Gulf 12hrs: Team Abu Dhabi Black Falcon 4th in Pro class suffering technical issues in final hours
Abu Dhabi, December 12, 2015 – The 2013 winners of the Gulf 12 hours hopes for another victory at the 5th edition of the endurance race at the Yas Marina Circuit were dashed by technical problems. Team Abu Dhabi Racing Black Falcon’s Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 was hampered by a technical hitch midway through the second 6 hours costing them 11 laps in the pits and potentially the 1st place finish. The team finished in 4th place overall in Pro class, under the red flag due to a collision between two cars towards the end of the 12 hour race.
Team Abu Dhabi Racing Black Falcon of UAE Champion Khaled Al Qubaisi, Jeroen Bleekemolen and the 2015 FIA GT World Cup Champion Maro Engel started the Gulf 12 hour race well moving up from third to first place in the first stint with Bleekemolen aboard the No1 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3.
With very little between the top 5 competitors, positions changed rapidly as the race progressed. Team ADR Black Falcon fell back to 4th place at one point but gained a place to end the 1st 6 hours in 3rd place.
Bleekemolen had another strong start in the second part of the race moving up into 2nd place before handing the SLS AMG GT3 over to Al Qubaisi in 1st place. With 4 hours to go, the car faced a technical problem and was forced to pit. The team lost 11 laps in the pits before re-joining the race. Unfortunately the team could not recover and finished in 4th place in the Pro class.
Al Qubaisi said: “It was a very enjoyable race… very exciting, competition was very tight between us, the other Mercedes, the Ferrari and the Aston Martin at the top and we were rising to the challenge. Unfortunately we were set back by a technical issue, these things happen sometimes in motorsport, this year we were unlucky hope next year will be better for us.”
Al Qubaisi added: “I would like to thank our sponsors Sanad, Omeir travel agency, Kaspersky lab, Injazat, BearingPoint and Roger Dubuis for their support in this race.”
Bleekemolen said: “I think we proved that we had the speed to compete against the Ferrari, they were very quick but so were we. We were definitely competing for the win, but these things happen. It was an exciting race though, our pace was great and it’s always a pleasure to race in Yas Marina Circuit. Unfortunately it’s my first time not to make it onto the podium in this race.”
Engel said: “It’s a shame, we were super quick and I think we had a very good chance to win the race. Either way I very much enjoyed driving on this amazing track.”