GPX Racing takes home win at the 2021 Hankook 24H DUBAI
GPX Racing becomes the first Emirati team since 2013 to win the Hankook 24H DUBAI.
A late pit stop secures WRT the runners-up spot inside the final 40 minutes.
Three-time winners Khaled Al Qubaisi and Hubert Haupt are on the podium again with Haupt Racing Team.
DUBAI (16 January, 2021) – UAE-based GPX Racing has become only the second Emirati team to take outright victory at the Hankook 24H DUBAI after a commanding performance at the Dubai Autodrome this weekend. OVERALL RESULTS
The GPX Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R (#36, Axcil Jefferies / Frederic Fatien / Mathieu Jaminet / Julien Andlauer / Alain Ferté) secured a lead it would never lose on lap 124, driving a faultless race thereafter to pull over three minutes clear of its nearest rivals at the chequered flag, completing 600 laps of the 5.39km Dubai Autodrome in the process.
GPX Racing thus becomes the first Emirati team to take an outright win at the Hankook 24H DUBAI since Abu Dhabi Racing by Black Falcon pulled the double in 2012 and 2013. The result also secures Porsche a record-extending sixth win at the event.
“It’s fantastic and I’m so happy for the team,” Axcil Jefferies told radiolemans.com’s Ian Salvestrin. “The guys worked so hard this whole week – they rebuilt the car two or three times – and they believed in us, so it’s great to reward them.
“And of course all the drivers did an amazing job. We pushed early on to build up a gap and then went into safety management mode in the last two hours to make sure we could bring the car home.”
In a dramatic moment, WRT, the Hankook24H DUBAI winner of 2016, managed to leapfrog into 2nd place inside the final hour. The WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo (#31, Dries Vanthoor / Kelvin van der Linde / Louis Machiels / Benjamin Goethe / Frank Bird) was closing in on the runner’s up spot in the closing stages when the HRT Bilstein Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo (#4, Hubert Haupt / Maro Engel / Patrick Assenheimer / Ryan Ratcliffe / Khaled Al Qubaisi) was brought into the pits for a driver change with just 40 minutes left on the clock. The Audi and the Mercedes were split by less than 30 seconds at the flag.
3rd place for HRT Bilstein nevertheless secures three-time event winners Hubert Haupt – the team owner – and the UAE’s Khaled Al Qubaisi their sixth and fifth outright podium finishes at the Hankook 24H DUBAI respectively.
The GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo (#63, Rolf Ineichen / Adrian Amstutz / Mirko Bortolotti / Rik Breukers), another frontrunner throughout the 24-hour event, finished a solid 4th overall just ahead of the second HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo (#5, Khaled Al Qubaisi / Valentin Pierburg / Florian Scholze / Nico Bastian / Patrick Assenheimer). The latter simultaneously secured GT3-AM victory ahead of nearest category rival Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo (#34, Johannes Dr. Kirchhof / Gustav Edelhoff / Elmar Grimm / Max Edelhoff), which finished 6th overall on the road.
Behind the Racetivity Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo (#83, François Perrodo / Charles-Henri Samani / Emmanuel Collard / Matthieu Vaxiviere), the second Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo (#88, Milan Dontje / Kim Holmgaard / Martin Lechmann / Tim Müller / Johannes Stengel), which won the Hankook 24H DUBAI outright in 2019, finished 8th overall and completes the GT3-AM podium. A superb recovery for the German team, which was unable to participate in Thursday’s qualifying session at all owing to pre-session suspension failure.
Despite making early contact with one of the Porsche Cup cars, the MP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo (#19, Henk de Jong / Daniel de Jong / Bert de Heus / Jaap van Lagen) recovered to finish 9th overall in Dubai. 10th for Inception Racing by Optimum McLaren 720S GT3 (#72, Brendan Iribe / Ollie Millroy / Nick Moss / Joe Osborne) equals the best result yet for a McLaren at the Hankook 24H DUBAI, Lapidus Racing having also finished 10th in 2013 with its MP4-12C.
Former event winner Herberth Motorsport had a weekend to forget in Dubai. Having secured the FXPrimus GT pole position on Thursday, the Bavarian team lost the first of its three Porsche 991 GT3 R entries (#91, Ralf Bohn / Daniel Allemann / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer) just two hours in following a collision a GT3 rival. The polesitting #92 (Jürgen Häring / Wolfgang Triller / Vincent Kolb / Sven Müller / Klaus Bachler) remained well in contention for victory in the early stages but was eventually retired with suspected gearbox issues. The #93 (Steffen Görig / Antares Au / Daniel Lloyd / John Loggie) did manage to finish 11th overall, but lost time to a collision on-track that heavily damaged the Porsche’s rear bodywork.
The Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (#710, Gregg Gorski / Gerhard Watzinger / Kurt Thiel / Oscar Lee / Fidel Leib) secured victory in a troubled GTX class at the Hankook 24H DUBAI. Indeed, the Vortex V8 Vortex 1.0 (#701, Philippe Bonnel / Lionel Amrouche / Karen Gaillard / Alban Varutti) suffered myriad suspension problems en-route to 2nd in-class. The 3rd-placed ARC Bratislava Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (#707, Miro Konopka / Mato Konopka / Justas Jonušis / Thomas Padovani / Zdeno Mikulasko) had been leading comfortably before a fire broke out in the V10 engine bay come daybreak. Even the Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini had to be recovered during the night after losing drive.
