endurance races. Due to the tight restrictions of noise level it is forbidden not only to drill walls and sing in chorus by night in Toscana, but also to race on the roads. That is why on Friday, starting from 6 p.m., the crews will have to leave their vehicles and leave the track on tiptoe to return on Saturday morning and proceed with their job.
But let us start from the very beginning. So, the free practices that last an hour and a half start at 9:15 a.m. (local time). After the short break the 45-minute qualification starts at 11:00 a.m. 67 vehicles will form the significant traffic on the track!.. From the point of view of the rules everything will be very habitually: the vehicles will be lined up on the starting grid according to the qualification results. The only nuance is that each driver participating in the race will have to drive not less than two laps during the free practices or the qualification.
The start of Hankook 12H Italy-Mugello race is at 2:00 p.m. Rolling start means that after lining up on the starting grid the vehicles will be ceremoniously proceeded to the warm-up lap and than to the setup one required to check their order (the tires must not be warmed up with zigzag driving on the second lap), and after that, upon reaching the start line, the drivers push their accelerators nonstop and leap into action.
Driver change is mandatory for any vehicle during the race: one driver cannot drive nonstop for more than two hours.
The crews will have a rest after the first 4 hours of the race. The leader of each class will obtain the number of laps driven for his classification (the last, cool-down lap excluded). For the rest of the drivers the number of leader's laps minus their gap at the moment of timer stop will be taken into account. That means if a crew is only half a lap behind the leader of its class, the gap will not be considered.
Every work of mechanics with the vehicles at night is forbidden: everybody must sleep! Mechanics may be allowed to work with vehicles only by the previous submission of the application and on the permission of the stewards. But it will cost the significant penalty: minus 10 laps from the result.
The starting grid will look different in the morning. The vehicles will be lined up according to classes: first the vehicles of the most powerful А6-Pro class, followed by the next class, and so on. The vehicles within the class are distributed in the order they finished before. The race starts at 9:30 a.m., and 8 more hours of fight will wait for us!
Entry list consists of almost 70 crews. There are well-known names among them. One crew consists of Martin Prokop and Robert Kubica – two current WRC drivers (and Kubica is also a Formula One ex-driver). Our PCCI rivals – Dinamic team – will take part in the race too. And, of course, we must mention a Porsche Carrera Cup champion and an official McLaren GT driver Côme Ledogar! We proudly announce that Côme will drive a Tsunami RT car again!
Oleksandr Gaidai and Kriton Lentoudis will be Ledogar's teammates with a Porsche 991 Cup with the number 86 on the board. By the way, our team is the only one in the entry list that has four different flags: of San-Marino where the team is based, of Ukraine, France, and Greece.
O.Gaidai: "I should say that we are mentally ready for the race, but it is too early to say how it all will look after the starting lights are off. I do not like to look forward for the results. We are in a good shape, and now I'm just glad for the upcoming start."
C.Ledogar: "My aim is to finish the race so that the team can get more experience and continue to grow up. Tsunami RT is new in endurance races but the preparation and the motivation is there. Of course, I look forward to have a nice adventure together and try to win! About our strategy? We must be fast during pit stops and to stay focused in the traffic on track."
K.Lentoudis: "I have taken part in 24 hours of Dubai this year, it was a positive experience and I decided to enter the Mugello race to add racing miles and improve my performance. In my first test the only problem I faced was with the brakes, as we didn't use ABS. It was difficult to brake hard without blocking the wheels. But I had a flawless collaboration with Tsunami and my ambition is to step on the podium."
It will be very interesting. It will be very difficult, but unforgettably interesting both for us and for the viewers. You can follow online results on the website http://www.24hseries.com/live/live-timing, and read our on-the-spot news on our Facebook page. We will keep you informed on all the events.
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