Debut in the 24H Series championship next week
Valters will compete in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux

Podium in the dramatic “12H Mugello” race


24 March 2024

With exciting battles, spectacular crashes, and dramatic weather changes, the 12H Mugello endurance race took place in Italy on 23-24 March 2024. Latvia’s leading road racing driver Valters Zviedris together with the Lithuanian-Italian team “Rimo Adero by Ebimotors” won second place in the “992 / AM” competition, while finishing in the 4th place among all the teams starting with the “Porsche 911 GT3 CUP”. The Dutch “Team GP Elite” team celebrated the absolute victory with “Porsche 911 GT3 R”.

Photo by 24H Series

In the first round of the “24H Series” championship, which took place on the legendary Mugello circuit, 36 teams participated, in which more than 130 pilots from 20 different countries competed. In Friday’s qualifying, Valters Zviedris showed a faster lap time than WRC legend Sebastien Loeb and, together with his teammates Aurelius Rusteika, Mantas Janavičas, and Marius Bartkus, won second place in his “992 / AM” in the 12-team competition. In Saturday’s competition, the team respectively started from 19th place overall and as the sixth out of 16 “992” class teams. It should be noted that the “GT3” class cars fought for absolute victory in the race, which are about five seconds faster than the “992” class “Porsche 911 GT3 CUP” on this Mugello track.

At the beginning of the “12H Mugello”, Aurelijus Rusteika sat at the wheel and managed to avoid several collisions around him during the chaotic start, in which several cars were damaged, among them two other Lithuanian teams. After about an hour, Janavičius took over the steering wheel, and in two hours with very good speed had taken the team to the top three position in their class. During the next pilot change, Valters sat at the wheel and got closer and closer to the leaders of the “992 / AM” standings, showing the fastest lap times in the class.

Photo by EBI Motors

Bartkus went further on the track and managed to keep the team in the top 3 position, while shortly before the end of the first day, the experienced team engineers decided to make a tactical pit visit and a pilot change to put themselves in a better position for the second day of the competition. Thus, after the first part, which lasted 6.5 hours, the “Rimo Adero by Ebimotors” team was in 4th place in its class, however with newer tires and a fuller fuel tank than the competitors right there in front. It should be noted that after the finish of the first day, the cars were placed in the closed park, so the teams could not touch them and the second part was started by the same pilots who finished the first day.

On Sunday morning, respectively, Janavičius was the first on the track, followed by Bartkus, while Zviedris was the third on the track. It should be noted that with fast and stable driving, as well as a good strategy, the team managed to rise to first place in the standings and be third among all vehicles of the “992” class. Shortly after the Latvian pilot got behind the wheel, it started to rain for the first time in the weekend, which made driving on the fast track significantly more difficult.

Photo by 24H Series

“The ride was quite chaotic as it rained for the first time this weekend. It was still manageable during my first hour of driving as the rain wasn’t heavy and not in the fast turns. Then just after we had put new dry weather tires on, the rain got harder and harder to drive with those tires. However, even in these slippery conditions, I maintained good lap times, kept the high positions, and was probably one of the last to enter the pits with dry weather tires,” says Valters Zviedris about his second day’s drive.

After changing the tires, Janavičius went on the “bad” rain on the now completely wet track, who managed to show solid lap times in the difficult conditions. However, in these chaotic conditions, when the weather conditions changed rapidly and there were several “Code60” periods due to accidents (the track is allowed to drive at a maximum speed of 60 km/h), the nearest competitors of the “992 / AM” qualifying managed to use the strategy to their advantage more successfully and pass the team represented by Valters. In the remaining hour and a half, it was not possible to recover what was lost in the pits, so in the end, the 992 / AM finished in 2nd place in the standings, 4th among all Porsche 911 GT3 CUP cars, and 11th overall, leaving behind several much faster cars.

Photo by EBI Motors

“Even though the end itself was a bit unfortunate, the whole team is happy with the second place in our debut competition. For all four of us, this was the first time in this championship and on this track, so the result is very good. With each race, we felt more and more confident on the track and we also worked very successfully both with each other and with the Italian “Ebimotors” team. Unfortunately, we were a little unlucky in the end, because we fought for the victory of the “992 / AM” for most of the race, and we were also among the fastest “Porsche 911 GT3 CUP” on the track. We can be proud of the fact that we were able to be so close to legends like Lēba and Duma in the results, before the competition no one expected anything like that,” the Latvian racing driver is happy about the completed competition.

In conclusion, Valters mentions that “I enjoyed every second at the wheel of the fantastic “Porsche 911 GT3 CUP” and this endurance race, of course, I also had very good training for the sprint competition season, about which plans we will soon be able to tell you more about”. You can watch the recording of the recently held “12H Mugello” race on the “24H Series” YouTube page – part 1 and part 2. The full results of the competition can be found HERE.

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