KCMG at very wet and crash ridden race

KCMG TAKES TOP FIVE FINISH AT 24 HOURS OF SPA

KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) took its best ever result at the 2021 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, where the Hong Kong outfit scored a top five finish and both cars were in the top 12 after another chaotic edition of the Belgian enduro.
 
The team finished as the two highest-placed Porsche 911 GT3 R, contributing to the German marque’s title defence in the Intercontinental GT Challenge Manufacturers’ Championship. Porsche works driver Laurens Vanthoor, Nick Tandy and Maxime Martin crossed the line fifth overall in the #47 car, while Alexandre Imperatori, Josh Burdon and Edoardo Liberati were 12th in the sister #18 machine.
 
After Vanthoor put the #47 into Super Pole and 19th on the grid for KCMG’s third attempt at the world’s biggest GT3 race, the home hero began making progress to get inside the top 10 before a brief but intense rain shower soaked the 7.004-kilometre circuit. He would emerge in second after an inspired early switch back to slick tyres. However, an issue with the fuel rig meant not enough fuel was going into the car during the pit stops, preventing the drivers from maximising their stint lengths early in the race.
 
More drama would follow as Vanthoor was forced to sit out the final third of the race, meaning Tandy and Martin would have to complete additional mileage. They continued on as a duo, and the extra time spent behind the wheel took its toll, with Tandy’s hands blistering during the closing stages.
 
Australian Burdon put in another incredible opening stint, as he did at the Nürburgring 24 Hours earlier this year, to go from 36th on the grid to the top 15 by the time he handed the #18 car over. Fighting against rival cars with full factory line-ups, the trio performed excellently to secure their best finish at the 24 Hours of Spa.

LAURENS VANTHOOR #47 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“We can be satisfied with our performance this weekend. Unfortunately, we had a few issues with refuelling and punctures, but we came back to secure a strong fifth place finish. We didn’t have the quickest car this weekend, but we tried our best and we achieved that. There are things to learn from and improve but overall, we got the car back in the top five which is a good result. My off-track accident was unfortunate but that’s the way it is, although it was a shame not to drive in the second half of the race. Nick and Maxime did really well on their own and both put in terrific performances, so thanks to them and hopefully we can do it again next year.”

MAXIME MARTIN #47 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“We had a very strong race in the end. It wasn’t totally straightforward, but it never is at these endurance events. I think P5 was the best we could do. We were the best placed Porsche, but we still had a few issues that cost us some time and the pace wasn’t quite strong enough to achieve more. The team did an amazing job considering it was just their second time at the event with Porsche. They gave us a great strategy and didn’t make any mistakes. It was a shame Laurens couldn’t drive after his accident in the paddock but Nick and I worked really hard and kept up a good pace for the rest of the race. It was a pleasure to work with the team, thanks to them for trusting in me this weekend.”

NICK TANDY #47 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“Wow, what a weekend! To end with a top five finish in one of the toughest races in the world is a huge achievement for any team, so I’m proud to have been part of this story with KCMG. We started the week steadily and had a few issues along the way but in the end we all pulled through and brought the car to the flag. A big thank you to the whole team for their hard work.”


ALEXANDRE IMPERATORI #18 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“Once again it was a tough 24 Hours of Spa but we did a solid job with both cars in the top 12. A big thank you to the team for their flawless preparation and execution throughout the race. We can be very proud of what we achieved, the #47 also had a great race and I’m very happy to be part of this amazing unit. Onwards and upwards!”

EDOARDO LIBERATI #18 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“I’m very proud of what KCMG has achieved at Spa this year, finishing as the top two Porsche with a very strong performance. Obviously, we’re not completely satisfied as we aimed for more than P12, but after starting down the order we came back well to score a respectable result. Thanks to everybody in the team for a faultless job and to my teammates Alex and Josh for a great drive.” 

JOSH BURDON #18 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“It was a great end result for everyone at KCMG for their hard work. To have both cars finish in the top 12 at Spa is a good achievement. Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel disappointed as I believe we had the potential to battle closer to the front. We will continue to work hard and come back stronger. Thank you again to everyone on the team for their great work this weekend!”
 
MATT HOWSON TEAM MANAGER
“This year's 24 Hours of Spa was as tough as ever, especially as we struggled to find our testing form in very different track conditions. The race was always going to be an enormous challenge, but thanks to a superb team effort and epic drives from Maxime, Nick and Laurens in the #47, fifth place was a great reward. Their performance was backed up by strong performances from Alex, Josh and Edo in the #18, finishing 12th. Every single crew member and driver never gave up. We're proud to be the top Porsche finishers and we hope KCMG is now established as a strong unit even when times get tough. Thank you to the whole team, our drivers and Porsche for this great result.”

PAUL IP KCMG FOUNDER
“It’s been a really strong weekend for the team, taking our best ever results at the 24 Hours of Spa and finishing as the top two Porsches is very encouraging. We’re very happy to get Porsche’s first points of the Intercontinental GT Challenge season and contribute to their efforts in the Manufacturers’ Championship. Though we can be very proud of our efforts, especially in what was an extremely challenging race, we know that there was more on the table. Had a few things gone differently, we were absolutely in contention for the podium and maybe even the victory. As always, we will learn and come back next year with even more experience.”

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Spa 2021