The NKPP Racing by Bas Koeten Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#991, Harry Hilders / Gijs Bessem / Bob Herber / Roeland Voerman) took what turned out to be a comfortable win in the 991 class after problems befell the 2nd placed DUWO Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#909, Andrey Mukovoz / Stanislav Sidoruk / Sergey Peregudov / Dylan Pereira). The latter led the class throughout the opening half of the event, but ultimately lost 45 minutes in the pits to drivetrain problems. MRS GT-Racing (#989, Jeroen Bleekemolen / Timothy Pappas / Saif Alamer / Jukka Honkavuori) endured a character-building event, stopping twice on-track en-route to 3rd in-class.
Canada’s ST Racing secured its first class win in the 24H SERIES with its BMW M4 GT4 (#438, Samantha Tan / Chandler Hull / Jon Miller / Nick Wittmer) after a flawless run in GT4. Reigning Overall GT Teams’ champion PROsport Racing got its title defense off to a good start with 2nd in-class with the Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 (#401, Nico Verdonck / Rodrigue Gillion / Stephane Lemeret / Patrik Matthiesen / Constantin Schöll). The UAE’s Dragon Racing meanwhile followed up GTX class victory at its home event last year with the final spot on the GT4 podium with its Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#488, Denis Remenyako / Adam Christodoulou / John Hartshorne / Ollie Hancock).
TOPCAR Sport secures first Hankook 24H DUBAI victory in TCE
TOPCAR Sport takes its second 24-hour TCE victory in the 24H SERIES.
Reigning TCE Teams’ champion Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing completes the TCE podium.
PK Carsport recovers from early mechanical woes to seal TCX victory.
DUBAI (16 January, 2021) – TOPCAR Sport has secured its first win at the Hankook 24H DUBAI and its second 24-hour TCE win in the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook following a race-long battle with reigning Overall TCE Teams’ champion, Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing.
The TOPCAR Sport CUPRA TCR (#131, Fabian Danz / Adrian Spescha / Patrick Sing / Ronny Jost / Benjamin Leuchter) took the overall TCE shortly before one-third distance, and despite a momentary power loss on-track during the night, was rarely led thereafter. The Swiss team, which also won the Hankook 24H BARCELONA in 2019, completed 543 laps of the 5.39km Dubai Autodrome en-route to the chequered flag.
“I’m really happy to win this race,” Fabian Danz explained to radioleman.com’s Ian Salvestrin, “Our car was perfect, has no scratches, and was running so well. But it’s never easy. During the night you do wonder, ‘why am I doing this?’, but it was really worth it! I’m so happy!”
Overall TCE Teams’ champion Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing made an impressive start to its title defense by securing two of the overall TCE podium spots, the lead #112 Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR (Antti Buri / Kari-Pekka Laaksonen / Gustavo Xavier / Jasmin Preisig / Miklas Born) finishing just ahead of the sister #1 VW tintop (Emil Heyerdahl / Marlon Menden / Jérôme Ogay / Constantin Kletzer).
Similarly, last year’s TCE event winner, AC Motorsport, also claimed two top five positions in its first 24H SERIES event running two Audi RS3 LMS’. A podium contender from the get-go, the #188 Audi (Stéphane Perrin / Philippe Thirion / Sebastien Morales / Mathieu Detry) eventually finished 4th ahead of the sister #199 (Thierry Chkondali / Maxwell Hanratty / Thomas Kiefer / Mark Wallenwein / Sebastien Lajoux) and the BBR CUPRA TCR DSG (#107, Anusorn Asiralertsiri / Chariya Nuya / Kantadhee Kusir / Kantasak Kusiri / Tanart Sathienthirakul). The latter ground to a halt with less than an hour left on the clock, but had still completed enough laps of the Dubai Autodrome to be classified 6th in the TCR class and 8th overall in the TCE division.
On its first endurance event running the BMW M2 CS Racing, PK Carsport (#208, Bert Longin / Peter Guelinckx / Stienes Longin / Stijn Lowette) survived fuel pump problems and a collision during the night to finish 7th overall in TCE and secure a hard-earned TCX class victory.
Alternator, power steering and overheating issues blighted CWS Engineering (#278, Colin White / Jean-Francois Brunot / Adam Hayes) throughout the weekend, but the British-based Ginetta G55 was able to overcome these issues to finish 2nd in-class and 7th on the road in TCE. The fun-M Motorsport BMW M240i Racing Cup (#302, Simon Klemund / James Winslow / John Corbett / George King / Julius Adomavi?ius) weathered handling issues, brought on by a collision on-track, to complete the TCX podium.
Despite suffering driveshaft failure inside the final three hours, the Zeng? Motorsport CUPRA TCR DSG (#133, Gábor Kismarty-Lechner / Tamás Horváth / Csaba Tóth / Szabolcs Gál / Zoltán Zeng?) managed to round out the TCE division’s top 10 on its 8th appearance at the Hankook 24H DUBAI.
Endurance racing action continues on 26-27 March, as the SERIES powered by Hankook travels to the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello in Italy for its first European round of the year, the Hankook 12H MUGELLO. One month later on 23-24-25 April, CREVENTIC will host the Hankook 12H SPA for the fourth consecutive year at the vaunted Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Further details regarding the 2021 24H SERIES calendar and championship standings can be found at 24hseries.com.