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CP Racing Wins Inaugural 12H Kuwait

American outfit takes second win of the year in dramatic fashion…

Photo: 24H Series

CP Racing’s No. 85 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo took victory in the Hankook 12H Kuwait after late drama for close rivals GP-Elite.

Charles Espenlaub, Charles Putman, Shane Lewis and Joe Foster won the twelve-hour event at the Kuwait Motor Town circuit with a margin of two laps over Team Kuwait by MRS GT-Racing.

The American squad moved into the lead of the race when the No. 32 GP-Elite Porsche 911 GT3 R hit trouble within the final hour.

Daan van Kuijk brought the car, which he shared with Jesse van Kuijk and Lucas Groeneveld, to a stop on track with 46 minutes remaining on the clock, which allowed the CP Mercedes to move from second into the lead of the race.

The Dutch squad’s Porsche was recovered to the pit lane, but did not return to the track to take the checkered flag.

GP-Elite’s late failure proved to be a significant twist of fortunes, as it had moved into the lead after CP Racing had hit problems of its own just a few hours before.

Putman had been in the lead of the race when an unexpected overtaking manoeuvre left the American driver spinning on the circuit runoff, coming to a rest with his rear wheels stuck in a gravel trap.

The No. 85 Mercedes was pulled out by a recovery vehicle, but not before dropping into second place behind the Dutch Porsche.

Ultimately, Espenlaub, Putman, Lewis and Foster took their second victory of the season after a previous win in the Hankook 24H Portimao.

The squad also secured the Championship of the Continents in the process.

The No. 47 Porsche 911 GT3 R, driven by the Kuwaiti trio of Zaid Ashkanani, Mohammad Al-Kazemi and Ahmad Al Ghanem survived a coming together with a back marker to finish second.

Al Ghanem clashed with the No. 331 Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M2 CS Racing driven by Michael Mayer with just under two and a half hours remaining, but was able to continue and carried on to finish second.

With two out of the four GT3 entries encountering significant trouble, it left the way clear for the No. 909 Red Camel-Jordans.nl Porsche 992 GT3 Cup of Ivo Breukers, Rik Breukers and Luc Breukers to complete the podium.

ARC Bratislava’s No. 44 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Miro Konopka, Matej Konopka and Zdeno Mikulasko, was eliminated from contention early in a trouble-filled race that saw the Slovakian squad deal with repeated punctures.

Class victory in GT4 went to the No. 429 Century Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of David Holloway, Adam Hatfield, Bradley Ellis and Piers Johnson.

The No. 450 RHC Jorgensen-Strom by Century BMW M4 GT4 driven by Daren Jorgensen, Brett Strom and Nathan Freke finished second, losing out on victory after it came to a halt on track with just under five hours remaining.

The class podium was rounded out by the No. 491 Lionspeed Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS MR piloted by Jose Garcia, Daniel Miller, Andreas Bakkerud and Patrick Kolb.

RESULTS: Race

Davey Euwema is a Sportscar365 reporter based in The Netherlands, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, DTM, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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