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GP Elite Leads 12H Mugello at Halfway Point

Dutch Porsche squad bounces back from first lap puncture to lead at overnight intervention…

Photo: Racingpixels

Team GP Elite recovered from an opening lap puncture to take a commanding lead into the overnight intervention at the Hankook 12H Mugello.

The No. 32 Porsche 911 GT3 R, piloted by Lucas Groeneveld, Jesse van Kuijk, Daan van Kuijk and Max van Splunteren, led by a minute and 33.367 seconds after six and a half hours of racing were completed.

That was despite pitting at the end of the opening lap with a slow front left puncture, which it recovered from through a combination of strategy and fast stints from the Van Kuijk brothers.

As a result, Daan van Kuijk was able to take the checkered flag well clear of the No. 91 Herberth Motorsport Porsche of Ralf Bohn, Scott Noble and Jason Hart.

The No. 27 Heart of Racing by SPS Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Gray Newell, Ian James and Roman de Angelis finished third after a recovery drive that began when the team began from the pit lane after a post-qualifying penalty.

CP Racing finished the opening half of the race in fourth place, ahead of the No. 14 Poulsen Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 of Roland Poulsen, Kristian Poulsen and Christoffer Nygaard.

Both teams ended the opening segment of the race ahead of the pole sitting No. 8 BOEM by Kessel Racing Ferrari 296 GT3, which finished in sixth place and in the GT3 Pro-Am class lead.

The Swiss-flagged Ferrari was the GT3 runner to finish ahead of the 992 class leader, which was the No. 903 Red Ant Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in seventh place overall.

In the GT4 class, the No. 431 Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 of Martin Kroll, Michael Bonk and Rainer Partl holds a two-lap lead over Porsche squad Lionspeed GP.

The German team’s No. 424 Cayman GT4 RS CS, driven by Jose Garcia, Daniel Miller, Patrick Kolb and Dennis Bohn, led a portion of the race but was also involved in three separate collisions with GT3 contenders.

The No. 416 Buggyra ZM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4, which had started from pole, is several laps down after encountering a power steering issue.

The Hankook 12H Mugello continues Sunday at 9 a.m. CET (4 a.m. EDT), with live coverage on the 24H Series YouTube channel.

RESULTS: Hankook 12H Mugello (Part I)

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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