KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) ended the 2021 Nürburgring 24 Hours 25th in the SP9 class after damage to the car undid an incredible start to the Hong Kong team’s bid.
Josh Burdon qualified the #18 Porsche 911 GT3 R in 26th but the Australian put in a stunning opening stint in which he made up almost 20 places. A well-timed pit stop allowed Burdon to switch to wet tyres as rain arrived to settle into fifth at the two-hour mark before handing over to Alexandre Imperatori.
The rain cleared and the Swiss racer maintained position as he switched over to slicks. Following a strong run for Marco Holzer, Edoardo Liberati was behind the wheel when heavy fog began to fall. Initially covered by Code 60 slow zones in the worst-affected areas of the 25-kilometre circuit, the race was eventually red-flagged six hours in as visibility decreased.
Following a 14-hour delay, the race resumed. However, while still battling inside the top 10, Burdon spun at Hatzenbach and rear-ended the tyre wall. After initially continuing, the damage to the rear prompted lengthy repairs in the garage to ensure the team could finish, before Liberati brought the car home 25th of the 34-car category.
Josh Burdon: “It was an unfortunate end to our race after such a strong performance, fighting comfortably in the top 10 towards the end. It was a tough weekend with some wild weather conditions. On strategy, we were looking good before the incident put us out of contention, but I’m still extremely proud of KCMG’s performance and effort. We’ve made big steps this season and showed we can fight with top teams.”
Alexandre Imperatori: “Once again the Nürburgring threw all sorts of curveballs at us, but we performed well in difficult conditions. Being in such a strong position before the incident makes it a tough pill to swallow but this is racing at the Green Hell. We will refocus and come back stronger. I want to thank the KCMG and my team-mates for their efforts throughout the season and for building a great structure that helps us perform.”
Marco Holzer: “The Nürburgring showed once again why it’s called the Green Hell with the weather changes from heavy rain to fog. We aimed for a top result but we got unlucky, that’s racing. Nevertheless, I’m super happy with our performance and steps make over the last few months. Thanks to everyone at KCMG for their hard work. We’ll be back for another go.”
Edoardo Liberati: “I’m so proud of every single KCMG team member as we proved to be a strong squad that can fight for top positions, even in the most difficult and unpredictable 24-hour race in motorsport. Obviously, it hurts to have not delivered on the result we deserved, but to do well here you have to push and take many risks. We start again from here and will continue growing and improving.”
Matt Howson, Team Manager: “While we didn’t quite achieve the result we hoped for, I think KCMG showed true class at the highest level during the Nürburgring 24 Hours, recovering from a difficult qualifying to run comfortably at the front until our spin in the last few hours. Josh drove an unbelievable opening two stints to take us from 26th to fifth then Alex, Marco and Edo carried on that strength. After the red flag, Josh once again brought us into contention and with the smart strategy from our engineering team we were in contention for a podium. A big thank you to all at KCMG and Porsche for their hard work, support and cooperation to deliver such a strong package. Overall, we can be positive about the future from this performance as we look towards our next challenge and we’ll be going there with every intention and chance to challenge for victory.”
Paul Ip, KCMG Founder: “We proved ourselves to be one of the top-performing teams at this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours. Seeing our car flying through the field in the opening stages of the race was an absolute joy and we were consistently in the fight up front from then on. It’s a monumental effort to go up against teams with a lot more experience at the Nordschleife but we have risen to that challenge exceptionally well. Although the result did not come in the end, we can be extremely proud of our efforts and we will be back for another assault of the Green Hell.”
Source. KCMG/Photo. Swoosh