The Circuit of the Americas will return to the 24H SERIES calendar for its fourth consecutive year in 2020, and with every passing year, the Hankook 24H COTA USA becomes a more notable slides ever further up the motorsport bucket list. And why is that? Well…
Variety and depth of competition across TWO divisions
Yes, we know, we harp on about this subject unapologetically. But in our defence, the numbers don’t lie. Since CREVENTIC’s inaugural trans-Atlantic race at COTA back in 2017, close to 40 cars every year have competed across upwards of seven different categories, and last year, barely 30 seconds separated 1st and 2nd at the sharp end in A6-Am. After 24 hours of racing!
As for the variety of the competition, the GT division offers as good an indication as any, with the Mercedes-AMG GT3, Audi R8 LMS GT3, Porsche 991 GT3 R, Ferrari 488 GT3, Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo, and even an Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 going toe-to-toe over the years for outright glory. It’s similarly packed with potential in the TCE division, with the Volkswagen, Audi, CUPRA and Honda headlining TCR alone.
You never know who’s going to show up
Within these categories over the years, we have welcomed radiolemans.com’s own John Hindhaugh, Freddy (son of 1976 Formula 1 World Champion, James) Hunt, The Great British Bake-Off’s Paul Hollywood, and MMA fighter David Roberts to compete on-track. In 2017, the brand new Aston Martin ‘GT8’ Vantage made its competitive debut as a works entry, and even the SCG 003C, bespoke Nürburgring-class winning creation of American entrepreneur, James Glickenhaus, has set its sights on outright victory.
Also, let’s not forget that established endurance racing legend Jim Briody – a vaunted supporter of the 24H SERIES competition – chose the Hankook 24H COTA USA as the final race of a 54-year career.
CREVENTIC twists the endurance racing formula
Since its foundation in 2005, and since its first ever endurance event in Dubai in 2006, Dutch promoter CREVENTIC has worked tirelessly to provide an endurance racing program catering to the needs of both its fans and its competitors. It’s for that reason, for example, that the bespoke ‘refuelling station’ (more details on page xxx) has been a series stalwart from the very beginning: a centralised re-fuelling area that makes the pitlane and garages incomparably safer for personnel and fans alike but that also becomes a strategic consideration throughout the race, thus keeping the race tight.
Similarly, the overnight intervention – now a focal point of the Hankook 24H COTA USA – encompasses the spirit of endurance racing, during both the day and night, but offers a few hours rest for drivers, teams and their hard-working chargers, followed by a fresh assault the following morning. “Finished part one in 1st place? Congratulations, but you’ve still got a full 12 hours to keep that advantage.” It’s a challenge not found in any other 24-hour endurance racing series.
Relaxed paddock atmosphere
Possibly THE biggest selling point of the 24H SERIES is the relaxed atmosphere, free from the grief of the overly politicised life of motorsport, both in North America and Europe. At CREVENTIC, we pride ourselves on offering close competition alongside a welcoming, family-friendly paddock, and have done since day one. It’s one of many reasons why drivers who were on the grid for our first race in 2006 are still competing with us today.
That relaxed paddock atmosphere by the way also includes fan-orientated activities, a Texan-style ‘Welcome’ barbeque, and the now annual Cars and Coffee event that takes place during the Hankook 24H COTA USA weekend.
You’ll be helping the environment
Yes, really. In 2020, CREVENTIC entered into a partnership with Trees for the Future, a charitable organisation with roots dating back to the early 1970s that has successfully planted more than 170 million trees in more than 60 nations across Asia, Africa and the Americas. This season, Trees will plant one tree for every lap completed by a competitor during this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook.
Let’s put that into perspective. In 2019, Black Falcon established a new distance record at the Hankook 24H COTA USA by completing 608 laps of the 5.513km Circuit of the Americas, and in total, last year’s grid completed 13,649 laps during those 24 hours. Across an entire season, calculations suggest that one tree planted for every lap completed across the 2019 season would compensate more than twice the complete fuel consumption of the event. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?